My Eighth Anniversary As a Blogger   Leave a comment

Above:  Theta, the Eighth Letter of the Greek Alphabet

Image in the Public Domain

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Today is the eighth anniversary of SUNDRY THOUGHTS, my original weblog, from which I have spun off seven others.

I had little idea what I was doing on July 27, 2009.  My original post was the text (as an editor at the Athens Banner-Herald modified it) of a letter to the editor decrying the homophobia of U.S. Representative Paul Broun, Jr., and people like him.  That was a fine post, but I have deleted most of my earliest posts.  I hit upon the idea of blogging about saints, although I have deleted many of those early posts also.  Many were mostly cut-and-paste jobs; they were substandard.  Early original posts about saints also tended to be bad.  The slow and methodical renovation and expansion of my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days has progressed from posts for feast days beginning with January 1 to the end of April–about one-third of the way toward one goal–to get through December 31.

The project of renovating and expanding the Ecumenical Calendar will require much time.  That will not be a problem for me.  After I get to December 31 in that project, I will start again, reviewing what I have done and adding more saints as I deem proper.

Blogging has proven to be a useful hobby for me.  It has stabilized my Bible Study projects (keyed to lectionaries) and provided an outlet for self-expression.  I have frequently been at a loss for someone to whom to express certain thoughts I have considered worthy of sharing.  Either stating certain opinions to a particular person would be foolish or at least not helpful or that person would not be able, for a variety of reasons, to comprehend or relate to the content.  Yet, via blogging, I have been able to find an audience, albeit a relatively small one, as WordPress records statistics.  I have pursued what I like, not what is popular.  As Martin Luther probably did not say at the Diet of Worms,

Here I stand; I can do no other.

Maintaining a network of eight weblogs necessarily entails leaving some of them fallow at any given time.  I am preparing to leave SUNDRY THOUGHTS fallow for a little while, except for an occasional post, and return to BLOGA THEOLOGICA, the intended host of a series of 60 posts of the Book of Psalms.  The Psalter in The Book of Common Prayer (1979) divides the 150 Psalms according to a reading plan for 30 days, with distinct readings for the morning and the evening of each day.  That sounds like an invitation to write 60 weblog posts to me.  The next major project here at SUNDRY THOUGHTS is due to be the renovation and expansion of the May portion of the Ecumenical Calendar.

For now, however, the project of updating the April section of the Ecumenical Calendar is temporarily on hold while I add texts by the prolific hymn writer James Montgomery (1771-1854) to GATHERED PRAYERS ahead of creating the new Montgomery post, the last one of April this round.  I have a draft (dated July 23) of that profile sitting in a composition book.  Frequently, when I write about a hymn writer here at SUNDRY THOUGHTS, the updating of GATHERED PRAYERS becomes a related project, so that I link the two weblogs to each other.

Pax vobiscum!

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 27, 2017 COMMON ERA

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Feast of James E. Walsh (April 30)   Leave a comment

Above:  Father Walsh, 1918

Image in the Public Domain

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JAMES EDWARD WALSH (APRIL 30, 1891-JULY 29, 1981)

Roman Catholic Missionary Bishop in China, and Political Prisoner

Also known as Wha Lee Son, Chinese for “Pillar of Truth”

Bishop James Edward Walsh spent about twelve years of a twenty-year sentence in a Chinese prison for Christ.  After a year and a half of daily interrogations, Chinese officials got Walsh to confess to being what he was not–a spy.  He was, however, guilty of being a Western missionary; that was his actual offense, in the eyes of Chinese Communist officialdom.

Walsh, born in Cumberland, Maryland, on April 30, 1891, came from a devout Roman Catholic family.  He, the second of nine children of William E. Walsh and Mary Concannon Walsh, was a mischievous parochial school student who grew up to become a missionary priest.  Our saint, after spending two years working as a timekeeper in a steel mill, found spiritual fulfillment at age 21 by accepting his vocation to the priesthood.  The family supported his decision enthusiastically.

Walsh’s vocation was to be a missionary priest.  In 1912 he joined the new Maryknoll Fathers, properly the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, and began to prepare for the priesthood.  On December 7, 1915, our saint became the second Maryknoll priest.  Not quite three years later, on September 8, 1918, Walsh and a few other priests sailed for Kwong Tung, China.  There he remained until 1936.  After about a year our saint became the Maryknoll Superior in China.  On May 22, 1927, Walsh, or as many Chinese Roman Catholics called him, Wha Lee Son (“Pillar of Truth”), became a bishop, assigned to the Vicariate of Kongmoon.  He told his missioners:

I am the least among you.  Look upon me as your servant.  I am made bishop chiefly to help you.  If my help takes the form of direction, I hope you will realize it is intended to help you just the same.  But I think we understand each other; we are a happy family.

From 1936 to 1946 Walsh served as the second Superior General of the Maryknoll order.  During those years our saint, back at Maryknoll headquarters at Ossining, New York, supervised the beginning of Maryknoll missions in Africa and Latin America.

Then Walsh returned to China, where he remained until 1970.  Until 1951, when the People’s Republic (an oxymoron) closed it, he led the Catholic Central Bureau (in Shanghai), which coordinated all Roman Catholic missions in the nation-state.  Life became more complicated for all Western missionaries in China after the establishment of the People’s Republic in 1949.  Communist hostility to missionaries was one issue; official Chinese hostility to Westerners (especially considering the history of China during the build up to 1949) was another factor.  The central government harassed Western missionaries and pressured them to leave.  Walsh became the last one to go, at the age of 79.  For years he refused to go, despite the harassment, including surveillance.  Before his arrest and incarceration he said:

To put up with a little inconvenience at my age is nothing.  Besides, I am a little sick and tired of being pushed around on account of my religion.

Authorities arrested Walsh on October 18, 1958.  The verdict was never is doubt.  The sentence was 20 years.  He served about 12 of those, studying a Chinese dictionary and praying the rosary.  This, our saint understood, was as much of a witness to Christ as he could make at that time.  Walsh, who was fond of the Chinese people, managed to survive his incarceration without nursing resentment; he was actually quite forgiving.  During those years his only non-Chinese visitor was a brother, William C. Walsh, the Attorney General of Maryland from 1938 to 1945.  In a diplomatic gesture building up President Richard Nixon’s trip to China in 1972, the People’s Republic freed Walsh on July 10, 1970.  On that day he walked into freedom and Hong Kong.

After an audience with Pope Paul VI at the Vatican, Walsh returned to Maryknoll headquarters at Ossining, New York.  There he was a revered figure and a humble and prayerful man who insisted that he had done nothing worthy of any special recognition.  Walsh stated that he had simply been a servant of Christ and a missionary priest who had done his job faithfully.  Missionaries, he said, should remain with the people to whom God had sent them as long as that is possible.  He was not the first missionary to suffer for following that ethic.  Indeed, others, including some whom Walsh knew, had died doing so.  And Walsh was not the last Christian missionary to suffer for remaining with the people to whom God had sent him.

Walsh died, aged 90 years, of natural causes on July 29, 1981.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 25, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JAMES BAR-ZEBEDEE, APOSTLE AND MARTYR

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God of grace and glory, we praise you for your servant James Edward Walsh,

who made the good news known in China, and who spent time in prison for doing so.

Raise up, we pray, in every country, heralds of the gospel,

so that the world may know the immeasurable riches of your love,

and be drawn to worship you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Isaiah 62:1-7

Psalm 48

Romans 10:11-17

Luke 24:44-53

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 59

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Feast of Sarah Josepha Buell Hale (April 30)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Grave of Sarah Josepha Buell Hale

Image Source = Midnightdreary

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SARAH JOSEPHA BUELL HALE (OCTOBER 24, 1788-APRIL 30, 1879)

Poet, Author, Editor, and Prophetic Witness

The Episcopal Church, in A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016), lists Sarah Josepha Buell Hale as “Editor and Prophetic Witness” and sets April 30 as her feast day.  This commemoration dates to 2009, when the denominational General Convention voted to recognize her and other “new” saints listed in Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints, the expansion of Lesser Feasts and Fasts, still (as of 2017), the official calendar of saints for The Episcopal Church.

Sarah Josepha Buell, a native of New Hampshire, entered the world on October 24, 1788.  She came from a somewhat socially and politically revolutionary family.  Her parents, Captain Gordon Buell and Martha Buell, advocated for the equal education of males and females at a time when young women usually received educations designed to prepare them to become mothers and homemakers, not to pursue careers.  Sarah married attorney David Hale in 1813.  They remained married until 1822, when he died a few days before the birth of their fifth child.  Our saint wore black for the rest of her life and supported her family and herself as a writer and journalist.

Hale published more than 50 volumes, from poetry to novels to cookbooks to works on women’s history.  Her first volume of poetry was The Genius of Oblivion (1823).  Northwood:  A Tale of New England (1827) was the first American novel by a woman and one of the earliest American novels to address chattel slavery.  Poems for Our Little Children (1830) gave the world “Mary had a little lamb.”  The premise of Woman’s Record, or Sketches from the Creation to the Present Day (1853; revised in 1869 and 1876), her most popular book, was the moral superiority of women over men and the equating of the progress of women and that of Christianity.

Hale who grew up reading books such as the Bible and The Pilgrim’s Progress, was ahead of her time in some ways and of her time in others.  True to her age, our saint bought into the twin fallacies of separate spheres and republican motherhood, whereby men and women moved in different social circles and women functioned properly as the moral guardians of the republic, raising young Americans, joining patriotic organizations, and lobbying male office holders yet did not vote or hold public offices.  Hale used her positions as the Editor of the popular Ladies’ Magazine (from 1828 to 1837) and its successor, Godey’s Lady’s Book (from 1837 to 1877) to promote her middle class notions of morality, etiquette, attire, et cetera.  On the other hand, she used those positions to promote the equal education of males and females, to help found Vassar College (in 1861), to argue for the property rights for women as well as for access to health care, to support women who chose careers, and to oppose slavery.  During the Civil War Hale supported the Union cause.  Before and after that conflict she promoted national unity.

Hale contributed to her nation in other ways.  She promoted the preservation of the historic sites at Bunker Hill and Mount Vernon.  And, starting in 1846, our saint advocated for the nationalization of the Thanksgiving holiday, observed in some states (mainly in New England) on different dates at the time.  President Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Day Decree (1863) was the culmination of her efforts in that regard.

Hale died on April 30, 1879.  She was 90 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 25, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JAMES BAR-ZEBEDEE, APOSTLE AND MARTYR

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Gracious God, we bless your Name for the union and witness of Sarah Hale,

whose advocacy for the ministry of women helped to support the deaconess movement.

Make us grateful for your many blessings, that we may come closer to Christ in our own families,

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Jeremiah 30:17-19, 22

Psalm 96

Philippians 1:27-2:2

Matthew 5:1-12

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 353

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Feast of Timothy Rees (April 29)   1 comment

Above:  Timothy Rees

Image in the Public Domain

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TIMOTHY REES (AUGUST 15, 1874-APRIL 29, 1939)

Welsh Anglican Hymn Writer and Bishop of Llandaff

Bishop Timothy Rees comes to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days via hymnals.  One of my occasional projects is reading about the lives of authors and translators of hymns, for hymnody matters that much to me.  I know of seven hymns Rees wrote, for those are the ones hymnary.org lists.  Unfortunately, the dreaded notation “alt.” follows our saint’s credit on his hymns in most hymnals that contain any of his texts, and I cannot find the original versions of four of those seven hymns.  I want to know what Rees wrote, not what hymnal editors and committees wish he had written.

Consider, this text, O reader:

God is Love:  let heav’n adore him;

God is Love:  let earth rejoice;

Let creation sing before him,

And exalt him with one voice.

He who laid the earth’s foundation,

He who spread the heav’ns above,

He who breathes through all creation,

He is Love, eternal Love.

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God is Love:  and he enfoldeth

All the world in one embrace;

With unfailing grasp he holdeth

Every child of every race.

And when human hearts are breaking

Under sorrow’s iron rod,

Then they find that selfsame aching

Deep withing the heart of God.

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God is Love:  and though with blindness

Sin afflicts the souls of men,

God’s eternal loving-kindness

Holds and guides them even then.

Sin and death and hell shall never

O’er us final triumph gain;

God is Love, so Love for ever

O’er the universe must reign.

–Quoted in The New English Hymnal (1986)

Typical of the alteration of this text in other contemporary hymnals is this portion of the second stanza, from The Hymnal 1982 (1985), of The Episcopal Church:

God is Love:  and love enfolds us,

all the world in one embrace;

with unfailing grasp God holds us,

every child child of every race.

Really, is -eth really so incomprehensible?  And is masculine language so bad?  In the final stanza, in that altered version of the hymn, sin afficts

all human life,

not

the souls of men,

as in the original text.  Lest one imagine inaccurately that I am picking on one theological orientation, I offer another example.  The Lutheran Service Book (2006), of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, offers an altered version of “Holy Spirit, Ever Dwelling.”  The end of the first stanza, in the original version, reads,

Holy Spirit, ever raising

Sons of earth to thrones on high;

Living, life-imparting Spirit,

Thee we praise and magnify.

That text, as the Lutheran Service Book presents it, however, is different:

Holy Spirit, ever raising

Those of earth to thrones on high;

Living, life-imparting Spirit,

You we praise and magnify.

In the English language the masculine gender remains the default gender, inclusive of more than boys and men.  This does not bother me.  It is certainly better than the singular they, which leads one to use “are” when one should use “is.”

Timothy Rees, son of David and Catherine Rees, entered the world in Llain, Llanon, Wales, on August 15, 1874, and went on to become a prominent Anglican clergyman.  He studied at Ardwyn School, Aberystwyth, before matriculating at St. David’s College, Lampeter (B.A., 1896), then attending seminary at St. Michael’s College, Abendare.  Our saint, ordained to the diaconate in 1897 and to the priesthood the following year, served as the Curate of Ash Mountain, Glamorganshire, from 1897 to 1901.  Then, from 1901 to 1906, Rees was a lecturer and the chaplain at St. Michael’s College.  He joined the Community of the Resurrection at Mirfield, Yorkshire.  For the Community he went on missions to New Zealand (1910 and 1913), Canada (1914), and Ceylon (1929).  From 1915 to 1919 Rees served as a military chaplain; he received the Military Cross for his wartime service.  In 1922 our saint became the Principal of the College of the Resurrection.  Our saint doubled as the Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of Bangor from 1925 to 1928.  In 1931 he left he College of the Resurrection to become the Bishop of Llandaff.  Rees died at Llandaff on April 29, 1939.  He was 64 years old.

Our saint’s hymns live on fortunately, if if primarily in altered forms.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 25, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JAMES BAR-ZEBEDEE, APOSTLE AND MARTYR

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Timothy Rees and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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Feast of St. Catherine of Siena (April 29)   2 comments

Above:  St. Catherine of Siena

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA (MARCH 25, 1347-APRIL 29, 1380)

Roman Catholic Mystic and Religious

Born Catalina Benincasa

Former feast day = April 30

St. Catherine of Siena, some who knew her claimed, was a lunatic.  She did report having received many visions, after all.  And why had she cut off most of her beautiful hair and claimed to be a bride of Christ, unless she was crazy?  Others who knew her regarded her as a living saint, however.  Catalina Benincara, they insisted, was not out of her gourd; no, she was touched by God.  Both camps agreed that she was out of the ordinary.

If one ponders prophetic figures from the Hebrew Bible, one should be able to recall stories of God commanding prophets to behave in bizarre ways–from eating scrolls to walking around naked.  The biography of St. Catherine of Siena contains nothing so extreme, but does include not leaving her bedroom for three years, starting at the age of 16.

St. Catherine, born in Siena, Tuscany, on March 25, 1347, was one of the youngest of 25 children of a wealthy dyer.  At the age of 16 years she joined the Third Order of Saint Dominic.  For the next three years our saint lived as a contemplative and reported receiving many visions, both demonic and godly.  Sometimes Satan visited, St. Catherine said, but Jesus and St. Mary Magdalene also dropped by.  Regardless of the veracity of our saint’s visions, the godly voices she reported hearing instructed her to re-enter the world after years of isolation.  So St. Catherine worked as a nurse to the poor and the sick, including cancer patients and lepers.  She also began to attract a following, due to her holiness.

St. Catherine  served as a peacemaker during turbulent times.  She started on a small scale, by reconciling feuding families in Siena.  Then, in 1370, she began to correspond with potentates.  In 1376 our saint traveled to Avignon, France, the site of the residence of the Bishop of Rome during the Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy.  St. Catherine helped to persuade Pope Gregory XI to return the Papacy to Rome.  He did so in 1377.  After Gregory XI died the following year, the College of Cardinals, responding to public pressure, elected an Italian Pope.  Unfortunately, Urban VI was unstable.  The combination of his instability and the politics germane to his election led to the election of a rival pontiff, Clement (VII), headquartered at Avignon.  The Great Schism of the Papacy (1378-1417) had begun.  Clement was more of a politician than a spiritual leader.  Urban was unfit for the Papacy, but he was the duly consecrated Bishop of Rome at Rome.  As European potentates and cardinals decided which Pope to support, St. Catherine wrote many of them and encouraged them to support Urban VI, even though she had no illusions regarding his character.  There was a higher principle–ecclesiastical unity–at work.

St. Catherine, distressed by the scandal of the Great Schism of the Papacy, reported one final vision in 1380.  She saw herself with the Church, like a great ship, upon her back.  Our saint collapsed, paralyzed.  Several weeks later she died, aged 33 years.

St. Catherine, who received the stigmata in 1375, wrote nearly 400 letters, many prayers, the Dialogue (with Jesus), and a Treatise on Divine Providence, a masterpiece of mysticism in the Italian language.  The Church canonized her in 1461 and declared her a Doctor of the Church in 1970.

The proof is in the pudding, an old saying goes.  The evidence regarding St. Catherine of Siena indicates that she was a holy woman, not a lunatic.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 24, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THOMAS A KEMPIS, ROMAN CATHOLIC, MONK, PRIEST, AND SPIRITUAL WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOHN BOSTE, GEORGE SWALLOWELL, AND JOHN INGRAM, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS

THE FEAST OF JOHN NEWTON, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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Everlasting God, you so kindled the flame of holy love in the heart of blessed Catherine of Siena,

as she meditated on the passion of your Son our Savior,

that she devoted her life to the poor and the sick, and to the peace and unity of the Church:

Grant that we also may share in the mystery of Christ’s death,

and rejoice in the revelation of his glory; who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Lamentations 3:31-33

Psalm 119:73-80

1 John 1:5-2:2

Luke 12:22-24, 29-31

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 351

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Feast of James Russell Woodford (April 29)   1 comment

Above:  James Russell Woodford

Image in the Public Domain

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JAMES RUSSELL WOODFORD (APRIL 30, 1820-OCTOBER 24, 1885)

Anglican Bishop of Ely, Hymn Translator, and Hymn Writer

The name of James Russell Woodford came to my attention via The Pilgrim Hymnal (1931/1935).

Woodford, born in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England, on April 30, 1820, was a priest and bishop of The Church of England.  After graduating from Pembroke College, Cambridge, he became a priest in 1843.  Our saint served as the Master of at Bishop’s College, Bristol, and as the Curate of St. John the Baptist, Broad Street, Bristol.  Then, in 1845, Woodford transferred to St. Saviour’s, Coalpit Heath, where he remained until 1848.  Next he moved to St. Mark’s, Easton, Bristol.  Seven years later Woodford began to serve as the Vicar of Kempsford, Gloucestershire.  In 1868 our saint transferred to Leeds, where he remained until 1873, when he became the Bishop of Ely.  More than once our saint was the Select Preacher in Cambridge.  Also, he was chaplain to Queen Victoria in 1867.  Woodford, who never married, was an Anglo-Catholic; he founded the Ely Theological College, and Anglo-Catholic institution, in 1876.

Woodford’s legacy was literary and related to hymnody.  He published volumes of sermons, lectures on the Creed and for Holy Week, and two hymnals–Hymns Arranged for the Sundays and Holy Days of the Church of England (1852 and 1855) and The Parish Hymn Book (1863 and 1875).  Our saint showed his Anglo-Catholic colors when he translated Roman Catholic Latin hymns and composed original hymns of Anglo-Catholic character.

Woodford died at Ely on October 24, 1885.  He was 65 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 22, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARY MAGDALENE, EQUAL TO THE APOSTLES

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

James Russell Woodford and others, who have composed and translated hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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Feast of Blessed Jozef Cebula (April 28)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Jozef Cebula

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED JOZEF CEBULA (MARCH 23-1902-APRIL 28, 1941)

Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1941

Blessed Jozef Cebula died for his faith.  He, born in Malni, Poland (Poland was a region, not a nation-state, at the time.), on March 12, 1902, eventually joined the Missionary Oblates of Mary.  He matriculated at the Oblate Junior Seminary in 1920, taught at the minor seminary at Lubliniac from 1923 to 1931, served as the superior there from 1931 to 1937, and became the Novice Master at Markowice in 1937.  Along the way he became a priest in 1927.  Cebula earned his reputation as a kind and prayerful man.

Then, in 1939, the Third Reich and the Soviet Union divided Poland between themselves.  That October Nazi officials placed the 100 members of the order at the Markowice novitiate under house arrest.  In October 1940 authorities evicted the Oblates and converted the structure into a center for the Hitler Youth.  Cebula continued as an underground priest, hearing confessions and saying Masses.  For this offense Nazi officials arrested him the following year.  He wound up at the concentration camp at Mauthausen, Austria.  There guards made our saint carry 60-pound rocks two miles from the quarry to the camp and forced him to climb a 144-step staircase as they beat and insulted him.  On April 28, 1941, guards ordered him to run with a rock on his back then shot and killed him on the pretense that he was attempting to escape.  Cebula was 39 years old.

Pope John Paul II declared Cebula a Venerable then a Blessed in 1999.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 22, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARY MAGDALENE, EQUAL TO THE APOSTLES

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Almighty God, who gave your servant Blessed Jozef Cebula

boldness to confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world,

and courage to die for this faith:

Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us,

and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

2 Esdras 2:42-48

Psalm 126 or 121

1 Peter 3:14-18, 22

Matthew 10:16-22

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2910), page 713

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