Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

What Construction Techniques Do You Use To Build Your Faith?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, July 13, 2017

Henry II, who was crowned as Holy Roman Emperor (Romanorum Imperator) on February 14, 1014 by Pope Benedict VIII in Rome, ruled until his death aged 51 of a chronic urinary tract infection July 13, 1024, and was the last member of the Saxon Dynasty of Emperors which included Otto I. Sometimes also known as Saint Henry, he was canonized by Blessed Pope Eugene III in 1146 for his support of the church and monastic reforms, and is the only canonized German monarch.

Henry II’s ascension to the throne, however, wasn’t without some drama and backroom wheeling-dealing. John Crescentius, a consul and Patrician of Rome on several occasions purposely thwarted Henry’s visitation to Benedict VIII specifically to prevent Henry’s coronation. In that timeframe, Pope Sergius IV, whose papacy was from 1009-1012, had succeeded Pope John XVIII, and both men had been subservient to John Crescentius. 

After Sergius IV died in 1012, Benedict VIII was elected to succeed him. However, John Crescentius installed Gregory VI, an antipope, as the new head of the Catholic Church, and forced Benedict VIII to flee for his life across the Alps to Germany, whereupon he appealed to Henry II for protection.

Henry II agreed to restore Benedict VIII to his papal throne in return for his coronation as Emperor, so near the end of 1013, Henry marched his army upon Italy to remove the antipope Gregory VI whom had been installed by the consul and Roman Patrician John Crescentius. Henry’s wife Queen Cunigunde and numerous Catholic clerics accompanied Henry and his army’s march to Italy, and arrived in Rome in early 1014, restored Benedict VIII as Pope, and in a classic quid pro quo, coronated Henry as Romanorum Imperator (Holy Roman Emperor). Very shortly thereafter, Henry and Benedict conducted a synod in Rome, in which they appointed five bishops, issued decrees against simony, promoted chastity within the clergy, and ordered restitution of Church property. 

During his ten-year reign, Henry cultivated personal and political ties with the Church, thereby consolidating his power, and significantly expanded the custom of employing clergy to counter-balance the power of secular nobles. Using donations to the Church, establishment of new dioceses, and service to the Church, Henry strengthened imperial rule throughout the Saxon Empire and increased his control over ecclesiastical affairs. His reign, however, wasn’t all sweetness, peace, and light, and tribal power struggles, wars, treachery, deceit, and death were commonplace. 

In an obliquely curious manner, however, he could be thought of as “patron saint of the building fund” because of his focus upon church and monastery construction, many of which remain standing today. 

So today, when you look around and see how quickly modern buildings are built then razed, consider Henry’s life and struggles during the Dark Ages, and the buildings and construction which he commissioned, all which were built to last. Consider also using the same concerted care and “old school” effort in building a stronghold of faith in your own heart. The rewards will last long beyond your Earthly life!

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