Catena Aurea in Marcum
Catena Aurea on Mark
Reverendo in Christo patri domino Hannibaldo, basilicae duodecim apostolorum venerabili presbytero cardinali, frater Thomas de Aquino ordinis fratrum praedicatorum se totum.
To the Reverend Father, Lord Hannibald, Venerable Cardinal Priest of the Basilica of the Twelve Apostles, I, Brother Thomas of Aquino of the Order of Friars Preachers, [place] myself totally [at your disposition].
Rerum opifex Deus solo suae bonitatis intuitu cuncta in esse producens, naturalem boni amorem omnibus indidit creaturis, ut dum unaquaeque res bonum sibi conveniens naturaliter amat et appetit, quadam conversione mirabili in suum recurrere demonstretur auctorem.
God, the maker of everything, by a simple glance of his goodness, brought everything into being, and endowed all creatures with a natural love of goodness. Thus, as each thing naturally loves and desires the good that befits it, it displays a wonderful turn about and pursuit of its author.
Sed in hoc praefertur ceteris rationalis natura, quod ipsum universalem bonitatis fontem per sapientiam intueri potest, et per caritatis amorem suaviter degustare: unde fit ut sapientiae bonum, quo ad ipsum fontem bonitatis accedimus, omnibus humanis bonis secundum rectae rationis iudicium praeferatur. Haec est enim quae fastidium nescit: ita ut qui eam edit, adhuc esuriat, et qui eam bibit, sitire non cesset. Haec est quae intantum peccato repugnat, ut qui secundum ipsam operantur, non peccent. Haec est quae indeficientem fructum suis ministris largitur, ut qui eam elucidant, vitam possideant sempiternam. Praecellit itaque voluptates dulcedine, securitate sedes et regna, utilitateque divitias universas.
But in this rational creatures excell, because through wisdom they can discern the very universal source of goodness, and through love which is charity they can taste its sweetness. Therefore, the gift of wisdom, by with we have access to the very fount of goodness, is, in the judgment of right reason, the highest of all human goods. Wisdom never grows stale. He who eats it, hungers for more. He who drinks it, never loses his thirst. Wisdom diametrically opposes sin; so those who act with it do not sin. It gives its workers never-ending fruit. Thus those who elucidate it possess eternal life. And it is sweeter than any pleasure, more secure than any office or rule, and more useful than all riches.
Huiusmodi igitur delectatus muneribus, evangelicae sapientiae a saeculis in mysterio absconditae, quam in lucem produxit Dei sapientia incarnata, ministerium expositionis adhibui, sacrorum doctorum sententias compilando; ad quod me induxit primitus felicis recordationis Urbani Papae quarti mandatum. Verum quia, eo summo pontifice ex hac vita subtracto, tria Evangelia, Marci, Lucae et Ioannis exponenda restabant, ne opus quod obedientia inceperat, negligentia imperfectum relinqueret, cum multo labore diligens adhibui studium, ut quatuor Evangeliorum expositionem complerem, eadem in omnibus forma servata in ponendis sanctorum auctoritatibus et eorum nominibus praescribendis.
It has been my pleasure to take on the task of commenting on the wisdom of the Gospel, hidden for ages but brought to light by the incarnate Wisdom of God. I did this by compiling the views of the sacred doctors. Pope Urban IV, of holy memory, first entrusted me with this task. Although that Supreme Pontif has been taken from this life, the three gospels of Mark, Luke and John remained without commentary. I did not wish negligence to leave unfinished a work that obedience began. Therefore, I worked very hard to complete the commentary on the four gospels, following the same pattern of quoting texts from the saints and indicating their names.
Et ut magis integra et continua praedicta sanctorum expositio redderetur, quasdam expositiones doctorum Graecorum in Latinum feci transferri, ex quibus plura expositionibus Latinorum doctorum interserui, auctorum nominibus praenotatis.
To make this commentary of the saints more complete and continuous, I had some Greek commentaries translated into Latin, which I included among the commentaries of the Latin doctors, indicating their names.
Verum quia congruit ut de laborum fructibus oblationes sacerdotibus offerantur, expositionis evangelicae opus, laboris mei fructum, apostolorum presbytero censui offerendum: in quo vestra suscipiat auctoritas debitum, ut scientis industria iudicii censuram exerceat; et antiqua dilectio, amoris affectum in offerentis munere comprehendat.
Because it is fitting for offerings to be made to the priests from the fruit of labor, this commentary on the Gospel, the fruit of my work, I deemed necessary to offer to an apostolic priest. May your authority accept this payment and give it a critical review, and may your long-time affection accept in the gift I offer a sign of my love.
Deus meus factus est fortitudo mea, et dixit: parum est ut sis mihi servus ad suscitandas tribus Iacob, et faeces Israel convertendas. Dedi te in lucem gentium, ut sis salus mea usque ad extremum terrae.
My God has been my strength. He says: It is too little for you to be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel; I shall make you a light to the nations, so that my salvation may reach the remotest parts of the earth. (Is 49:5-6)
Glossa. Vocationem gentium et causam salutis earum Isaias propheta manifesto praenuntiat oraculo, dicens Deus meus factus est fortitudo mea, et cetera.
Gloss: Isaiah foretold the calling of the gentiles and the cause of their salvation, saying: my God has been my strength etc.
Hieronymus super Isaiam. In quibus verbis ostenditur Christum appellari servum, inquantum est formatus ex utero; nam ante verba ista praemittitur: haec dicit dominus, formans me ex utero servum sibi. Fuerat siquidem voluntas patris, ut pessimi vinitores missum susciperent filium; unde de ipsis Christus ad discipulos loquitur: in viam gentium ne abieritis; sed ite magis ad oves perditas domus Israel. Quia igitur Israel non est reductus ad Deum, propterea Dei filius loquitur Iudaeis non credentibus, dicens Deus meus factus est fortitudo mea: qui et consolatus est me super abiectione populi mei, et dixit: parum est si servias mihi ad suscitandas tribus Iacob, quae suo vitio corruerunt, et ad faeces, sive reliquias, Israel convertendas; pro illis enim dedi te in lucem gentium omnium, ut illumines universum mundum, et salutem meam, per quam homines salvi fiunt, usque ad extrema terrae facias pervenire.
Jerome on Isaiah: These words show that Christ is called a servant, in that he was formed from a womb. For, before these words, it is said: Thus says the Lord, forming me from the womb as his servant. It was the will of the Father that the very wicked vine dressers should receive the son who was sent. So Christ is telling his disciples about them: Do not go the way of the gentiles; go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Because Israel was not subject to God, therefore, the Son of God speaks to the unbelieving Jews, saying that My God has been my strength, and he consoled me over my people's rejecting me. He said: It is not so important for you to serve me in resuscitating the tribes of Jacob who crashed by their wickedness, and to convert the remnant of Israel. In their place, I set you as a light for all nations, to enlighten the whole world, and make my salvation, which is for humanity's salvation, reach the ends of the earth.
Glossa. Ex praemissis igitur verbis duo possumus colligere: quorum primum est divina virtus, quae fuit in Christo, ex qua efficax fuit ad gentium illuminationem; quia dicitur Deus meus factus est fortitudo mea. Deus igitur erat in Christo mundum reconcilians sibi, ut apostolus, dicit; unde et Evangelium, per quod credentes salvantur, virtus Dei est in salutem omni credenti, ut idem apostolus dicit. Secundum autem est illuminatio gentium et salus mundi ex dispositione patris per Christum completa: quia dicitur dedi te in lucem gentium: unde post resurrectionem suam dominus ut dispositionem patris impleret, ad praedicandum discipulos misit, dicens: docete omnes gentes, quorum quidam ad praedicandum Iudaeis, quidam ad praedicandum gentibus ministerium acceperunt. Quia vero Evangelium oportuit non solum praedicari propter praesentes, sed etiam scribi propter futuros, eadem distinctio est in scriptoribus Evangelii observata; nam Matthaeus Iudaeis Evangelium Hebraico sermone scripsit; Marcus autem primus Evangelium scripsit in gentibus.
Gloss: We can make two conclusions from the preceding words: The first is that the divine power, which was in Christ, was capable of enlightening the nations —where it is said: My God is my strength. For God, as the Apostle said, was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. Therefore, the Gospel, by which believers are saved, is the power of God for the salvation of every believer, as the same Apostle says. The second is the enlightenment of the nations and the salvation of the world effected, by the disposition of the Father, through Christ —where it is said: I placed you as a light for the nations. Thus after his resurrection, to fulfil the disposition of the Father, the Lord sent the disciples to preach, saying: Teach all nations. Some of them took the ministry of preaching to the Jews, others that of preaching to the gentiles. Because the Gospel had not only to be preached to those of that time, but also to be written for future generations, the same distinction is found in the writers of the Gospel. For Matthew wrote in Hebrew for the Jews, Mark was the first to write the Gospel for the gentiles.
Eusebius in Eccl. Hist. Cum enim Romanae urbi clarum verbi Dei lumen fuisset exortum, sermo veritatis et lucis, qui per Petrum praedicabatur, universorum mentes placido illustravit auditu; ita ut quotidie audientibus eum nulla unquam satietas fieret: unde neque eis auditio sola sufficiebat; sed Marcum discipulum eius omnibus precibus exorant, ut ea quae ille verbo praedicabat, ad perpetuam eorum commonitionem habendam Scripturae traderet, quo domi forisque in huiusmodi verbi meditationibus permanerent; nec prius ab obsecrando desistunt quam quae oraverant, impetrarent: et haec fuit causa scribendi Evangelium secundum Marcum. Petrus vero ut per spiritum sanctum religioso se comperit furto spoliatum, delectatus est, fidem eorum per hoc devotionemque considerans; factumque confirmavit et in perpetuum legendam Scripturam Ecclesiis tradidit.
Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History: Since the clear light of the word of God rose on the city of Rome, the story of truth and light, which was preached by Peter, instructed the minds of all by its pleasing sound. Thus every day those who heard it never heard enough. It was not enough just to hear it, but they begged the disciple Mark to put into writing what Peter preached orally, to have a perpetual record of it, which they could always meditate both at home and outside. They did not give up pressing him, until they got what they asked for. This was what led to the writing of the Gospel according to Mark. Peter, who by the Holy Spirit found himself subjected to a religious theft, was delighted, considering their faith and devotion. So he ratified what was done, and bequeathed this to the churches as Scripture to be read forever.
Hieronymus super Marcum. Principium autem a perfectioris aetatis Christi praedicatione inchoat, nec laborat in nativitate infantuli qui loquitur de perfectione filii Dei.
Jerome on Mark: The Gospel begins from the preaching of Christ as an adult. It does not concern itself with the birth of the little chile, since it speaks of the perfection of the Son of God.
Chrysostomus. Compendiosam autem ac brevem narrationem facit, in quo magistrum imitatus est, scilicet Petrum, brevitati studentem.
Chrysostom: His narration is a short summary, wherein he imitates his master, Peter, who always tried to be brief.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang. Unde Matthaeus qui regiam Christi personam narrandam susceperat, habuit Marcum sibi tamquam comitem et abbreviatorem adiunctum, qui sua vestigia quodammodo sequeretur: regum enim est non esse sine comitum obsequio. Sacerdos autem quoniam in sancta sanctorum solus intrabat, propterea Lucas, cuius circa sacerdotium Christi erat intentio, non habuit tamquam socium obsequentem, qui suam narrationem quodammodo breviaret.
Augustine, Consistency of the Gospels: Matthew, who described the royal person of Christ, had Mark as an associate and summarizer. In this respect he followed his example, for kings are never without assistants who wait on them. But since a priest enters the Holy of Holies alone, Luke, who was concerned with the priesthood of Christ, did not have an assistant to summarize his narration.
Beda. Notandum est etiam, quod Evangelistae sancti diversum narrationis suae primordium, singuli diversum statuere terminum. Matthaeus namque a nativitate dominica exordium sumens, ad tempus usque dominicae resurrectionis seriem suae narrationis perduxit; Marcus ab initio evangelicae praedicationis incipiens, pervenit usque ad tempus ascensionis domini et praedicationis discipulorum eius cunctis gentibus per orbem; Lucas autem a nativitate praecursoris inchoans Evangelium, terminavit in ascensione dominica; Ioannes ab aeternitate verbi Dei principium sumens, usque ad tempus dominicae resurrectionis evangelizando pertingit.
Bede: Note that the Holy Evangelists had different beginnings of their story, and different endings. Matthew started from the birth of the Lord and continued until the resurrection. Mark started with the beginning of the evangelical preaching and reached the ascension of the Lord and the preaching of the disciples to all nations of the world. Luke began from the birth of the Precursor, and ended with the Lord's ascension. John began with the eternity of the Word of God, and continued his preaching up to the time of the Lord's resurrection.
Ambrosius super Lucam. Quia igitur Marcus a potentiae coeperat expressione divinae, recte sub leonis imagine figuratur.
Ambrose, on Luke: Because Mark began with the manifestation of divine power, he is rightly depicted as a lion.
Remigius super Marcum. Per leonem etiam signatur Marcus: quia sicut leo terribilem vocem in deserto emittit, sic Marcus a voce in deserto incepit, dicens: vox clamantis in deserto.
Remigius, on Mark: The lion designates Mark, because, as the lion lets out a terrible cry in the desert, so Mark began with a voice in the desert, saying: the voice of one crying in the desert.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang. Quamvis et de figura aliter dici possit. Marcus enim qui neque stirpem regiam ut Matthaeus, ob hoc per leonem significatus, neque sacerdotalem ut Lucas signatus per vitulum, vel cognationem vel consecrationem narrare voluit; et tamen in eis versatus ostenditur quae homo Christus operatus est, per hominis figuram in illis quatuor animalibus signatus videtur.
Augustine, on the Consistency of the Gospels: Yet another explanation is possible. For Mark, unlike Matthew who gave a royal genealogy, is depicted as a lion. Nor did he describe his priesthood, as Luke did, who is depicted as a bull. Nor did he narrate his relatives or consecration, but was concerned with what Christ did as a man; therefore he seems to deserve the figure of a man, among those four animals.
Theophylactus (in Evang. Marci). Vel Evangelium secundum Marcum aquila innuit: a prophetia enim Ioannis incepit. Prophetia vero acute quae a longe sunt, speculatur ut aquila.
Theophylactus, on Mark: Or the eagle fits the Gospel according to Mark , because it begins with the prophecy of John. But prophecy sees sharply what is far away, like an eagle.
1 Initium Evangelii Iesu Christi, Filii Dei.
1. The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Hieronymus. Marcus Evangelista sacerdotium in Israel agens, secundum carnem Levita, ad dominum conversus, Evangelium in Italia scripsit, ostendens in eo quid et generi suo deberet Christus. Nam initium Evangelii in voce propheticae exclamationis instituens ordinem leviticae electionis ostendit, praedicans Ioannem Zachariae filium in voce Angeli emissum, dicens initium Evangelii Iesu Christi filii Dei.
Jerome, in Prolog: Mark the Evangelist, who served the priesthood in Israel, according to the flesh a Levite, having been converted to the Lord, wrote his Gospel in Italy, shewing in it how even his family benefited Christ. For commencing his Gospel with the voice of the prophetic cry, he shews the order of the election of Levi, declaring that John the son of Zachariah was sent forth by the voice of an angel, and saying, the beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Hieronymus. Evangelion, Graece dicitur, Latine bona Annuntiatio praedicatur, quod proprie ad regnum Dei, et remissionem pertinet peccatorum: est enim Evangelium per quod venit redemptio fidelium, et beatitudo sanctorum. Quatuor autem Evangelia unum sunt, et unum quatuor. In Hebraeo Iehosua, in Graeco Soter, in Latino salvator dicitur. Masciach Hebraice, christos Graece, unctus Latine, idest rex, et sacerdos dicitur.
Pseudo-Jerome: The Greek word 'Evangelium' means good tidings, in Latin it is explained, 'bona annunciatio,' or, the good news; these terms properly belong to the kingdom of God and to the remission of sins; for the Gospel is that by which comes the redemption of the faithful and the beatitude of the saints.But the four Gospels are one, and one Gospel in four. In Hebrew, His name is Jesus, in Greek, Soter, in Latin, Salvator; but men say Christus in Greek, Messias in Hebrew, Unctus in Latin, that is, King and Priest.
Beda. Conferendum autem est hoc Evangelii principium principio Matthaei quo ait: liber generationis Iesu Christi filii David, filii Abraham; hic autem dicitur filii Dei: ex utroque enim unus dominus Iesus Christus Dei et hominis filius est intelligendus. Et apte primus Evangelista filium hominis eum, secundus filium Dei nominat, ut a minoribus ad maiora paulatim sensus noster assurgeret, ac per fidem et sacramenta humanitatis assumptae, ad agnitionem divinae aeternitatis ascenderet. Apte etiam qui humanam erat generationem descripturus a filio hominis coepit, David scilicet, sive Abraham; apte etiam is qui librum suum ab initio evangelicae praedicationis inchoabat, filium Dei magis appellare voluit Iesum Christum, quia humanae erat naturae de progenie patriarcharum veritatem carnis suscipere, et divinae fuit potentiae Evangelium mundo praedicare.
Bede, in Marc., i, 1: The beginning of this Gospel should be compared with that of Matthew, in which it is said, the book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham. But here He is called "the Son of God." Now from both we must understand one Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, and of man. And fitly the first Evangelist names Him Son of man, the second, Son of God, that from less things our sense may by degrees mount up to greater, and by faith and the sacraments of the human nature assumed, rise to the acknowledgment of His divine eternity. Fitly also did He, who was about to describe His human generation, begin with a son of man, namely, David or Abraham. Fitly again, he who was beginning his book with the first preaching of the Gospel, chose rather to call Jesus Christ, the Son of God; for it belonged to the human nature to take upon Him the reality of our flesh, of the race of the patriarchs, and it was the work of Divine power to preach the Gospel to the world.
Hilarius de Trin. Non autem solo nomine contestatus est Christum filium Dei, sed etiam proprietate. Nos filii Dei sumus; sed non talis hic filius: hic enim verus et proprius est filius, origine, non adoptione; veritate, non nuncupatione; nativitate, non creatione.
Hilary, de Trinitate, iii, 11: He has testified, that Christ was the Son of God, not in name only, but by His own proper nature. We are the sons of God, but He is not a son as we are; for He is the very and proper Son, by origin, not by adoption; in truth, not in name; by birth, not by creation.
2 Sicut scriptum est in Isaia propheta: Ecce ego mitto angelum meum ante faciem tuam, qui praeparabit viam tuam ante te.
2. As it is written in the Prophets, "Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee." [Mal 3:1]
3 Vox clamantis in deserto: Parate viam Domini, rectas facite semitas eius.
3. "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." [Isa 40:3]
Beda. Scripturus Evangelium Marcus, congrue primo ponit testimonia prophetarum, ut eo cunctis sine scrupulo dubietatis suscipienda quae scriberet intimaret, quo haec a prophetis antea praedicta esse demonstraret. Simulque uno eodemque Evangelii sui principio et Iudaeos, qui legem ac prophetas susceperant, ad suscipiendam Evangelii gratiam, ac sacramenta, quae ipsorum prophetae praedixerant, instituit; et gentiles, qui per Evangelii praeconia ad dominum venerant, ad auctoritatem quoque legis et prophetarum suscipiendam venerandamque provocat; unde dicit sicut scriptum est in Isaia propheta: ecce ego mitto Angelum meum ante faciem tuam.
Bede: Being about to write his Gospel, Mark rightly puts first the testimonies of the Prophets, that he might notify to all, that what he should write was to be received without scruple of doubt, in that he shewed that these things were beforehand foretold by the Prophets. At once, by one and the same beginning of his Gospel, he prepared the Jews, who had received the Law and the Prophets, for receiving the grace of the Gospel, and those sacraments, which their own prophecies had foretold; and he also calls upon the Gentiles, who came to the Lord by publishing of the Gospel, to receive and venerate the authority of the Law and the Prophets; whence he says, as it is written in the prophet Isaiah, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face.
Hieronymus de optimo genere interpretandi. Hoc autem non scribitur in Isaia; sed in Malachia novissimo duodecim prophetarum.
Jerome: ad Pammach, Epist 57: But this is not written in Isaiah, but in Malachi, the last of the twelve prophets.
Chrysostomus in Marc. Potest autem dici, quod falsitas est scriptoris. Vel aliter dicetur, quod duas prophetias in diversis locis dictas a duobus prophetis, in unum congregans posuit. In Isaia enim propheta post Ezechiae describitur historiam: vox clamantis in deserto; in Malachia vero: ecce mitto Angelum meum. Secundus igitur Evangelista duas prophetias posuit ut ab Isaia dictas, et ad unam lectionem hoc referens, tacens vero a quo dicatur ecce mitto Angelum.
Pseudo-Chrysostom, Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: But it may be said that it is a mistake of the writer. Otherwise it may be said that he has compressed [p. 7] into one, two prophecies delivered in different places by two prophets; for in the prophet Isaiah it is written after the story of Hezekiah, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness;" but in Malachi, "Behold, I send mine angel." The Evangelist therefore, taking parts of two prophecies, has put them down as spoken by Isaiah, and refers them here to one passage, without mentioning, however, by whom it is said, behold, I send mine angel.
Augustinus de quaest. novi et Veter. Testam. Sciens enim omnia ad auctorem referenda, dicta haec ad Isaiam revocavit, qui sensum istum prior intimaverat. Denique post verba Malachiae statim subiecit dicens vox clamantis in deserto: ut iungeret verba utriusque prophetae ad unum sensum pertinentia, sub prioris prophetae persona.
Pseudo-Augustine, Quaest. nov. et vet. Test. lvii: For knowing that all things are to be referred to their author, he has brought these sayings back to Isaiah, who was the first to intimate the sense. Lastly, after the words of Malachi, he immediately subjoins, the voice of one crying in the wilderness, in order to connect the words of each prophet, belonging as they do to one meaning, under the person of the elder prophet.