Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 9.djvu/218
LEPTIS LE PUY
siastical officers of the hospitals and the leper inmates were bound by the regulations laid down in the charters of the institution, which they had to observe strictly, especially as to offering up prayers for the repose of the souls of the founder and his family. The following extracts from the regulations of the leper-hospital at Illeford (Essex), in 1346, by Baldock, Bishop of London, illustrate this point: "We also command that the lepers omit not attendance at their church, to hear divine service unless prevented by previous bodily infirmity, and they are to preserve silence and hear matins and mass throughout if they are able; and whilst there to be intent on devotion and prayer as far as their infirmity permit them. We advise also and command that as it was ordained of old in the said hospital every leprous brother shall every day say for the morning duty, an Our Father and Hail Mary thirteen times and for the other hours of the day...respectively an Our Father and a Hail Mary seven times, etc....If a leprous brother secretly [occulte] fails in the performance of those articles let him consult the priest of the said hospital in the tribunal of penance" (Dugdale, "Monasticon Anglicanum", II, 390). There was generally a chaplain under the prior and in some instances a free chapel was attached with resident canons. The hospital at St. Giles (Norwich), for instance, had a prior and eight canons (acting chaplains), two clerks, seven choristers, and two sisters (Monast., Index, 55).
Matthew Paris has left us a copy of the vow taken by the brothers of the leper-hospitals of St. Julian and St. Alban before admission: "I, brother B., promise and. taking my bodily oath by touching the most sacred Gospel, affirm before God and all the Saints in this church which is constructed in honour of St. Julian (the Confessor), in the presence of Dominus R. the archdeacon, that all the days of my life I will be subservient and obedient to the commands of the Lord Abbot of St. Albans for the time being and to his archdeacon, resisting in nothing, unless such things should be commanded as could militate against the Divine pleasure: I will never commit theft, or bring a false accusation against any one of the brethren, nor infringe the vow of chastity nor fail in my duty by appropriating anything, or leaving anything by will to others, unless by a dispensation granted by the brothers. I will make it my study wholly to avoid all kinds of usury as a monstrous thing and hateful to God. I will not be aiding or abetting in word or thought, directly or indirectly in any plan by which any one shall be appointed Custos or Dean of the lepers of St. Julians, except the persons appointed by the Lord Abbot of St. Albans. I will be content, without strife or complaint, with the food and drink and other things given and allowed to me by the Master; according to the usage and custom of the house. I will not transgress the bounds prescribed to me, without the special license of my superiors, and with their consent and will; and if I prove an offender against any article named above, it is my wish that the Lord Abbot or his substitute may punish me according to the nature and amount of the offence, as shall seem best to him, and even to cast me forth an apostate from the congregation of the brethren without hope of remission, except through special grace of the Lord Abbot." It is interesting to compare with the passage on usury in this formula the statement of Mézeray (Hist. de France), that during the twelfth century two very cruel evils (deux maux très cruels) reigned in France, viz., leprosy and usury, one of which, he adds, infected the body while the other ruined families.
The Church, therefore, from a remote period has taken a most active part in promoting the wellbeing and care of the leper, both spiritual and temporal. The Order of St. Lazarus was the outcome of her practical sympathy for the poor sufferers during the long centuries when the pestilence was endemic in Europe. Even in our own day we find the same Apostolic spirit alive. The saintly Father Damien, the martyr of Molokai, whose life-sacrifice for the betterment of the lepers of the Sandwich Islands is still fresh in public recollection, and his co-labourers and followers in that field of missionary work have strikingly manifested in recent times the same apostolic spirit which actuated the followers of St. Lazarus in the twelfth and two succeeding centuries.
See the works of Mézeray, Muratori, Virchow, and Semler, and the essay of Simpson in Edinb. Med. and Surg. Journal (1841-42), all quoted in the body of this article.
J. F. Donovan.
Leptis Magna, a titular see of Tripolitana. Founded by the Sidonians in a fine and fertile country, it was the most important of the three towns which formed the Tripoli Confederation. The remains of the ancient Phœnician town are still visible, with the harbour, quays, walls, and inland defence, which make it look like Carthage. This Semitic city subsequently became the centre of a Greek city, Neapolis, of which most of the monuments are buried under sand. Notwithstanding Pliny (Nat. Hist., V, xxviii), who distinguishes Neapolis from Leptis, there is no doubt, according to Ptolemy, Strabo, and Scyllax, that they should be identified. Leptis allied itself with the Romans in the war against Jugurtha. Having obtained under Augustus the title of civitas it seems at that time to have been administered by Carthaginian magistrates; it may have been a municipium during the first century of the Christian Era and erected by Trajan into a colony bearing the name of Colonia Ulpia Trajana, found on many of its coins. The birthplace of Septimius Severus, who embellished it and enriched it with several fine monuments, it was taken and sacked in the fourth century by the Libyan tribe of Aurusiani (Ammianus Marcellinus, XXVIII, vi) and has never since completely recovered. It was at that time the seat of the military government of Tripolitana.
When Justinian took ft from the Vandals in the sixth century, Leptis Magna was largely in ruins and buried under sand. It was rebuilt, and its walls were raised, their extent being reduced in order more easily to protect the town against the attacks of the Berber tribes dwelling beyond its gates. The duke, or military governor, who again took up his residence there, built public baths and several magnificent buildings; the Septimius Severus palace was restored, and five churches were built (Procopius, "De ædif.", VI-IV). The massacre of all the Berber chiefs of the Levathes, treacherously ordered by Duke Sergius at Leptis Magna in 543, provoked a terrible insurrection, through which the Romans almost lost Africa. Taken in the seventh century by the Arabs, who allowed it to be invaded by the sands, Leptis Magna is now only a majestic ruin called Lebda, sixty-two miles east of Tripoli. Besides vague traces of several large buildings, the remains of a vast circus, 380 yards by sixty-six yards, are visible. Five bishops are recorded: Dioga in 255, Victorinus and Maximus in 393, Salvianus, a Donatist, in 411, Calipedes in 484. This town must not be confounded with Leptis Minor, to-day Lemta in Tunisia.
Gams, Series episcoporum (Ratisbon, 1873), 466, col. 3; Toulette, Géog. de l'Afrique chrét.: Byzacéne et Tripolitaine (Montreuil, 1894), 252-255; Smith Dict. Greek and Roman Geog., s. v., which gives detailed sources.
Le Puy, Diocese of (Aniciensis), comprises the whole Department of Haute Loire, and is a suffragan of Bourges. The territory of the ancient Diocese of Le Puy, suppressed by the Concordat of 1801, was united with the Diocese of Saint-Flour, and became a diocese again in 1823. The district of Brioude, which had belonged to the Diocese of Saint-Flour under the old regime, was thenceforward included in the new Diocese of Puy.