Above: The Flag of Vatican City
Image in the Public Domain
HENRY AUGUSTINE COLLINS (APRIL 28, 1837-JANUARY 29, 1919)
Anglican then Roman Catholic Priest and Hymn Writer
Henry Augustine Collins, born at Barningham, Yorkshire, England, on April 28, 1837, was an author and a priest. In 1854, the year he took Anglican Holy Orders, our saint, the author of both prose and verse, graduated from Oxford with his M.A. and edited Hymns for Missions, a volume of thirty-seven hymns, two of which (“Jesus, Meek and Lowly” and “Jesu, My Lord, My God, My All“) he had written. Our saint, the son of the Reverend Thomas Collins, a clergyman of The Church of England, left the Church of his father and his youth for the Roman Catholic Church in November 1857. Collins joined the Cistercian Order in 1860 and entered the Mount St. Bernard Abbey, Coalville, North Leicester, the following year. There our saint remained until 1882, when he became the chaplain to the nuns at the Holy Cross Abbey, Stapehill, Dorcetshire. He retired to the Mount St. Bernard Abbey in 1913. Collins died there on January 29, 1919. He was 81 years old.
Collins published works other than Hymns for Missions (1854). They were:
- The Life of Father Gentili (1861);
- The Spirit and Mission of the Cistercian Order (1866); and
- The Divine Cloud (1871).
Unfortunately, his hymns (three of which I have added to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog)–theologically dense texts of much grace and beauty–have fallen out of favor with many hymnal committees, which have tended to become more enamored of shallow praise choruses with few words repeated often.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
SEPTEMBER 14, 2015 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF THE HOLY CROSS
Dear God of beauty,
you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to
Henry Augustine Collins 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
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