The final plea of “De consolatione philosophiae” can be considered a synthesis of all the teachings which Boethius directs to himself and to all those who may find themselves in similar circumstances. This is what he writes while in jail: “Fight against your vices, dedicate yourselves to a virtuous life directed by hope which elevates your heart to the skies with humble prayer. The pain you have suffered may change, refuse to lie; it is an advantage to keep the supreme judge in your sights. He knows how things really stand” (Book V, 6: PL 63, col. 862). Every detainee, no matter what the reason of his incarceration, will understand how heavily this weighs upon you, especially if the situation is exacerbated — as was the case with Boethius — by the use of torture.
It is particularly reprehensible that someone should be tortured to death, as Boethius was — he was recognized and celebrated by the city of Pavia in the liturgy as a martyr — for no reason other than one’s own political and religious ideals. Boethius, symbol of the huge number of detainees, unjustly arrested from all the different times and regions in our history, is an objective doorway to contemplating the mystery of the Crucifixion on Golgotha.
Read the whole text of the Pope’s speech at Zenit.