CHROMATIUS of Aquileia

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From ca. 370 a member of the clergy of Aquileia, one of the most important junctions of transit between East and West. As a close collaborator of Bishop Valerian he took part in a local synod in 381, directed by Ambrose, which condemned so-called Western Arianism Illyricum. Bishop of Aquileia from 387, he was very active pastorally and worked for the peace of the church, e.g., in the controversy between his old friend Rufinus and Jerome, and in the matter of John Chrysostom. Before his death in 407 he experienced the terrors of the Gothic invasion. The written deposit of his preaching, which came to light only in 1975, includes more than 40 sermons and 61 homilies on the gospel of Matthew. In exegetical texts Chromatius demonstrates a profound knowledge of the Bible and of the African tradition. The homilies on Matthew were not composed for liturgical use but for spiritual formation in ascetical circles. They seem to be influenced by ps.-Jerome, Expositio quattuor evangeliorum. Since the discovery of Chromatius’s considerable literary heritage, there have been many studies of him, of his exegetical method and of his references to the liturgy of Aquileia.

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