Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog: Hegemony, Exodus 23:20-23, Matthew 18:1-5, 10 , St Leodegar of Poitiers, Autun Saône-et-Loire France

Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog: 
Hegemony, Exodus 23:20-23,  Matthew 18:1-5, 10 , St Leodegar of Poitiers, Autun Saône-et-Loire France

Good Day Bloggers! 
Wishing everyone a Blessed Week! 

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift knowledge and free will as well, make the most of it. Life on earth is a stepping to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Heaven is our Soul, our Spirit...it's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


Today's Word:  hegemony  he·gem·o·ny [hi-jem-uh-nee]

Origin:  1560–70;  < Greek hēgemonía  leadership, supremacy, equivalent to hēgemon-  (stem of hēgemṓn ) leader + -ia -y3

noun, plural he·gem·o·nies.
1. leadership or predominant influence exercised by one nation over others, as in a confederation.
2. leadership; predominance.
3. (especially among smaller nations) aggression or expansionism by large nations in an effort to achieve world domination.


Today's Old Testament Reading - Exodus 23:20-23

20 'Look, I am sending an angel to precede you, to guard you as you go and bring you to the place that I have prepared.
21 Revere him and obey what he says. Do not defy him: he will not forgive any wrong-doing on your part, for my name is in him.
22 If, however, you obey what he says and do whatever I order, I shall be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes.
23 My angel will precede you and lead you to the home of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, whom I shall exterminate.


Today's Gospel Reading - Matthew 18:1-5, 10

At this time the disciples came to Jesus and said, 'Who is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven?' So he called a little child to him whom he set among them. Then he said, 'In truth I tell you, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven. And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven. 'Anyone who welcomes one little child like this in my name welcomes me. 'See that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tell you that therein heaven are continually in the presence of my Father in heaven.
• Today's Gospel presents a text taken from the Discourse of the Community (Mt 18,1-35), in which Matthew gathers together some phrases of Jesus to help the communities of the first century to overcome the two problems which they had to face at that moment: the leaving or going away of the little ones because of the scandal caused by some (Mt 18, 1-14) and the need of dialogue to overcome the internal conflicts (Mt 18, 15-35). The discourse of the Community treats of several themes: the exercise of power in the community (Mt 18, 1-4), the scandal that excludes the little ones (Mt 18, 5-11), the obligation to struggle to bring back the little ones, for their return (Mt 18, 12-14), fraternal correction (Mt 18, 15-18), prayer (Mt 18, 19-20) and pardon (Mt 18, 21-35). The accent is placed on acceptance and on reconciliation, because the basis of fraternity is the gratuitous love of God which accepts us and forgives us. It is only in this way that the community will be a sign of the Kingdom.

• In today's Gospel we meditate on the part that speaks about the acceptance of the little ones. The expression, the little ones, or the least does not only refer to children, but rather to persons who are not important in society, including children. Jesus asks that the little ones be at the centre of the concern of the community, because "The Father does not want any of these little ones to be lost" (Mt 18, 14).

• Matthew 18, 1: The question of the disciples which results in the teaching of Jesus. The discip0les want to know who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. The simple fact of asking this question indicates that they have not understood well the message of Jesus. The response of Jesus, that is, the whole discourse of the Community, serves to make us understand that among the followers of Jesus the spirit of service, of dedication of pardon, of reconciliation and of gratuitous love, without seeking one's own interest, have to be a priority.

• Matthew 18, 2-5: the fundamental criterion; the one who makes himself as little as this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. "Then Jesus called to himself a child and placed him in the middle"; the disciples want a criterion so as to be able to measure the importance of persons in the community. Jesus responds that the criterion is the little ones! Children are not important in society; they do not belong to the world of the great. The disciples, instead of growing towards the heights and toward the centre, should grow down and toward the periphery! In this way they will be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven! And the reason for this is the following: "anyone who welcomes one little child like this, in my name, welcomes me!" The love of Jesus for the little ones cannot be explained. The children have no merit; they are loved by their parents and by all because they are children. This is a pure gratuitous love of God which is manifested here and which can be imitated in the community of those who believe in Jesus.

• Matthew 18, 6-9: Do not scandalize the little ones. The Gospel today omits verses 6 to 9 and continues in verse 10. We give a brief key for the reading of these verses, from 6 to 9. To scandalize the little ones means: to be for them a reason for the loss of faith in God and of the abandonment from the community. The excessive insistence on the norms and on the observance, as some Pharisees did, caused the little ones to go away, because they no longer found the liberty that Jesus had brought. Before this, Matthew keeps very strong phrases of Jesus, such as the one of the mill stone put around the neck, and the other one, "Alas for those who cause scandal!" This is a sign that at that time the little ones no longer identified themselves with the community and looked for another refuge. And today? In Brazil alone, every year, approximately one million persons abandon the historical churches and go to the Pentecostal ones. And these are the poor who do this. They leave because the poor and the little ones do not feel at home in their house! Which is the reason? To avoid this scandal, Jesus orders to cut the foot or the hand and take out the eye. These affirmations of Jesus cannot be taken literally. They mean that it is necessary to be very demanding in the struggle against scandal which drives away the little ones. We cannot, in any way, allow that the little ones feel marginalized in our community; because in this case, the community would not be a sign of the Kingdom of God. It would not belong to Jesus Christ. It would not be Christian.

• Matthew 18, 10: The angels of the little ones are always in the presence of the Father. "See that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in Heaven are continually in the presence of my Father in Heaven". Today, sometimes we hear the question, "But, do the angels exist or not? Perhaps they are an element of the Persian culture, where the Jews lived for long centuries during the exile of Babylonia? It is possible. But this is not the important thing, this is not the principal aspect. In the Bible the angel has a different significance. There are texts which speak about the Angel of Yahweh or of the Angel of God and then suddenly they speak of God. They exchange one for the other (Gen 18, 1-2. cf. Gen 13, 3.18). In the Bible the Angel is the face of Yahweh turned toward us. The face of God turned toward me, toward you! It is the expression of the most profound conviction of our faith, that is, that God is with us, with me, always! It is a way of making God's love concrete in our life, even up to the smallest detail.
Personal questions
• Are the little ones accepted in our community? Do the poorest people participate in our community?
• The angels of God, the Guardian Angel, many times the Angel of God is the person who helps another person. Are there many angels in your life?
Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites, www.ocarm.org.


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  St. Leodegar of Poitiers

Feast Day:  October 2
Patron Saint: Millers, Invoked against blindness, Eye disease

Leodegar of Poitiers
Leodegar of Poitiers (Leodegarius, Leger, Léger)(b 616 - d. October 2, 679) was a martyred Burgundian Bishop of Autun who became Saint Leodegarius.[1] He was the son of Saint Sigrada and the brother of Saint Warinus[1] Leodegar was an opponent of Ebroin, the Frankish Mayor of the Palace of Neustria and the leader of the faction of Austrasian nobles in the struggle for hegemony over the waning Merovingian dynasty.[1] His torture and death made him a martyr and saint.[1]

Early Life

Leodegar was the son of a high ranking Burgundian nobleman, Bodilon, Count of Poitiers and Paris and Sigrada of Alsace, who later became a nun at Sainte-Marie de Soissons.[1] His brother was Warinus. He spent his childhood in Paris at the court of Clotaire II, King of the Franks and educated at the palace school.[1] When he was older he was sent to Poitiers, where there was a long-established cathedral school, to study under his maternal uncle, Desiderius (Dido), Bishop of Poitiers.[1] At the age of 20 his uncle made him an archdeacon.[1] In or about 650, after he became a priest, and with the bishop's recommendation, Leodegar was made abbot of the monastery of St Maxentius in Poitou.[2] At the abbey he introduced the Benedictine rule, one of his Vitae relates. [1]


In 656, about the time of the usurpation of Grimoald in Austrasia and the banishment of the boy-heir Dagobert II, Leodegar was called to the Neustrian court by the widowed Queen Bathilde to assist in the government of the united kingdoms and in the education of her children. Then in 659 he was named to the see of Autun, in Burgundy. He again undertook the work of reform and held a council at Autun in 661 to denounce Manichaeism and was the first to adopt the Trinitarian Athanasian Creed. He made reforms among the secular clergy and in the religious communities, and had three baptisteries erected in the city. The church of Saint-Nazaire was enlarged and embellished, and a refuge established for the indigent. Leodegar also caused the public buildings to be repaired and the old Roman walls of Autun to be restored. His authority at Autun placed him as a leader among the Franco-Burgundian nobles.

Meanwhile, in 660 the Austrasian nobles demanded a king, and young Childeric II was sent to them through the influence of Ebroin, the mayor of the palace in Neustria. The queen withdrew, from a court that was Ebroin's in all but name, to an abbey she had founded at Chelles, near Paris. On the death of Clotaire III in 673, a dynastic struggle ensued, with rival claimants as pawns; Ebroin raised Theoderic to the throne, but Leodegar and the other bishops supported the claims of his elder brother Childeric II, who, by the help of the Austrasians and Burgundians, was eventually made king. Ebroin was interned at Luxeuil and Theoderic sent to St. Denis.

Leodegar remained at court, guiding the young king. In 673 or 675, however, Leodegar was also sent to Luxeuil. The cause, a protest against the marriage of Childeric and his first cousin, is a hagiographic convention;[3] as a leader of the Austrasian and Burgundian nobles, Leodegar was easily represented as a danger by his enemies. When Childeric II was murdered at Bondi in 673, by a disaffected Frank, Theoderic III was installed as king in Neustria, making Leudesius his mayor. Leodegar and Ebroin each took advantage of the chaos to make his escape from Luxeuil and hasten to the court. In a short time Ebroin caused Leudesius to be murdered and became mayor once again, still Leudegar's implacable enemy.

About 675 the Duke of Champagne, the Bishop of Châlons-sur-Marne and the Bishop of Valence, stirred up by Ebroin, attacked Autun, and Leodegar fell into their hands. At Ebroin's instigation, his eyes were gouged out and the sockets cauterized, and his tongue was cut out. Some years later Ebroin persuaded the king that Childeric had been assassinated at the instigation of Leodegar. The bishop was seized again, and, after a mock trial, was degraded and condemned to further exile, at Fécamp, in Normandy. Near Sarcing he was led out into a forest by Ebroin's order and murdered.

A dubious[3] testament drawn up at the time of the council of Autun has been preserved as well as the Acts of the council. A letter which he caused to be sent to his mother after his mutilation is likewise extant.

In 782, his relics were translated from the site of his death Sarcing in Artois to the site of his earliest hagiography - the Abbey of St Maxentius (Saint-Maixent) near Poitiers. Later they were removed to Rennes and thence to Ebreuil, which place took the name of Saint-Léger in his honour. Some relics are still kept in the cathedral of Autun and the Grand Séminaire of Soissons. In 1458 Cardinal Rolin caused his feast day to be observed as a holiday of obligation.

For sources to his biography, there are two early, though not contemporaneous Lives,[4] drawn from the same lost source (Krusch 1891), and also two later ones (one of them in verse).


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Butler, Rev. Alban. "The Lives of the Saints, Volume X: October.". St. Leodegarius, or Leger, Bishop and Martyr. bartleby.com. http://www.bartleby.com/210/10/023.html. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  2. ^ Now Saint-Maixent-l'École, in the région Poitou-Charentes
  3. ^ a b Adriaan Breukelaar (1992). "Leodegar". In Bautz, Traugott (in German). Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). 4. Herzberg: Bautz. cols. 1466–1468. ISBN 3-88309-038-7. http://www.bautz.de/bbkl/l/Leodegar.shtml.
  4. ^ Passio Leudegarii I & II. The second one is much more embellished than the first.


  • Adriaan Breukelaar (1992). "Leodegar". In Bautz, Traugott (in German). Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). 4. Herzberg: Bautz. cols. 1466–1468. ISBN 3-88309-038-7. http://www.bautz.de/bbkl/l/Leodegar.shtml.
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  • J. Friedrich, Zur Geschichte des Hausmeiers Ebroin, in the Proceedings of the Academy of Munich (1887, pp. 42–61)
  • J. B. Pitra, Histoire de Saint Léger (Paris, 1846)


Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


Today Snippet: Autun,  Saône-et-Loire, France


Autun, Saone-et-Loire, Burgundy France
Autun is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in Burgundy in eastern France. It was founded during the early Roman Empire as Augustodunum

Autun marks the easternmost extent of the Umayyad campaign in Europe. Autun was founded during the reign of the first Roman emperor, Augustus, after whom it was named. It was the civitas capital of the Celtic Aedui, who had been allies and fratres ("brothers") of Rome since before Julius Caesar's conquest of Gaul. Augustodunum was a planned foundation replacing the original oppidum or hillfort Bibracte, located some 15 miles away. Several elements of Roman architecture such as walls, gates, and a Roman theatre are still visible in the town.


Saône-et-Loire is the seventh largest department of France and the most densely populated in the region of Bourgogne. In the east the department is composed of the hills of the Autunois, the region around Autun, of the Charollais and of the Mâconnais. In the centre it is traversed from north to south by the Saône in its wide plain; the Saône is a tributary of the River Rhône that joins it at Lyon and thus is connected to the Mediterranean Sea. The Loire makes its way in the opposite direction, draining into the Atlantic Ocean. The Canal du Centre links the Saône to the Loire between Chalon-sur-Saône and Digoin, thereby linking the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic ocean. In the east the department occupies the northern part of the plain of Bresse. In the west its industrial heart is in Le Creusot and Montceau-les-Mines.

In 356 AD, Autun came under siege by a force of Alamanni. The disrepair of the walls left the city in danger of falling. Autun was saved by the arrival of the Emperor Julian in one of his early military successes. In late antiquity, Autun became famous for its schools of rhetoric. A world map famous for its size was displayed in the portico of one of the schools and may have survived until early modern times. The area lies in the area of Burgundy, and in the Middle Ages, it was a Count of Autun who became the first Duke of Burgundy.

In 725, the Umayyad general ‘Anbassa ibn Suhaym al-Kalbi (عنبسة بن سحيم الكلبي) marched up the Saône valley to Autun. On 22 August 725 he captured the town after defeating forces led by the local bishop, Emilian D’Autun, who was slain during the course of the battle. Autun would be the easternmost point of expansion of Umayyad forces into Europe. Just seven years later in 732, the Umayyads would be forced to begin their withdrawal to al-Andalus after facing defeat at the Battle of Tours.

Historical Sites

Ancient Romanesque Theater
The city boasts two ancient Roman gates (the Porte St.-André and Porte d'Arroux) and other ruins dating to the time of Augustus. One of the most impressive remains is that of the ancient theatre, which was one of the largest in the western part of the empire with a 17,000 seat capacity. To the northwest of the city is the so-called Temple of Janus, only two walls (faces) of which remain. To the southeast is the mysterious Pierre de Couhard, a rock pyramid of uncertain function which may date to Roman times.

Autun Cathedral, also known as St. Lazare's cathedral, dates from the early twelfth century and is a major example of Romanesque architecture. It was formerly the chapel of the Dukes of Burgundy; their palace was the actual episcopal residence. The cathedral was originally built as a pilgrimage church for the veneration of the relics of Lazarus, Lazare d'Aix, a Christian martyr who was archbishop of Aix-en-Province. Autun's 12th-century bishop, Étienne de Bâgé, probably built the church in response to the construction of Ste. Madeleine at nearby Vézelay, home to the French cult of Mary Magdalene. St. Lazare was only later elevated to the rank of cathedral, replacing the former cathedral dedicated to St. Nazaire.

Autun Cathedral
Autun Cathedral (French: Cathédrale Saint-Lazare d'Autun) is a Roman Catholic cathedral, and a national monument of France, in Autun. Famous for its Cluniac inspiration and its Romanesque sculptures by Gislebertus it is a highlight in Romanesque art in Burgundy and it is the seat of the Bishop of Autun. The Bishop of Autun set forth the construction of St. Lazare Cathedral as a result of the large movement of pilgrims travelling to Vezelay as they progressed on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. Due to social practices that involved pilgrims venerating the relics of saints in this period, the Bishop of Autun ordered the creation of a larger cathedral to house the relics and accommodate the influx of pilgrims into Autun. The column capitals and main façade of the church are embellished with realistic sculptures carved by Gislebertus. The artwork is a means of teaching the masses of Christian ethics with dramatic scenes of heaven and hell.

The Last Judgement Tympanum

Last Judgement by Gislebertus in the west tympanum.
The Last Judgement was believed to be created around 1130. In 1766 the canons decided that the sculpture was not worth keeping because it was mediocre. They then covered everything in a layer of plaster in order to affix other art work on top of the tympanum. Not until 1837 when another canon curiously began to chip away at the plaster was the tympanum discovered. Luckily, it was preserved underneath the plaster with the exception of the head of Christ which was documented to have been removed so that the plaster could fill the tympanum completely.

The West façade of St. Lazare contains the tympanum (1130–1135), signed Gislebertus hoc fecit ("Gislebertus made this") within the portico which is ranked amongst the masterpieces of Romanesque sculpture in France. The sheer size of the tympanum required that double lintels support it with a middle column to further support the sculpture. The left side of the tympanum displays the rise to the heavenly kingdom, and on the right is a portrayal of the demons in hell with an angel and a devil weighing the souls on a balance.

Zodiac signs surround the arch vault with Christ in the center portrayed as a serene figure. Christ is placed in perfect symmetrical position with a balanced composition of elongated figures. Jesus is flanked by his mother, the Virgin Mary and his apostles cast as penitents and observers of the last judgment. St. Peter guards the gate to heaven and looks on as resurrected individuals attempt to squeeze in with the assistance of the angels.
Gislebertus successfully integrated the modern view of heaven and hell and created a sculpture that would act as a visual educational device for individuals that were illiterate. Viewing the tympanum would allow pilgrim's to know what would happen to them if they were to end up in hell. Two men near the centre of the lintel carry bags bearing a cross and a seashell. These are the symbols of pilgrims that travelled from Jerusalem to Santiago de Compostela.

The tympanum would have inspired terror in believers that passed beneath it and viewed the detailed high relief sculpture. The bottom of the tympanum underneath the weighing of the souls has an inscription that states, "May this terror terrify those whom earthly error binds for the horror of the images here in this manner truly depicts what will be".

The tympanum is framed by two archivolts. The inner one has carved foliage while the outer archivolt consists of magnificently detailed medallions representing the four seasons, zodiacs, and labors of the months. The tympanum was saved from potential ruin as the canons who were managing the cathedral in the eighteenth century believed that Gislebertus' work was ugly, they covered it with plaster. The tympanum was rediscovered and released from the plaster in 1837.

Saint Nazaire Cathedral

The first cathedral of Autun was built from the 5th century onwards (later dedicated to Saint Nazarius or St. Nazaire, as it held relics of Saints Nazarius and Celsus) and was several times refurbished and enlarged. In about 970 it obtained from Marseille some of the relics of Lazarus of Aix, in the belief that they were relics of Lazarus of Bethany, the friend of Jesus. These became an object of pilgrimage and the crowds became too great for the cathedral building. The Bishop of Autun, Etienne de Bâgé, therefore decided in about 1120 on the construction of a new cathedral as a pilgrimage church and for the better veneration of the relics. The new cathedral was allotted a site to the north of the earlier cathedral of Saint Nazaire, of which some remains may still be seen.

Saint Lazare Cathedral

Historical Overview
Work on the new cathedral of Saint Lazarus or St. Lazare began in around 1120 and advanced rapidly enough for the building to be consecrated in 1130. It was mostly finished by 1146, when the relics of Lazarus were translated from the old cathedral. The Tomb of Lazarus, the shrine of the relics, was constructed in the choir in 1170-1180. The narthex or portico was not completed until the very end of the century.

St. Lazare Cathedral stands in the highest and best fortified corner of the town, and through external modifications that have been applied to the building the appearance has been much altered by the addition of a Gothic tower, a spire and side chapels in the 15th century. The cathedral still contains a highly Romanesque appearance on the interior. In 1462, Bishop Jean Rolin had a new belfry built in replacement of the Romanesque one that was unfortunately destroyed by a bolt of lightning.

The inspiration of the new building, both in layout and decoration, was Cluniac. The designs were the work of the bishop Etienne de Bâgé, who was particularly influenced by the Cluniac abbey of Paray-le-Monial. St. Lazare Cathedral was consecrated in 1132.

For a number of years after 1146 the two cathedrals operated in tandem, with Saint Lazare as the summer cathedral (from Easter to All Saints' Day) and Saint Nazaire as the winter cathedral. The cathedral was finished in 1146, (with the exception of the porch which was added a few years later); Abbé Grivot writing in his excellent guide to the cathedral explains that the interior of the building is not Gothic, as there are no crossed diagonal ribs, but Roman vaulting as was used at Cluny III. Saint Lazare was eventually confirmed as the one cathedral of Autun in 1195.

From 1793 until 1805 it was home to the famous painting Madonna of Chancellor Rolin by Jan van Eyck, now in the Musée du Louvre.

St. Lazare Architecture

The interior has a nave and two aisles, divided by massive columns with longitudinal carvings punctuated with beautifully decorated Romanesque capitals. The plan of the cathedral has a narthex of two bays topped by two towers, followed by a 7-bay nave flanked by side aisles and a transept with the tower surmounting cross. The twin flanking towers date from the 19th century.

The nave elevation is composed of three levels: grand arcade, triforium and clerestory, each marked by a cornice. The three story elevation of St. Lazare was made possible by the use of pointed arches for the nave. Each nave bay is separated at the vault by a transverse rib. Each transept projects to the width of two nave bays and the west entrance has a narthex which screens the main portal. The triforium base is decorated with a frieze of rosettes and consists of three blind arches. The pointed arch has been debated to be adapted from Islamic Art architecture where it had been used for some time.

Many of the historiated capitals that adorn the columns witin St Lazare were carved by Gislebertus that include fine representations of the Flight into Egypt and Adoration of the Magi. The capitals adorn columns along the nave.

What makes St. Lazare a masterpiece of Romanesque art is the quality of Gislebertus' sculpture that appears on dozens of capitals in the nave and chancel, and contains in particular the Bible carved in stone ' a very particular style.

The Cathedral of St. Lazare has a ground-plan in the form of a Latin cross, with an aisled nave, a plain transept and a three-stage choir with a semicircular end. The Gothic spire dates from the 15th century although the west towers were rebuilt in the 19th century, based on the Romanesque style of Paray-le-Monial.


  1. ^ John Brian Harley, David Woodward, The History of Cartography Vol I p290
  2. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septimania
  3. ^ Linda Seidel, Legends in limestone: Lazarus, Gislebertus, and the Cathedral of Autun (University of Chicago Press, 1999), p. 35 online.
  4. ^ Laherrère, Jean (2005) (PDF). Review on oil shale data. Hubbert Peak. Retrieved 2007-06-17.

Further reading

  • Westermann, Großer Atlas zur Weltgeschichte (in German)
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.