St Servatius healing oil 4 (Patron for Rheumatism)
St Servatius healing oil 4 (Patron for Rheumatism) from A Blessed Call To Love, Ireland.
The presence of Servatius is recorded at several synods and church councils. Athanasius, leader of the anti-Arian party, was in exile in Trier. He may have met with Servatius. Both men campaigned against local Arian bishops and priests. In addition, at the Council of Cologne Servatius testified against the bishop of Cologne. Servatius said that “he denied the divinity of Jesus Christ”. St Athanasius was present.
Co-emperor Constance was assassinated in 350. Servatius was sent to the Roman emperor in Edessa. He represented the late Constans as an unworthy tyrant and oppressor. The mission failed. The resulting civil war ended with the death of Magnentius in 353. The mission can be seen as a sign of the high standing of Servatius. In 359, the Council of Rimini reports that Servatius eloquently denounced Arianism.
The source is Gregory of Tours
An important source about the life of Saint Servaratus is Gregory of Tours. In his late 6th-century account, Gregory writes about Servatius. He was a bishop of Tongeren and died in Maastricht. According to him, Servatius lived at the time when the Huns threatened Tongeren. However, this does not match the 4th-century dates of the synods. Also, it is not always clear how much of Gregory’s account is history. Some of it may be (pious) fiction.
During a vigil at St Peter’s tomb in Rome, Servatius had a vision. It showed the destruction of Tongeren. Peter then handed the Keys of Heaven to Servatius. He thus transferred to him the power to forgive sins. According to Gregory, Servatius returned to Tongeren. Also, he brought the relics of his predecessors to Maastricht. There he died. He buried alongside the Roman road, near the bridge.
St Servatus founded a number of churches.
As a bishop, Servatius was the founder of several early Christian churches in the diocese of Tongeren. One was the Basilica of Our Lady in Tongeren. The 2nd was the Basilica of Our Lady in Maastricht. In the case of Tongeren, this traditional claim supported by excavations in the 1980s. These revealed under the medieval church remains of a 4th-century church. It is possibly the original cathedral of the diocese. The origins of the Maastricht church of Our Lady remain uncertain. Also, no excavations have ever carried out inside this church. The Basilica of St Severatius, excavations in the 1990s have revealed the remains of a 6th-century church. In addition, it described by Gregory of Tours as a magnum temple. At its center is a late Roman structure, possibly the tomb of Servatius.
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