St. Vincent And St Anastasius Jan 22

martyrdomSt. Vincent, born at Huesca in Spain. was an earnest student even as a child. He learned the sacred sciences from Valerius, Bishop of Saragossa. and then took over the work of preaching the Gospel since the bishop could not fulfill his preaching office because of an impediment of speech. For this reason Vincent was reported to the wicked prefect, Dacian, and brought to him in Valencia. He suffered imprisonment, hunger, racking and many other tortures; and gained the crown of martyrdom on the 22nd of January. Anastasius, a Persian monk, made a pilgrimage to the holy places in Jerusalem at the time of the emperor Heraclius. At Caesarea in Palestine he steadfastly endured imprisonment and scourging for professing his faith in Christ. Soon after, in Persia, he was afflicted by King Chosroes with many tortures for the same cause and was beheaded, together with seventy other Christians. His relics were first brought to Jerusalem, then taken to Rome, and finally placed in the monastery at Aquae Salviae. Roman 1960 Breviary

St. Agnes Virgin And Martyr Jan 21

St. Agnes of Rome

Agnes_Miracle of_TINTORETTOOf all the virgin martyrs of Rome none was held in such high honour by the primitive church, since the fourth century, as St. Agnes.

In the ancient Roman calendar of the feasts of the martyrs (Depositio Martyrum), incorporated into the collection of Furius Dionysius Philocalus, dating from 354 and often reprinted, e.g. in Ruinart [Acta Sincera Martyrum (ed. Ratisbon, 1859), 63 sqq.], her feast is assigned to 21 January, to which is added a detail as to the name of the road (Via Nomentana) near which her grave was located. The earliest sacramentaries give the same date for her feast, and it is on this day that the Latin Church even now keeps her memory sacred.

Since the close of the fourth century the Fathers of the Church and Christian poets have sung her praises and extolled her virginity and heroism under torture. It is clear, however, from the diversity in the earliest accounts that there was extant at the end of the fourth century no accurate and reliable narrative, at least in writing, concerning the details of her martyrdom. On one point only is there mutual agreement, viz., the youth of the Christian heroine. St. Ambrose gives her age as twelve (De Virginibus, I, 2; P.L., XVI, 200-202: Haec duodecim annorum martyrium fecisse traditur), St. Augustine as thirteen (Agnes puella tredecim annorum; Sermo cclxxiii, 6, P.L., XXXVIII, 1251), which harmonizes well with the words of Prudentius: Aiunt jugali vix habilem toro (Peristephanon, Hymn xiv, 10 in Ruinart, Act. Sinc., ed cit. 486). Damasus depicts her as hastening to martyrdom from the lap of her mother or nurse (Nutricis gremium subito liquisse puella; in St. Agneten, 3, ed. Ihm, Damasi epigrammata, Leipzig, 1895, 43, n. 40). We have no reason whatever for doubting this tradition. It indeed explains very well the renown of the youthful martyr.

sint-agnes-kerk2-pontif-massSOURCES

We have already cited the testimony of the three oldest witnesses to the martyrdom of St. Agnes:

  • St. Ambrose, De Virginibus, I, 2;
  • the inscription of Pope Damasus engraved on marble, the original of which may yet be seen at the foot of the stairs leading to the sepulchre and church of St. Agnes (Sant’ Agnese fuori le muri);
  • Prudentius, Peristephanon, Hymn 14.

The rhetorical narrative of St. Ambrose, in addition to the martyr’s age, gives nothing except her execution by the sword. The metrical panegyric of Pope Damasus tells us that immediately after the promulgation of the imperial edict against the Christians Agnes voluntarily declared herself a Christian, and suffered very steadfastly the martyrdom of fire, giving scarcely a thought to the frightful torments she had to endure, and concerned only with veiling, by means of her flowing hair, her chaste body which had been exposed to the gaze of the heathen multitude (Nudaque profusum crinem per membra dedisse, Ne domini templum facies peritura videret). Prudentius, in his description of the martyrdom, adheres rather to the account of St. Ambrose, but adds a new episode: The judge threatened to give over her virginity to a house of prostitution, and even executed this final threat; but when a young man turned a lascivious look upon the virgin, he fell to the ground stricken with blindness, and lay as one dead. Possible this is what Damasus and Ambrose refer to, in saying that the purity of St. Agnes was endangered; the latter in particular says (loc. cit.): Habetis igitur in una hostiâ duplex martyrium, pudoris et religionis: et virgo permansit et martyrium obtinuit(Behold therefore in the same victim a double martyrdom, one of modesty, the other of religion. She remained a virgin, and obtained the crown of martyrdom). Prudentius, therefore, may have drawn at least the substance of this episode from a trustworthy popular legend.

Agnes beatae virginis

Still another source of information, earlier than the Acts of her martyrdom, is the glorious hymn: Agnes beatae virginis, which, though probably not from the pen of St. Ambrose (since the poet’s narrative clings more closely to the account of Damasus), still betrays a certain use of the text of St. Ambrose, and was composed not long after the latter work. (See the text in Dreves, Aur. Ambrosius der Vater des Kirchengesanges, 135 Freiburg, 1893.)

Agnes_MASTER of the St. Bartholomew AltarThe Acts of the Martyrdom of St. Agnes

The Acts of the Martyrdom of St. Agnes belong to a somewhat later period, and are met with in three recensions, two Greek and one Latin. The oldest of them is the shorter of the two Greeks texts, on which the Latin text was based, though it was at the same time quite freely enlarged. The longer Greek text is a translation of this Latin enlargement (Pio Franchi de Cavalieri, St. Agnese nella tradizione e nella legenda, in Römische Quartalschrift, Supplement X, Rome, 1899; cf. Acta SS., Jan. II, 350 sqq). The Latin, and consequently, the shorter Greek text date back to the first half of the fifth century, when St. Maximus, Bishop of Turin (c. 450-470), evidently used the Latin Acts in a sermon (P.L., LVII, 643 sqq.). In these Acts the brothel episode is still further elaborated, and the virgin is decapitated after remaining untouched by the flames.

Agnes_DOMENICHINOAFTER HER MARTYRDOM

We do not know with certainty in which persecution the courageous virgin won the martyr’s crown. Formerly it was customary to assign her death to the persecution of Diocletian (c. 304), but arguments are now brought forward, based on the inscription of Damasus, to prove that it occurred during one of the third-century persecutions subsequent to that of Decius.

The body of the virgin martyr was placed in a separate sepulchre on the Via Nomentana, and around her tomb there grew up a larger catacomb that bore her name. The original slab which covered her remains, with the inscriptions Agne sanctissima, is probably the same one which is now preserved in the Museum at Naples. During the reign of Constantine, through the efforts of his daughter Constantina, a basilica was erected over the grave of St. Agnes, which was later entirely remodelled by Pope Honorius (625-638), and has since remained unaltered. In the apse is a mosaic showing the martyr amid flames, with a sword at her feet. A beautiful relief of the saint is found on a marble slab that dates from the fourth century and was originally a part of the altar of her church.

Since the Middle Ages St. Agnes has been represented with a lamb, the symbol of her virginal innocence. On her feast two lambs are solemnly blessed, and from their wool are made the palliums sent by the Pope to archbishops. From the 1914 Catholic Encyclopedia

Sts. Fabian and Sebastian

Fabian and Sebastian_ 15th century Spanish panelSt. Fabian, a Roman, ruled the Church from the time of Maximian to that of Decius. He divided the City into seven districts and assigned a deacon to each to care for the poor. He appointed the same number of subdeacons to collect the Acts of the Martyrs from the records of the district notaries. He decreed that every year on Holy Thursday the old chrism be burned and new chrism consecrated. At length, on January 20, he was crowned with martyrdom and buried in the cemetery of Callistus on the Appian Way.

sebastian1St. Sebastian was a favorite with Diocletian for his noble birth and his bravery, and was made captain of the first company of the Praetorian guards. He aided the Christians, whose faith he secretly practiced, both by deeds and by material help and strengthened them in professing Christ. When all this was reported to Diocletian, he tried by every means to turn Sebastian away from faith in Christ. But when neither promises nor threats were successful, he ordered him to be tied to spot and shot through with arrows. The servant of God was then thought by all to be dead, but shortly afterwards, restored to health, he appeared in Diocletian’s presence and boldly rebuked him for his wickedness. Then the tyrant ordered him beaten with rods until he expired.

Sts. Maris, Martha, Audifax, and Abachum Jan 19

Sts. Maris, Martha, Audifax, and Abachum

All martyred at Rome in 270. Maris and his wife Martha, who belonged to the Persian nobility, came to Rome with their children in the reign of Emperor Claudius II. As zealous Christians, they sympathized with and succoured the persecuted faithful, and buried the bodies of the slain. This exposed them to the imperial vengeance; they were seized and delivered to the judge Muscianus, who, unable to persuade them to abjure their faith, condemned them to various tortures. At last, when no suffering could subdue their courage, Maris and his sons were beheaded at a place called Nymphæ Catabassi, thirteen miles from Rome, and their bodies burnt. Martha was cast into a well. A Roman lady named Felicitas, having succeeded in securing the half-consumed remains of the father and Sons and also the mother’s body from the well, had the sacred relics secretly interred in a catacomb, on the thirteenth before the Kalends of February (20 January). The commemoration of these four martyrs, however, has been appointed for 19 February, doubtless so as to leave the twentieth for the feast of St. Sebastian. From the 1914 Catholic Encyclopedia

Chair Of St. Peter Jan 18

Chair of Peter

I. The annual Feast of the Chair of Peter (Cathedra Petri) at Rome
II. The Chair itself

Encensements-de-loffertoire-sous-le-reliquaire-de-la-chaire-de-saint-PierreI. THE ANNUAL FEAST OF CATHEDRA PETRI AT ROME

From the earliest times the Church at Rome celebrated on 18 January the memory of the day when the Apostle held his first service with the faithful of the Eternal City. According to Duchesne and de Rossi, the “Martyrologium Hieronymianum” (Weissenburg manuscript) reads as follows: “XV KL. FEBO. Dedicatio cathedræ sci petri apostoli qua primo Rome petrus apostolus sedit” (fifteenth day before the calends of February, the dedication of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle in which Peter the Apostle first sat at Rome). The Epternach manuscript (Codex Epternacensis) of the same work, says briefly: “cath. petri in roma” (the Chair of Peter in Rome).

In its present (ninth-century) form the “Martyrologium Hieronymianum” gives a second feast of the Chair of St. Peter for 22 February, but all the manuscripts assign it to Antioch, not to Rome. Thus the oldest manuscript, that of Berne, says: “VIII kal. mar. cathedræ sci petri apostoli qua sedit apud antiochiam“. The Weissenburg manuscript says: “Natl [natale] sci petri apostoli cathedræ qua sedit apud antiocia.” However, the words qua sedit apud antiochiam are seen at once to be a later addition. Both feasts are Roman; indeed, that of 22 February was originally the more important. This is clear from the Calendar of Philocalus drawn up in the year 354, and going back to the year 311; it makes no mention of the January feast but speaks thus of 22 February: “VIII Kl. Martias: natale Petri de cathedra” (eighth day before the Calends of March, the birthday [i. e. feast] of the Chair of Peter). It was not until after the insertion of Antioch in the copies of the “Martyrologium Hieronymianum” that the feast of February gave way in importance to that of January. The Roman Church, therefore, at an early date celebrated a first and a second assumption of the episcopal office in Rome by St. Peter. This double celebration was also held in two places, in the Vatican Basilica and in a cemetery (coemeterium) on the Via Salaria. At both places a chair (cathedra) was venerated which the Apostle had used as presiding officer of the assembly of the faithful. The first of these chairs stood in the Vatican Basilica, in the baptismal chapel built by Pope Damasus; the neophytes in albis (white baptismal robes) were led from the baptistery to the pope seated on this ancient cathedra, and received from him the consignatio, i. e. the Sacrament of Confirmation. Reference is made to this custom in an inscription of Damasus which contains the line: “una Petri sedes, unum verumque lavacrum” (one Chair of Peter, one true font of baptism). St. Ennodius of Pavia (d. 521) speaks of it thus (“Libellus pro Synodo”, near the end): “Ecce nunc ad gestatoriam sellam apostolicæ confessionis uda mittunt limina candidatos; et uberibus gaudio exactore fletibus collata Dei beneficio dona geminantur” (Behold now the neophytes go from the dripping threshold to the portable chair of the Apostolic confession; amid abundant tears called forth by joy the gifts of Divine grace are doubled). While therefore in the apse of the Vatican Basilica there stood a cathedra on which the pope sat amid the Roman clergy during the pontifical Mass, there was also in the same building a second cathedra from which the pope administered to the newly baptized the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Chair of St. Peter in the apse was made of marble and was built into the wall, that of the baptistery was movable and could be carried. Ennodius calls the latter a gestatoria sedes; throughout the Middle Ages it was always brought on 22 February from the above-mentioned consignatorium or place of confirmation to the high altar. That day the pope did not use the marble cathedra at the back of the apse but sat on this movable cathedra, which was, consequently, made of wood. The importance of this feast was heightened by the fact that 22 February was considered the anniversary of the day when Peter bore witness, by the Sea of Tiberias, to the Divinity of Christ and was again appointed by Christ to be the Rock of His Church. According to very ancient Western liturgies, 22 February was the day “quo electus est 1. Petrus papa” (on which Peter was first chosen pope). The Mass of this feast calls it at the beginning: “solemnitatis prædicandæ dies præcipue nobilis in quo . . . . beatus Bar-Jona voce Redemptoris fide devotâ prælatus est et per hanc Petri petram basis ecclesiæ fixus est”, i. e. this day is called especially praiseworthy because on it the blessed Bar-Jona, by reason of his devout faith, was raised to pre-eminence by the words of the Redeemer, and through this rock of Peter was established the foundation of the Church. And the Oratio (collect) says: “Deus, qui hodiernâ die beatum Petrum post te dedisti caput ecclesiæ, cum te ille vere confessus sit” (O God, who didst this day give us as head of the Church, after Thyself, the Blessed Peter, etc.).

The second of the aforementioned chairs is referred to about 600 by an Abbot Johannes. He had been commissioned by Pope Gregory the Great to collect in special little phials oil from the lamps which burned at the graves of the Roman martyrs (see CATACOMBS; MARTYR) for the Lombard queen, Theodolinda. According to the manuscript list of these oils preserved in the cathedral treasury of Monza, Italy, one of these vessels had on it the statement: “oleo de sede ubi prius sedit sanctus Petrus” (oils from the chair where St. Peter first sat). Other ancient authorities describe the site as “ubi Petrus baptizabat” (where Peter baptized), or “ad fontes sancti Petri; ad Nymphas sancti Petri” (at the fountain of Saint Peter). Formerly this site was pointed out in the coemeterium majus (principal cemetery) on the Via Nomentana; it is now certain that it was on the Via Salaria, and was connected with the coemeterium, or cemetery, of Priscilla and the villa of the Acilii (Acilii Glabriones), situated above this catacomb. The foundation of this villa, showing masonry of a very early date (opus reticulatum), still exists. Both villa and cemetery, in one of whose burial chambers are several epitaphs of members of the family, or gens, of the Acilii, belong to the Apostolic Period. It is most probable that Priscilla, who gave her name as foundress to the catacomb, was the wife of Acilius Glabrio, executed under Domitian. There is hardly any doubt that the site, “ubi prius sedit sanctus Petrus, ubi Petrus baptizabat” (where Saint Peter first sat, where Peter baptized), should be sought, not in an underground cubiculum (chamber) in the catacombs, but in an oratory above ground. At least nothing has been found in the oldest part of the cemetery of Priscilla now fully excavated, referring to a cathedra, or chair.

The feast of the Cathedra Petri was therefore celebrated on the Via Salaria on 18 January; in the Vatican Basilica it was observed on 22 February. It is easy to believe that after the triumph of Christianity the festival could be celebrated with greater pomp in the magnificent basilica erected by Constantine the Great over the confessio, or grave of Peter, than in a chapel far distant from the city on the Via Salaria. Yet the latter could rightly boast in its favour that it was there Saint Peter first exercised at Rome the episcopal office (“ubi prius sedit sanctus Petrus”, as Abbot Johannes wrote, or “qua primo Rome petrus apostolus sedit”, as we read in the “Martyrologium Hieronymianum” at 18 January). This double festival of the Chair of St. Peter is generally attributed to a long absence of the Apostle from Rome. As, how ever, the spot, “ubi s. Petrus baptizabat, ubi prius sedit” was distant from the city, it is natural to think that the second feast of the cathedra is connected with the opening of a chapel for Christian worship in the city itself.

II. THE CHAIR ITSELF

The Goths, who conquered and pillaged Rome in 410, advanced toward the city by the Via Salaria and the Via Nomentana; the same roads were traversed in the sixth and seventh centuries by later German invaders of Roman territory. Not only the churches, therefore, but even the cemeteries on these thoroughfares were easily given to plunder and devastation. We have seen, moreover, that as late as 600 a lamp was burning on the site “ubi prius sedit sanctus Petrus”. If the original chair of the Apostle had still been there at that time, would it have been saved from destruction in the pillage that did not spare the sarcophagi in the catacombs? The words of the Abbot Johannes, “oleo de sede, ubi prius sedit sanctus Petrus”, seem to leave scarcely a doubt as to this. The fact, evidenced by the martyrologies (see above), that by the ninth century one of the two feasts of the Roman cathedra had drifted away to Antioch, shows that the cathedra of the Via Salaria must have perished as early as the sixth or seventh century.

We come now to the question, where stood originally the chair shown and venerated in the Vatican Basilica during the fourth century? On the strength of ancient tradition it has been customary to designate the church of Santa Pudenziana as the spot where, in the house of the supposed Senator Pudens, the two great Apostles not only received hospitable entertainment, but also held Christian services. But the legends connected with Santa Pudenziana do not offer sufficient guarantee for the theory that this church was the cathedral and residence of the popes before Constantine. At the close of his Epistle to the Romans (xvi, 5), St. Paul mentions a place where religious services were held, the house of Aquila and Prisca (ten kat oikon auton ekklesian — now Santa Prisca on the Aventine). Aquila and Prisca are first among the many to whom the Apostle sends salutations. Aquila’s connexion with the Catacomb of Priscilla is still shown by the epitaphs of that burial place. In 1776 there was excavated on the Aventine, near the present church of Santa Prisca, a chapel with frescoes of the fourth century; in these frescoes pictures of the two Apostles were still recognizable. Among the rubbish was also found a gilded glass with the figures of Peter and Paul. The feast of the dedication of this church (an important point) still falls on the same day as the above-described cathedra feast of 22 February; this church, therefore, continued to celebrate the traditional feast even after the destruction of the object from which it sprang. In the crypt of Santa Prisca is shown a hollowed capital, bearing in thirteenth-century letters the inscription: BAPTISMUS SANCTI PETRI (Baptism of Saint Peter), undoubtedly the echo of an ancient tradition of the administration of baptism here by Peter. In this way we have linked together a series of considerations which make it probable that the spot “ubi secundo sedebat sanctus Petrus” (where Saint Peter sat for the second time), must be sought in the present church of Santa Prisca; in other words, that the chair referred to by St. Damasus was kept there in the period before Constantine. It was there, consequently, that was celebrated the “natale Petri de cathedrâ”, set for 22 February in the calendars beginning with the year 354. It follows also that this is the cathedra referred to in the oldest testimonia which speak of the chair from which Peter taught at Rome. The (third-century) poem, “Adversus Marcionem”, says (P.L., II, 1099):

Hâc cathedrâ, Petrus quâ sederat ipse, locatum
Maxima Roma Linum primum considere iussit.

(On this chair, where Peter himself had sat,
great Rome first placed Linus and bade him sit.)

Further, St. Cyprian, writing about 250, during the vacancy of the chair after the death of Pope St. Fabian, describes it as follows: “Cum locus Fabiani, id est locus Petri et gradus cathedræ sacerdotalis vacaret” (when the place of Fabian, i. e. the place of Peter and the step of the sacerdotal chair were vacant). Still earlier, about 200, Tertullian writes, in his “De præscriptione bæreticorum”: “Percurre ecclesias apostolicas, apud quas ipsæ adhuc cathedræ apostolorum suis locis præsident. Si Italiæ adjaces habes Romam” (Visit the Apostolic churches in (among) which the very chairs of the Apostles still preside in their places. If you are near Italy, there is Rome).

How Pope Damasus might be led to transfer the cathedra Petri from Santa Prisca to the Vatican, can be readily understood from the circumstances of that time. From the reign of the first Constantine the Lateran had been the residence of the popes, and its magnificent basilica their cathedral, while the neighbouring baptistery of Constantine served for the solemn administration of baptism on the eve of Easter. In the half-century from 312 to 366 (date of the accession of Damasus), the importance of Santa Prisca, its baptistery, and its cathedra must naturally have declined. Damasus could therefore be certain of the approval of all Rome when he transferred the venerable Apostolic relic from the small chapel in Santa Prisca to his own new baptistery in the Vatican, where it certainly remained to the first quarter of the sixth century, after which it was kept in different chapels of the Vatican Basilica. During the Middle Ages it was customary to exhibit it yearly to the faithful; the newly-elected pope was also solemnly enthroned on this venerable chair, a custom that ceased at the transfer of the papal capital to Avignon, in the early part of the fourteenth century. In order to preserve for posterity this precious relic, Alexander VII (1655-67) enclosed, after the designs of Bernini, the Cathedra Petri above the apsidal altar of St. Peter’s in a gigantic casing of bronze, supported by four Doctors of the Church (Ambrose, Augustine, Athanasius, Chrysostom). Thenceforth, for 200 years, it was not exibited to the public. In 1867, however, on the occasion of the eighteenth centenary of the martyrdom of the two great Apostles, it was exposed for the veneraon of the faithful. At that time the Alessandri brothers photographed the chair, and that photograph is reproduced here. The seat is about one foot ten inches above the ground, and two feet eleven and seven-eighths inches wide; the sides are two feet one and one-half inches deep; the height of the back up to the tympanum is three feet five and one-third inches; the entire height of the chair is four feet seven and one-eighth inches. According to the examination then made by Padre Garucci and Giovanni Battista de Rossi, the oldest portion (see illustration) is a perfectly plain oaken arm-chair with four legs connected by cross-bars. The wood is much worm-eaten, and pieces have been cut from various spots at different times, evidently for relies. To the right and left of the seat four strong iron rings, intended for carrying-poles, are set into the legs. At a later date, perhaps in the ninth century, this famous chair was strengthened by the addition of pieces of acacia wood. The latter wood has inlaid in it a rich ornamentation of ivory. For the adornment of the front of the seat eighteen small panels of ivory have been used, on which the labours of Hercules, also fabulous animals, have been engraved; in like manner it was common at this period to ornament the covers of books and reliquaries with ivory panels or carved stones representing mythological scenes. The back is divided by small columns and arches into four fields and finishes at the top in a tympanum which has for ornamentation a large round opening between two smaller ones. The tympanum is surrounded on all sides by strips of ivory engraved in arabesques. At the centre of the horizontal strip a picture of an emperor (not seen in the illustration) is carved in the ivory; it is held to be a portrait of Charles the Bald. The arabesque of acanthus leaves filled with fantastic representations of animals, and the rough execution of the work, would make the period of this emperor (884) a probable date. What still remains of the old cathedra scarcely permits an opinion as to the original form. In any case it was a heavy chair made of plain, straight pieces of wood, so that it cannot be considered a sella curulis of Pudens, as earlier tradition held it to be. If the four rings on the two sides belong to the original chair (Ennodius of Pavia about the sixth century used the term sedes gestatoria as an expression universally understood in reference to this chair), then it was probably an ordinary carrying-chair, such as was commonly used in ancient Rome.

While the two chairs were the visible memorials of the earliest origins of Peter’s Apostolic work at Rome, the recollection of his first arrival in the city is stil preserved in the litanioe majores (greater litanies) on 25 April. On this day is also celebrated the feast of St. Mark, whom St. Peter had sent to Alexandria in Egypt. Antioch and Alexandria, the two most important patriarchates of the East, were, in common with Rome, founded by Peter. Gregory the Great refers as follows to this spiritual relationship with the Roman Patriarchate of the West, in a letter to the Patriarch Eulogius (P.L., LXXVII, 899): “Quum multi sint Apostoli, pro ipso autem principatu sola Apostolorum principis sedes in auctoritate convaluit, quæ in tribus locis unius est. Ipse enim sublimavit sedem, in quâ etiam quiescere et præsertim vitam finire dignatus est. Ipse decoravit sedem, in quâ Evangelistam (Marcum) discipulum misit. Ipse firmavit sedem, in quâ septem annis, quamvis discessurus, sedit. Quuum ergo unius atque una sit sedes, cui ex auctoritate divinâ tres nunc episcopi præsident, quidquid ego de vobis boni audio, hoc mihi imputo” (Though there are many Apostles, pre-eminence of authority belongs permanently to none other than the Chair of the Prince of the Apostles, which Chair though established in three places remains nevertheless that of one and the same [Apostle]. He lifted it to the highest dignity in the place [Rome] where he deigned to fix his residence and end his life. He honoured it in the city [Alexandria] to which he sent his disciple, the Evangelist Mark. He strengthened it in the city [Antioch] where, though destined to depart, he sat for seven years. Since therefore the Chair in which now by divine authority three bishops preside is the identical chair of the self-same [Peter], I take myself whatever good I hear concernmg you).

We conclude, therefore, that there is no reason for doubting the genuineness of the relic preserved at the Vatican, and known as the Cathedra Petri. According to Eusebius, Jerusalem preserved the cathedra of St. James (Hist. Eccl., VII, xix), Alexandria that of St. Mark (G. Secchi, La cattedra alessandrina di San Marco, Venice, 1853). Tertullian, in the above quoted passage, refers to the value placed by the Apostolic Churches on the possession of the chairs of their founders (apud quas ipsæ adhuc cathedræ apostolorum suis locis præsident), and in enumerating them he puts Rome first. Moreover, the other writers above quoted, and whose testimony reaches back to the second century, all postulate the presence in Rome of an actual Cathedra Petri. From the 1914 Catholic Encyclopedia