Feast of St. Giuseppe Benedetto Cottolengo (April 30)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Giuseppe Benedetto Cottolengo 

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT GIUSEPPE BENEDETTO COTTOLENGO (MAY 3, 1786-APRIL 30, 1842)

Founder of the Little House of Providence

Also known as Saint Joseph Benedict Cottolengo

Also known as the Italian Vincent de Paul

Also known as the Workman of Divine Providence

Alternative feast day = April 29

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When I am in Heaven, where everything is possible, I will cling to the mantle of the Mother of God and I will not turn my eyes from you.  But do not forget what this poor old man has said to you.

–St. Giuseppe Benedetto Cottolengo, on his deathbed

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St. Giuseppe Benedetto Cottolengo–the Italian Vincent de Paul, the Workman of Divine Providence–comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.

Cottolengo came from a devout, middle-class family.  He, born in Bra, Piedmont, Kingdom of Sardinia, on May 3, 1786, was the first of twelve children, half of whom died in infancy.

Our saint pursued his priestly vocation.  He, having become a Franciscan tertiary on October 2, 1802, matriculated at the seminary at Asti in 1805.  The closing of that institution two years later forced Cottolengo to continue his theological studies at home.  He joined the ranks of priests on June 8, 1811.  The new Curate to Corneliano D’Alta obtained his doctorate in theology in Turin.  Then our saint became the canon at the Basilica of Corpus Domini, Turin.

Turin was experiencing turmoil.  Recovery from Napoleonic occupation was underway.  Also, many people were moving into the city from the countryside.  Rapid urbanization brought crises, including poverty, illiteracy, poor sanitation, epidemics, and high infant mortality.  The forty-one-year-old priest, having read a biography of St. Vincent de Paul, perceived charity as his true vocation.

One incident affected Cottolengo deeply.  He encountered a large family from Lyons traveling to Milan.  The pregnant mother had tuberculosis.  Her disease kept her out of Maggiore Hospital.  Her fever prevented her admission to the maternity hospital.  The mother and child died; he gave the mother last rites and baptized the baby shortly before the child died.  Four children survived the mother.

Cottolengo simplified his lifestyle.  He sold his possessions and started living in two rented rooms.  On January 17, 1828, our saint’s new life of charity began; he offered free lodging to an elderly paralytic.  This was the beginning of Cottolengo’s charity hospital for people turned away from other hospitals.

The hospital was not universally popular.  Local authorities, citing fear of contagion during an outbreak of cholera, closed the hospital in 1831.  Immediately, our saint opened the Little House of Divine Providence, on the outskirts of town.  The first patient suffered from cancer.

Cottolengo founded fourteen other charitable communities to serve God and the people of Turin.

Cottolengo, aged fifty-five years, died in Chieri, Piedmont, Kingdom of Sardinia, on April 30, 1842.  He contracted typhus while tending to patients there.

Holy Mother Church has formally recognized Cottolengo.  Pope Leo XIII pronounced him a Venerable.  Pope Benedict XV beatitfied our saint.  Pope Pius XI canonized Cottolengo.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 29, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS

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Lord God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served,

and to give his life for the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom

the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-14

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of Blessed Lucien Botovasoa (April 14)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Lucien Botovasoa 

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED LUCIEN BOTOVASOA (1908-APRIL 14, 1947)

Malagasy Roman Catholic Martyr, 1947

Blessed Lucien Botovasoa comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.

Blessed Lucien, born in 1908 at Vohipeno, Madagascar, was one of nine children.  He was a subject of the French colonial regime.  Despite many dispersions regarding the French military from a plethora of critics in the twenty-first century, the French colonial regimes in places such as Madagascar and Algeria tolerated no hint of rebellion.  Tactics were harsh.

Blessed Lucien pursued a religious vocation.  He, baptized in 1918, made his First Communion four years later.  He studied at the Jesuit Saint Joseph College (1922-1928) then taught there.  Lives of the saints were part of our saint’s lessons for his pupils.  Blessed Lucien married Suzanna Soazana on October 10, 1930.  The married man and father, who joined the Crusaders of the Heart of Jesus on August 18, 1935, became a Secular Franciscan tertiary in 1940.  He made his final vows on December 18, 1944.  Blessed Lucien also took an interest in married saints and direct his parish choir.

Blessed Lucien was apolitical.  He, encouraged to seek public office in early 1947, refused.  Yet politics overtook him.  The Malagasy Uprising (1947-1949) started in March.  Predictably, French imperial repression triggered a violent rebellion.  Predictably, rebels targeted institutions of foreign influence.  The Roman Catholic Church became one of these targets.

On April 14, 1947, Blessed Lucien was eating lunch with his four children and pregnant wife.  In this context, our saint learned that he, as a Catholic teacher, would immediately become a target of rebels.  Instead of fleeing, Blessed Lucien remained with his family.  Our saint, arrested, tried, and convicted by the local chief that night, died between 10:00 p.m. and Midnight.  The guards, as well as the executioner, who beheaded Blessed Lucien, were some of his former students.  They threw the corpse into the Mattanana River.

Holy Mother Church has formally recognized our saint.  Pope Francis declared him a Venerable in 2017.  The following year, Lucien became Blessed Lucien.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 28, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JEHU JONES, JR., AFRICAN-AMERICAN LUTHERAN MINISTER

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS TURNER PALGRAVE, ANGLICAN POET, ART CRITIC, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH HOSKINS, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT LORENZO RUIZ AND HIS COMPANIONS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARIES AND MARTYRS IN JAPAN, 1637

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power

your holy martyr Blessed Lucien Botovasoa

triumphed over suffering and was faithful even to death:

Grant to us, who now remember him in thanksgiving,

to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world,

that we may receive with him the crown of life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 51:1-12

Psalm 116 or 116:1-8

Revelation 7:13-17

Luke 12:2-12

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 714

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Feast of Blessed Chiara Bosatta (April 20)   Leave a comment

Above:  Pianello del Lario, Italy

Image Source = Google Earth

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BLESSED CHIARA BOSATTA (MAY 27, 1858-APRIL 20, 1887)

Co-Founder of the Daughters of Saint Mary of Providence

Also known as Dina Bosatta

Dina Bosatta, born in Pianello del Lario, Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, on May 27, 1858, was a daughter of silk producer Alessandro Bosatta and Rosa Mazzucchi.  Our saint, whose father died when she was young, went to the Gravedona house of the Daughters of Charity (the Canossians) in 1871.  She remained with them for seven years and worked as an attendant.  Bosatta perceived a vocation to the religious life.  Her first choice was to join the Daughters of Charity, but they rejected her request.  Our saint’s contemplative nature suited her for a different order, they said.

Dina, back home, reunited with her sister, Marcellina.  They joined the Pious Union of the Daughters of Saint Mayr, dedicated to helping elderly people and abandoned children.  The sisters taught children.  Father Carlo Cappini, founder of the Pious Union, passed the torch to St. (Father) Luigi Guanella (1842-1915) in late 1881.  Guanella and the two sisters transformed the Pious Union into the Daughters of Saint Mary of Providence.  Dina took the name Chiara.  She assumed responsibility for the spiritual formation of the members of the order.

Bosatta, aged not quite 29 years, died in Painello del Lario, Kingdom of Italy, on April 20, 1887.

Holy Mother Church has formally recognized Bosatta.  Pope John Paul II declared her a Venerable in 1988.  Then, in 1991, he added her to the beati.

Bosatta died young.  Yet she accomplished much for God and for her brother and sister human beings during the relatively little time she had.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 27, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT FRANCES DE SALES, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF GENEVA; SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL, “THE APOSTLE OF CHARITY;” SAINT LOUISE DE MARILLAC, CO-FOUNDER OF THE DAUGHTERS OF CHARITY OF SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL; AND CHARLES FUGE LOWDER, FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY OF THE HOLY CROSS

THE FEAST OF EDWARD MCGLYNN, U.S. ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, SOCIAL REFORMER, AND ALLEGED HERETIC

THE FEAST OF ELIZA SCUDDER, U.S. UNITARIAN THEN EPISCOPALIAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOANNA P. MOORE, U.S. BAPTIST MISSIONARY AND EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF MELANESIA, 1864-2003

THE FEAST OF THOMAS TRAHERNE, ANGLICAN PRIEST, POET, AND SPIRITUAL WRITER

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O God, by whose grace your servant Blessed Chiara Bosatta,

kindled with the flame of your love,

became a burning and a shining light in your Church:

Grant that we also be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline,

and walk before you as children of light;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Acts 2:42-47a

Psalm 133 or 34:1-8 or 119:161-168

2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Matthew 6:24-33

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 723

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Feast of Blessed Symforian Ducki (April 11)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Symforian Ducki

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED SYMFORIAN DUCKI (MAY 10, 1888-APRIL 11, 1942)

Polish Roman Catholic Friar and Martyr, 1942

Also known as Felix Ducki and Antonio Ducki

Alternative feast day (as one of the 108 Martyrs of World War II) = June 12

Blessed Symforian Ducki comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.

Felix Ducki was originally a subject of the Russian Empire.  He, born in Warsaw on May 10, 1888, was a son of Julian Ducki (a locksmith) and Marianna (Lenardt) Ducki.  Our saint joined the Franciscan Capuchins at Warsaw on January 3, 1918, during revolutionary times in Russia, as well as prior to the reestablishment of independent Poland.  His first monastic name was Antonio.  That name became Symforian on May 19, 1921.

Ducki lived and served mostly in Warsaw through 1941.  He, as a friar, collected funds for the poor.  Our saint served his brother friars as a cook.  Ducki, who made his final vows on May 22, 1925, led this holy life until the Third Reich intervened.

Agents of the Gestapo arrested the Franciscan Capuchin friars of Warsaw on June 27, 1941, and initially incarcerated them at Pawiak.  Ducki, sent to Auschwitz on September 23, 1941, spent the rest of his life performing hard labor.  He, aged 53 years, died on April 11, 1942.

Holy Mother Church has formally recognized our saint.  Pope John Paul II declared Ducki a Venerable in 1999 then a beatus later that year.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 26, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT PAUL VI, BISHOP OF ROME

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK WILLIAM FABER, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHN BRIGHT, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF JOHN BYROM, ANGLICAN THEN QUAKER POET AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH A. SITTLER, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER, THEOLOGIAN, AND ECUMENIST

THE FEAST OF LANCELOT ANDREWES, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF CHICHESTER THEN OF ELY THEN OF WINCHESTER

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Almighty and everlasting God, who kindled the flame of your love

in the heart of your holy martyr Blessed Symforian Ducki:

Grant to us, your humble servants, a like faith and power of love,

that we who rejoice in his triumph may profit by his example;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Jeremiah 15:15-21

Psalm 124 or 31:1-5

1 Peter 4:12-19

Mark 8:34-38

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 715

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Feast of Blessed Maria Gabriella Sagheddu (April 23)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Maria Gabriella Sagheddu

Fair Use

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BLESSED MARIA GABRIELLA SAGHEDDU (MARCH 17, 1914-APRIL 23, 1939)

Italian Roman Catholic Nun

Born Maria Sagheddu

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In simplicity of heart, I gladly offer everything, O Lord.

The Lord put me on this path; He will sustain me in battle.

To His mercy I entrust my frailty.

I saw in front of me a big cross…,

I thought that my sacrifice was nothing compared to His.

I offered myself entirely and I do not withdraw my given word.

God’s will, whatever it may be; this is my joy, my happiness, my peace.

I will never be able to thank enough.

I cannot say but these words:  “My God, your Glory.”

–Blessed Maria Gabriella Sagheddu

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Blessed Maria Gabriella Sagheddu comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.

Maria Sagheddu came from a devout Roman Catholic family.  She, born in Dorgali, Sardinia, Italy, on March 17, 1914, was the fifth of eight children of shepherds Caterina Cucca and Marcantonio Sagheddu.  Marcantonio and one of Maria’s brothers died in 1919.  Two other brothers also died in their childhood.  A sister, Giovanna Antonio (1915-1932), died young, too.

The death of Giovanna Antonia prompted a spiritual change in Maria’s life.  Our saint had been simultaneously lazy and stubborn yet obedient; she eventually did what told to do.  She had also been overly critical–quick to offer harsh words.  After the death of Giovanna Antonia, our saint began to accept constructive criticism and to develop a contemplative spirituality.

Our saint entered the Trappist convent at Grottaferrata, near Rome, on September 30, 1935.  Her monastic name was Maria Gabriella.  She made her vows on October 31, 1937 (the Feast of Christ the King).  Blessed Maria Gabriella accepted Abbess Maria Pia Gullini’s enthusiasm for ecumenism.  In 1938, the young nun offered herself to pray for Christian unity.

Fifteen months later, Blessed Maria Gabriella died of tuberculosis on April 2, 1939.  She was twenty-five years old.

Pope John Paul II declared our saint a Venerable in 1981 then a beatus in 1983.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 25, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SARAH LOUISE “SADIE” DELANY, AFRICAN-AMERICAN EDUCATOR; HER SISTER, ANNIE ELIZABETH “BESSIE” DELANY, AFRICAN-AMERICAN DENTIST; AND HER BROTHER, HUBERT THOMAS DELANY, AFRICAN-AMERICAN ATTORNEY, JUDGE, AND CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST

THE FEAST OF BERNHARD W. ANDERSON, U.S. UNITED METHODIST MINISTER AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF SAINT EUPHROSYNE AND HER FATHER, SAINT PAPHNUTIUS OF ALEXANDERIA, MONKS

THE FEEAST OF SAINT HERMAN OF REICHENAU, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, LITURGIST, POET, AND SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF JUDITH LOMAX, EPISCOPAL MYSTIC AND POET

THE FEAST OF SAINT SERGIUS OF RADONEZH, ABBOT OF THE MONASTERY OF THE HOLY TRINITY, SERGIYEV POSAD, RUSSIA

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O God, whose blessed Son became poor

that we through his poverty might be rich:

Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world,

that we, inspired by the devotion of your servant

Blessed Maria Gabriella Sagheddu,

may serve you with singleness of heart,

and attain to the riches of the age to come;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Song of Songs 8:6-7

Psalm 34

Philippians 3:7-15

Luke 12:33-37 or Luke 9:57-62

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 722

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Feast of St. Gaetano Catanoso (April 4)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Gaetano Catanoso

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT GAETANO CATANOSO (FEBRUARY 14, 1879-APRIL 14, 1953)

Founder of the Congregation of the Daughters of Saint Veronica (the Missionaries of the Holy Face)

Alternative feast day = September 20

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The Holy Face is my life.  He is my strength.

–St. Gaetano Catanoso

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St. Gaetano Catanoso comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.

Catanoso came from a large, devout, and wealthy family of Chioro di San Lorenzo, Reggio Calabra, Italy.  He, born on February 14, 1879, was one of eight children of Antonio and Antonia Catanoso.  Our saint, who started his theological studies in October 1889, joined the ranks of priests on September 20, 1902, when he was twenty-three years old.

Catanoso spent most of his priestly career in parishes, with ministries in communities.  After spending 1902-1904 as a prefect of seminarians, our saint became a parish priest.  He encouraged priestly vocations, improved catechesis, revived Marian and Eucharistic devotions, encouraged the observance of liturgical feasts, and worked with other local priests to arrange for priests to hear confessions in each other’s parishes.  Catanoso also served as a spiritual director at a seminary (1922-1949) and hospitals (1922-1933).  Furthermore, he founded an orphanage for war orphans in 1943.  In 1935, our saint founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Saint Veronica (the Missionaries of the Holy Face) to work with the poor and to offer perpetual prayers.  The congregation received diocesan approval in 1958.

When Catanoso died, aged seventy-four years, on April 4, 1953, he was ill and blind.  He was also justifiably beloved.

Holy Mother Church has formally recognized Catanoso.  Pope John Paul II declared him a Venerable in 1990 then a beatus in 1997.  Pope Benedict XVI canonized our saint in 2005.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 24, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ANNA ELLISON BUTLER ALEXANDER, AFRICAN-AMERICAN EPISCOPAL DEACONESS IN GEORGIA, AND EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF HENRY HART MILMAN, ANGLICAN DEAN, TRANSLATOR, HISTORIAN, THEOLOGIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JUVENAL OF ALASKA, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MARTYR IN ALASKA, AND FIRST ORTHODOX MARTYR IN THE AMERICAS, 1796

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER THE ALEUT, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MARTYR IN SAN FRANCISCO, 1815

THE FEAST OF SAINT SILOUAN OF MOUNT ATHOS, EASTERN ORTHODOX MONK AND POET

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Lord God, your Son came among us to serve

and not to be served,

and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom

the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-14

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of St. Bademus (April 10)   Leave a comment

Above:  Saint Bademus

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT BADEMUS (DIED APRIL 10, 376)

Persian Martyr, 376

Also known as Vadim and Bademo

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All through the ages,

the wise men and sages

have said there are dirty deeds

that simply must be done.

To keep society goin’

and benefits flowin’

there’s the simple necessity

of hurtin’ someone.

It means strength and agility,

taking responsibility.

It’s the core of what leadership’s

really about.

When the red blood starts comin’,

just think of it as plumbin’.

When you’ve got a problem,

You must flush it out.

–Harry Chapin, in Tom Key and Russell Treyz, Cotton Patch Gospel (1982), 18-19

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God of all mercy, 

we confess that we have sinned against you,

opposing your will in our lives.

We have denied your goodness in each other,

in ourselves, and in the world you have created.

We repent of the evil that enslaves us,

the evil we have done,

and the evil done on our behalf.

Forgive, restore, and strengthen us

through our Savior Jesus Christ,

that we may abide in your love

and serve only your will.  Amen.

Enriching Our Worship (1998), 19

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St. Bademus comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.

King Shapur II “the Great” (r. 309-379) of the Sasanian Empire (224-651) had a mixed record regarding religious toleration.  He did not require all subjects in his vast empire to practice Zoroastrianism.  For example, Shapur II tolerated Judaism.  Nevertheless, the monarch regarded Christians as internal threats and enemies–agents of the Roman Empire, his foe.  The Roman Empire had become Christianized, unsettling the Sasanian king.  He treated Christians in ways that governments have long behaved towards perceived enemies of the state or the crown.  Thousands of Christians became martyrs during his reign.

St. Bademus came from a wealthy, noble family in Bethlapeta.  He surrendered his wealth and social status to found and lead a small community of monks.  Our saint and his followers came to the attention of Shapur II and his obedient servants.  Our saint and his brother monks went to prison.

St. Bademus spent about four months in prison.  On April 10, 376, he, having refused to renounce Christ, joined the ranks of martyrs.  Nersan, an apostate Christian prisoner, had agreed to behead St. Bademus.  Nersan, shaking as he attempted to execute our saint in exchange for restoration to his property and former life, severed the head of St. Bademus with the fourth blow.  Authorities threw our saint’s body outside, for dogs to consume.  Yet Christians retrieved and buried the body.

Nersan, unable to live with himself, committed suicide a few days later.

The seven monks remained incarcerated until shortly after the death of Shapur II in 379.

Without excusing the inexcusable, may we not be quick to judge Nersan.  We do not know how long he had been incarcerated and what he had suffered in prison.  Authorities had broken his psyche, obviously.  I leave judgment in this matter to God.

The case of Shapur II, with the thousands of martyrs on his head, calls attention to at least two issues.  First, we human beings may not grasp that certain actions are evil.  We may justify them–and ourselves–to ourselves.  We may even tell ourselves that certain dirty deeds are necessary for the common good, and that our evil deeds fall into this category.  Second, we may either condone or commit such evil, dirty deeds in the name of national security.  This point may become especially uncomfortable for many people–Americans, for example–to ponder in the wake of September 11, 2001.  National security concerns, no matter how reasonably founded, do not negate the Golden Rule.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 23, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FRANCISCO DE PAULA VICTOR, BRAZILIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

THE FEAST OF CHURCHILL JULIUS, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF CHRISTCHURCH, AND PRIMATE AND ARCHBISHOP OF NEW ZEALAND

THE FEAST OF SAINT ÉMIIE TAVERNIER GAMELIN, FOUNDR OF THE SISTERS OF PROVIDENCE

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOZEF STANEK, POLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1944

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Almighty God, who gave to your servant Saint Bademus

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 19:16-22

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 713

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Feast of Blessed Maria Antonia Bandres y Elosegui (April 27)   1 comment

Above:  Blessed Maria Antonia Bandres y Elosegui

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED MARIA ANTONIA BANDRÉS Y ELÓSEGUI (MARCH 6, 1898-APRIL 27, 1919)

Spanish Roman Catholic Nun

Blessed Maria Antonia Bandrés y Elósegui comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.

Blessed Maria, born in Toloso, Guipúzoca, Spain, on March 6, 1898, came from a large and devout Roman Catholic family.  She was the second of fifteen children of Teresa Elósegui and attorney Ramon Bandrés.  Antonita, as the family called our saint informally, was an attentive big sister.  She, educated by the Daughters of Jesus, demonstrated Christ’s love for poor people in her hometown as a child.  Blessed Maria tended to poor people on the outskirts of town.

Blessed Maria joined the daughters of Jesus at Salamanca on December 8, 1915, when seventeen years old.  She made her profession on May 31, 1918, when twenty years old.  Our saint, strong in faith and weak in health, remained a model nun until she died, aged twenty-one years, while singing a Marian hymn, on April 27, 1919.

Holy Mother Church has formally recognized Blessed Maria.  Pope John Paul II declared her a Venerable in 1995 then added her to the beati the following year.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 22, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF PHILANDER CHASE, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF OHIO, AND OF ILLINOIS; AND PRESIDING BISHOP

THE FEAST OF C. H. DODD, WELSH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, THEOLOGIAN, AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF CHARLOTTE ELLIOTT, JULIA ANNE ELLIOTT, AND EMILY ELLIOTT, ANGLICAN HYMN WRITERS

THE FEAST OF JUSTUS FALCKNER, LUTHERAN PASTOR AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF STEPHEN G. CARY, U.S. QUAKER HUMANITARIAN AND ANTIWAR ACTIVIST

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O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich:

Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world,

that we, inspired by the devotion of your servant Blessed Maria Antonia Bandrés y Elósegui,

may serve you with singleness of heart,

and attain to the riches of the age to come;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Song of Songs 8:6-7

Psalm 34

Philippians 3:7-15

Luke 12:33-37 or Luke 9:57-62

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 722

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Feast of Frank von Christierson (April 24)   Leave a comment

Above:  Calvary Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, California

Image Source = Google Earth

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FRANK VON CHRISTIERSON (DECEMBER 25, 1900-APRIL 24, 1996)

Finnish-American Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer

Born Friedrich von Christierson

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In gratitude and humble trust,

We bring our best today,

To serve your cause and share your love

With all along life’s way.

O God, who gave yourself to us

In Christ, your only Son,

Teach us to give ourselves each day

Until life’s work is done.

–Frank von Christierson, from As Men of Old Their Firstfruits Brought (1960, 1972); quoted in The Worshipbook:  Services and Hymns (1972)

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Frank von Christierson comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via various denominational hymnals, mainly The Methodist Hymnal/The Book of Hymns (1966).  (The United Methodist Hymnal of 1989 lacks any texts by our saint.)

Friedrich von Christierson was originally a subject of the Russian Empire.  He, born at Lovisa, near Helsinki, Finland, on December 25, 1900, left for the United States with his parents and five brothers in 1905.

Christierson (B.A., psychology, Stanford University, 1923), went into church work.  He spent a few years as the youth director at First Presbyterian Church, San Luis Obispo, California.  During this time, Christierson married Frances May Lockhart in 1925.  The couple had two children.  Our saint matriculated at San Francisco Theological Seminary (B.D., 1929; M.A., 1930).  Christierson, ordained a minister in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. in 1929, continued his clergy status in the PCUSA’s successors, The United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  He served in the following congregations from 1929 to 1966:

  1. Calvary Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, California (1929-1944);
  2. Trinity Community Presbyterian Church, North Hollywood, California, a church plant (1944-1961); and
  3. Celtic Cross United Presbyterian Church (now Celtic Cross Presbyterian Church), Citrus Heights, California, a church plant (1961-1966).

Christierson was also active beyond the congregational level.  He served as the Moderator of the San Francisco Presbytery and the Los Angeles Presbytery.  For three years in the early 1960s, he served as the chairman of the radio and television ministries of the Sacramento Area Council of Churches.  In this capacity, our saint created a television program, Capital and Clergy, in 1962.

Christierson remained active in retirement.  He filled various pulpits, as an interim pastor, in California and Nevada through 1970.  Then, from 1970 to 1982, our saint was a part-time associate minister at First Presbyterian Church (now Centerpoint Community Church), Roseville, California.  He focused on the elderly and the ill.

Our saint, a fellow of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada since 1983, published Make a Joyful Noise (1987), a volume of his hymns.

Christierson, aged 95 years, died in Roseville, California, on April 24, 1996.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MATTHEW THE EVANGELIST, APOSTLE AND MARTYR

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Frank von Christierson 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 Blessed Bonifacy Zukowski (April 10)   Leave a comment

Above:  Franciscan Symbol

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED BONIFACY ZUKOWSKI (JANUARY 13, 1913-APRIL 10, 1942)

Polish Roman Catholic Friar and Martyr, 1942

Also known as Bonface Zukowski and Piotr Zukowski

Alternative feast day (as one of the 108 Martyrs of World War II) = June 12

Blessed Bonifacy Zukowski comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.

Piotr Zukowski was originally a subject of the Russian Empire.  He, born near Vilnius, Lithuania, on January 13, 1913, was a son of Andrzej Zukowski and Albina Walkiewicz.  Our saint, who grew up on a farm, joined the Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans) in Niepokalanow, Poland, in 1930.  He took the name Bonifacy.  Zukowski, who made his solemn profession on August 2, 1935, pursued his religious vocation.  He worked in the printing press, which published The Knight of the Immaculate.  Our saint worked with St. Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941).

Zukowski became a prisoner on October 14, 1941, when agents of the Gestapo arrested him.  The Nazi authorities did not like the material the press published.  Our saint, incarcerated first in Warsaw, ministered to other prisoners.

Internet sources disagree regarding which concentration camp to which the Nazis shipped Zukowski.  The options are Auschwitz and Dachau.

Our saint did not survive long in the concentration camp.  He, treated harshly, died on April 10, 1942.  Zukowski was 29 years old.

Holy Mother Church has formally recognized our saint.  Pope John Paul II declared him a Venerable then a beatus in 1999.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 20, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF HENRI NOUWEN, DUTCH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND SPIRITUAL WRITER

THE FEAST OF ELIZABETH KENNY, AUSTRALIAN NURSE AND MEDICAL PIONEER

THE FEAST OF JOHN COLERIDGE PATTESON, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF MELANESIA, AND HIS COMPANIONS, MARTYRS, 1871

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIE THERESE OF SAINT JOSEPH, FOUNDER OF THE CONGREGATON OF THE CARMELITE SISTERS OF THE DIVINE HEART OF JESUS

THE FEAST OF NELSON WESLEY TROUT, FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN U.S. LUTHERAN BISHOP

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power

your holy martyr Blessed Bonifacy Zukowski

triumphed over suffering and was faithful even to death:

Grant us, who now remember him in thanksgiving,

to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world,

that we may receive with him the crown of life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 51:1-12

Psalm 116 or 116:1-8

Revelation 7:13-17

Luke 12:2-12

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 714

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