Feast of Christian Frederick Martin, Sr., and Charles Augustus Zoebisch (February 16)   Leave a comment

Moravian Logo

Above:  The Moravian Logo

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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CHRISTIAN FREDERICK MARTIN, SR. (JANUARY 31, 1796-FEBRUARY 16, 1873)

German-American Instrument Maker

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CHARLES AUGUSTUS ZOEBISCH (MAY 9, 1824-MAY 13, 1911)

German-American Instrument Maker

Among the virtues of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) is high regard for the worth of music and musical instruments, even those of “worldly” character.  Thus the Unitas Fratrum has given the world and attracted fine composers, musicians, and instrument makers.  Two members of the latter category were our “new” saints, both natives of Markneukirchen, Germany.

Christian Friedrich Martin (1796-1873) started young.  He made cabinets and guitars with his father, Johann Georg Martin, in Germany.  The younger Martin emigrated to the United States of America in 1833 and changed his middle name to “Frederick.”  In New York City he founded his own guitar-making company (which still exists) and made the first guitars in the United States.  Our saint moved the business to Nazareth, Pennsylvania, in 1839.  He died at Nazareth on February 16, 1873.

Until 1898 the exclusive distributor for Martin guitars was the firm which Charles Augustus Zoebisch (1824-1911) founded in New York City after emigrating to the United States in 1842.  Zoebisch was a successful manufacturer, importer, and distributor of various musical instruments.  He also became the most famous Moravian layman in North America.  He was active in the Moravian Church, belonging to American provincial boards and serving as the President of the Seminary for Young Ladies at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  He died at New York City on May 13, 1911.

These two saints served God in various ways, including then manufacturing of musical instruments.  They applied their talents and other abilities toward a higher purpose.

To what seemingly mundane or “worldly” yet actually higher purpose or purposes is God possibly calling you, O reader?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 23, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN THE ALMSGIVER, ROMAN CATHOLIC PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA

THE FEAST OF PHILLIPS BROOKS, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF MASSACHUSETTS

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

Grant that we, encouraged by the good examples of your servants

Christian Frederick Martin, Sr., and Charles Augustus Zoebisch,

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

until at last we may with them 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), page 724

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