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2012 | 57 | 103-113

Article title

Chrzest w "Traktach wielkanocnych" św. Gaudentego z Bresci


Title variants

The baptism in the "Tractatus paschales" of St. Gaudentius of Brescia

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In the fullness of times, Christ is present at the Wedding Feast in Cana, a town called possessio gentium territory of the Gentiles. Besides the Bridegroom are Moses, pre-figured by the man in charge of the feast; Mary, who symbolizes in herself the Patriarchs, the Prophets and all the just ones of the Old Testament; the Apostles – to whom it will be commanded to preach the word and to minister Baptism. In such a context Christ renders the Church, gathered from the multi­tude, His Spouse, and He grants her, through the intercession of Mary, the gift of the new wine: the Holy Spirit. In Christ the Bridegroom are fulfilled all the expec­tations of the old just ones, pre-figured in Mary, and Mary intercedes so that the Bridegroom grants thirsty people [symbolized by Cana, town of the Gentiles], the gift of the bridal union: the Holy Spirit. The command given to the servants to fill the jars with water symbolizes the Apostolic vocation of Baptism and teaching. When stripping the thought of Saint Gaudentius of forced exegesis, there remains his interpretation of the Bridegroom as the fulfillment of the Old Covenant and the beginning of a new era of bridal union: the work of the Holy Spirit, the dies lucis. The Christian life, renewed by the Baptismal waters, implies the maintenance of the purity of the bridal wine, the given innocence, by keeping afar from idolatry and not to be dispersed by God. In a word, it all has to do – in the thought of Saint Gaudentius – with life in faith, hope and charity and faithfulness to the charis­mas received. His rich and consistent teaching renders him an integral part of the Patristic exegetical tradition, from which he himself draws important interpreta­tive elements, but to which he contributes as well with original hints enriching the hermeneutics of the narrative of Cana while revealing at the same time its pneumatological, sacramental and ecclesiological – as well as mariological and moral cohesion. In Baptism, the Christian is immerged in the paschal mystery of Christ to res­urrect with Him becoming a new creation, through the passing from death to life. In fact, the Christian initiation, in the times of the Bishop of Brescia, took place at Easter, thus explaining all chronological circumstances. Furthermore, Baptism, furthermore, was founding the description of the passage of the Hebrews through the Red Sea (see Ex 12, 7-13), thus finding its typology in such a narrative.







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