Feast of Amalie Wilhemine Sieveking (July 21)   Leave a comment

Above:  Stamp Depicting Amalie Wilhemine Sieveking

Image in the Public Domain

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AMALIE WILHEMINE SIEVEKING (JULY 25, 1794-APRIL 1, 1859)

Foundress of the Women’s Association for the Care of the Poor and Invalids

Also known as Amelia Wilhemina Sieveking

German Lutheranism did not provide many avenues for laywomen to serve in the world.  Amalie Wilhemina Sieveking pioneered social work in Germany, inspired the revival of the ancient order of deaconesses in the Lutheran Church, founded an order for laywomen, and advocated for greater educational opportunities for females.

Sieveking, who chose never to marry, and to devote her life to service instead, came from Hamburg.  She, born there on July 25, 1794, was the only daughter and one of four children of Caroline Louise Sieveking and Heinrich Christian Sieveking, a merchant and a senator whose financial fortunes declined due to the Napoleonic Wars interrupting commerce.  Caroline died when our saint was five years old.  Heinrich died in 1809, leaving the four children orphaned.  The children scattered among relatives, and Sieveking’s educated suffered because she had to work sewing embroidery.  Yet, in 1813, she opened a school for girls.  She spent the rest of her life pursuing various causes, including opening more educational opportunities to females.

Under the influence of Pietism (which is not all bad) Sieveking, aware that the poor would always exist, decided to help many of them.  On May 23, 1832, she and 12 other women became the original members of the Women’s Association for the Care of the Poor and Invalids.  The Association consisted of laywomen who volunteered in their spare time.  In 1859, when Sieveking died at Hamburg, the Association had grown to 85 members and included a number of institutions.  One of those was the hospital at Kaiserwerth–the first Protestant hospital in Germany and, in time, the first modern school of nursing.  Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) trained there, and Pastor Theodor Fliedner derived inspiration to revive the order of deaconesses in the Lutheran Church.

If Wikipedia is trustworthy (a questionable proposition much of the time) regarding Sieveking, April 1 is her feast on a Lutheran Calendar of Saints.  However, my primary sources, which contain Lutheran calendars of saints, do not support this claim.  Sieveking does belong on a calendar of saints, of course, so I am glad to add her to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, with a feast day in July.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 10, 2018 COMMON ERA

PROPER 5:  THE THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES OF NISIBIS, BISHOP; AND SAINT EPHREM OF EDESSA, “THE HARP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT”

THE FEAST OF SAINTS GETULIUS, AMANTIUS, CAERAELIS, AND PRIMITIVUS, MARTYRS AT TIVOLI, 12O; AND SAINT SYMPHOROSA OF TIVOLI, MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT LANDERICUS OF PARIS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF THOR MARTIN JOHNSON, U.S. MORAVIAN CONDUCTOR AND MUSIC DIRECTOR

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O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served, and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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