“Neanderthal Thinking” and “Reptilian Bastards”   Leave a comment

I vaguely recall a news story from decades ago.  Certain legislative Republicans were cutting the budget for Public Defenders.  One critic–an attorney–described these legislators as “reptilian bastards.”  He received criticism from offended Republicans.  I thought that the attorney had severely insulted reptiles of dubious parentage by comparing them to people who wanted to gut the budget for Public Defenders.

This week, the Governors of Texas and Mississippi announced that they were about to lift their states’ mask mandate.  President Biden described these decisions as “Neanderthal thinking.”  In so doing, he offended many Republicans and, no doubt, Creationists.  The objective reality of human evolution aside, “Neanderthal thinking” may have insulted Neanderthals by comparing them to the Governors of Texas and Mississippi.  

The President’s criticism is legitimate, though.  Human lives are at stake.  These governors have blood on their hands.  They will have more blood on their hands.  On this side of Heaven, may voters render their damning verdicts on them.  

Regarding language, if this is about as intemperate as off-the-cuff presidential remarks get during the Biden years, I can live with that.  “Neanderthal thinking” is a far cry from inciting violence, stoking racism, and encouraging conspiracy theories.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2021 COMMON ERA

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Feast of St. Eusebius of Rome (August 17)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Eusebius of Rome

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT EUSEBIUS OF ROME (DIED OCTOBER 310)

Bishop of Rome, and Martyr, 310

Former feast day = September 26

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

Forgiving people can cause controversy.  Some people are not remorseful and are, therefore, impenitent.  Yet others are remorseful and penitent.  Forgiving these individuals can cause controversy.

During the lifetime of St. Eusebius of Rome, the major context of debates over forgiveness was whether to forgive and readmit to Christian fellowship those Christians who had lapsed during persecution.  The leadership of the Roman Catholic Church usually favored forgiveness of those who were sincere.  There were always those who opposed forgiving these remorseful lapsi, of course.

The immediate context of debate was the aftermath of the Diocletian persecution, which started in 303.  The Emperor Diocletian had outlawed all Christian worship services and ordered the destruction of all Christian books and churches in 303.  That year, he also ordered the arrest of all Christian clergy who refused to sacrifice to pagan deities.  Then, in 305, Diocletian ordered the arrest of all Christians who refused to sacrifice to pagan gods.  The persecution paused after the abdication of the Augustii Diocletian and Maximian in 305.  Yet the persecution resumed in 306, under the new regime and lasted until 311, when the Emperor Galerius (reigned 305-311), on his death bed, granted religious toleration.

On April 18, 310, St. Eusebius of Rome became the new Bishop of Rome.  He succeeded St. Marcellus I (reigned November/December 306-January 10, 308), a hardliner not in the forgiving mood vis-à-vis lapsi.  St. Eusebius was in a forgiving mood, though.  He required that lapsi former penance prior to readmission to communion, but he was willing to forgive.

One Heraclius disagreed with St. Eusebius.    Heraclius was a rigorist.  His efforts divided the Church in 310.  Breakaway Emperor Maxentius controlled territory in Africa and southern and central Italy, including Rome.  He exiled Heraclius and St. Eusebius to Sicily.  The Pope died there in October 310.

The Papacy remained vacant until 311.  The next Bishop of Rome, St. Militades (or Melchiades) (reigned July 2, 311-January 10, 314), was also in the forgiving mood.  That position remained controversial.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 5, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF KARL RAHNER, JESUIT PRIEST AND THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF AMBROSE PHILLIPPS DE LISLE, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC CONVERT, SPIRITUAL WRITER, AND TRANSLATOR OF SPIRITUAL WRITINGS; FOUNDER OF MOUNT SAINT BERNARD ABBEY

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER MACASSOLI OF VIGEVANO, FRANCISCAN PRIEST

THE FEAST OF SAINT EUSEBIUS OF CREMONA, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND HUMANITARIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT ION COSTIST, FRANCISCAN LAY BROTHER

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Heavenly Father, shepherd of your people,

we thank you for your servant Saint Eusebius of Rome,

who was faithful in the care and nurture of your flock;

and we pray that, following his example and the teaching of his holy life,

we may by your grace grow into the full stature of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84

1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21

John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 38

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Feast of Octavia Hill (August 13)   1 comment

Above:  Octavia Hill, by John Singer Sargent

Image in the Public Domain

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OCTAVIA HILL (DECEMBER 3, 1838-AUGUST 13, 1912)

English Social Reformer

Octavia Hill comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Church of England.

Hill devoted most of her long life to helping poor people.  She was simultaneously of her time and ahead of it.  Our saint, for example, opposed women’s suffrage; she accepted the “separate spheres” theory, then a societal norm.  Hill, who did much to provide affordable housing for poor people, also opposed affordable public housing.  Furthermore, her opposition to government programs to help the impoverished extended to social services and social security.  Yet Hill did much to create the National Trust, preserving green areas and places of historical interest for the common good.

One can acknowledge the good a person did while partially disagreeing with him or her.

Hill, born in Wisbach, Isle of Ely, England, Cambridgeshire, on December 3, 1838, came from a once-prosperous family.  Her father was James Hill, a corn merchant and a former banker.  James Hill, twice widowed, had five sons and daughter when he married his former governess, Caroline Southwood Smith, in 1835.  By 1840, he had collapsed mentally and gone bankrupt.  Caroline’s father, Dr. James Southwood Smith, provided for the family financially and emotionally.  He helped to raise his granddaughter, Octavia, eighth daughter and tenth child of James Hill.

Our saint’s upbringing informed the rest of her life.  The grandfather’s influence in Octavia’s life became obvious over time.  He, a pioneer in urban sanitary reform, took a great interests in social problems, such as affordable urban housing and child labor in mines.  Caroline Hill’s special interest in progressive education also influenced our saint.  Frederick Denison Maurice (1805-1872), a family friend and a leader in the Christian Socialist movement, added her influences, too.

Hill grew up to become quite a formidable, functional presence.  Friend Henrietta Barnett (1844-1913) noted our saint’s obliviousness to fashion.  Others considered Hill ruthless and despotic.  Frederick Temple (1821-1902) encountered our saint while he was still the Bishop of London (1885-1896).  At an ecclesiastical meeting, she spoke for about half an hour.  The future Archbishop of Canterbury recalled,

I never had such a beating in all my life.

Hill worked for the improvement of the lives and circumstances of poor people starting when she was 14 years old.  At that young age, she began to lead a workroom for a guild providing employment for poor school children.  She taught these women how to make toys for children.  Our saint knew these children and their terrible living conditions.  Throughout the rest of her life, making and maintaining a personal connection with those she helped was crucial in her mind.  For example, the impersonal nature of public housing was why she opposed it.

Hill also emphasized teaching self-reliance.  She approved any well-intentioned effort (especially public) she perceived as threatening self-reliance.  Yet Hill was no “pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps” person.  And she was obviously not a Social Darwinist, one who insisted that the wealthy were superior because they were rich, and, therefore, owed the less fortunate nothing.  To the contrary, our saint affirmed that the more fortunate must never ignore their obligations to the poor.

That sense of obligation, combined with a moral critique of legislative attempts to provide affordable housing, led her to provide affordable housing.  When our saint learned of the shortage of affordable housing for poor people for whom and to whom she was accountable, she started providing affordable housing.  With the help of friend John Ruskin (1819-1900), another humanitarian, she became a land lady at Paradise Place, Marylebone, London, in 1865.  Over the years, the number of cottages, initially three, increased.  Ruskin used his inheritance to acquire cottages for rent; Hill managed them.  Our saint and her rent collectors (all female) doubled as social workers.  Hill was building a community.

As the years passed, Hill managed more communities in London.  She worked hard, as did her employees.  So did her tenants.  In fact, Hill overworked herself.  After collapsing in 1877, our saint had to rest for several months.

Hill, demanding of herself and others, also recognized the importance of access to open spaces and the blue sky, especially in the cases of the urban poor.  Therefore, our saint worked to conserve open, green spices.  She coined the term “Green Belt,” lobbied and helped to conserve and preserve London suburban woodlands, and laid the foundation for the National Trust, founded in 1893.  Furthermore, Hill lobbied against any encroachment of industrialization upon natural beauty in certain areas.  Proposed construction of railroads in some places aroused her formidable ire.

As years passed, Hill’s influence spread.  Others in England and abroad copied her model for providing affordable housing.

Our saint, aged 81 years, died in Marylebone, London, on August 13, 1912.

The lack of affordable housing remains a major problem around the world.  It is a major problem in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, where I live.  The local unified government is working with the private sector to alleviate the matter.  How to provide affordable housing in the optimal matter is a quandary for which more than one proper solution exists.  Local circumstances are always germane.  What works well in one place may not work well somewhere else.  The solution for which Octavia Hill advocated for which she put into effect, therefore, may fit in some localities yet not in others.  General principles are timeless.  Yet the mechanics of putting them into effect are not.  So be it.

But let us–you, O reader, and I–remember Octavia Hill as one who did something, did it well, and made a major, positive difference in the lives of vulnerable people where and when she was.  May we, empowered by grace, what out saint did–leave our corner of the world better than we found it.  That is our task.  That is also the task of those who will come after us.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 5, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF KARL RAHNER, JESUIT PRIEST AND THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF AMBROSE PHILLIPPS DE LISLE, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC CONVERT, SPIRITUAL WRITER, AND TRANSLATOR OF SPIRITUAL WRITINGS; FOUNDER OF MOUNT SAINT BERNARD ABBEY

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER MACASSOLI OF VIGEVANO, FRANCISCAN PRIEST

THE FEAST OF SAINT EUSEBIUS OF CREMONA, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND HUMANITARIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT ION COSTIST, FRANCISCAN LAY BROTHER

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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,

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 Irene of Hungary (August 13)   Leave a comment

Above:  Emperor John II Commenus and Empress Irene with the Madonna and Child

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED IRENE OF HUNGARY (1088-AUGUST 13, 1134)

Hungarian Princess and Byzantine Empress

Also known as Piroska

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

In the olden days, royal marriages were frequently political, sealing alliances between kingdoms and empires.  Thus, in 1105, the new alliance between the Kingdom of Hungary and the Byzantine Empire (which always called itself the Roman Empire) came into existence with the marriage of the Hungarian princess Piroska and the heir to the Byzantine (Roman) throne, the future Emperor John II Commenus (reigned 1118-1143).  The immediate threat to the Byzantine (Roman) Empire in the west came from Normans, and the threat in the east came from the Seljuk Turks.

Above:  Map of Southeastern Europe in 1105

Image in the Public Domain

Piroska, born in Esztergom, Hungary, was a daughter of Queen Adelaide of Swabia and King St. Ladislaus I (reigned 1077-1095; feast days = June 27 and 30).  Piroska, as Irene, was the Byzantine (Roman) Empress from 1118 to 1134.  She gave birth to eight children, including the Emperor Manuel I Commenus (reigned 1143-1180).  A grandson was Manuel I’s son, Emperor Alexius II Commenus (reigned 1180-1183).  Andronicus I Commenus (reigned 1183-1185), descended from Isaac, brother of John II.  Subsequent rulers of that dynasty descended from Theodora, sister of John II and Isaac.

(Aside:  My source for the family tree of Emperor John II Commenus and Empress Irene, within the Commenus Dynasty, is a dynastic family tree chart on page 232 of the sixth edition of The Encyclopedia of World History (2001), Peter N. Stearns, General Editor.   Certain sources on the internet disagree with the genealogical chart in this reference work.  They list other Byzantine (Roman) Emperors as being sons of our saint.  Not all sources are equal.)

Blessed Irene also gave generously to worthy causes.  She gave to help to poor, finance the construction of Christ Pantocrator Monastery in Constinople, and to fund the hospital (open to all) associated with that monastery.

Blessed Irene, aged about 46 years, died in Constantinople on August 13, 1134.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 4, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHARLES SIMEON, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND PROMOTER OF MISSIONS; HENRY MARTYN, ANGLICAN PRIEST, LINGUIST, TRANSLATOR, AND MISSIONARY; AND ABDUL MASIH, INDIAN CONVERT AND MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF HENRY SUSO, GERMAN ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR, PREACHER, AND SPIRITUAL WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHN EDGAR PARK, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEN CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF PAUL CUFFEE, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MISSIONARY TO THE SHINNECOCK NATION

THE FEAST OF THOMAS HORNBLOWER GILL, ENGLISH UNITARIAN THEN ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER

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Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses:

Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servant Blessed Irene of Hungary,

may persevere in running the race that is set before us,

until at last we may with her attain to your eternal joy;

through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,

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

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 15

Hebrews 12:1-2

Matthew 25:31-40

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 724

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Feast of St. Jane Frances de Chantal (August 12)   1 comment

Above:  St. Jane Frances de Chantal

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT JANE FRANCES DE CHANTAL (JANUARY 28, 1572-DECEMBER 13, 1641)

Cofoundress of the Congregation of the Visitation 

Also known as Saint Jeanne de Chantal and Saint Jane Frances Fremiot de Chantal

Alternative feast days = August 18 and December 13

Former feast days = August 21 and December 12

St. Jane Frances de Chantal comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church, as well as Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (1997).

Our saint came from a prominent and wealthy family.  She, born in Dijon, France, on January 28, 1572, was a daughter of Margaret de Berbisey and Bénigne Frémyot, president of the Burgundian parliament.  St. Jane’s brother André grew up to become the Archbishop of Bourges, serving from 1602 to 1621.  Margaret died when our saint was 18 months old.  Bénigne, as a widower and a single father, raised his daughter to become a refined young woman.

At the age of twenty years, St. Jane married Baron Christophe de Rabutin.  The happy marriage produced seven children, three of whom died in infancy.  It was a brief marriage, though; the Baron died in a hunting accident in 1601, after eight years of marriage.  St. Jane, widowed at twenty-eight years of age and raising four children, struggled.  She depended on her family, made a personal vow of chastity, and spent much time in prayer.  Life in her father-in-law’s household was miserable for our saint.

In Lent 1604, St. Jane’s father invited her to visit Dijon and hear St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622), the Bishop of Geneva, and the “Apostle of Charity,” speak.  Our saint accepted that invitation.  That address changed the course of St. Jane’s life.  She recognized him as the man in the vision she had received at her father-in-law’s house in Monthelon.  St. Francis advised St. Jane to spend less time with her father-in-law in Monthelon and more time with her father in Dijon.  Our saint obeyed that counsel and attended to both men.

The two saints and their families became close.  St. Jane considered joining a Carmelite convent in Dijon in 1605; St. Francis dissuaded her.  The two saints became part of the same extended family in 1610.  St. Jane’s daughter, Marie Aymée, married Bernard, the youngest brother of St. Francis.  After St. Jane’s youngest daughter, Charlotte, died, our saint, her son Celse-Bénigne, and her daughter Françoise relocated to Annecy, where Marie Aymée and Bernard lived.  Then St. Francis bought a house in the area.

Above:  Annecy, France

Image Source = Google Earth

Sts. Jane and Francis founded the Congregation of the Visitation on Trinity Sunday, June 6, 1610, in Annecy.  St. Jane’s 15-year-old son, Celse-Bénigne, opposed his mother’s plan to enter religious life.  He asked her not to leave, and he laid down in front of the door.  Our saint literally stepped over her son, out of the house, and into religious life.  The Congregation of the Visitation was controversial from the beginning.  The rule of the Congregation was relatively lenient.  The Congregation also accepted women whom other orders had rejected for being too ill or too old.  St. Jane, the Congregation’s first Superior, presided over its expansion to 86 convents.

St. Jane died, aged 69 years, in Moulins, France, on December 13, 1641.  

Holy Mother Church has formally recognized St. Jane.  Pope Benedict XIV beatified her in 1751.  Pope Clement XIII canonized our saint in 1767.

St. Jane’s patronage is for widows, for parents separated from children, against problems with in-laws, against the death of parents, against abandonment, and for abandoned or forgotten people.

Members of the Congregation of the Visitation continue to lead contemplative lives, run schools, and work with widows and ill women.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 4, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHARLES SIMEON, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND PROMOTER OF MISSIONS; HENRY MARTYN, ANGLICAN PRIEST, LINGUIST, TRANSLATOR, AND MISSIONARY; AND ABDUL MASIH, INDIAN CONVERT AND MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF HENRY SUSO, GERMAN ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR, PREACHER, AND SPIRITUAL WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHN EDGAR PARK, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEN CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF PAUL CUFFEE, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MISSIONARY TO THE SHINNECOCK NATION

THE FEAST OF THOMAS HORNBLOWER GILL, ENGLISH UNITARIAN THEN ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER

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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 Saint Jane Frances de Chantal,

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 and 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 Blessed Stephen Rowsham (August 11)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED STEPHEN ROWSHAM (CIRCA 1555-APRIL 3, 1587)

English Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1587

Alternative feast day (as one of the Martyrs of Douai) = October 29

Alternative feast day (as one of the Martyrs of England, Scotland, and Wales) = November 22

Alternative feast day (as one of the Martyrs of Oxford University) = December 1

Alternative feast day = April 3

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

My conscience tells me that causing someone to become a martyr is a sin.  In Roman Catholic terms, it is a mortal sin.  The martyrdom of Christians by professing Christians is especially appalling.  We who call ourselves Christians should know better, should we not?  The history of Christianity is replete with accounts of this sin–Roman Catholics killing Protestants, Anglicans, and Eastern Orthodox; Anglicans killing Roman Catholics; Protestants killing Anglicans and Roman Catholics; Eastern Orthodox killing Roman Catholics; Protestants killing other Protestants; and members of various Christian groups killing Anabaptists.  Martyring people is inconsistent with the love of Christ.

Now, for an example of Anglicans killing a Roman Catholic…..

Blessed Stephen Rowsham, born in Oxfordshire, England, circa 1555, had been a clergyman in The Church of England.  He had been the Vicar of St. Mary the Virgin, Oxford.  Then he converted to Roman Catholicism.  Our saint studied at Douai College, in France.  Ordained a Roman Catholic priest in Soissons, in 1582, his life became more dangerous.

To be a Roman Catholic priest in England was, at the time, to commit treason, by law.  The standard form of execution for Roman Catholic priests was hanging and drawing, followed by quartering.

Rowsham, back home in England, embarked upon his covert and illegal ministry.  Arrested and exiled, he returned and resumed his ministry.  Arrested again, Rowsham went to martyrdom at Gloucester on April 3, 1587.  He was about 32 years old.

Pope John Paul II declared Rowsham a Venerable in 1986 then beatified him the following year.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 3, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT KATHARINE DREXEL, FOUNDRESS OF THE SISTERS OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

THE FEAST OF SAINTS ANTONIO FRANCESCO MARZORATI, JOHANNES WEISS, AND MICHELE PRO FASOLI, FRANCISCAN MISSIONARY PRIESTS AND MARTYRS IN ETHIOPIA, 1716

THE FEAST OF SAINT GERVINUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF HENRY ELIAS FRIES, U.S. MORAVIAN INDUSTRIALIST; AND HIS WIFE, ROSA ELVIRA FRIES, U.S. MORAVIAN MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF SAINT TERESA EUSTOCHIO VERZERI, FOUNDRESS OF THE INSTITUTE OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS

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Almighty God, who gave to your servant Blessed Stephen Rowsham

boldness to confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of the 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 (2010), 713

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Feast of Venerable Catherine de Hueck Doherty (August 10)   2 comments

Above:  Combermere, Ontario, Canada

Image Source = Google Earth

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EKATERINA FYODOROVNA KOLYSCHKINE DE HUECK DOHERTY (AUGUST 15, 1896-DECEMBER 14, 1985)

Foundress of the Madonna House Apostolate

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The hunger for God can only be satisfied by a love that is face to face, person to person.  It is only in the eyes of another that we can find the Icon of Christ.  We must make the other person aware we love him.  If we do, he will know that God loves him.  He will never hunger again.

–Venerable Catherine de Hueck Doherty, quoted in Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (1997), 352

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Venerable Catherine de Hueck Doherty comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via Robert Ellsberg, All Saints (1997).  In that volume, her feast day is August 15.  On this Ecumenical Calendar, however, I reserve August 15 for St. Mary of Nazareth, Mother of God.  Furthermore, I do not wait until I add “new” saints with December feast days to add Doherty to this calendar.  I have, therefore, moved her feast.

Social justice is a spiritual and divine mandate.  This message runs through the Law of Moses, the teachings of the Hebrew prophets, and the ethics of Jesus in Nazareth.  This message continues to animate many professing, practicing Jews and Christians, frequently to the frustration and consternation of merely professing Jews and Christians.

Ekaterina Fyodorovna Kolyschkine was originally a subject of the Russian Empire.  She, born on a train in Nizhny, Novgorod, on August 15, came from minor nobility.  Her father was Fyodor Kolyschkine, a Polish-Russian industrialist and diplomat.  Our saint’s mother was Emma Thomson Kolyschkine.  The family religion was Russian Orthodoxy.  Ekaterina spent much of her childhood abroad because of her father’s diplomatic assignments.  The family returned to Russia in 1910; our saint matriculated at the Princess Obolensky Academy, Saint Petersburg.  At the tender age of 15 years, she married a cousin, Baron Boris de Hueck (1889-1947), in 1912.

The revolutionary age of Russia had begun.  The First Russian Revolution (1905) ended Czarist autocracy, to an extent.  That revolution led to the creation of something of a constitutional system.  World War I (1914-1918) hastened the Second Russian Revolution (1917), which ended the monarchy and left power in the hands of the ineffectual Provisional Government.  The Third Russian Revolution (1917) brought the Bolsheviks to power.

The de Huecks spent much of World War I apart.  The Baron, in military service, was on the Eastern Front.  The Baroness worked as a nurse.  The two of them, eventually reunited, fled Russia after the rise of the Bolsheviks to power.  The couple joined the Roman Catholic Church en route to the New World.  They arrived in Canada in 1920.

The de Huecks were nobility, but they were poor in the New World.  Venerable Catherine worked a series of low-paying jobs in Canada and the United States.  The de Hueck family had grown to three people.  The newest member was a son, George.  Eventually, our saint earned real money on the lecture circuit; she described her experiences in Russia and escaping from that country.  As time passed, she regained her economic good fortune yet lost her marriage.  Venerable Catherine began to question her life, with its materialistic plenty.

Our saint, obeying what she perceived as the call of God on her life, radically simplified her life in 1930.  She gave up most of her worldly goods and moved into a slum in Toronto.  She, with the support of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Toronto, founded the first Friendship House.  This institution offered Roman Catholic education, fellowship, and a soup kitchen.  Ironically, some conservatives mistook our saint for a communist sympathizer.  Friendship House, Toronto, lost support and had to close in 1936.

Yet Dorothy Day (1897-1980) understood our saint and what she was doing.  Day’s Catholic Worker Movement operated on similar principles as did Friendship House, Toronto.  Father John LaFarge, Jr. (1880-1963) also understood what Venerable Catherine was doing.  In 1937, he invited her to establish a new Friendship House in Harlem.  Friendship House, Harlem, opened the following year.  In Harlem, our saint learned about racial prejudice and injustice.  She continued to travel and lecture.  In Savannah, Georgia, a group of white Roman Catholic women nearly beet Venerable Catherine to death after a lecture.  In 1941, Thomas Merton (1915-1968) heard our saint speak.  He summarized Venerable Catherine’s message:

Catholics are worried about Communism:  and they have a right to be….But few Catholics stop to think that Communism would make very little progress in then world, or none at all, if Catholics really lived up to their obligations, and really did the things Christ came on Earth to teach them to do:  that is, if they really loved one another, and saw Christ in one another, and lived as saints, and did something to win justice for the poor.

–Quoted in Ellsberg, All Saints (1997), 353

The Baroness, of “the B.,” as her friends referred to her, carried the air of authority naturally and did not suffer fools easily and gladly.  Once, a high-society, racist woman told our saint,

You smell of the Negro.

Venerable Catherine replied,

And you stink of hell!

The marriage to Baron de Hueck formally ended via annulment in 1943.  That year, Venerable Catherine married journalist Edward J. “Eddie” Doherty (1890-1975).  They had met when he was on an assignment to write a story about her.

Leadership-related tensions at Friendship House, Harlem, led our saint to resign from that organization in 1947.  The Dohertys moved to Combermere, in rural Ontario, Canada.  There they helped the local poor and sick.  And there they founded the Madonna House Apostolate in 1947.  The Madonna House was a place of prayer and spiritual retreat.  Our saint emphasized withdrawing from worldly compulsions and listening to God.  The place of retreat, she wrote, could be anywhere, really, and varied according to circumstances.  Yet retreating and listening remained crucial.

Eddie, ordained a priest in the Melkite Rite in 1969, died in 1975.

Venerable Catherine, aged 89 years, died in Combermere on December 14, 1985.

Our saint’s Madonna House Apostolate has continued.  So has the message, apart from the Apostolate.  For example, Venerable Catherine wrote and spoke of the “duty of the moment.”  She emphasized the moral imperative of doing at any given moment what God would have one to do at that moment.

What, O reader, is God telling you is imperative for you to do at this moment?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 2, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SHABBAZ BHATTI AND OTHER CHRISTIAN MARTYRS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

THE FEAST OF SAINT AIDAN OF LINDISFARNE, CELTIC MISSIONARY BISHOP; SAINT CAELIN, CELTIC PRIEST; SAINT CEDD OF LASTINGHAM, CELTIC AND ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, BISHOP OF ESSEX, AND ABBOT OF LASTINGHAM; SAINT CYNIBIL OF LASTINGHAM, CELTIC AND ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MONK; SAINT CHAD OF MERCIA, CELTIC AND ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, ABBOT OF LASTINGHAM, BISHOP OF YORK/THE NORTHUMBRIANS AND OF LICHFIELD/THE MERCIANS AND THE LINDSEY PEOPLE; SAINT VITALIAN, BISHOP OF ROME; SAINT ADRIAN OF CANTERBURY, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL, CANTERBURY; SAINT THEODORE OF TARSUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY; AND SAINT CUTHBERT OF LINDISFARNE, CELTIC AND ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, HERMIT, PRIEST, AND BISHOP OF LINDISFARNE

THE FEAST OF DANIEL MARCH, SR., U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST AND PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, POET, HYMN WRITER, AND LITURGIST

THE FEAST OF JOHN STUART BLACKIE, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN SCHOLAR, LINGUIST, POET, THEOLOGIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT LUDMILLA OF BOHEMIA, DUCHESS OF BOHEMIA AND MARTYR, 921; HER GRANDSON, SAINT WENCESLAUS I, DUKE OF BOHEMIA, AND MARTYR, 929; SAINT AGNES OF PRAGUE, BOHEMIAN PRINCESS AND NUN; HER PEN PAL, SAINT CLARE OF ASSISI, FOUNDRESS OF THE POOR CLARES; HER SISTER, SAINT AGNES OF ASSISI, ABBESS OF ASSISI; AND HER MOTHER, SAINT HORTULANA OF ASSISI, POOR CLARE NUN

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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 Raymond E. Brown (August 8)   Leave a comment

Above:  Books by Father Raymond E. Brown, from my Library

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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RAYMOND EDWARD BROWN (MAY 22, 1928-AUGUST 8, 1998)

U.S. Roman Catholic Priest and Biblical Scholar

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To

a remarkable group of doctoral candidates

who studied at Union Theological Seminary (NYC)

in the years J. Louis Martyn and I taught New Testament

and who now teach me by their writings

–The dedication from An Introduction to the New Testament (1997)

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Father Raymond E. Brown comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via my library.  I own copies of some of his books, most of which are thick.  Brown’s commentary on the Gospel of John, for example, consists of two tomes.  Furthermore, his commentary on the brief 1-3 John is 812 pages long.

 Brown was a great Biblical scholar.  Cardinal Roger Mahoney, of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, called our saint,

the most distinguished and renowned Catholic Biblical scholar

ever to emerge in the United States.  Brown also carried on a prolonged academic debate with John Dominic Crossan.  Our saint avoided doing what Crossan did frequently, expecially in Crossan’s The Historical Jesus (1993); Brown never made anything up.  (Aside:  I have read Crossan’s The Historical Jesus.  I have concluded that the first half of the book is excellent.  That is the part of the book in which Crossan established the socio-economic-political background in which Jesus lived.  Then, at the halfway point, Crossan started writing about Jesus and making up content.)  Yet our saint was too liberal for the theological tastes of traditionalist Catholics and many conservative Protestants.  And Brown was too conservative for the Crossan corner of theology, of course.  Our saint, who has informed my Biblical studies for years, was about right.

Brown came from a Roman Catholic family.  He, born in New York, New York, on May 22, 1928, was a son of Robert H. Brown and Loretta Brown.  When our saint was 15 years old, in 1943, Pope Pius XII began to reverse Pope Piux X’s restrictions on Biblical scholarship.  Pope Pius XII permitted the use of the historical-critical method.  Brown grew up to become one of the foremost practitioners of that method.

Brown was a priest and a scholar.  His family moved to Florida in 1944.  Therefore, our saint went to St. Charles Seminary, the Catholic University of America, and the Gregorian University (in Rome) from the Diocese of St. Augustine.  Our saint, who joined the Society of Saint-Sulpice in 1951, became a priest in 1953.  Then he earned two doctorates–a Doctor of Sacred Theology (St. Mary’s Theology, Baltimore, Maryland, 1955) and a Ph.D. in Semitic languages (The Johns Hopkins University, 1958, under William F. Albright).

Brown taught at St. Mary’s University until 1971.  During these years, he continued to work on the Dead Sea Scrolls.  (He had started work on them while at Johns Hopkins.)  Our saint, an ecumenist, was the Roman Catholic advisor to the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches (1968-1993).  He also participated in official Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogues and received honorary degrees from Protestant institutions.  And Brown taught at Woodstock College (1971-1974) and Union Theological Seminary (1971-1990).  He became the first Roman Catholic priest to serve as a tenured professor at Union Theological Seminary.

Brown, whose breadth and depth of knowledge he made obvious in thick commentaries, specialized in the Johannine tradition.  He argued, for example, of several layers of authorship in the Gospel of John.  According to Brown, there was the first layer, with direct experiences of Jesus.  Then a Johannine community contributed to the Fourth Gospel.  Finally came the third and last draft, the one we read.

Brown frequently raised the hackles of many to his right.  For example, he argued that the infancy accounts of Jesus in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke are historically inaccurate.  He pointed out that the census in Luke never happened and argued against the plausibility of the story of the Magi in Matthew.

None of this disturbs me.  I conclude that, if ancient Roman imperial records do not indicate the census from Luke, so be it.  Objective reality is what it is.  Besides, I have read enough about historical Jesus scholarship to know that many scholars of the New Testament admit what Brown did regarding that census.  More conservative scholars tend to struggle to explain the historicity of that census.  I am not a Biblical literalist, so this knowledge does not ruin my Christmas every year.  However, I disagree with Brown regarding the  story of the Magi.  I do not pretend to read a purely accurate account at the beginning of Matthew.  Nevertheless, one can explain the “star of Bethlehem” scientifically, to a point.  (I detect some embellishment in the account.)  And the story of the Magi arriving seems plausible.

Brown sought to determine what the original authors intended to communicate to the original audiences.  Doing so fulfilled his understanding of his vocation as a priest and scholar.  Biblical interpretation should begin with the authors’ intention, Brown insisted.  He was correct.

(Aside:  Some people criticize me for focusing so much on the authors’ original intention and how the original audience understood texts.  I agree with Brown and push back against excessive relativism in Biblical interpretation.  A text says, in original context, what it says.  It means, in original context, what it means.  We moderns can–and should–apply these texts to our contexts and interpret these texts in that light.  Yet me must ground ourselves in historical perspective and objective reality.  My training in historical methodology tells me that.)

After Brown retired from Union Theological Seminary, in 1990, he moved to Menlo Park, California, and went into residence at St. Patrick’s Seminary.  During the final eight years of his life, Brown was productive.  He updated The Birth of the Messiah (1977, 1993).  He wrote The Death of the Messiah (two volumes, 1994).  And our saint completed his final major work, An Introduction to the New Testament (1997), considerably longer than the New Testament.

Brown, aged 60 years, died in Menlo Park, California, on August 8, 1998.

I wonder how many more major works he would have completed had he lived long enough.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 1, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANNA OF OXENHALL AND HER FAITHFUL DESCENDANTS, SAINT WENNA THE QUEEN, SAINT NON, SAINT SAMSON OF DOL, SAINT CYBI, AND SAINT DAVID OF WALES

THE FEAST OF EDWARD HODDER, ENGLISH BIOGRAPHER, DEVOTIONAL WRITER, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF GEORGE WISHART, SCOTTISH CALVINIST REFORMER AND MARTYR, 1546; AND WALTER MILNE, SCOTTISH PROTESTANT MARTYR, 1558

THE FEAST OF JEAN-PIERRE DE CAUSSADE, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT ROGER LEFORT, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF BOURGES

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O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Raymond E. Brown and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

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

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

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Feast of St. Bonifacia Rodriguez Castro (August 8)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Bonifacia Rodriguez Castro

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT BONIFACIA RODRIGUEZ CASTRO (JUNE 6, 1837-AUGUST 9, 1905)

Cofounder of the Congregation of the Servants of Saint Joseph

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

St. Bonifacia came from a poor and a devout family.  She, born in Salamanca, Spain, on June 6, 1837, was one of six children of Maria Natalia Jimenéz Castro and tailor Joseph Rodriguez Gutiérrez.  Our saint, baptized at the age of four days, went to work for low pay in a rope factory at the age of fifteen years.  She also attended Mass daily and had a devotion to Sts. Mary and Joseph of Nazareth.

St. Bonifacia became the nucleus of a group of devout friends.  They gathered in her home for devotions regularly.  These young women founded the Association of the Immaculate and Saint Joseph (the Josephine Congregation).  In January 1874, this group founded the Congregation of the Servants of Saint Joseph.  The mission of the new congregation was to emulate the model the Holy Family had established, and thereby to prevent impoverished women from falling into lives of abuse and crime.  Our saint and the other members of the Congregation, in association with the poor and working-class women with whom they labored, established and operated a number of houses.  The Congregation received Papal approval from Leo XIII in 1901.

St. Bonifacia died at the house in Zamora, Spain, on August 9, 1905.  She was 68 years old.

Holy Mother Church recognized our saint.  Pope John Paul II declared her a Venerable in 2000 then beatified her in 2003.  Pope Benedict XVI canonized our saint in 2011.

The Congregation’s global ministry continues.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 28, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF THOMAS BINNEY, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, LITURGIST, AND “ARCHBISHOP OF NONCONFORMITY”

THE FEAST OF ANNA JULIA HAYWOOD COOPER AND ELIZABETH EVELYN WRIGHT, AFRICAN-AMERICAN EDUCATORS

THE FEAST OF FRED ROGERS, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HOST OF MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH BADGER, SR., U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST AND PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER; FIRST MISSIONARY TO THE WESTERN RESERVE

THE FEAST OF PEDRO ARRUPE, ADVOCATE FOR THE POOR AND MARGINALIZED, AND SUPERIOR GENERAL OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS

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O God, by whose grace your servant Saint Bonifacia Rodriguez Castro

became a burning and shining light in your Church:

Grant that we also may 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 St. Maxim Sandovich (August 7)   1 comment

Above:  Grab, Poland

Image Source = Google Earth

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SAINT MAXIM TIMOFEYEVICH SANDOVICH (FEBRUARY 1, 1888-AUGUST 6, 1914)

Russian Orthodox Priest and Martyr, 1914

Also known as Saint Maxim of Gorlice

Alternative feast day = September 6

Saint Maxim Sandovich comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Orthodox Church in Poland, the Orthodox Church in America, and the Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the U.S.A. (Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople).

Being an Eastern Orthodox Christian in the Austro-Hungarian Empire could be hazardous to one’s health.  The Roman Catholic establishment of the multi-ethnic Austro-Hungarian Empire regarded its Eastern Orthodox subjects as being disloyal to the Hapsburg Dynasty and loyal to the Russian Empire.  Religious persecution in the name of imperial security was par for the course.

St. Caesarius of Arles (468/470-543), writing regarding Christ’s command to take up one’s cross and follow him, commented:

What does this mean, “take up a cross”?  It means he will bear with whatever is troublesome, and in this very act he will be following me.  When he has begun to follow me according to my teaching and precepts, he will find many people contradicting him and standing in his way, many do not only deride but even persecute him.  Moreover, this is true, not only of pagans who are outside the church, but also of those who seem to be in it visibly, but are outside of it because of the perversity of their deeds.  Although these glory merely in the title of Christian, they continually persecute faithful Christians.  Such belong to the body of the church in the same way that bad blood is in the body.  

–Quoted in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, New Testament II:  Mark (1998), 112

St. Maxim Sandovich came from a Greek Catholic family.  He, born in Zdynia, Poland, Austria-Hungary, on February 1, 1888, was a son of farmers Tymoteusz (Timofej) and Krystina Sandowicz (Sandovich).  The father was a cantor in the local Greek Catholic parish.  After attending local schools, our saint served spent several months as a novice at the Greek Catholic monastery in Krakow.  Yet attempts to Latinize the Greek Catholic Rite dissatsfied him.  Our saint left the Basilian Order and the monasery in 1904.  

St. Maxim left the Austro-Hungarian Empire for the Russian Empire.  There he became a novice at the Pochaev Lavra, a monastery now in the Ukraine.  Our saint went on to study for the Russian Orthodox priesthood at the seminary in Zhitomir (now in the Ukraine).  He graduated in 1911.  That year, St. Maxim also married Pelagia, a Russian Orthodox woman, and became a deacon then a priest in the Russian Orthodox Church.  Then he returned to his homeland as a missionary and the parish priest at Grab (Hrab).

World War I was on the horizon.  The Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Russian Empire were enemies; each one belonged to a different coalition.  St. Maxim became a casualty of international politics and “national security.”

St. Maxim settled in at Grab (Hrab) with his family.  He celebrated his first Divine Liturgy at the parish on December 2, 1911.  Immediately, imperial officials forbade any more Divine Liturgies.  Our saint violated that edict repeatedly; he conducted Divine Liturgies in homes.  Austro-Hungarian officials kept fining and arresting him.  St. Maxim kept breaking the law.  He, arrested shortly before Pascha (Easter) 1912, remained in prison without trial for nearly two years.  The trial, which began on March 9, 1914, ended in an acquittal.  Immediately, our saint resumed his priestly duties in Grab (Hrab).

One may think of Acts 4:1-31 and 5:12-42, in which religious authorities in Jerusalem arrested Apostles and commanded them to cease preaching.  One may also remember the Apostles’ disobedience to that order:

And when they had brought them, they set them before the council.  And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”  But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”

–Acts 5:27-29, Revised Standard Version–Second Edition (1971)

Postconventional Morality is superior to Conventional Morality.  Obedience to unjust laws and orders is immoral.

Shortly after St. Maxim’s release, World War I started.  He became a political prison again on August 4, 1914.  His parents, brothers, and wife joined him, on a forced, shackled march about 35 kilometers (about 22 miles) to prison in Gorlice.  In prison, each member of the family, unable to see other members of the family, spent time in his or her own cell.  On August 6, 1914, a firing squad executed the 28-year-old priest.

Pelagia, our saint’s wife, gave birth to the couple’s son, Maxim, in prison, in Gorlice.  The younger Maxim (d. 1991) eventually became an Orthodox priest and ministered in Gorlice.

Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Athenagoras I lifted the mutual excommunications, in effect since 1054.  The official position of the Roman Catholic Church regarding Eastern Orthodox churches is that the Eastern Orthodox have valid Apostolic orders.  Theological differences between the two communions have not ceased, but they have ceased telling each other they will go to Hell, at least.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 26, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTONIO VALDIVIESO, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF LEON, AND MARTYR, 1495

THE FEAST OF ANDREW REED, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, HUMANITARIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF EMILY MALBONE, MORGAN, FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY OF THE COMPANIONS OF THE HOLY CROSS

THE FEAST OF JAKOB HUTTER, FOUNDER OF THE HUTTERITES, AND ANABAPTIST MARTYR, 1536; AND HIS WIFE, KATHARINE HUTTER, ANABAPTIST MARTYR, 1538

THE FEAST OF PAULA OF SAINT JOSEPH OF CALASANZ, FOUNDRESS OF THE DAUGHTERS OF MARY

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power, your holy martyr Saint Maxim Sandovich

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.

Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 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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