Feast of John Bajus (August 13)   1 comment

Flag of Slovakia

Above:  Flag of Slovakia

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHN BAJUS (APRIL 5, 1901-AUGUST 14, 1971)

U.S. Lutheran Minister and Hymn Translator

Emigration of Lutherans from Slovakia to the United States in the late 1800s led to the establishment of a new denomination in 1902.  The Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Augsburg Confession in the U.S.A. renamed itself the Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Synod of the U.S.A. in 1913.  This body became the Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1945 then the Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in 1959.  Finally, in 1971, it merged into the The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and became the SELC District thereof.

John Bajus, born into a Slovak-American Lutheran family at Raritan, New Jersey, on April 5, 1901, lived for slightly longer that the Slovak Synod existed.  He graduated from Concordia Institute (now College), Bronxville, New York, in 1921.  Four years later he graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, and became an ordained minister of the Slovak Synod, then the Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Synod in the U.S.A.  He served at St. John Church, Granite City, Illinois, then at the West Frankfort-Stanton, Illinois, parish.  His biography from the 1942 Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) mentioned these congregations.  By 1949 Bajus was at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Chicago, Illinois.  The congregation moved to Norridge in 1963; our saint remained the pastor there until 1971, the year of his death.  His son, Luther John Bajus, a 1953 graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, became the pastor at Zion Church on October 21, 1971.  He remains the minister there as of the typing of this post.

Our saint served on the synodical and intersynodical levels also.  He, a charter member of the Slovak Luther League in 1927, was its president from 1928 to 1930, its field secretary from 1928 to 1930 and again from 1933 to 1935, and the editor of its Courier from 1929 to 1946.  In 1949 Bajus became the Vice President and Statistician of the Slovak Synod, then the Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church.  And he served on the committee for The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), which contains four of his translations.  I have added some of his translations to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.

Here is our saint’s 1940 translation of an anonymous mid-seventeenth century hymn:

Lo, Judah’s Lion wins the strife

And reigns o’er death to give us life.

Hallelujah!

Oh, let us sing His praises!

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‘Tis He whom David did portray

When he did strong Goliath slay.

Hallelujah!

Oh, sing with gladsome voices!

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Like Samson, Christ great strength employed

And conquered hell, its gates destroyed.

Hallelujah!

Oh, let us sing His praises!

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The power of death He brake in twain

When He to life arose again.

Hallelujah!

To Him all praise be given!

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He led to freedom all oppressed

And pardon won for sin-distressed.

Hallelujah!

Oh, praise Him for His mercy!

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In festal spirit, song, and word,

To Jesus, our victorious Lord,

Hallelujah!

All praise and thanks be rendered.

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All honor, glory, praise be given

Our Triune God, who reigns in heaven.

Hallelujah!

Now gladly sing we:  Amen.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 10, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BENEDICT OF ANIANE, RESTORER OF WESTERN MONASTICISM; AND SAINT ARDO, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF HENRY WILLIAMS BAKER, ANGLICAN PRIEST

THE FEAST OF PHILIP ARMES, ANGLICAN CHURCH ORGANIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT SCHOLASTICA, ABBESS AT PLOMBARIOLA

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

John Bajus and others, who have translated 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 John Bajus (August 13)

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  1. Pingback: John Bajus | GATHERED PRAYERS

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