Feast of Nehemiah Goreh (March 14)   Leave a comment

Above:  Nehemiah Goreh

Image in the Public Domian

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NEHEMIAH NILAKANTHA GOREH (FEBRUARY 8, 1825-OCTOBER 29, 1895)

Indian Anglican Priest and Theologian

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The Feast of Nehemiah Goreh comes to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days via the Church of North India.

Goreh, born near Jhansi, India, on February 8, 1825, came from a Brahmin family.  From an early age he manifested philosophical and theological tendencies, becoming a pandit.  As Nilakantha Goreh he opposed Christian efforts to convert Hindus.  Then he changed his mind.

On March 14, 1848, the 23-year-old Nilakantha Goreh sneaked off to his baptism, by which he became the Christian known as Nehemiah Goreh.  This rite marked not the culmination of his spiritual journey, but just one phase of it.  During the ensuing decades are saint reported a series of conversions, as he struggled with Christology and other doctrinal matters.  Immediately Goreh’s baptism resulted in social death, as family members rejected him and his in-laws took his wife away from him.  Eventually he got her back, she also became a Christian, and they had a daughter.  When the girl was about a year old, the mother died.  Goreh sent his daughter away to grow up in church circles in England.  She returned to England as an Anglican deaconess.

Goreh’s work was that of an evangelist, traveling widely and not setting down roots.  He made two extended visits to England (joining the Society of St. John the Evangelist at Oxford during one of them).  He also worked at various places in India, frequently with the Church Missionary Society.  Our saint, who came under the influence of the Oxford Movement, became an Anglican priest in the 1860s.  He also lived as an ascetic.  Goreh converted many people–especially Brahmins–to Christianity.

Goreh died on October 29, 1895, aged 70 years.  His legacy has never ceased to exist, however.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 24, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST

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Everlasting God, whose servant Nehemiah Goreh

carried the good news of your Son to the dark places of the world:

grant that we who commemorate his service

may know the hope of the gospel in our hearts

and manifest its light in all our ways;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Isaiah 52:7-10 or Isaiah 61:1-3a  or Jonah 3:1-5

Psalms 67 or 96:1-6 or 96:7f

Acts 16:6-10 or Romans 15:17-21 or 2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2

Matthew 9:35f or Matthew 28:16f or Luke 10:1-9

–Adapted from The Alternative Service Book 1980, The Church of England

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