Rev. Alban Butler (171173). Volume X: October. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.
St. Germanus, Bishop of Capua, Confessor
THIS holy prelate was sent by Pope Hormisdas legate to the Emperor Justin, in 519, to engage the Orientals to put an end to the schism which had continued forty years; had been fomented by the emperors Zeno and Anastasius, both favourers of heretics, and by Acacius and other patriarchs of Constantinople. The embassy was attended with the desired success; the heretics were condemned, and the schism entirely abolished. In it St. Germanus and his fellow legates suffered much from the heretics, but escaped out of their hands. St. Gregory the Great relates that this saint saw Paschasius, the deacon of Rome, long after his death, in the flames of purgatory, for having adhered to the schism of Laurence against Symmachus,1 and that he was delivered by the prayers of this holy bishop.2 Also that St. Bennet at Mount Cassino saw in a vision the soul of St. Germanus, at the hour of his departure, carried by the ministry of angels to eternal bliss.3 His death happened about the year 540. See Baron. ad ann. 519, &c.; St. Greg. Dial. l. 2, et 4.
Note 1. St. Gregory only tells us that he received this account when a child from certain old men. If it be authentic, Paschasius must have repented at least in his last moments when he was speechless; or ignorance must have excused him from the most grievous malice of the schism which he had abetted; for voluntary schism is in itself a mortal sin. [back]
Note 2. S. Greg. Dialog. 4, c. 40, t. 2, p. 444, Ed. Ben. [back]