Thursday, September 17, 2015

17 September. Lambert, Bishop. 1662 Book of Common Prayer

17 September.  Lambert, Bishop. 1662 Book of Common Prayer.
FWIW, this is listed in the 1662 BCP for 17 September. Lambert, Bishop. 

[Bishop of Maestricht, and Patron of Liege.] ST. LANDEBERT, called in latter ages Lambert, was a native of Maestricht, and born of a noble and wealthy family, who had been Christians for many descents. His father caused him to be instructed from his infancy in sacred learning, and afterwards recommended him to St. Theodard to perfect his education. This holy bishop had succeeded St. Remaclus, first, in the government of his two great abbeys of Malmedi and Stavelo, and, ten years after, when the former retired to Stavelo, in the episcopal see of Maestricht. He had such an esteem for this illustrious and holy pupil, that he spared no attention in instructing and training him up to the most perfect practice of Christian virtue. St. Theodard, in 669, resolved to go to King Childeric II., who resided in Austrasia, to obtain an order of that prince for the restitution of the possessions of his church, which had been usurped by certain powerful persons; but was assassinated upon the road by those who withheld his possessions, and torn limb from limb, in the forest of Benalt, near Nemere, since called Spire. He is honoured as a martyr on the 10th of September. St. Lambert was chosen to succeed him, with the consent of King Childeric and the applause of his whole court, where the saint was in great repute. Lambert regarded the episcopal charge as a burden too heavy for his shoulders, as saints have always done, and, trembling under its grievous obligations, set himself earnestly to discharge them without human respect or fear, imploring light and strength from above by assiduous humble prayer. Childeric II. reigned first in Austrasia, Vulfoade being at that time mayor of his palace, whilst Theodoric III. succeeded his brother, Clotaire III., in Neustria and Burgundy, under whom Ebroin tyrannically usurped the dignity of mayor of the palace. So detestable did the cruelty of this minister render the reign of the prince, that his subjects deposed him, so that Childeric became king of all France, Theodoric and Ebroin being shorn monks, the former at St. Denis, the latter at Luxeu; to which condition they both consented, that their lives might be spared. King Childeric II., a debauched and cruel prince, was slain by a conspiracy of noblemen in the year 673, the eleventh of his reign; and Theodoric, his brother, leaving the monastery of St. Denis, was again acknowledged king in Neustria, and Dagobert II, the son of King Sigebert, in Austrasia. 1
This revolution affected St. Lambert, merely because he had been heretofore greatly favoured by Childeric. He was expelled from his see, in which was placed one Faramond. Our saint retired to the monastery of Stavelo, with only two of his domestics; and, during the seven years that he continued there, he obeyed the rule as strictly as the youngest novice could have done. One instance will suffice to show with how perfect a sacrifice of himself he devoted his heart to serve God according to the perfection of his state. As he was rising one night in winter to his private devotions, he happened to let fall his wooden sandal or slipper, so that it made a noise. This the abbot heard, and, looking upon it as a breach of the silence then to be observed in the community, he ordered him that had given occasion to that noise, to go and pray before the cross. This was a great cross which stood in the open air before the church door. Lambert, without making any answer, or discovering who he was, laid down the upper garment he was going to put on, and went out as he was, barefoot, and covered only with his hair shirt; and in this condition he prayed, kneeling before the cross, three or four hours. Whilst the monks were warming themselves after matins, the abbot inquired if all were there. Answer was made, that he had sent one to the cross, who was not yet come in. The abbot ordered that he should be called; and was strangely surprised to find that the person was the holy bishop, who made his appearance quite covered with snow, and almost frozen with cold. At the sight of him the abbot and the monks fell on the ground, and asked his pardon. “God forgive you,” said he, “for thinking you stand in need of pardon for this action. As for myself, is it not in cold and nakedness, that, according to St. Paul, I am to tame my flesh, and to serve God?”

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