Feast of Johann Scheffler (July 10)   1 comment

32914v

Above:  Town Hall, Breslau, Germany, 1916-1917

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/npc2008013415/)

Reproduction Number =  LC-DIG-npcc-32914

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JOHANN SCHEFFLER (BAPTIZED DECEMBER 25, 1624-DIED JULY 9, 1677)

Roman Catholic Priest, Poet, and Hymn Writer

Johann Scheffler, who wrote under the name Angelus Silesius, was the son of Stanislaus Scheffler, a Polish nobleman who had to flee his homeland because he had converted to Lutheranism.  Therefore our saint grew up an exile in Silesia and an orthodox Lutheran.  But his father’s religion did not fit him.

Scheffler studied medicine, becoming a doctor in 1648.  Next he served as personal physician to Duke Sylvius Nimord of Wurtemberg-Oels, also an orthodox Lutheran.  Yet Scheffler was more mystical than orthodox, so he stood out from the crowd there.  His attempts to publish his mystical poems failed.  Eventually he dropped out of church at Wurtemberg-Oels.  Then he left for Breslau in 1652.

At Breslau Scheffler, under the influence of Jesuits, converted to Roman Catholicism in 1653.  Eight years later he became both a Franciscan and a priest.  Our saint’s conversion caused much controversy, for many Protestants (especially Lutherans) found his new, enthusiastic Roman Catholicism galling.  Scheffler answered arguments, giving as well as he got.  The convert had an especially strong attachment to the Mass, for he derived much spiritual benefit from holding a monstrance with a consecrated host inside during Corpus Christi processions.

A Catherine Winkworth (1829-1878) translation of one of Scheffler’s hymns follows:

O Love, who formedst me to wear

The image of Thy Godhead here;

Who soughtedst me with tender care

Through all my wanderings wild and drear:

O Love, I give myself to Thee,

Thine ever, only Thine to be.

—–

O Love, who ere life’s earliest morn

On me Thy choice hast gently laid;

O Love, who here as Man wast born,

And wholly like to us was made:

O Love, I give myself to Thee,

Thine ever, only Thine to be.

—–

O Love, who once in time wast slain,

Pierced through and through with bitter woe;

O Love, who wrestling thus didst gain

That we eternal joy may know:

O Love, I give myself to Thee,

Thine ever, only Thine to be.

—–

O Love, who lovest me for aye,

Who for my soul dost ever plead;

O Love, who didst my ransom pay,

Whose power sufficeth in my stead:

O Love, I give myself to Thee,

Thine ever, only Thine to be.

—–

O Love, whose voice shall bid me rise

From out this dying life of ours;

O Love, whose hand o’er yonder skies

Shall set me in the fadeless bowers:

O Love, I give myself to Thee,

Thine ever, only Thine to be.

Scheffler, who had given his inheritance to orphanages and other charitable institutions, retired to the Monastery of Saint Matthias, Breslau, in 1671.  There he died six years later.  His last words were:

Jesus and Christ, God and Man, Bridegroom and Brother, Peace and Joy, Sweetness and Pleasure, Refuge and Redemption,  Heaven and Earth, Eternity and Time, Love and All, receive my soul.

Johann Scheffler found his rest in God.  If anything he wrote or said helps you, O reader, spiritually, pass it on.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 19, 2013 COMMON ERA

PENTECOST SUNDAY, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANDREW BOBOLA, JESUIT MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT DUNSTAN OF CANTERBURY, ARCHBISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT IVO OF CHARTRES, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT IVO OF KERMARTIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND ADVOCATE OF THE POOR

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Johann Scheffler 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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One response to “Feast of Johann Scheffler (July 10)

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  1. Pingback: Johann Scheffler | GATHERED PRAYERS

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