Above: Christian Furchtegott Gellert
Image in the Public Domain
CHRISTIAN FURCHTEGOTT GELLERT (JULY 4, 1715-DECEMBER 13, 1769)
German Lutheran Minister, Educator, and Hymn Writer
Christian Furchtegott Gellert was a godly, intelligent, and capable man. The son of a Lutheran minister entered the world at Hainichen, Saxony, on July 4, 1715. Our saint studied theology at the University of Leipzig before becoming a minister and assisting his father. Gellert served as a clergyman for about four years, for he did not meet certain expectations. Not only was he “congenitally timid,” but he proved to be less than capable of speaking well without notes in an age when German Lutheranism forbade preaching from a prepared text. Thus, in 1739, Gellert became an educator.
He was an excellent teacher. From 1739 to 1741 Gellert served as the domestic tutor to the sons of one Herr von Luttichau. Then, in 1741, our saint returned to Leipzig, where he began graduate studies, earning his M.A. degree three years later. During the period of 1741-1744 Gellert also supervised the education of his nephew, an undergraduate at the university. Our saint joined the faculty of philosophy department at the University of Leipzig. He became an assistant professor in 1751. A decade later, citing bad health, our saint declined a full professorship. During his career teaching philosophy (including poetry and rhetoric) Gellert gave charming and excellent lectures, became a respected German classicist due to the humorous fables he wrote, and earned a reputation as an educator who cared about the progress of his students. Among his pupils were German literary and philosophical giants such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781).
Gellert also wrote hymns. Among them was “Jesus Lives! No Longer Now.”
Our saint died at Leipzig on December 13, 1769.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
JULY 22, 2015 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF SAINT MARY MAGDALENE, EQUAL TO THE APOSTLES
O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.
We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Christian Furchtegott Gellert and all others]
who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.
May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.
In the Name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP
THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN