Feast of Charles Frederick Mackenzie (January 31)   Leave a comment

Above:  Map of Malawi

Creator of map = Central Intelligence Agency

Image in the Public Domain

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CHARLES FREDERICK MACKENZIE (1825-JANUARY 31, 1862)

Anglican Bishop of Nyasaland, and Martyr, 1862

Feast day (Anglican Church in Southern Africa) = January 29

Feast day (Scottish Episcopal Church) = January 31

Charles Frederick Mackenzie, born in Peeblesshire, Scotland, in 1825, traveled far beyond his comfort zone.  He, educated at St. John’s College, Cambridge, then at Caius College, Cambridge (B.A., 1848), became a deacon in The Church of England in 1851 then a priest the following year.  Mackenzie, the Curate of Haslingfield, near Cambridge, from 1851 to 1854, became a missionary.  Our saint, the Archdeacon of Natal for a few years, became the first Bishop of Nyasaland (present-day Malawi).  The consecration occurred at St. George’s Cathedral, Cape Town, on January 1, 1861.

Mackenzie had a brief episcopate–just over a year.  The slave trade, which he opposed, was lucrative.  The liberating power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ threatened the livelihoods of many people.  The newly-minted bishop, who had to contend with those who profited from slavery, departed Cape Town and headed northward.  He established a mission station at Magomero, near Zomba, in June 1861.  He left that area in January 1862 and set out with a party, carrying medical supplies, especially medicine to treat malaria.  After the boat sank and the Shire River claimed the anti-malarial medications, Mackenzie contracted malaria.  He died of blackwater fever on January 31, 1862.

I define a martyr as one whose faith leads to one’s death.  Mackenzie qualifies as a martyr, according to that standard.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 2, 2019 COMMON ERA

LABOR DAY (U.S.A.)

THE FEAST OF F. CRAWFORD BURKITT, ANGLICAN SCHOLAR, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF DAVID CHARLES, WELSH CALVINISTIC METHODIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF NEW GUINEA, 1942 AND 1943

THE FEAST OF SAINT WILLIAM OF ROSKILDE, ENGLISH-DANISH ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr Charles Frederick Mackenzie

triumphed over suffering and was faithful even to death:

Grant to us, who now remember him in thanksgiving,

to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world

that we may receive with him the crown of life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Sirach (Ecclesiasicus) 51:1-12

Psalm 116 or 116:1-8

Revelation 7:13-17

Luke 12:2-12

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 714

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