Saint Sebastianus and Saint Chromatius
- "Saint Chromatius" is also the name of the father of Saint Tiburtius. See Saints Tiburtius and Susanna.
Saint Chromatius (d. ca. 406/407) was a bishop of Aquileia.
He was probably born at Aquileia, and in any case grew up there. His father had died when Chromatius was an infant. He was raised by his mother and large family of older siblings.
He became a priest of that church and about 387 or 388, after the death of Valerianus, bishop of that important city. He was one of the most celebrated prelates of his time and was in active correspondence with his illustrious contemporaries, St. Ambrose, St. Jerome, and Tyrannius Rufinus.
Himself a scholarly theologian, he urged these three friends to the composition of many learned works. St. Ambrose was encouraged by him to write exegetical works; St. Jerome dedicated to him different translations and commentaries, which he had written at his suggestion (translations of the Books of Paralipomenon, Tobit, the books of Solomon, commentaries on the Prophecy of Habakkuk). In the bitter quarrel between St. Jerome and Rufinus concerning Origenism, Chromatius, while rejecting the false doctrines of Origen of Alexandria, attempted to make peace between the disputants.
He always maintained ecclesiastical communion with Rufinus and induced him not to answer the last attack of St. Jerome, but to devote himself to new literary works, especially to the translation of the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius.
Chromatius opposed Arianism with much zeal and rooted it out in his diocese. He gave loyal support to St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, when unjustly oppressed, and wrote in his favour to Honorius, the Western emperor, who sent this letter to his brother, Arcadius. This intercession, however, availed nothing.
Chromatius was also active as an exegete. Until the modern age only seventeen treatises were known to be authored by him on the Gospel according to St. Matthew (iii, 15-17; v-vi, 24), besides a fine homily on the Eight Beatitudes (counted as an eighteenth treatise). In 1969 researcher Henri Lemarié discovered thirty-eight sermons and published them.
His feast is celebrated 2 December.
- Chromace d'Aquilée, Sermons I-II, Paris 1969, 1971 (Sources Chrétiennes 154, 164)
- Chromatius at the Catholic Encyclopedia
- Patron Saints: Chromatius
- Cathechesis of pope Benedict XVI about Chromatius