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E02685: Braulio, bishop of Saragossa (north-east Spain), composes between 631 and 646 his Latin Life of *Aemilianus (ascetic and miracle worker in Spain, ob. 570s, S00578), presenting the saint as an ascetic and miracle worker.

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posted on 10.04.2017, 00:00 by Bryan
Braulio of Saragossa, Life of Aemilianus

[The paragraphs given here follow the edition of Vazquez de Parga.]

1–3. Braulio's dedicatory letter to the priest Fronimianus (see E02732).

4–7. In the preface Braulio juxtaposes the seriousness and difficulty of the subject (the life and deeds of the holy man) and his insufficient literary skills; he explains, however, that the text is not for the pleasure of reading fine words, but for learning the truth. Then he presents his sources:

7. ... Igitur a conuersatione eius principio, nos quoque dicendi ratio, Christo fauente eiusque beati uiri oratione conatus nostros adiuuante, sumamus exordium qualis extitit a uicesimo aetatis suae anno. Venerabiles namque ecclesiarum Christi sacerdotes, Citonatus, sanctae purissimaeque uitae, Sofronius et Gerontius, presbyteri quibus immodicam fidem habet Ecclesia, nobis, quae ipsi uiderunt, fideli relatione narrarunt. Additur his probatissimis testibus testimonium beatae memoriae religiosissimae Potamiae, cuius nobilem ortum nobilior uitae nobilitauit cursus. Hos ergo quattuor, de miraculis in corpore gestis, habere elegi testes, citra populorum prouinciarumque de huiusmodi re testimonia quae paene cuncta testatur Hispania ...

'7. ... Let us therefore begin our tale, with Christ’s favour and the prayers of the blessed man himself aiding our efforts, from the time of his conversion which occurred in the twentieth year of his life. The venerable priests of the churches of Christ, Citonatus, a man of a holy and most pure life; and Sofronius and Gerontius, presbyters in whom the church has no small faith, gave me a reliable account of what they themselves had seen. To these most worthy witnesses can be added the testimony of the most devout Potamia of blessed memory, who ennobled the nobility of her birth with a yet more noble way of life. I have chosen to take these four as witnesses of the miracles which he performed in the flesh, setting aside the testimonies of towns and provinces on matters of this sort to which almost all of Spain bears witness.'

8. Aemilianus, a shepherd, falls asleep and is raised to the contemplation of heavenly things. When he wakes up, he converts to the ascetic way of life.

9. Aemilianus becomes the disciple of the hermit Felix from Castrum Bibilense [today's Buradón], described by Braulio as 'a most holy man'.

10. Postea quam ab eo est adprime uias uitae edoctus, ac disciplinae diuitiis affatim thesaurisque salutis ditatus remeat ad sua, doctrinae gratia copiosus; ac sic uenit haud procul a uilla Vergegio, ubi nunc eius habetur corpusculum gloriosum, ibique, non multo moratus tempore, uidet inpedimento sibi fore hominum ad se concurrentium multitudinem.

'10. After he had been well taught the paths of life by this man and been greatly enriched by the wealth of instruction and treasures of salvation, he returned to his own country, full of the grace of religious learning and thus came to a place not far from the village of Berceo (Vergegio), where his glorious body now lies. He did not delay there long, for he saw that the crowd of men who came flocking to him would be a hindrance to him.'

11. The saint withdraws to the wilderness, to a place on Mount Dercetius [today's Sierra de la Demanda], and spends there forty years.

12. Didymus, bishop of Tarazona, forces Aemilianus to be ordained a presbyter. He performs the office in the village of Berceo. Braulio extols his ascetic virtues and heavenly wisdom which he acquired despite the lack of any education. He compares him to saints from the past, *Martin of Tours (S00050) and *Antony of Egypt (S00098). Braulio states, however, that the greatest deed of Aemilianus was to make his church very poor. In consequence (§13), his clerics accuse him before Bishop Didymus of harming the church's communal property. The bishop is inflamed with anger and demotes Aemilianus.

13. ... Tunc, a suscepto dudum ministerio relaxatus, ubi nunc uocatur eius oratorium reliquum uitae tempus peregit innoxium.

'13. ... After this he was released from the ministry he had taken up, and passed the rest of his life beyond reproach in the place which is now called his oratory'

In §13 Braulio ends the story of the life and conversion of Aemilianus, and turns to an account of his miraculous deeds.

14. Aemilianus wrestles with the devil.

15. Aemilianus heals the monk Armentarius suffering from the stomach pain.

16. Aemilianus heals a paralysed woman named Barbara, brought to him from the territory of Amaia [Cantabria, northern Iberian Peninsula].

17. Another woman from Amaia comes to Aemilianus during Lent and asks him to heal her legs. He refuses to see her because of Lent, during which he usually remained solitary, but she ask him to at least give her his staff to kiss. He agrees and she is healed.

18. Aemilianus gives sight to the maid of the senator Sicorius.

19-23. Aemilianus expels demons afflicting the possessed – a deacon, a female slave, a slave of the comes Eugenius, a married couple, a daughter of the curial Maximus.

24. Aemilianus casts a demon from the house of the senator Honorius in a place called Parpalines. He performs the exorcism by sprinkling water mixed with salt on the house.

25. Madmen are attracted to Aemilianus and he lives together with them. One day they try to burn him while he sleeps, but he realises this and commands them to put one another in chains.

26. Workers cut too short a beam that was to be used to build a granary. In consequence of the prayers of Aemilianus, the beam lengthens 'by more than a palm's breadth':

... quo in loco faciunt signum qui usque hodie claret in apertum; ac per hoc eius oratione nec laborem inaniter conducti exauriunt, nec operis mercede fraudantur: lignum quoque ipsud remediabile deuotis, usque in praesens, extitit aegrotis, tantisque uirtutibus celebratum habetur ut paene cotidianum obtinuerit languentibus praebendae sanitatis usum, unde in inmensum sermo procedet si uniuersa signa sanitatum quae inde conlata patescunt replicare uoluerim. Sed iam operae pretium iudico de liberalitate atque castitate eius pauca praestringere.

'... In that place he [Aemilianus] made a mark which can be clearly seen to this day. So through his prayer, the workmen did not waste their labour nor were they cheated of the wages for their task. The very wood even now cures the devout who are ill, and is said to have so much power that almost daily it gives health to the sick.'

27. Aemilianus gives the sleeves of his tunic and his cloak to a beggar, and is named by the hagiographer 'another Martin'. The fortunate beggar, however, is beaten by his jealous colleagues.

28. Aemilianus multiplies wine for the crowd that is visiting him.

29. On another occasion, he wants to give food for the many guests coming to him, but he has very little of it. On his prayer, a cart loaded with food from the senator Honorius (see §24) arrives.

30. While already at a very advanced age, Aemilianus lives with women ('maidens of Christ') who are helping him in his everyday needs. Because he suffers from dropsy, he also allows them to wash his body. This incites rumours against the holy man, in which Braulio sees the work of demons.

31. Robbers steal a horse of Aemilianus which he used to ride to church. The robbers lose their sight, and thus, they decide to restore the horse to Aemilianus. The saint sells the animal and distributes its price to the poor, but does not heal the blindness of the robbers 'by his spirit of discretion reasoning that unless they were deprived of their eyes they would not cease from deeds such as that they had perpetrated on him'.

32. The moment of his death is revealed to Aemilianus.

33. Aemilianus warns 'the senate of Cantabria' that if they do not convert and do penance for their crimes, Cantabria will be doomed. A certain Abundantius accuses him of becoming senile. Aemilianus predicts the sufferings that Abundantius will experience, and he indeed dies later 'cut down by the avenging sword of [King] Leovigild'.

34. Aemilianus dies in Berceo accompanied by the local priest Asellus:

Tum, eius beatissimi studio, corpus eius deportatus cum multo religiosorum obsequio, depositum est, ubi et manet, in suo oratorio. Uale. Uale, Emiliane beate, et mortalium carens labore in societate piorum bono tuo potire, ac relatoris tui Braulionis inutilis memor, succurre intercessor ut per te inueniam ueniam, quia mea nequeo effugere mala et hanc merear mercedem uicariam: ut cuius exaraui stilo uirtutes, eius fauore pro peccatorum meorum indulgentia meae audiantur preces, atque cum his quibus indignus cura pastorali praesideo dignus inueniar in extremo iudicio. Sentio me fine libelli urgueri; sed qui diximus de uiuentis mirabilibus quur taceamus de defuncti carismatibus? Duo uel tria adducam in medium miracula ut ista quae aliorum testimonio nobis sunt narrata et sub adnotatione testificata effici possint credibiliora.

'Then, through the care of that most blessed man [Asellus], his body was carried with great devotion being paid it by the devout and laid where it remains to this day in his oratory. Farewell, Farewell, Blessed Aemilianus, freed from mortal cares, take hold of your good fortune among the company of saints, and mindful of the teller of your life, the worthless Braulio, come forward as his intercessor, so that through you I, who am unable to flee my evil deeds, might find pardon and earn this vicarious reward: that my prayers for indulgence for my sins be heard through the favour of him whose virtues I set down with my pen, and that along w

History

Evidence ID

E02685

Saint Name

Aemilianus, ascetic and miracle-worker in Spain, ob. in the 570s : S00578 Martin, ascetic and bishop of Tours (Gaul), ob. 397 : S00050 Antony, 'the Great', monk of Egypt, ob. 356 : S00098 Ioulianos and Basilissa, martyrs in Egypt, ob. 304/5 : S013

Saint Name in Source

Emilianus Martinus Antonius Iulianus

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Lives of saint

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

631

Evidence not after

646

Activity not before

570

Activity not after

646

Place of Evidence - Region

Iberian Peninsula

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Saragossa

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Saragossa Osset Osset Osen (castrum) Osser castrum

Major author/Major anonymous work

Braulio of Saragossa

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Dating by saint’s festival

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - dependent (chapel, baptistery, etc.)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle during lifetime Healing diseases and disabilities Other miracles with demons and demonic creatures Exorcism Power over objects Miracle with animals and plants Revelation of hidden knowledge (past, present and future) Miracle after death Power over life and death Punishing miracle

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy Women Children The socially marginal (beggars, prostitutes, thieves) Officials Aristocrats

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - entire body Souvenirs of miracles Contact relic - oil

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects

Oil lamps/candles

Source

Braulio, bishop of Saragossa, composed his Life of Aemilianus during his episcopate, at a date that can be narrowed to between 631 and 645. From the dedicatory letter addressed to the priest Fronimianus, we know that the work was first commissioned by Braulio's brother and predecessor, Bishop John of Saragossa, but Braulio managed to write the Life only after the death of his brother in 631. In the letter, he also mentions the deacon Eugenius – the same who in 646 was elevated to the see of Toledo, and who is also known for the composition of poems and hymns, among them the hymn dedicated to St Aemilianus (see E00832). Thus, we can say with certainty that Braulio composed the Life at some point between 631 and 646. Nicolás Antonio, the 18th century Spanish scholar, noted in his Bibliotheca Hagiographica Vetus (vol. 1, p. 376), that he saw in the library of the monastery of San Millan de la Cogolla a huge manuscript with the title "Vitae patrum", containing, among other Lives, the Life of St Aemilianus. At the end of the life there was a note: "Here ends this book composed by Braulio, bishop of Saragossa in the year 674 of the era" (Explicitus est liber iste a Braulione Episcopo Caesaraugustano era sexcentesima septimagesima quarta). The date is given according to the Spanish era that began in 38 BC, which would give us the year 636 as an exact date of completion of the Life. The manuscript seen by Antonio is not known today, and the reliability of this testimony cannot be verified. 15 manuscripts of the Life are known, datable from the 10th to the 16th century, 14 of which were used by the editor Ignazio Cazzaniga. For the list of manuscripts and Cazzaniga's stemma codicum, see: http://www.mirabileweb.it/title/vita-sancti-aemiliani-confessoris-braulio-caesarau-title/2172

Discussion

Vergegio, the place were Aemilianus held his office, died and was buried, is the city of Berceo, later called San Millan de la Cogolla after the monastery dedicated to Aemilianus. It has sometimes been proposed that this monastery existed there already in the time of Braulio, and that the priest Fronimianus was its abbot - he is styled 'abbot' in Braulio's Letters 13 and 14 (see also Lambert 1933). However, in the dedicatory letter of the Life of Aemilianus, Fronimianus is called only presbyter, and Braulio does not mention the foundation of a monastery. Also Eugenius of Toledo (E00832) speaks only of a church at the place of burial of Aemilianus, and the earliest certain evidence of monastic activity in Berceo is from the 10th century (Fear 1997, 15, n. 1). Julianus whose feast Braulio mentions, is probably the martyr of Egypt who was put to death during the Diocletianic persecution along with his wife Basilissa. Their cult was popular in Spain in the 7th c. There is the mass for the feast of Julianus and Basilissa in the Liber Mozarabicus Sacramentorum which possibly represents the liturgy of the Visigothic period (E###) and two hymns of Hispanic origin for their office (E06571; E06680). He is also the only Julianus noted in a Latin Orationale from the late 7th century (E05253) as well as in the 10th and 11th-century Mozarabic calendars. A Latin translation of the Greek martyrdom (BHL 4529) is included in the Mozarabic passionary and is also known from the 7th century lectionary from Luxeuil. For the possible transmission of the cult of Julianus and Basilissa from Spain to Gaul, see Alwis 2011, 309-315. Parpalines, where the senator Honorius' house was, is not easily identifiable. According to a variant reading in one manuscript, it is Pamplona, but this is probably a later emendation. Recently it has been proposed to identify the location mentioned by Braulio with the archaeological site Parpalinas in the proximity of Pipaona de Ocón in the province La Rioja (around 70 km from San Millan de la Cogolla) where the remains of a church, possibly from the Visigothic period, has been found (Espinoza Ruiz 2006).

Bibliography

Edition: I. Cazzaniga, "La vita di sant' Emiliano scritta da Braulione di Saragozza: edizione critica", Bollettino per la preparazione dell' edizione nazionale dei classici greci e latini, n.s. 3 (1954), pp. 7-44. L. Vazquez de Parga ed., Sancti Braulionis Caesaraugustani episcopi Vita s. Emiliani (Madrid 1943). Translation: A.T. Fear, Lives of the Visigothic Fathers (Translated Texts for Historians 26; Liverpool 1997). C.H. Lynch, and P. Galindo, San Braulio, obispo de Zaragoza: (631 - 651). Su vida y sus obras (Madrid 1950). Spanish translation. Further reading: A.P. Alwis, Celibate Marriages in Late Antique and Byzantine Hagiography: The Lives of Saints Julian and Basilissa, Andronikos and Athanasia, and Galaktion and Episteme (London 2011). B. de Gaiffer, "La controversie au sujet de la patrie de s. Émilien de la Cogolla", Analecta Bollandiana 51 (1933), 293-317 U. Espinoza Ruiz, "La iglesia tardoantigua de Parpalinas (Pipaona de Ócon, La Rioja), campaña arqueológica de 2005", Antigüedad y Cristianismo 23 (2006), 309-322 A. Lambert, "La famille de saint Braulio et l'expansion de la règle de Jean de Biclar", Universidad 10 (1933), 65-80 C.H. Lynch, Saint Braulio, Bishop of Saragossa (631-651): His Life and Writings (Washington, D.C 1938).

Continued Description

ith these men over whom I unworthily exercise pastoral care, I might be found justified at the Last Judgement. I feel that this small work is coming to its close, but after speaking of the miracles he performed while alive, should we be silent about the acts of grace performed by him when dead? I shall bring forward two or three miracles, so that those told to us by the testimony of others and attested to in writing might be made all the more credible.'35. Sight is restored to two blind men immediately after the death of Aemilianus.36. Anno autem ex hoc praeterito, quum sancti Iuliani martiris festiuitas inmineret et oleum ad concinnanda luminaria deesset, candela minime est accensa; quam ad uigilias surgentes tam plenam oleo ardentemque reppererunt, ut non solum usque mane officium luminis ministraret sed etiam ex abundantia reliquarum uirtutum pareret.'36. Indeed this last year, close to the feast of St Julianus the Martyr, there was no oil for the light, and its wick remained unlit. However when they rose for their vigil they found the lamp full of oil and burning. It not only provided light until the morning, but from the great amount that remained this wonder produced further wonders.'37. A blind and lame woman named Eufrasia is healed after being anointed with oil, presumable that mentioned in §36.38. A 4-year old girl from a place called Pratum, near Berceo, is sick, and her parents decide to bring her to the tomb of Aemilianus. She seems to die during the journey, but the parents nevertheless place her by the altar. After three hours, they return to the church and find the child 'not only living but playing with the altar cloth'. Braulio names Aemilianus 'another Elisha'.Text: Vazquez de Parga 1943. Translation: Fear 1997. Summary: M. Szada.

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