St. Cassian of Imola
One day the poet Aurelio Prudencio went to Rome . It is in the early fifth century On his way to the imperial capital stops at the Forum Cornelius, Imola today . Take a heavy heart , because the solution of business, purpose of travel , perhaps depends the security of your future and your family. profoundly Christian spirit , is urged to commend the Redeemer and goes to pray in a church. Kneels before the tomb of the martyr Cassian, whose relics are venerated there, and sinks into deep prayer. A prayer is a count contrite sins and sufferings. When , in tears, he lifts his eyes to heaven , his eye is caught in the contemplation of a painting of vivid colors. We see in him the image of a naked man , covered with wounds and blood, his skin torn by a thousand sites. In a crowd of kids around wield against him exalted school instruments and strive to stab him in the flesh lacerated and stilettos used to write. Moved by this tragic poet pictorial vision , which certainly is a move of its own internal tearing , asked the sexton of the church for its meaning. This , perhaps with the usual indifferent voice , explains that the painting depicts the martyrdom of St. Cassian, and tells the history and details of his death much earlier and witnessed by documents. Concludes by recalling that he subscribes to their pleas if you have any need, because the martyr gives gracious he considers worthy of being heard. Prudencio do so and check the veracity of the words of the clerk, because his business in Rome is resolved satisfactorily. Returning to Spain, composed in honor of St. Cassian, as a votive offering of thanks , a beautiful hymn, which is the ninth of his Peristephanon. It explains the history of his trip to Rome and puts on the lips of the sexton 's story of the martyrdom of Saint. Certainly the words of the sexton , despite the tone of sufficiency that could have, must have been simpler . But a poet Prudentius . It is the most sublime singer of the Christian martyrs. His spirit leaves his take on the wings of god and of his enthusiasm. And it gives us a splendid poetic- dramatic version. Cassian was a school teacher . A stern and effective teacher , according to this interpretation. Teach your children the rudiments of grammar, while a special art : the shorthand , the art of signs to condense in a few words. He is accused of being a Christian . And the occurrence malignant persecutors are putting into the hands of the same children , his disciples, to die tormented by them, and that the instruments of martyrdom are the same as that used to be worth to learn. These circumstances, with all its dramatic, are exploited by the poet to highlight the cruelty of the martyrdom: "Some will throw the fragile tablets and break them in your head , the wood chips, leaving the forehead wound . I hit the bloody cheek with waxed tablets, and small blood wet page to the coup. Other brandishing their punches. .. For some parts is drilled , the martyr of Jesus Christ , for others it is torn , some kneel to the depths of the bowels , others amuse themselves tear the skin . All members, including hands , were a thousand needles, and a thousand drops blood flow at the time of each member. verduguito More cruel was amused to sail on the surface of meat that you kneel down to the bottom of the bowels." The reader is shaken , not so much torment in herself to see them come from whom they come : the children and disciples. But the poet seems carried in the arms of a tragic fire . He delights in picturing the state of mind of the young executioners, imagining a horrible malice filled with an air of sarcasm: "Why are you crying?" asks one, " yourself, teacher, gave us these irons and you put together our hands. Look, I 've done more than return the thousands of letters we get up and crying in your school. No airarte because you have reason to write in your body, you yourself commanded : never be down the stylus in hand. I do not ask you , maestro cheap , holidays we always negabas . Now we like to tap with the style and draw parallels grooves to others, and weaving in the chain dashed lines . You can amend asoplados in long lines tiramira , if I have missed the hand unfaithful. Exercise your authority, you are entitled to punish the guilty if any of your students has been slow in trace his features." Hard to imagine so much treachery in the tender hearts of children. Prudentius seems to have sensed , that's why before has given us explanations for this attitude , as if to justify or at least motivate: "It is known that the master is always intolerable to the young scholar , and that the subjects are always unbearable for the kids ... the kids love it greatly to the same severe master is the scorn of the disciples whom held in harsh discipline . However, despite these reasons , our heart is overwhelmed . And it sings Prudencio , especially here, the horrific cruelty of the martyrdom . Absorbed perhaps only by the impressive realism of the picture, and transported on the wings of its tragic force , there has been more than the pile of multiplying indefinitely pains on the body of the martyr. And around this axis has built in concentric circles , the magical unity of his poem: buy pain scale because some children are angry , children are exacerbated because they feel a black pleasure in revenge for the severity of the teacher. There is no doubt that this provision helps intimate grandeur of the poem, and, consequently, the martyr. But do not be carried away the poet by the desire of exaggeration? First, with regard to children . It is true that in the human heart who long hidden resentments in exceptional cases. It is true that there may exist , which undoubtedly exist in the hearts of children . The image of childhood innocence does not absorb all the creases of shadow. It is likely therefore that in the circumstances of this martyrdom dammed overwhelms the dark forces of goodness all docks . Add to this the pressure exerted by the cheerleader and the strong presence of the court mandate persecutor, and the ease of contamination of the collective fury . But even so , one is reluctant to generalize. Is it possible that all the children were possessed by the diabolical fury , that none of them had even a glimmer of compassion, strength, tears? Second, compared with the same teacher. The image gives us Prudencio St. Cassian as a teacher , is not too severe ? They are full of edges sharply features : "Many times the hard precepts and the stark face had stirred anger and fear their prepubescent children." Of course , sometimes have had to take the seriousness and even punishment. But always? Was it just the giant enemy, stunning to the smallness and inability of the weak children? Do not be differentiated precisely by its quality -minded Christian love, a greater smoothness of the current in the other schools ? Would have exceeded , no doubt, ever , drawn by anger or impatience. Who does not ? And it's so easy in those who rule this outburst of sufficiency, that can not stand being beaten by the insolence or worth of subordinates ! But , no doubt , in times of prayer and humble recognition of sin would have taken the impetus for a sweeter deal , more paternal, more loving. In addition, and above all, we noticed , in the beautiful hymn of Prudentius, that we lack something: the soul of Cassian. The inner attitude of your mind in trance painful martyrdom. The poet , obsessed by the body lacerated by the blood bubbling seething , broken through the skin into a thousand tears , has cheated the source. This rich store hidden in the depths of being, receptacle of all impressions and source of all strength. Only once put into the mouth of Cassian all impressions and source of all strength. "Be brave , I pray , and to overcome the few years with your efforts , that mitigates the ferocity what is lacking in age." But this is not just a piece of mind : the tip of the heroic spirit that beats in the chest of the martyr. And it is used only as a grace note for the exaltation of the external. There must be more. The martyr was bound to see the children . A swarm of angry wasps struggling to cleave in the softness of her flesh the sharp spear of the stings . A confused uproar , a lot of curling hair , a forest of hands , tender hands , agitated , a flaming eyes, thousands of eyes to multiply in this frenetic dance . Also some hands reluctant , hesitant , shyly hiding, and some moist eyes , trembling , frightened, grieving ... And I could not but see in the children to their disciples. Were they the same who was devoting his patience, his knowledge , his life. All there. Would force to scroll through them one by one? That , the complexion bruna , how expressively recited Homer, that other , whose tiny hand was often rebellious teacher guide on the wax tablet , and one that made him spend so patiently until he learned the Greek declensions and it over here, the concentrated , now half the punch wielded in secret , but with deep thuds , and the other , the mischievous red-faced , the worst hit , but not the least wanted , and this little boy , who participated in the killing as a game ... And one and another and another. All waves would pass in quick by the imagination of the teacher , their faces , their souls, their names as known and so often repeated in a thousand different shades. Perhaps the moans that escaped from the lips of the martyr , but names were not students , delivered quietly with an air of surprise, complaint , with palpitations last agridulzura. And this whirl of names and faces, in the prolongation of his agony , had to be to the teacher tormented as a mirror that reflected her life, efforts , hopes , joys, failures. Days filled with the most monotonous routine , moments of desperate sense of futility , gusts of anger or helplessness , minutes nitidísima full of joy, impatience , tears , voices compelling , persuasive words , multiplying through generations of kids who spent their hands as shapeless and out of them with a light on in the front. Everything for this failure lead to the end : being killed slowly by them to which he had striven to educate for righteousness and love. Although it was this indeed a failure? Humanly , indeed. But it was through this torment as Cassian getting their true glory. Because this was not the end , the horrific death and discouraging. The final was beyond the frontier of death in a field that opened with clear horizons of peace. The target that this arrow was directed sore meat was the same God. Only God gave meaning to his death , as he had given meaning to his life. Therefore we can not believe that the soul of Cassian was absent of God in this terrible time. necessarily had to be anchored in Him Every beat of his veins, every groan from his throat , every thought of his mind would be an aspiration and a prayer to the Lord. The same move from their imagination for faces and hands , and names, and days, have their echoes in God. He could not be summarized in a concise synthesis of grace and fervor , of sin and contrition, droughts and efforts, the journey of his life to the Father's house. What about pain? These sharp pains now, which followed one another helter-skelter , leaving no room to breathe, was already a prayer force of blood. Cassian and receive a sense of the Holocaust. And the Redeemer humbly offer as compensation for the trail of shadows , including flashing lights , leave the man on earth. And remember Jesus died on Calvary. That mob of kids in a crazed dance looking for his body suggest that other imposing mass of Jews shouting insults thundered in the ears of the Cross. Those were the people of God. These were the family of the teacher. And , just as Christ prayed to the Father for his executioners , Casiano ask for their children , that God would forgive them , they did not know what they were doing, that he really wanted , that God will cleanse their souls from the deep black crack open for this crime, that transforms , that he gave his own sacrifice for them, that ... And, also like Jesus , he put his spirit into the hands of the Father. A breath ending that was born from the bottom and dragged him into the bosom of God. Not that I wanted to break with life, with this his final failure, as he pulled to the shoulder of the road litter or unpleasant , the tearing of clothing. No. The same failure -which his martyrdom was human failure , " was what he wanted to take , as the last sip of the bitter cup , and with it at the very tip of the lips, go up to God, to the glory which he was inviolable : the Father's heart. And so deliver his soul. Prudencio tells us these beautiful , naive words: "Finally , pity the martyr Christ from heaven , send to untie the bonds of the chest, and cuts off the painful delays and ties of life, leaving all their hiding expedited . The blood, following the paths open vein since his close source, leaving the heart , and soul longing came out all the holes in the fibers of the body shot." Is it so complete and the image of St. Cassian ? The poet Prudentius has described with a masterful sense of realism and dramatic physical torture of the martyr and the children's animosity raging . We have tried to get closer to your soul. It is a bold daring, though rarely as reasonably credible as here. In fact, what we know about Saint Cassian can be reduced to a mere assertions : that was a school teacher , expert in shorthand , who died at the hands of his disciples, and that certainly happened on martyrdom under the persecution of Diocletian (303-304) . But it is lawful for a man 's adventure to understand man. Moreover, human. And when done with respect and justice , despite all risks, gets to the heart of reality with greater precision , perhaps, that a plethora of raw data. In the narrative of history and martyrdom of Saint Cassian Prudencio has also drawn a conclusion. A very simple conclusion , but deliciously comforting : that the martyr 's prayers heard gracious men's troubled heart . For us, after that, we would be sufficient to us rather timidly ventured - course - in the lake inside the human soul, and at a time of such deep resonances , when the waters of being are all shaken by a tremor of full decision. We suffice with this, because it moves , deepens and purifies our own being. And if we are not satisfied with this essential purification , we can still derive a long trail lesson practice. Cassian of Imola was not tormented by having fulfilled its mission of teaching bad , or the rebellion of the children and their relentless desire to murder was a direct blast , but caused by a fire fueled from outside. However, the reality of his death meant to him the wound in the most painful. In his martyrdom there was nothing knew to human satisfaction . What other martyrs gives them a certain aura of land - the heroic victors , with a haughty bearing , upright facing the same challenge to the judges or executioners are here ...- overshadowed . For Cassian, after refusing to sacrifice to idols, and not before a tyrant who rebuke , against whom he said , but their children, their dear students , their fragile children. Against what opposing force strength? It remains only to let go , conquer, destroy, sink. And here's the lesson. The open book of this martyrdom God teaches us how to climb up to him, hurt us in the dearest , sweeping a breath of our most cherished illusions, sink into the appearance of futility, hoisted the flag of our individual failure. And perhaps not all that blood, in the pure vulgarity of anonymity. Although this would not be an excuse for discouragement , but one reason for total determination to fight , while for an active and vital offering. And that until the end. That end is only in God's hands and they always run the hands of God. The relics of St. Cassian is venerated in the cathedral of the Italian town of Imola , which prides itself with its sponsorship. Honored first in a basilica, were taken to the cathedral , recently built in the thirteenth century, and then encased in a lead box and placed under the crypt in the center of the sanctuary, the Cathedral restored in 1704.