Archive for September 2012

Feast of St. Nectarius of Constantinople (October 12)   Leave a comment

Above:  Orthodox Cross

SAINT NECTARIUS OF CONSTANTINOPLE (DIED 397)

Archbishop of Constantinople

St. Nectarius of Constantinople, Archbishop of Constantinople, succeeded one notable saint, Gregory of Nazianzus the Theologian (lived circa 329-389) (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/feast-of-sts-gregory-of-nazianzus-the-elder-nonna-and-their-children-february-25/ and https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2009/10/03/feast-of-st-gregory-of-nazianzus-may-9/) and preceded another famous saint, John Chrysostom (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2009/09/22/feast-of-st-john-chrysostom-january-27/), in the office.  The life of St. Nectarius reflected firmness in what he understood to be right, whether that was opposing some theological position or being gracious to heretics.  It was a fine example.

The saint, son of a Roman Senator, was born at Tarsus, Cilicia (in modern-day Turkey).  He served as praetor at Constantinople before Emperor Theodosious I “the Great” (reigned 379-395) chose his name by chance from a list of candidates to become Archbishop of Constantinople.  At the time St. Nectarius was married and unbaptized, so he was an unlikely choice.

But he was a good one.  He banned the practice of public penance.  The saint also opposed Arianism.  Some Arians took such great offense at him that they burned down his house in 388.  Novationism was another heresy the saint opposed.  Novation (died circa 258), a priest and martyr, had insisted that Pope Cornelius was wrong to have absolved penitent Christians who had lapsed during the Decian persecution.  Those who followed Novation (into the 600s)

held that, in cases of idolatry through fear of persecutions, the church could not absolve the penitents; later they extended this doctrine to all grievous sins.  They claimed for themselves a character of especial purity and insisted on the rebaptism of converts to their views.

Encyclopedia Americana (1962), Volume 20, page 503

According to many of his critics, St. Nectarius was too lenient with the Novatians.  These critics forget or never knew that people can disagree without resorting to harsh measures.

St. Nectarius died on September 11, 397.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 24, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ANNA E. B. ALEXANDER, EPISCOPAL DEACONESS

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN X OF DENMARK AND HAAKON VII OF NORWAY, BROTHERS AND KINGS

THE FEAST OF PAULINE SPERRY, POLITICAL ACTIVIST

THE FEAST OF ROBERT MCAFEE BROWN, ECUMENIST

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Almighty God, you have raised up faithful bishops in your church,

including Saint Nectarius of Constantinople.

May the memory of his life be a source of joy for us and a bulwark of our faith,

so that we may serve and confess your name before the world,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  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

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

Advertisements

Feast of Sts. John Leonardi and Joseph Calasanctius (October 10)   2 comments

Above:  The Vatican Flag

SAINT JOHN LEONARDI (CIRCA 1550-1609)

Founder of the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God of Lucca

His feast transferred from October 9

++++++++

SAINT JOSEPH CALASANCTIUS (1556-1648)

also known as Saint Joseph Calasanz

Founder of the Clerks Regular of Religious Schools

His feast transferred from August 25

I, when pondering demonstrated sanctity, find certain aspects appealing.  One of these is educating those who, due to financial constraints, would otherwise lack access to learning.  Another is tending to the needs of plague victims.  Both of these apply in this post.

St. John Leonardi (circa 1550-1609) was born at Diecimo, Italy.  He, originally a pharmacist’s assistant, became a priest in 1572.  The saint worked in hospitals and prisons, but did not labor alone; he recruited others to join him.  Leonardi, inspired by the Council of Trent, proposed a new order, the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God of Lucca, which the Roman Catholic Church recognized in 1583.  St. Philip Neri (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/feast-of-st-philip-neri-may-25/) and St. Joseph Calasanctius assisted him regarding the new order.  Pope Clement VIII confirmed the order in 1595.

Leonardi, cofounder of the College for the Propagation of the Faith, died at Rome on October 9, 1609.  He had contracted a deadly case of influenza during an epidemic while ministering to victims.  His active compassion led to his death.  Pope Pius XI canonized the saint, patron of pharmacists, in 1938.

St. Joseph Calasanctius (1556-1648), a collaborator of St. John Leonardi, was born near Peralta de la Sal, Aragon, Spain, on September 11, 1556.  His father wanted him to become a soldier, but Calasanctius earned his law degree and became a priest instead.  The Bishop of Urgel appointed him to revive and reform religious practices in that part of the Pyrenees Mountains.  The saint, successful, next became vicar general of the district of Tremp.  He resigned in 1592 and traveled to Rome, becoming part of the household of Ascanio Cardinal Colonna.

At Rome the saint’s true calling became his lived reality.  There, in 1595, he ministered among plague victims.  There he became involved in the cause of educating poor children, opening the first free school in in modern Europe (in 1597).  At Rome Calasanctius supervised a community, the Clerks Regular of Religious Schools, devoted to this work.  The Roman Catholic Church recognized the order in 1621. The saint, the order’s first superior general, had to leave that post due to internal dissension.  Later, however, he returned to the job.

In 1646 Pope Innocent X transformed the order into a community of secular priests subject to diocesan bishops.  Nevertheless, the Church restored the religious order in 1669.

I was happy to read that Calasanctius defended his good friend, Galileo Galilei (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2009/09/20/feast-of-galileo-galilei-january-8/).  The saint even used his order’s resources to aid the alleged heretic, officially one until 1992.  Such assistance proved controversial, and the saint paid the price for doing the right thing.

Calasanctius died at Rome on August 25, 1648.  The Church canonized him in 1767.

A misinformed understanding of suffering holds that the righteous prosper and the wicked suffer.  This is a perspective which the Book of Job refutes.  This is a point of view which the examples of Jesus, the persecuted saints, and some Hebrew prophets refute.   This is a perspective which the examples of these two saints refute.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 24, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ANNA E. B. ALEXANDER, EPISCOPAL DEACONESS

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN X OF DENMARK AND HAAKON VII OF NORWAY, BROTHERS AND KINGS

THE FEAST OF PAULINE SPERRY, POLITICAL ACTIVIST

THE FEAST OF ROBERT MCAFEE BROWN, ECUMENIST

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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

Lead us by his love to serve all those whom the world offers no comfort and little hope.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the  weary,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60