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Dogma: Saint Samson

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MessagePosté le: Mer Juin 04, 2014 9:18 pm    Sujet du message: Dogma: Saint Samson Répondre en citant

Hagiography of Saint Samson

Samson (in Breton Samzun) is one of the seven founding saints of Brittany. His name is associated with Dol in Bretagne, where he built a monastery. He is usually represented with snakes, symbols for the physical ailments that he cured as he brought the holy faith to Brittany(Bretagne). Below are translated and compiled the memories of his disciple, as recounted several decades after his death in a series of letters to a student of the faith.

First Letter - where we learn that Samson was born to an infertile couple, and how it came to be that he chose the path of the Church

    You have often asked me, my dear pupil, of Samson, whom I had the good fortune and privilege to have known. Now that you've left me, I have the feeling that I have not rendered him justice. I can not guide you anymore because of the distance between us, but as Saint Mhour is my witness, may my writing be a powerful guide. I still want to provide you this education, and tell you of the life and how lived the man who did so much for our Holy Church in Bretagne. After which I take it that I shall have brought to you all that I could.

    You need to know, first, that my master could never embrace the ecclesiastical career. Indeed, when his desire became manifested his father Ammon showed great reluctance. Not that he lacked piety, quite the contrary! But he and his wife had long feared that they would never have children. They prayed fervently for years, but their relationship seemed to be without fruit. Now then, this son who had come to them was like Gold, they loved him and trembled at the idea of losing him even for God.

    However, Ammon was visited in dream by the Archangel Miguaël. The Archangel said:

      "Tell me ... If you want a kid for your old age, then adopt! The streets are full, and you will a good deed. But Samson, he wants to follow the path of Aristotle and Christos, and you should let him join the cloister."

    These are the exact words that were reported to me by Samson, who had reported them directly from his father Ammon. It seems that the Archangels therefore sometimes adapt their language to their listener, unless Ammon, whose talk was normally frank and tough, changed the words a little in the telling of this message. In any case, it was effective.

    Well, I gotta go. I will write tomorrow, you may be sure.

Second Letter - where we learn how the monk Samson became doctor

    My dear student, still a student, student forever,

    Be certain that if you were to need me as long as I live, you will always be able to turn to me. What I wrote to you, I have not written to dismiss you. I recognize that you have taken your own path, and all is well.

    Of Samson who I wrote to you, then joined a monastery in Cardiff. He quickly showed a great aptitude for science, and particularly those sciences that soothe body aches. At sixteen, he was put in charge of cultivating the herb garden of the monastery. At seventeen, he devised his own potions and healing essences. His brothers were never so well cared for. As for the peasants of the neighborhood, they often came to him for treatment, and for tips on how to keep birds away and to treat snake bites.

    Samson often said:

      "Do not despise the evils of the body, because the body and soul are closely related. What weighs on one, impacts the other."

    To Brother Hébeau Plas, who argued that only faith could heal the body, he also said:
      "That's it! And when your potion falls from the sky, take great care that it doesn't hid you on the head!"

    Herbalism, anatomy, physiology, chemistry, astronomy ... Samson did as much as he could to enhance his medical skills. But though his knowledge was wide, he always sought to acquire more, and thought that he could not learn more in his monastery. Thus He asked to leave.

    As I must leave myself, but I'll tell you more of Samson later

The third letter is lost. We can only Assume it is rich with information about his Irish trip, how he lived, where he traveled in Britain, and on his progress in the holy Church during this period.

Fourth Letter - how Samson, who had arrived in Bretagne, eradicated an epidemic and founded Dol

    Dearest child,

    I agree with your praise, a hundred times, a thousand times, because it is true that the arrival of Samson on our good earth was a gift from heaven. I want to tell you again what feats he realized, and how he decided to stay with us.

    You see, when he landed on the Armorican peninsula as it jutted out from the continent, he was greeted by a generous but profoundly sad noble. He asked his host the cause of his affliction.
    "My wife and my daughter answered the noble, suffer from a strange disease that plagues the region. Their whole body radiates pain, and no one knows the cure."

    Samson forthwith interrupted all his plans and begun to study and find a cure for this affliction of the natives. He shared his time between consultations, research, and offices in which he revived the faith of patients and their families. The task was exhausting. Regularly, it happened that patients would die, and upset relatives would overwhelm Samson with insults and reproaches. His host, however, did not make the slightest remark when his own wife came to die. Instead, he thanked him working so hard.

    With this hard work, Samson managed to find the perfect remedy, and thus saves the daughter of the noble and many locals. In gratitude, they tried to shower him with wealth. But he refused everything. He only suggested they build a hospital, and the noble accepted, provided that Samson stay for a while and help build it and then run it. And after it was constructed the building was called Dol*, in memory of the great pains that the epidemic had caused. The village of the noble adopted the same name with pride. Soon, the whole area was named "Country of Dol".

    Could you see how that Samson himself attached himself to the people who lived there, so much so that he abandoned his desire to travel. I will tell you soon what he did then. Take care of yourself.

Fifth Letter - how Samson gave up his study tour, choosing to spread the faith in Brittany, and encounter with the jealous doctor

    My dear child,

    I told you that Samson now wanted to continue working for the suffering. I also believe that the spectacle of physical and moral suffering had shaken him, and he wanted to surround himself with as much work for the faith. In any case, when the most holy men that the earth has brought Brittany gathered to inculcate the divine message, Samson was the justly among those numbers, and I have it from a reliable source that the idea to crisscross the land was his.

    He soon became very popular both in his sermons and by his enlightened advice to the common people. As he had done in Cardiff, he taught them how to act in particular cases of snake bite, or how the placement of scarecrows in freshly planted fields could keep the birds away. Although he now sought and did successively heal souls, he did not cease to take care of diseases of the body. We systematically entrusted him the most serious cases, and he excelled in his art.

    One day, a quack, jealous of the prowess of the cleric, tried to poison him. He invited Samson to dinner, and he served apple wine in which he poured hemlock. Samson blessed his serving before drinking it fully, but ... but was not affected in the least, and even complimented his host for the excellence of his alcohol. The quack, struck by this miracle, fell to his knees and begged forgiveness from the Almighty.

    Samson would never call it a miracle, because it was too small. But you know what my opinion is. This is how blessed this man was, now in the solar paradise, that I had the good fortune to have known and attended.

Sixth Letter - the cleric and political

    You reproach me, Anne, for focusing on the man of faith and friend of the common people, and not mentioning the feats he accomplished for his country. This is a bad disservice, really, and for two reasons. First, because he was a man of faith, and that his country was firstly the Earth, then, because it is ordinary people that are the ones that form the city. They are the body, and the body must also be treated with care and respect. It was the maxim of Samson.

    But also, if you want sensational, and the epidemic of Dol was not enough for you then here is another. I told you that among the five major clerics of that time, Samson was better organized. He was also the wisest and the most sociable and most diplomatic. He found himself in a position to intervene successfully in the political arena, when a violent quarrel between a Breton chief and a French leader, and he made sure that the first had all his rights restored. To Paul Aurelian, who accused him of meddling in the temporal power, he wrote:

      "I serve God - do I spit on Earth? I praise the Most High power -Must I be blind to the smallest? There was an injustice, I tried to fix it, I succeeded. I gain neither gold, nor land, nor power. I even harvested the hatred of a few, deaf to the interests of the people here. Enough! The only wealth that I want is to be able to do something."

    Paul Aurélien no longer disputed, since the actions of his friend were acted upon and the political crisis passed. Samson, however, the Almighty forgive me, was wrong on one point: he reaped much more than satisfaction. His new fame had him soon regarded as the head of the clergy of the country - and his friends did not dispute the title. That's also why he is a man you must honor.


    My dearest Anne,

    I come to the last of these letters, for I have told you a lot already. The rest you can learn it by yourself if you wish. I just want to, again, say how my master died.

    He was then eighty-five years, and a slow but incurable malady was attacking his body. His friends, including firstly myself, begged earnestly to provide us with a miracle cure, but he explained to them that his illness could not be cured by the plants, and that there would be no miracle. I think that his last words were to ask for a bottle of alcohol, and to wish happiness to those who follow.

    I do not know how long it will last that which he founded, but faith will continue to radiate. It was my task. It is also yours today. Soon I leave this world, and you, you will advise young people who will do the same.

Translated and compiled in December of the year in 1461 by Sister Elisabeth Kermorial


Relics: Samson remains were scattered after the Norman invasions. Femur, tibia, and some fragments were recovered and are still in Rennes. The cup from which he drank the poisoned wine is in Fougeres.

Feast : July 28

Themes preaches:

- Parents and their children
- Disease
- Diplomacy
- Politics

translated into English by Cardinal Teagan March 1462
*Dol - is a little used unit of measurement for pain

Former too many things
not enough active things

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