|Saint Ildephonsus of Toledo|
Ildephonsus as portrayed by El Greco.
|Died||23 January 667|
|Honored in||Eastern Orthodox Church|
Saint Ildefonsus or Ildephonsus (rarely Ildephoses; died 23 January 667) was the metropolitan bishop of Toledo from 657 until his death. He was a Visigoth and his Gothic name was Hildefuns, which evolved into the Castilian name Alfonso. Ildefonsus, however, is known as San Ildefonso in Castilian and there are several places named after him. He was canonised and his feast day is 23 January, the date of his death. His writings were less influential outside of Hispania, but he remained a potent force in the peninsula for centuries. Like several of his seventh-century predecessors, Ildefonsus was a monk from Agali, and specifically abbot, before being raised to the metropolitan see of Carthaginiensis.
Theologically, Ildefonsus regarded the Nicene Creed as sufficientem scientiam salutarem (sufficient knowledge for salvation) and as a foedus (compact) between believer and God. Like Isidore of Seville before him, he regarded the creed as foming "two pacts" between God and believer: that renouncing the devil and the statement of belief itself. Ildefonsus encouraged frequent Communion, implying that normal practice was infrequent, and insisted upon preparation, which may have discouraged many.
In his De cognitione baptismi, Ildefonsus objected to the view of Isidore that Masses could be said efficaciously for the dead who had not had their last rites. Julian of Toledo in his Prognosticum follows Ildefonsus in this objection.
Ildefonsus' De viris illustribus emphasises the monasticism of the earlier bishops of Toledo. Nonetheless, the "pastoral concern" and emphasis on praedicatio (preaching) is noted by modern editors. De viris contains no biblical quotations, however. Ildefonsus' De viris is a continuation in thirteen parts of a work of Isidore bearing the same name. Among the illustrious personages included in Ildefonsus' expanded version is Isidore himself, though Ildefonsus' was apparently ignorant of the better treatment of Isidore by Braulio of Zaragoza. Nonetheless, Ildefonsus' continuation, with its Toledan emphasis, is an important source for that city in the sixth and seventh centuries.
Ildefonsus' most important work, however, is his De perpetua virginitate Mariae contra tres infideles, which imitated an earlier work of Jerome's. In it he utilises the "synonymous method" of Isidore for theological purposes, introducing the so-called Synonyma Ciceronis, wherein he repeats every phrase several times in different, purportedly identical, ways. The identifications reveal the arguments in a rhetorically strong way. The synonyms Ildefonsus uses are of interest to lexicographers.
Ildefonsus is the probably author of the Visigothic Mass of Ascension, in which he explains how the benefits received from Christ are richer than the wonders he performed, such as "ascending unaided to the clouds". Ildefonsus also wrote a Liber Prosopopoeia Imbecillitatis Propriae which has not survived. Such a treatise (on his own imbecility) was probably a confessional monologue or dialogue and it may have served as the basis for Valerius of Bierzo's work. It is only recorded in the Elogium Ildefonsi of Julian of Toledo, along with a reference to another lost work, an opusculum de proprietate personarum Patris, et Filii et Spiritus Sanctus dealing with monothelitism. Among his other works, Ildefonsus prepared an anthology of Isidore's works, excluding the Epistula ad Leudefredum.
Ildefonsus himself was included in a continuation made to the De viris illustribus by his later successor, Julian. His immediate successor was Quiricus, the dedicatee of Ildefonsus' De perpetua virginitate.
- Jocelyn N. Hillgarth, "Popular Religion in Visigothic Spain," in James, p. 45.
- Collins, Visigothic Spain, 147.
- Collins, Visigothic Spain, 168.
- Jocelyn N. Hillgarth, "Popular Religion in Visigothic Spain," in James, p. 26.
- Jocelyn N. Hillgarth, "Popular Religion in Visigothic Spain," in James, p. 27.
- Jocelyn N. Hillgarth, "Popular Religion in Visigothic Spain," in James, p. 28.
- Jocelyn N. Hillgarth, "Popular Religion in Visigothic Spain," in James, p. 53 and n4.
- Jocelyn N. Hillgarth, "Popular Religion in Visigothic Spain," in James, p. 19 n1.
- Jocelyn N. Hillgarth, "Popular Religion in Visigothic Spain," in James, p. 33 n1.
- Collins, Visigothic Spain, 165.
- M. C. Díaz y Díaz, "Literary Aspects of the Visigothic Liturgy," translated by Robert Richman, Salvador Starling, Jocelyn N. Hillgarth, and Edward James, in James, p. 67.
- Collins, Visigothic Spain, 163.
- M. C. Díaz y Díaz, "Literary Aspects of the Visigothic Liturgy," translated by Robert Richman, Salvador Starling, Jocelyn N. Hillgarth, and Edward James, in James, p. 69.
- Collins, "The 'Autobiographical' Works of Valerius of Bierzo," 432.
- Collins, "Julian of Toledo," 8 and n34.
- Roger E. Reynolds, "The 'Isidorean' Epistula ad Leudefredum: Its Origins, Early Manuscript Tradition, and Editions," in James, p. 258.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ildephonsus of Toledo.|
- Collins, Roger. Visigothic Spain, 409–711. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004. ISBN 0-631-18185-7.
- Collins, Roger. "The 'Autobiographical' Works of Valerius of Bierzo: their Structure and Purpose." Los Visigodos: Historia y Civilización. ed. A. González Blanco. Murcia: Universidad de Murcia, 1986. Reprinted in Law, Culture and Regionalism in Early Medieval Spain. Variorum, 1992. ISBN 0-86078-308-1.
- Collins, Roger. "Julian of Toledo and the Education of Kings in Late Seventh-Century Spain." Law, Culture and Regionalism in Early Medieval Spain. Variorum, 1992. ISBN 0-86078-308-1. Revised version of "Julian of Toledo and the Royal Succession in Late Seventh Century Spain," Early Medieval Kingship, edd. P. H. Sawyer and I. N. Wood. Leeds: School of History, University of Leeds, 1977.
- James, Edward (ed). Visigothic Spain: New Approaches. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980. ISBN 0-19-822543-1.
- Ildefonsus. De viris illustribus, ed. and trans. by C. Codoñer Merino in Acta Salmanticensia, Filosofía y Letras, 65. Salamanca, 1972.