Archive for March 2021

Feast of Blessed Jozef Stanek (September 23)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of Poland

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED JOZEF STANEK (DECEMBER 4, 1916-SEPTEMBER 23, 1944)

Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1944

June 12 = Feast Day of the 108 (Polish) Martyrs of World War II

Above:  Blessed Jozef Stanek

Image in the Public Domain

Blessed Jozef Stanek comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.

Stanek led a short and devout life.  He, born into a Roman Catholic family in Lapsze Nizne, Austria-Hungary (now Poland), on December 4, 1916, was originally a subject of the Hapsburg Dynasty.  When our saint was a young child, the Republic of Poland came into existence, and he became a Polish citizen.  Our saint, orphaned at the age of six years, attended a Pallotine school in Wadowice, Poland.  Stanek, aged eighteen years, became a Pallotine novice in 1935.  He joined the ranks of priests on April 7, 1941, at the age of twenty-four years.

Being a Roman Catholic priest in the German-occupied part of Poland made one a prime target of the Gestapo.  Stanek ministered for about three and a half years.  On August 1, 1944, Polish forces in Warsaw attacked German occupation forces.  Soviet troops were in the area, but they did not support the uprising, which German forces suppressed on October 2.  Stanek did not live long enough to see the end of that rebellion.

Stanek functioned as a chaplain to the Polish insurgents.  He provided sacraments to Polish soldiers and civilians.  When our saint had an opportunity to escape from Warsaw, he gave up his seat for an injured man.  On September 22, 1944, Stanek visited Nazi officials, to negotiate a settlement and save lives.  The authorities arrested him, beat him, and martyred him instead.  Stanek was 27 years old.  They left his corpse to hang in public, as an example.

Pope John Paul II recognized Stanek as a Venerable then beatified him in 1999.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 31, 2021 COMMON ERA

WEDNESDAY IN HOLY WEEK

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIA SKOBTSOVA, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MARTYR, 1945

THE FEAST OF ERNEST TRICE THOMPSON, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND RENEWER OF THE CHURCH

THE FEAST OF FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN AND HIS BROTHER, MICHAEL HAYDN, COMPOSERS

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOAN OF TOULOUSE, CARMELITE NUN; AND SAINT SIMON STOCK, CARMELITE FRIAR

THE FEAST OF JOHN DONNE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND POET

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr Blessed Jozef Stanek

triumphed over suffering and was faithful even to death:

Grant 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 (Ecclesiasticus) 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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Feast of Henry Stephen Cutler (October 13)   Leave a comment

Above:  An Episcopal Priest with the Choir and the Altar Boys, Circa 1920

Photographer = Theodor Horydczak

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-H814-T-2897-x

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HENRY STEPHEN CUTLER (OCTOBER 13, 1824-DECEMBER 5, 1902)

Episcopal Organist, Choirmaster, and Composer

Henry Stephen Cutler comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via hymnody.  This post relies mainly on six hymnal companion volumes.

Above:  Henry Stephen Cutler

Image in the Public Domain

Cutler was one of the most influential yet subsequently obscure churchmen in The Episcopal Church and in the United States of America.  His legacy has remained commonplace, however.

Cutler was a musician.  He, born in Boston, Massachusetts, on October 13, 1824, was a son of Richard Cutler and Martha Richardson Cutler.  Our saint studied music first in Boston.  His teachers included George Frederick Root (1820-1895) and Aaron Upjohn Hayter (1799-1873).  Hayter was the organist at Trinity Episcopal Church, Boston.

Above:  Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts, 1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Publisher and Copyright Claimant = Detroit Publishing Company

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-det-4a07836

Cutler spent 1844-1846 abroad, studying music.  He went first to Frankfurt, then a free city within the German Confederation.  From there he went to England.  In England, our saint became enamored of the Oxford Movement, English cathedral services, and liturgical correctness.

Above:  Grace Episcopal Church, Boston, Massachusetts

Image in the Public Domain

Cutler, back in Boston in 1846, went to work as a church musician.  He was the organist at Grace Episcopal Church, Boston, from 1846 to 1852.  Our saint experienced frustration, for he found little support for his liturgical ideals.

Above:  The Episcopal Church of the Advent, Boston, Massachusetts

Image in the Public Domain

However, Cutler found sufficient support for his liturgical ideals as the organist and choirmaster (1852-1858) at the Episcopal Church of the Advent, Boston.  In 1856, Cutler made history in the United States of America and The Episcopal Church.  He sat the choir in the chancel.  He also restricted choir membership to men and boys (liturgically correct, in his opinion) and vested that choir in cassocks and surplices.

Above:  Trinity Episcopal Church, Wall Street, New York, New York, 1863

Photographer = George Stacy

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-51435

Cutler carried these practices to Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York City, where he was the organist and choirmaster (1858-1865).  While there, he also introduced the full English cathedral service to the parish.  Our saint, a composer of 22 church anthems, published Trinity Psalter (1864) and Trinity Anthems (1865).  Columbia University awarded him the Mus.D. degree in 1864.  Our saint’s tenure at Trinity Church, Wall Street, ended in the middle of 1865.  The vestry was under the impression that he had left for a concert tour without asking them first.  Therefore, the vestry fired him.  Cutler’s successor was the great Arthur Henry Messiter (1834-1916).

Cutler continued to work as a church organist until 1885.  He served at the following churches, in order:

  1. St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, Brooklyn, New York;
  2. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Providence, Rhode Island;
  3. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and
  4. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Troy, New York.

During this time, Cutler published Original Compositions for the Organ (1879) and married Ellen McNoah (in 1883).

Cutler retired to the Boston area in 1885.  Aged 78 years, our saint died at home, in Swansport, Massachusetts, on December 5, 1902.

Cutler composed at least five hymn tunes:

  1. ALL SAINTS NEW,
  2. ST. JOHN,
  3. INVITATION,
  4. HOSANNA TO DAVID’S SON, and
  5. OUR CHRISTMAS TREE.

Above:  “The Son of God Goes Forth to War,” from the Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church (1917)

Perhaps you, O reader, will think of Cutler whenever you process as part of a vested choir, see a vested choir, see a choir seated in the chancel, or sing “The Son of God Goes Forth to War.”

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 31, 2021 COMMON ERA

WEDNESDAY IN HOLY WEEK

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIA SKOBTSOVA, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MARTYR, 1945

THE FEAST OF ERNEST TRICE THOMPSON, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND RENEWER OF THE CHURCH

THE FEAST OF FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN AND HIS BROTHER, MICHAEL HAYDN, COMPOSERS

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOAN OF TOULOUSE, CARMELITE NUN; AND SAINT SIMON STOCK, CARMELITE FRIAR

THE FEAST OF JOHN DONNE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND POET

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Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those (especially Henry Stephen Cutler)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

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Do As I Say, Not As I Do   Leave a comment

Above:  An Incriminating Photograph of Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Printed in the Flagpole, Athens, Georgia, March 31, 2021

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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Hypocrisy rankles, does it not?  This is especially applicable in the case of the recent voter suppression law in Georgia.  Supporters claim it is “common sense” and that it expands access to voting.  Yet the foundation of the law consists of discredited theories of a compromised voting system in the state last year.  Actually, many Republicans are just mad that Georgia is a purple state going blue, due to demographic changes.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 31, 2021 COMMON ERA

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Posted March 31, 2021 by neatnik2009 in Political Statements 2021

Tagged with ,

Feast of St. Jean-Gabriel Perboyre (September 11)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Jean-Gabriel Perboyre 

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT JEAN-GABRIEL PERBOYRE (JANUARY 6, 1802-SEPTEMBER 11, 1840)

French Roman Catholic Priest, Missionary, and Martyr in China, 1840

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O my Divine Saviour,

Transform me into Yourself.

May my hands be the hands of Jesus.

Grant that every faculty of my body 

May serve only to glorify You.

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Above all,

Transform my soul and all its powers

So that my memory, will, and affections

May be the memory, will, and affections

Of Jesus.

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I pray you

To destroy in me 

All that is not of You.

Grant that I may life

But in You, and by You and for You,

So that I may truly say

With St. Paul,

“I live–now now I–

But Christ lives in me.”

–Prayer of St. Jean-Gabriel Perboyre to Jesus

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St. Jean-Gabriel Perboyre comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.

Our saint, born in Le Puech, near Montgesty, France, on January 6, 1802, was one of eight children of farmers Marie Rigal Perboyre and Pierre Perboyre.  The family was devout and Roman Catholic; five of the children joined religious orders.  St. Jean-Gabriel, not especially brimming over with religious fervor until 1816, acquired that fervor when he accompanied Louis, a younger brother, to the Vincentian minor seminary the brothers’ uncle Jacques had founded in Montauban.  Our saint felt drawn to the religious life and perceived his priestly vocation.

St. Jean-Gabriel joined the Congregation of the Mission (the Vincentian Fathers).  He became a novice at Montauban in December 1818, at the age of 16 years.  Our saint made his vows on December 28, 1820.  Ordained a priest on September 23, 1825, St. Jean-Gabriel became the master of novices in Paris in 1832.

St. Jean-Gabriel had long wanted to serve as a missionary in China.  His health, however, had prevented that for years.  After Louis died en route to China, our saint volunteered to replace him.  St. Jean-Gabriel arrived in Macao in August 1835, and studied the Chinese language.  Our saint arrived at the Ho-Nan mission station in China in April 1836, after an extremely difficult journey that took five months.  St. Jean-Gabriel spent more months recovering from that journey.  Then he began to minister in that very poor region.  Next, in January 1839, our saint’s superiors transferred him to the Hubei mission station.

Popular Chinese resentment over Western imperialism was increasing, understandably.  The British Empire was, for example, selling opium to Chinese people and obstructing official Chinese efforts to cease the drug pushing.  Unfortunately, religious persecution was one way some Chinese authorities pushed back against Westerners.  Such persecution started in Hubei in September 1839.

Chinese soldiers in Hubei arrested Roman Catholic priests and catechists.  When soldiers came to arrest St. Jean-Gabriel, the other priests, and the catechists, our saint and other priests were away.  However, one catechist, tortured, revealed where our saint was hiding.  St. Jean-Gabriel arrested, suffered tortures.  Sentenced to die, he received the crown of martyrdom (via strangling on a cross) at Wuchang.  He was 38 years old.

Holy Mother Church formally recognized St. Jean-Gabriel.  Pope Leo XIII beatified him in 1889.  Pope John Paul II canonized our saint in 1996.

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Compassionate God of all nations,

we thank you for the dedicated service

of your servant St. Jean-Gabriel Perboyre, for your glory.

May our hands be Christ’s hands,

our memories be his memories, and

our wills and affections be his will and affections.

Destroy in us all that is not of Christ,

so that he may live in us.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2 Maccabees 6:18-31

Psalm 130

Galatians 2:15-21

Luke 6:20-23

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 31, 2021 COMMON ERA

WEDNESDAY IN HOLY WEEK

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIA SKOBTSOVA, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MARTYR, 1945

THE FEAST OF ERNEST TRICE THOMPSON, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND RENEWER OF THE CHURCH

THE FEAST OF FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN AND HIS BROTHER, MICHAEL HAYDN, COMPOSERS

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOAN OF TOULOUSE, CARMELITE NUN; AND SAINT SIMON STOCK, CARMELITE FRIAR

THE FEAST OF JOHN DONNE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND POET

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Sidney Powell, Organic Fertilizer, and Voter Suppression   Leave a comment

I do not pretend to know the difference between what organic fertilizer Donald Trump accepts and what organic fertilizer he merely spouts.  It is, however, all organic fertilizer, to use a G-rated term.  In the time of “alternative facts,” many members of the Republican Party (now the Donald Trump Death Cult of Personality) both accept and spew his organic fertilizer.  Some of the richest fertilizer concerns alleged and repeatedly debunked claims of election fraud in 2020.

Attorney Sidney Powell is a skilled practitioner of spewing such organic fertilizer.  One may remember her for infamously saying that Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela who died in 2013, was plotting in 2020 to compromise the U.S. presidential election.  Yes, Sidney Powell really needs to learn to the meaning of “fact check.”  Dominion Voting Systems knows all about her repeated and false claims about their voting machines.  They are, in fact suing her for defamation and at least $1.3 billion.  Powell’s defense, via her attorney, is that she was spewing organic fertilizer, and that any reasonable person would have known this.

The State of Georgia (my state) has made news (in a bad way) again.  (We keep doing this.)  The General Assembly has passed and Governor Brian Kemp has signed into law an election reform bill that suppresses voting and sits on the foundation of discredited claims of a previously compromised voting system.  According to the standards of Sidney Powell’s attorney, Governor Kemp and those who voted for this law are unreasonable people.

Objective reality is what it is.  Likewise, organic fertilizer is organic fertilizer.  I favor policy-making based on objective reality, not organic fertilizer.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 31, 2021 COMMON ERA

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Feast of Judith Lomax (September 23)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of Virginia

Image in the Public Domain

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JUDITH LOMAX (SEPTEMBER 25, 1774-JANUARY 19, 1928)

Episcopal Mystic and Poet

Judith Lomax comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006).

Judith, born on her father’s plantation at Portobago, Virginia, on September 25, 1774, was a poet and a fervent Evangelical Episcopalian.  Her father was Thomas Lomax.  Our saint’s mother was Ann Lomax.  Judith’s faith was a conventional form of piety for her time and place.  She kept a Sabbath journal, published in 1999.  Our saint never married; she wrote of her “Heavenly Bridegroom.”  Judith also wrote poetry about a wide range of subjects, including nature, friendship, and death.  She made history by becoming the first woman in Virginia to publish a volume of poetry.  The Notes of an American Lyre debuted in 1813.  Our saint, who left her father’s plantation after his death in 1816, lived in Port Royal, Virginia, until 1827.  That year, with her health failing, Judith moved into the home of a sister in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  Judith, aged 53 years, died there on January 19, 1828.

History–the of the past, with interpretation–teaches me to contextualize everything and to excuse nothing that is inexcusable.  I chafe against the relativistic notion that X may be wrong–today, at least–but that I ought to excuse it in the past because X was ubiquitous back then.  Societal and social norms and mores change, but right is always right and wrong is always wrong.  “Many people were doing it” does not excuse sin.

Judith supported the American Colonization Society.  The colonization antislavery movement was inherently racist; it affirmed that the United States of America was properly a country of White people.  Therefore, operating within that racism schema, many people, such as Judith Lomax, favored freeing slaves and shipping them out of the country.  Yet many African Americans, such as pioneers in Liberia, welcomed the opportunity the colonization movement provided for them.  

For a period of her life, Judith could not easily get to an Episcopal church.  Yet she had easy access to Baptist and Methodist churches.  She corresponded with missionaries in Africa, read tracts in French, communed ecumenically, and hoped for a post-denominational future.  Judith tended scrupulously to her spiritual life.

May you, O reader, tend scrupulously to your spiritual life.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 31, 2021 COMMON ERA

WEDNESDAY IN HOLY WEEK

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIA SKOBTSOVA, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MARTYR, 1945

THE FEAST OF ERNEST TRICE THOMPSON, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND RENEWER OF THE CHURCH

THE FEAST OF FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN AND HIS BROTHER, MICHAEL HAYDN, COMPOSERS

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOAN OF TOULOUSE, CARMELITE NUN; AND SAINT SIMON STOCK, CARMELITE FRIAR

THE FEAST OF JOHN DONNE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND POET

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Almighty God, beautiful in majesty, majestic in holiness:

You have shown us the splendor of creation in the work of your servant Judith Lomax.

Teach us to drive from the world the ugliness of chaos and disorder,

that our eyes may not be blind to your glory,

and that at length everyone may know the inexhaustible riches

of your new creation in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Isaiah 28:5-6 or Hosea 14:5-8 or 2 Chronicles 20:20-21

Psalm 96

Philippians 4:8-9 or Ephesians 5:18b-20

Matthew 13:44-52

–Adapted from the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978)

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Act Responsibly (Especially During a Pandemic)   Leave a comment

I HAVE NO SYMPATHY FOR FOOLS WHO ENDANGER THE LIVES OF OTHERS NEEDLESSLY.

One of the most counterproductive and socially irresponsible aspects of human psychology is the tendency to protect one’s ego at the expense of being objectively correct.  When admitting error may endanger one’s self-image, one may double down on the objectively false idea.  This tendency, reinforced the declining number of common media outlets, increases the number of opportunities for indulging confirmation bias.

I am glad to report that, so far, I have avoided contracting COVID-19.  I have worn masks in public.  I have been wearing two masks since the day I read that advice online.  I have received my first Pfizer vaccine.  I have been waiting for the scheduled date of my second shot to arrive.  

Many people make me angry during this pandemic.  Damn fools who defy the advice of public health experts and do not practice social distancing raise my ire.  Politicians who behave irresponsibly–by easing restrictions or not imposing them, in defiance of the best public health advice–are paving their roads to Hell, I am convinced.  People who mistake not wearing masks, at least not properly, for taking a principled stand on civil liberties endanger themselves and other people.  Those who, in the name of politics, refuse to take a crucial vaccine when it is available are competing for the Darwin Awards, too.  And those who, citing immoral medical experiments of the past, refuse to take a necessary vaccine when it is available are like generals fighting an earlier war and misapplying lessons from the previous war to the current one.

Whatever I do affects others.  Whatever you, O reader, do affects others.  Mutuality is a societal reality and a pillar of the Law of Moses.  Those who compete for the Darwin Awards act irresponsibly.  They endanger themselves, bearers of the image of God, needlessly.  They also put other people at risk needlessly.  In this case, acting for the common good entails wearing a mask or masks in public, maintaining social distancing, and getting vaccinated when possible, unless one has already become fully vaccinated.  Depending on circumstances, acting for the common good during this pandemic may entail other actions, too, of course.  

I am tired of this pandemic.  I do not enjoy wearing masks.  I dislike needles.  Yet I wear two masks in public.  Yet I, having gotten jabbed once already, have a scheduled date to get jabbed again.  This is not about what I want to do.  No, this is about what I have a moral imperative to do.

So, to those who insist on denying the reality of the virus and/or not wearing a mask or getting vaccinated, I ask:

What is your damage?

I ask the same question to politicians with the power to enact responsible policy yet choose not to do so.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 31, 2021 COMMON ERA

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Feast of Alexander Penrose Forbes (October 8)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of Scotland

Image in the Public Domain

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ALEXANDER PENROSE FORBES (JUNE 16, 1817-OCTOBER 8, 1875)

Scottish Episcopal Bishop of Brechin

Renewer of the Scottish Episcopal Church

Church Historian

Bishop Alexander Penrose Forbes comes to this A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Forbes, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on June 16, 1817, came from Scottish Episcopalian stock.  The Scottish Episcopal Church, once persecuted, had diminished significantly in numerical terms.  Many in the (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland were openly hostile to bishops.  The Jacobite allegiances of the original Non-Juring bishops offended many supporters of the House of Hanover.  Forbes’s family had a good pedigree, though.  His paternal grandfather was Sir William Forbes (1739-1806), a banker and the Sixth Baronet of Monymusk and Pitsligo.  Our saint’s father was John Hay Forbes (1776-1854), a judge and Lord Medwyn.  He married Louisa Cumming-Gordon of Altyre, Elgin, Scotland.  They had three sons and two daughters.  Through Louisa, our saint was a grandson of Sir Alexander Penrose Cumming-Gordon (1749-1806), a Member of Parliament (1802-1803) and the First Baronet of Altyre (1804f).

Forbes received a fine education.  He studied first at Edinburgh Academy.  Next, our saint studied for two years in Kent, under the tutelage of Thomas Dale (1797-1870), an Anglican priest, poet, and theologian.  Then Forbes studied briefly at Glasgow University (1831).  He, having chosen to join the Indian Civil Service, continued his studies after he matriculated at the East India Company College, Hailey, Hertfordshire, England.  After graduating, our saint departed for Madras in 1836.  Forbes returned to Britain after a few years, though; ill health required this.  So, he studied at Brasenose College, Oxford (1840-1844; B.A., 1844).  While there, Forbes came under the influence of the Oxford Movement.  He left the East India Company.

Forbes turned to The Church of England instead.  Ordained in 1844, he served as the Curate of Ashton Rowant; and of St. Thomas’s Church, Oxford; through 1846.  Then, in 1846-1847, our saint was the Vicar of Our Saviour Church, Richmond Hill, Leeds.  Yet Forbes longed to return to Scotland.

Above:  St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, Dundee, Scotland

Image Source = Google Earth

In late 1847, Forbes became the Bishop of Brechin, Scotland.  He served in this capacity for the rest of his life.  Our saint moved his headquarters to Dundee.  The small congregation had been meeting above a bank for years when Forbes arrived.  Under his leadership, they moved into their completed Gothic structure in 1855.  Our saint founded eight congregations and presided over the construction of buildings for four previously founded ones.  He also sparked a controversy with his Anglo-Catholic Eucharistic theology.  The verdict (1860) in the heresy trial was an acquittal, accompanied by a censure.  Many Evangelical Anglicans still regarded Tractarianism as heretical.

Forbes was also a prolific author and editor.  Some of the books he edited were:

  1. The Nourishment of the Christian Soul:  Mental Prayers on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ; with Exercises and Prayers; from the French of Pinart (1852, ____, 1865);
  2. Liber Ecclesae Beati Terranani de Arbuthnott:  Missale Secundum Usum Ecclesae Sancti Andrae in Scotia (1864);
  3. Meditations on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, According to the Four Evangelists, by the Abbot of Monte Cassino (1866);
  4. Lives of S. Ninian and S. Kentigern; Compiled in the Twelfth Century; Edited from the Best MSS (1874); and
  5. Remains of the Late Rev. Arthur West Haddan, B.D., Formerly Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford; and Rector of Barton-in-the-Heath, Warwickshire (1876).

Our saint’s original works included the following:

  1. A Short Explanation of the Nicene Creed, for the Use of Persons Beginning the Study of Theology (1852, 1866);
  2. Sermons on the Amendment of Life (1857);
  3. A Letter to the Congregation at S. Paul’s, Dundee (1859);
  4. The Waning of Opportunities, and Other Sermons, Practical and Doctrinal (1860);
  5. Answers for the Right Rev. Dr. Alexander Penrose Forbes, Bishop of Brechin, to the Presentment Against Him at the Instance of the Rev. William Henderson, Incumbent of St. Mary’s, Arbroath, and Patrick Wilson, and David Smith, Vestrymen of Said Church (1860);
  6. Theological Defence for the Right Rev. Alexander Penrose Forbes, D.C.L., Bishop of Brechin, on a Presentment by the Rev. W. Henderson, and Others, on Certain Points Concerning the Doctrine of the Holy Eucharist (1860);
  7. Sermons on the Grace of God and Other Cognate Subjects (1862);
  8. The Notes of Unity and Sanctity in Reference to Modern Scepticism:  A Charge (1864);
  9. An Explanation of the Thirty-Nine Articles (1868, 1871)
  10. The Church of England and the Doctrine of Papal Infallibility (1871); and
  11. Kalendars of Scottish Saints, with Personal Notices of Alba, Laudonia, & Strathclyde:  An Attempt to Fix the Districts of Their Several Missions and the Churches Where They Were Chiefly Had in Remembrance (1872).

Forbes, aged 58 years, died in Dundee on October 8, 1875.

I refer you, O reader, to two more resources.

  1. A full biography of Forbes is available at Project Canterbury.
  2. A COVID-19 pandemic-era, socially-distanced ritual of Evening Prayer for the Commemoration of Bishop Alexander Penrose Forbes, dated October 8, 2020, is available at YouTube.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 31, 2021 COMMON ERA

WEDNESDAY IN HOLY WEEK

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIA SKOBTSOVA, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MARTYR, 1945

THE FEAST OF ERNEST TRICE THOMPSON, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND RENEWER OF THE CHURCH

THE FEAST OF FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN AND HIS BROTHER, MICHAEL HAYDN, COMPOSERS

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOAN OF TOULOUSE, CARMELITE NUN; AND SAINT SIMON STOCK, CARMELITE FRIAR

THE FEAST OF JOHN DONNE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND POET

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Almighty God, we praise you for the men and women you have sent

to call the Church to its tasks and to renew its life [such as Alexander Penrose Forbes].

Raise up in our own day teachers and prophets inspired by your Spirit,

whose voices will give strength to your Church and proclaim the reality of your kingdom;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

–Adapted from the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of Agneta Chang (October 4)   Leave a comment

Above:  Korea Within the Japanese Empire, 1910-1945

Image Source = Hammond’s New Era Atlas of the World (1945)

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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AGNETA CHANG JEONG-EUN (SEPTEMBER 25, 1906-CIRCA OCTOBER 4, 1950)

Maryknoll Sister and Martyr in Korea, 1950

Sister Agneta Chang Jeong-eun comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (1950).

Above:  The Flag of the Korean Empire

Image in the Public Domain

Sister Agneta came from a devout Korean Roman Catholic family.  Our saint debuted in the Korean Empire, then a protectorate of the Japanese Empire, on September 25, 1906.  For most of her life, her homeland was part (1910-1945) of the Japanese Empire.  Sister Agneta was one of six children of Chang Gi-bin and Lucia Hwang.  Our saint’s father, Chang Gi-bin, worked at ports.  He was the revenue officer at Inchon then the superintendent of customs at Busan.  Our saint had three brothers and two sisters.  The parents , fluent in Korean, Japanese, and English, had their children educated (for some number of years, per child) in the United States of America.

Above:  The Flag of Japan

Image in the Public Domain

One brother was Chang Myon, a.k.a. John Chang (1899-1966).  He served as a delegate to the United Nations (1948), as the South Korean Ambassador to the United States of America (December 1949f), as the Prime Minister (November 1950-April 1952), as the last Vice President (May 1956-April 1960), and as the Prime Minister again (August 1960-May 1961).

Sister Agneta connected with the Maryknoll Sisters via her father, one of their supporters in Korea.  She completed her novitiate training (started in 1921) in Maryknoll, New York.  Then she returned to Korea in 1925.  Our saint worked as a catechist at Uyju (now in North Korea).  She also taught Korean to the non-Korean Maryknoll Sisters there.  Sister Agneta, artistic and musically-inclined, shared those talents.  In 1930, after five years at Uyju, our saint spent five years at the College of Religious of the Sacred Heart, in Japan.  She graduated with her A.B. degree om 1935.

The Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help had formed in the Diocese of Pyongyang in 1931.  Sister Agneta, upon returning to Korea in 1935, joined them.  In December 1941, with U.S. entry into World War II, the U.S. Sisters left Korea.  Sister Agneta, the novice mistress, was cut off from from the Maryknoll Sisters organization, supplies, and funding.  She struggled with inadequate funding and supplies, as well as high inflation, behind enemy lines.

Above:  Japan and Divided Korea, 1945-1948

Image Source = Post-World War II Supplement to Hammonds’ New Era Atlas of the World (1945)

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

After the Japanese surrender, the United States America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics divided Korea into two occupation zones.  The Soviets occupied the portion of Korea north of the 38th Parallel.  Sister Agneta lived in the Soviet Occupation Zone (1945-1948).  During this time, she reestablished contact with her family and the Maryknoll Sisters.  She also received necessary supplies and funding.

Above:  The Flag of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)

Image in the Public Domain

All that ceased with the establishment of the ironically-named Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, informally, North Korea.  The North Korean government began its persecution of religion it could not control.  Therefore, for example, many Roman Catholic priests and bishops went to prison.  Some became martyrs.  Authorities also seized ecclesiastical buildings.

On May 14, 1950, North Korean agents closed the last building the Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help used.  The Sisters dispersed.  Sister Agneta traveled with Sister Mary Peter Kang to a Roman Catholic village, Songrimi.  Our saint had long had a bad back, due to an injury.  Sister Agneta, who wore a back brace, was in constant pain, and the journey to Songrimi was extremely difficult for her to make.  She was bedridden in the village when officials came to apprehend her on the pretense of her summons to perform compulsory civil defense work.

Sister Mary Peter Kang last saw Sister Agneta on October 4, 1950.  Our saint was lying in anguish on an ox cart, groaning and praying as the cart moved on a mountain trail.  According to subsequent reports, North Korean soldiers shot Agneta and some other women then buried their corpses in an unmarked mass grave.  

Sister Agneta was 44 years old when she died.

Twelve Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help remained in North Korea.  They also perished, presumably.  Sister Mary Peter Chang and other Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help arrived safely in South Korea, though.  

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 30, 2021 COMMON ERA

TUESDAY IN HOLY WEEK

THE FEAST OF SAINT INNOCENT OF ALASKA, EQUAL TO THE APOSTLES AND ENLIGHTENER OF NORTH AMERICA

THE FEAST OF CORDELIA COX, U.S. LUTHERAN SOCIAL WORKER, EDUCATOR, AND RESETTLER OF REFUGEES

THE FEAST OF JOHN MARRIOTT, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHN WRIGHT BUCKHAM, U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, THEOLOGIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JULIO ALVAREZ MENDOZA, MEXICAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1927

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Almighty God, who gave to your servant Agneta Chang

boldness to confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world,

and courage to die for this faith:

Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us,

and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God,

for ever and ever.  Amen.

2 Esdras 2:42-48

Psalm 126 or 121

1 Peter 3:14-18., 22

Matthew 10:16-22

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 713

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Feast of Thomas Traherne (September 27)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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THOMAS TRAHERNE (CIRCA 1637-SEPTEMBER 27, 1674)

Anglican Priest, Poet, and Spiritual Writer

Also known as Thomas Trahern

Feast Day in The Episcopal Church = September 27

Feast Day in The Church of England = October 10

Thomas Traherne comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Church of England and The Episcopal Church.

The Episcopal Church, my chosen denomination, has two calendars of saints, oddly.  The main one is Lesser Feasts and Fasts, most recently updated in 2018.  Traherne is not on that calendar.  Or is it?  My copy of Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018 is a PDF.  It lists Traherne on the calendar at the front of the document yet omits his profile, collects, and assigned readings.  These are present, however, on the side calendar, created at the General Convention of 2009, present in Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), expanded at the General Convention of 2015, and published in the revised A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016).

Traherne was one of the metaphysical poets, along with George Herbert (1593-1633), also an Anglican priest.  However, his poetry remained unpublished until 1903.  His prose was in print, starting in 1673, though.

Traherne, born circa 1637 in Hereford, England, was apparently a son of a shoemaker.  A wealthy and generous relative financed our saint’s education at Brasenose College, Oxford (B.A., 1656; M.A., 1661; B.D., 1669).  Traherne, ordained to the diaconate in The Church of England in 1656 and to the priesthood in 1660, served as the Rector of Credenhill, December 1657-1667).  He became the private chaplain to Sir Orlando Bridgeman, the First Baronet of Great Lever, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, in 1667.  Our saint held this position until he died in Teddington, Middlesex, England, on September 27, 1674.  He was about 37 years old.  The date of his burial was October 10, 1674.

Traherne was, by all accounts, a devout and bookish man who had a pleasant disposition and led a simple lifestyle.  The largest category of his possessions was books.  He was a minor figure and a relatively obscure man during his lifetime.  Only one of his books, Roman Forgeries (1673), was in print before he died.  Christian Ethics (1675) appeared posthumously.  A Serious and Patheticall Contemplation of the Mercies of God (1699) listed the author as anonymous.

Traherne’s literary legacy nearly wound up (literally) on the scrap heap of history.  Yet The Poetical Works of Thomas Traherne (1903) and Centuries of Meditation (1908) started a period of republication, reconsideration, and discovery.  Identification of other works by Traherns continued through the late 1990s.

Traherne, being a metaphysical poet, had a way of writing in a less-than-direct manner.  Many intelligent and well-educated people have read texts from these poets, understood every word of a passage and not understood what that passage meant.  Others have argued about the meanings of selected passages.

Traherne was an Anglican.  As one, he affirmed the compatibility of faith and reason.  In his case, Christian Neoplatonism fed a particular variety of mysticism.  And, in the wake of the Restoration (1660), he was sharply critical of both Puritanism and Roman Catholicism.  Traherne also affirmed the will of God as the proper basis of human ethics, Hell as the loss of love for God, and Heaven as the “sight and possession” of love for God.  Furthermore, our saint delighted in nature and retained childlike joy regarding it.

Twentieth-century saints who drew influence from Traherne included Thomas Merton (1915-1968), C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), and Dorothy Sayers (1893-1957).  Traherne’s renaissance, although delayed, was worthwhile.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 29, 2021 COMMON ERA

MONDAY IN HOLY WEEK

THE FEAST OF CHARLES VILLIERS STANFORD, COMPOSER, ORGANIST, AND CONDUCTOR

THE FEAST OF DORA GREENWELL, POET AND DEVOTIONAL WRITER

THE FEAST OF ELIZABETH RUNDLE CHARLES, ANGLICAN WRITER, HYMN TRANSLATOR, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHN KEBLE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND POET

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JONAS AND BARACHISIUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS, 327

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Creator of wonder and mystery, you inspired your post Thomas Traherne

with mystical insight to see your glory

in the natural world and in the faces of men and women around us:

Help us to know you in your creation and in our neighbors,

and to understand our obligations to both,

that we may ever grow into the people you have created us to be;

through our Saviour Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, in everlasting light.  Amen.

Jeremiah 20:7-9

Psalm 119:129-136

Revelation 19:1-5

John 3:1-8

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 609

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