Ennodius Magnus Felix

Ennodius Magnus Felix, one of the Latin fathers, was born about A.D. 473, at Arles (according to others at Milan), of a noble Gallic family, having such names as Faustus and Boethius on its registers. His parents dying early, he was sent, on the invasion of the Visigoths, to an aunt in Milan, who took good care of his education. Soon after her death (A.D. 489) he married a rich wife, and lived very freely until a severe illness brought him to reflection; and on his restoration he was ordained deacon, and his wife became a nun. (One account says that he had been ordained deacon before, and lived a bad life as deacon.) In 494 he accompanied Epiphanius of Pavia on a mission to Burgundy to ransom some Italian prisoners. In 496 he went to Rome, where he soon gained great reputation. In 502 he wrote in vindication of pope Symmachus against his rival, pope Laurentius. In this defense he first asserted that the bishop of Rome is subject to no earthly tribunal (Gieseler, 1, § 115); He was the first to give to the bishop of Rome exclusively the name of "Papa" (pope), and was, in general, very eager to enlarge the papal authority. After he had been chosen, about A.D. 511, to succeed Maximus as bishop of Pavia (Ticinum), he went, under direction of pope Hormisdas, on two missions (515 and 517) to the emperor Anastasius with reference to the union between the Eastern and Western churches. Both missions failed. Ennodius died at Pavia July 17, 521. Among his writings are, Epistolarum ad Diversos lib. ix: Libellus adv. eos, qui contra Synodum scribere praesumserunt, containing the defense of Symmachus named above: — Vita Epiphanii Episcopi: Vita Antonii Monachi Lirinensis: Eucharisticon de vita sua, an autobiography: —Paraenesis didascalica ad Ambrosium et Beatum: Orationes: Carmina. His writings were published in Basle, 1569, fol.; Tournay, 1610; and by Sirmond (best ed.), Paris, 1611. They are also in Migne, Patrol. Lat. vol. 63:Ennodius wrote strongly in favor of free will, and has been therefore styled a Semipelagian. — Cave, Hist. Lit. (Geneva, 1720), 1:322; Ceillier, Auteurs Sacres (Paris, 1861), 10:473 sq.; Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 4:68; Wetzer Welte, Kirch. Lex. 3:595.

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