Today is the memorial – not in the public calendar – of Quodvultdeus (+450), a deacon who was for a time a disciple of Saint Augustine in the early fifth century. We know not much of his vita, except that he was sent with other missionaries on leaky boats to Naples, where they converted many disciples from Arianism to ‘homoousion‘, Nicene and orthodox Christianity. Twelve of his sermons survive, excerpts making their way into the Office of Readings. We may smile at his name – Latin for ‘whatever God wills’ – but such was oft the custom in those Roman days. Augustine named his own son Adeodatus, ‘given by God’, even if the offspring of an illicit union (the mother, her name not given, left Augustine prior to his conversion, and joined a convent). Adeodatus was brilliant, joining his father in his conversion and his own monastic seclusion, and perhaps might even have surpassed the great paterfamilias, had he not died young in his sixteenth year. Sic Deus vult, et Deo gratias.
We’d just thought we’d mention Quodvultdeus and Adeodatus, connected in some indirect way, as we all are; and ’tis fitting in these days to take what God gives, be grateful thereof, and do His holy will with it.