Feast of Sts. Alban Roe and Thomas Reynolds (January 21)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. George’s Cross

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT ALBAN ROE (July 20, 1583-January 21, 1642)

Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr

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SAINT THOMAS REYNOLDS (1561–January 21, 1642)

Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr

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St. Alban Roe was a complicated man.  He could be cheerful and generally positive yet unpredictable and cantankerous.  This description fits many other saints.  It even fits me sometimes.  Moral perfectionism is unrealistic, so may we not be overly critical of Father Roe.  Rather, may we focus on the positive:  This man loved God and Jesus so much that he gave his life for them.

Born Bartholomew Roe in England, he and his brother converted to Roman Catholicism and became monks.  Bartholomew took the name Alban.  He began to study for the priesthood in 1607 but was expelled in 1610 due to bad temperament.  He joined the Benedictine community at Lorraine in 1613 and was ordained a priest two years later.  Then St. Alban Roe returned to England as a missionary, but authorities captured and deported him.  The saint returned in 1618, when authorities arrested and incarcerated him until 1623.  They expelled him again.  He returned yet again in 1625.  Authorities apprehended him again and held him until 1642, when they convicted him of treason and executed him via hanging, drawing, and quartering.

The Roman Catholic Church beatified St. Alban Roe in 1921 and canonized him in 1970.

Hanged, drawn, and quartered with St. Alban Roe was St. Thomas Reynolds.  Ordained in 1592 after studying at Rheims, Reynolds returned to his native England and faced exile again in 1606.  Yet the saint returned again and fulfilled his priestly vocation until his arrest in 1628.  He spent the next fourteen years in prison until he died at age 80.

Both of these men could have lived safely in France, but their faith demanded that they take great risks for God.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 29, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF GEORGE DAWSON, ENGLISH BAPTIST AND UNITARIAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF DOROTHY DAY, SOCIAL ACTIVIST

THE FEAST OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE CHURCH OF NORTH INDIA, 1970

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Gracious God,

in every age you have sent men and women

who have given their lives in witness to your love and truth.

Inspire us with the memory of Saints Alban Roe and Thomas Reynolds,

whose faithfulness led to the way of the cross,

and give us courage to bear full witness with our lives

to your Son’s victory over sin and death,

for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God,

now and forever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 20:40-42

Psalm 5

Revelation 6:9-11

Mark 8:34-38

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

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Revised on November 20, 2016

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