Author Archive

Feast of St. Felix of Cantalice (May 18)   Leave a comment

Above:  Saint Felix of Cantalice, by Peter Paul Rubens

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT FELIX OF CANTALICE (MAY 18, 1515-MAY 18, 1587)

Italian Roman Catholic Friar

Also known as Brother Deo Gratias

St. Felix of Cantalice used his spiritual gifts faithfully.

St. Felix, of peasant origin, was illiterate.  He, born in Cantalice, on the Italian peninsula, debuted on May 18, 1515.  Our saint worked as a shepherd and a farmhand at Cotta Ducale, starting from the age of nine years, for more than twenty years.  He, pious, spent much of his spare time in prayer.  St. Felix also listened to a friend read lives of Desert Fathers to him.  This audio study of the lives of Desert Fathers inculcated in our saint a desire to become a hermit.  Yet he knew that he needed the discipline that came from having a superior.

St. Felix became a Capuchin lay brother.  He did this at Anticoli (near Rome) in 1543.  He was in Rome from 1547 until his death, four decades later.  Our saint’s main job was to hear confessions and pronounce forgiveness of sins.  He earned his reputation for holiness.  St. Felix also preached against vice and political corruption.  Theologians sought his counsel.  St. Philip Neri (1515-1595), the “Apostle of Rome” and the founder of the Congregation of the Oratory, also sought St. Felix’s advice.  Neri, who worked with our saint, considered him the greatest living saint.  Children, to whom St. Felix taught simple canticles as tools of learning the catechism, adored him.  He adored them.  Then many adults asked to hear him sing the canticles, too.  St. Felix became known as Brother Deo Gratias, after his standard greeting, “Deo gratias.”  Our saint, humble and self-deprecating, referred to himself as the “Ass of the Capuchins.”

St. Felix, aged 72 years, died in Rome on May 18, 1587.  As for many people were concerned, his beatification in 1625 and canonization in 1712 were mere formalities.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 3, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF LUTHER D. REED, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER AND LITURGIST

THE FEAST OF SAINTS BURGENDOFARA AND SADALBERGA, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBESSES, AND THEIR RELATIVES

THE FEAST OF MARC SANGNIER, FOUNDER OF THE SILLON MOVEMENT

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARY OF EGYPT, HERMIT AND PENITENT

THE FEAST OF REGINALD HEBER, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF CALCUTTA, AND HYMN WRITER

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O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich:

Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that we,

inspired by the devotion of your servant Saint Felix of Cantalice,

may serve you with singleness of heart,

and attain to the riches of the age to come;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Song of Songs 8:6-7

Psalm 34

Philippians 3:7-15

Luke 12:33-37 or Luke 9:57-62

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 722

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Feast of Blessed Ivan Ziatyk (May 17)   Leave a comment

Above:  Flag of Poland, 1927-1980

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED IVAN ZIATYK (DECEMBER 26, 1899-MAY 17, 1952)

Polish Ukrainian Greek Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1952

Feast day (as one of the Martyrs Killed Under Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe) = June 27

Another alternative feast day = April 2

Blessed Ivan Ziatyk was originally a subject of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  He, born in Sanok (now in Poland) on December 26, 1899, attended high school, in Peremysyl during World War II.

Zaityk, ordained to the priesthood in 1923, ministered in independent Poland.  He taught theology at the seminary in Peremysyl from 1925 to 1935.  Then, in 1935, our saint joined the Redemptorist order.  He, based in Lviv, became a popular preacher.  Ziatyk, the prior of the monastery in Ternopil during World War II, became the Vicar General of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church after the war.  Polish Communist authorities had arrested or exiled all of his superiors.

Ziatyk died a prisoner.  Authorities arrested him on January 5, 1950.  After incarceration in Zolochiv, our saint ended his days, tortured and beaten, in Irkutsk Oblast (in Siberia), Russia.  He died on May 17, 1952, aged 52 years old.

Pope John Paul II declared Ziatyk a Venerable and beatified him in 2001.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 2, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JAMES LLOYD BRECK, “THE APOSTLE OF THE WILDERNESS”

THE FEAST OF CARLO CARRETTO, SPIRITUAL WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOHN PAYNE AND CUTHBERT MAYNE, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND MARTYRS, 1582 AND 1577

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH BERNARDIN, CARDINAL ARCHBISHOP OF CHICAGO

THE FEAST OF SAINT SIDONIUS APOLLINARIS, SAINT EUSTACE OF LYON, AND HIS DESCENDANTS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr Blessed Ivan Ziatyk

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 (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 Blessed Vladimir Ghika (May 16)   2 comments

Above:  Blessed Vladimir Ghika

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED VLADIMIR GHIKA (DECEMBER 25, 1873-MAY 16, 1954)

Romanian Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1954

Also known as Blessed Vladimir Ghica

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Lord, do not abandon me.  I embrace your love to triumph over the hate of my enemies.

–Blessed Vladimir Ghika, January 1954

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Blessed Vladimir Ghika served God and the “least of these,” first as a layman then as a priest.

Ghika came from Romanian nobility.  He, born in Constantinople, Ottoman Empire, on December 25, 1873, was a son of Alexandrina Moret de Blaremberg (Ghika) and diplomat John Ghika.  Our saint’s grandfather was Grigore Alexandru Ghica (died in 1857), the penultimate (not last, as many online sources erroneously claim) Prince of Moldavia (reigned 1849-1853 and 1854-1856).  The Ghika family moved to Toulouse, France, in 1878.  Our saint, seemingly destined to become a diplomat, also, graduated with his law degree in Paris in 1895.  He then studied history, political science, philosophy, medicine, literature, botany, and art, first in France then in Romania.

Ghika, raised in Eastern Orthodoxy, converted to Roman Catholicism in 1898.  That year he matriculated at the College of Saint Thomas, Rome, to study theology and philosophy.  Our saint graduated in 1905.

As the catechism of The Episcopal Church, as found in The Book of Common Prayer (1979), teaches,

The ministers of the Church are lay persons, bishops, priests, and deacons.

–855

Ghika, as a layman, became a pioneer of the lay apostolate.  He, having pondered becoming a monk or a priest, heeded the advice of Pope Pius X not to become priest or monk yet.  Our saint, back in Romania, ministered to the impoverished and the ill.  He founded Mariae Bethlehem, the first free clinic in Bucharest.  Ghika also founded a sanitorium, the first free hospital in Romania, and the first free ambulance service in Romania.  Our saint, risking contracting cholera, provided health care in Zimnicea, Romania, during the Balkan wars, in 1913.

Ghika, ordained a priest in Paris on October 7, 1923, continued to minister to vulnerable people.  He made history by becoming a bi-rite (Latin and Byzantine) priest–the first bi-rite Romanian priest.  He chose to live in Villejuif, a shantytown and a Parisian suburb, from 1924 to 1939.  Our saint returned to Romania on August 3, 1939.  Ghika ministered to the sick and the poor, including wartime refugees, during World War II.  When Communists came to power, he remained in the country voluntarily.

Government agents arrested Ghika on November 18, 1952, as he ministered to a dying man.  The charge was treason, or remaining pro-Rome and opposing the government’s control of organized religion.  Ghika suffered from abuse, which hastened his death in prison in Jilava (near Bucharest) on May 16, 1954.  He was 80 years old when he received the crown of martyrdom.

Pope Francis declared Ghika a Venerable and beatified him in 2013.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 1, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK DENISON MAURICE, ANGLICAN AND THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT GIUSEPPE GIROTTI, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1945

THE FEAST OF JOHN GRAY, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, MYTHOLOGIST, BIBLICAL SCHOLAR, AND PROFESSOR OF HEBREW AND SEMITIC LANGUAGES

THE FEAST OF SAINT LUDOVICO PAVONI, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF SAINTS SYRAGIUS OF AUTUN AND ANARCHARIUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; AND SAINTS VALERY OF LEUCONE AND EUSTACE OF LUXEUIT, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOTS

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Almighty God, who gave to your servant Blessed Vladmir Ghika

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 Theodore I (May 14)   Leave a comment

Above:  Pope Theodore I

Image in the Public Domain

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THEODORE I (DIED MAY 14, 649)

Bishop of Rome

A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days is one of my hobbies.  It is an extension of my Great Man and Woman understanding of history, as well as a long-running course in ecclesiastical history.  Many of the saints I have listed here come with “Venerable,” “Blessed,” or “Saint” formally preceding their names.  Others, however, do not, regardless of whether an official calendar (usually Anglican or Lutheran) lists them.  Many saints I have listed on my Ecumenical Calendar are people I insist belong on formal calendars, although they are absent from any such calendar.

Consider Pope Theodore I, for example, O reader.

The heresy of Monothelitism (that Christ had only one will–divine) was a major controversy in the Byzantine Empire.  Church and state were one in the Byzantine Empire; no line separated theological dispute from imperial policy.  Emperor Heraclius (reigned 610-641) issued the Ecthesis in 638.  This document affirmed Monothelitism.  Pope Severinus (May 28, 640-August 2, 640) and his immediate successor, John IV (December 24, 640-October 12, 642), opposed the heresy and the Ecthesis.  Shortly prior to his death in 641, Heraclius disavowed Monothelitism.  Yet the Ecthesis remained in effect as the reign of Constans II (641-668) began.

Above:  600 C.E.

Image in the Public Domain

The Byzantine Empire was unstable.  The recent war with the Persians had resulted in a pyrrhic victory; the Byzantine Empire was almost bankrupt.  Two emperors reigned Between the death of Heraclius and the accession of Constans II.  Heraclius had designated his two sons, Constantine III and Heraklonas, as his successors.  Constantine III was dying of tuberculosis when he began his reign, which lasted for three months.  Heraklonas was fifteen years old and under the political domination of his mother, Martina.  After six months, General Valentine and a mob deposed Heraklonas and Martina.  Valentine installed Constans II, the eleven-year-old son of Constantine III, as the next emperor.  Valentine married his daughter to the the young emperor and ruled as the regent for two years.  Then a mob lynched the regent.  Constans II began to rule at the tender age of thirteen years.  Meanwhile, Arab conquests and internal rebellions continued.

Above:  750 C.E.

Image in the Public Domain

Theodore I was the next Bishop of Rome.  He, born in Jerusalem, was a Greek, a son of a bishop, and a refugee from Arab invasions.  Theodore I was also an associate of St. Sophronius of Jerusalem (died circa 638), the Patriarch of Jerusalem, and an opponent of monothelitism.  St. Maximus the Confessor (circa 580-662), another opponent of Monothelitism, was another one of Theodore I’s associates.  Theodore I became the Pope on November 24, 642.

Almost immediately upon assuming office, Theodore I addressed the Monothelite heresy.  He wrote Constans II and Paul II, the Patriarch of Constantinople (reigned 641-643), to inquire why the Ecthesis remained in effect.  The new pope also refused to recognize Paul II as the legitimate Patriarch of Constantinople until after a synod at which the Holy See had a representative deposed the previous Patriarch, Pyrrhus I (reigned 638-641).  Furthermore, Theodore I demanded that Paul II repudiate Monothelitism and remove all publicly-posted copies of the Ecthesis.

Theodore I recognized Pyrrhus I as the rightful Patriarch of Constantinople in 645.  Pyrrhus I had renounced Monothelitism after a public debate with St. Maximus the Confessor that year.  The Pope also excommunicated Paul II, who had affirmed Monothelitism and the Ecthesis.  Then Pyrrhus I made peace with Constans II and Paul II by reaffirming Monothelitism.

Constans II understood that the Ecthesis of his grandfather had become a threat to imperial stability.  Therefore, he issued the Typos, a gag order regarding Monothelitism, in 648.  Theodore I on May 14, 649, before he could formulate a response.

One may assume safely, however, that Theodore I would have refused to obey the Typos.

The next Bishop of Rome was St. Martin I (died in 655), whom Constans II martyred for refusing to be quiet.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 31, 2021 COMMON ERA

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, you have raised up faithful bishops of your church,

including your servant Theodore I of Rome.

May the memory of his life be a source of joy for us and a bulwark of our our faith,

so that we may serve and confess your name before the world,

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

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

Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84

1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21

John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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Feast of Unita Blackwell (May 13)   Leave a comment

Above:   Mayersville, Mississippi

Image Source = Google Earth

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UNITA ZELMA BROWN BLACKWELL (MARCH 18, 1933-MAY 13, 2019)

African-American Civil Rights Activist, Rural Community Development Specialist, and Mayor of Mayersville, Mississippi

Born U. Z. Brown

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Politics is not just about voting one day every four years.  Politics is the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the road we walk on.

–Unita Blackwell

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Unita Blackwell‘s Christian faith compelled her to resist systems of oppression and leave communities better than she found them.  Her faith led her to seek intercultural understanding on the local, national, and international levels.

U. Z, Brown, born in Lula, Mississippi, on March 18, 1933, grew up in the Jim Crow U.S. South.  Laws kept African Americans “in their place,” or subordinate to white people.  Our saint, the daughter of sharecroppers Willie Brown and Virda Mae Brown, was originally just U. Z,–initials, no name that abbreviated to them.  The Browns believed on a plantation and in fear of the estate’s owner.  In 1936, Willie fled the plantation.  His family joined him in Memphis, Tennessee, shortly thereafter.  The couple separated in 1938.  Virda Mae and her mother moved to West Helena, Arkansas.

Jim Crow laws restricted the educational opportunities of African Americans in West Helena.  The agricultural economy took precedence over schooling.  Furthermore, African Americans could not attend high school; their public education terminated at the eighth grade.  U. Z. chose her new name, Unita Zelma, in the sixth grade.  She also completed the eighth grade.  Her formal education did not progress until the 1980s.

Our saint met and married Jeremiah Blackwell, a cook for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The site of the wedding was Clarksdale, Mississippi.  The couple had one child, Jeremiah, Jr., born on July 2, 1957.  The Blackwells moved to Mayersville, Mississippi, a small town and the seat of Issaquena County.  Mayersville remained our saint’s home for most of the remainder of her life.  She active in her Baptist church, taught Sunday School.

Blackwell became a civil rights activist in the summer of 1964.  That June, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) conducted a voter registration drive in Issaquena County.  Jeremiah and Unita tried to register to vote, but initially failed the the registration test, designed to cause people to fail.  Both of them lost their jobs for their trouble.  Unita eventually passed the registration test a few months later.  I have found no information about when Jeremiah successfully registered to vote.

That summer, with the aid and encouragement of Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977), Blackwell embarked upon activism.  She became a project manager with SNCC, directing voter registration drives in the state.  That summer, she also attended the Democratic National Convention as a delegate from the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.

Blackwell paid a stiff price for her activism; police arrested her more than 70 times.  Yet she remained undeterred.  Our saint helped to introduce Head Start for African-American children in Mississippi in 1965.  Our saint and her husband successfully sued the Issaquena County Board of Education in 1965.  The local elementary school principal had expelled more than 300 African-American children for a range of alleged offenses, including wearing SNCC pins.  The federal district court agreed with the Blackwells.  It also ordered the integration of Issaquena County public schools by fall 1965.  The federal court of appeals upheld the district court’s ruling.  The public schools did not integrate until 1970, though.  Freedom schools for African-American chilldren operated through the summer of 1970.

Blackwell became an expert in rural community development, in the context of rural poverty.  In the late 1960s and the 1970s, she worked with the National Council of Negro Women on the issue of low-income housing.  Our saint encouraged poor people across the United States to construct their own housing.  She served as the Mayor of Mayersville from 1977 to 2001.  In that capacity, in the poor, rural Mississippi Delta, Blackwell expanded the range of basic services the local government provided to citizens.  The quality of life for all residents, especially poor and the vulnerable, improved.  Mayor Blackwell’s formal education leapfrogged from the eighth grade to a graduate degree in 1983.  In 1982 and 1983, she studied for her Master of Regional Planning degree from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst.

Blackwell’s efforts extended to the national level, too.  She was a member of the Democratic National Committee.  Our saint also attended the national Energy Summit at Camp David in 1979.  President Jimmy Carter invited her.  That year our saint also began to sit on the U.S. National Commission on the International Year of the Child.  Furthermore, Blackwell was a Fellow of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, in 1991-1992.  She also ran in the primary election for U.S. House of Representatives in 1993, the year after she won one of the MacArthur Fellowships, or “genius grants.”

Blackwell also worked on the international front.  She, interested in U.S.-Chinese cultural exchanges, made sixteen trips to the People’s Republic of China, starting in 1973.  Furthermore, she served as the President of the U.S.-China Peoples Friendship Association (founded in 1974) for six years.  And, in 1995, our saint was a delegate to the Non-Government Organizations Forum, related to the International Conference on Women, in Beijing.

Sadly, dementia afflicted Blackwell during her final years.  It set in by 2007/2008.  Our saint, 86 years old, died in a nursing home in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, on May 13, 2019.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 30, 2020 COMMON ERA

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 JULIA ALVAREZ MENDOZA, MEXICAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1927

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Holy and righteous God, you created us in your image.

Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression.

Help us, like your servant Unita Blackwell, to work for justice among people and nations,

to the glory of your name, 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

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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Feast of Saint Glyceria of Heraclea (May 13)   Leave a comment

Above:  Thrace in the Roman Empire

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT GLYCERIA OF HERACLEA (156-CIRCA 177)

Martyr, Circa 177

Also known as Saint Glyceria of Trajanopolis

St. Glyceria is a saint in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions.  Given the antiquity of her hagiography, one may reasonable expect that hagiographers can and do consult a list of Roman Emperors, in her case, and correctly identify the emperor during whose reign she died.  Various accounts place her death from 171 to 177, but always in the 170s.  Nevertheless, some of these accounts identify the emperor at the time of St. Glyceria’s martyrdom as Antoninus Pius (reigned 138-161).  No, the emperor was Marcus Aurelius (reigned 161-180).

Offering to the gods on behalf of the Roman Empire was a patriotic and civic duty of Gentiles.  (The empire exempted the Jews.)  The rationale for the offering was that the gods would continue to bless and prosper the Roman Empire as long as its subjects honored the gods–a divine quid pro quo.  The growth of Christianity, therefore, constituted a perceived threat to the empire.

National and imperial security have long provided excuses for a host of sins.  To quote Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), the British linguist and “Great Moralist,”

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

St. Glyceria (literally, “Sweetness”) came from a prominent family.  Her father, Macarius, was a governor, in modern political terms.  The family moved to Trajanopolis, Thrace, when our saint was quite young.  Her parents died when she was a minor.  The orphan met Christians and eventually converted.  St. Glyceria was a secret disciple until she had to risk her life to avoid betraying her faith.  St. Glyceria was at Heraclea (near Propontius, the modern-day Sea of Marmara) when she disobeyed the imperial order to sacrifice to the gods on behalf of the Roman Empire.  She died of torture.  Then wild animals consumed her corpse.

The last vestiges of the Roman Empire collapsed in 1453.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 29, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FIFTH SUNDAY IN LENT, YEAR C

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

THE FEAST OF DORA GREENWELL, POET AND DEVOTIONAL WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHN KEBLE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND POET

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

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr Saint Glyceria of Heraclea

triumphed over suffering and was faithful even to death:

Grant us, who now remember her in thanksgiving,

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

that we may receive with her 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 Paul Mazakute (May 12)   1 comment

Above:  Paul Mazakute, Circa 1870

Photographer = Stanley J. Morrow

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ds-09322

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PAUL MAZAKUTE (JUNE 1842-MAY 12, 1873)

First Sioux Episcopal Priest

As our saint wrote near the end of his life, he was the only member of his family to become a Christian.  He, born in Minnesota in June 1842, was a son of Maypiyakakapan (his father) and Wakakoyakewin (his mother).  Our saint, converted to Christianity in 1862, accepted baptism and became an Episcopalian and a catechist that year.  Furthermore, Mayakute remained with his people at Fort Snelling (in Minnesota) in 1862 then stayed with them in what is now South Dakota.

Mazakute married Margaret (Maggie) Panna Hoffman.  By Mazakute’s account, the couple had five children:

  1. Mark Hepanna (1864-1884/1885),
  2. Simon (1866-1884),
  3. Rebecca (b. 1868),
  4. Joshua (1871-1892), and
  5. David (b. 1873).

Our saint spent much time in the East in 1868 and 1869.  He, ordained a deacon in 1868, joined the ranks of priests in 1869.  Mazakute became the first Sioux ordained to the Anglican/Episcopal priesthood.  He was the second indigenous priest in The Episcopal Church; Enmegahbowh (1807/1813-1902), from the Ojibwa Nation, became the first indigenous priest in The Episcopal Church in 1867.  The first member of one of the First Nations ordained in the Anglican tradition was Sakachuwescum/Henry Budd (circa 1812-1875), a member of the Cree Nation in Canada, ordained to the priesthood in 1850.

Mazakute as a priest and a missionary, built three churches, baptized sixty-four people, and presided over four weddings in about four years.  He ministered at Yankton, White Swan, and Choteau Creek (all in what is now South Dakota) and at Santee, Nebraska.  Our saint damaged his health in doing so.  He, ill for the last year of and three months of his life, had weak lungs.  Mazakute, thirty years old, died at Santee on May 12, 1873.

Maggie remarried in 1876.  She married Benjamin Makoahomnikudan Whipple.  The couple had five children.  Maggie died in 1903.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 28, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JAMES SOLOMON RUSSELL, EPISCOPAL PRIEST, EDUCATOR, AND ADVOCATE FOR RACIAL EQUALITY

THE FEAST OF SAINT GUNTRAM OF BURGUNDY, KING

THE FEAST OF KATHARINE LEE BATES, U.S. EDUCATOR, POET, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF RICHARD CHEVENIX TRENCH, ANGLICAN ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN

THE FEAST OF SAINT TUTILO, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND COMPOSER

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Paul Mazakute,

whom your called to preach the Gospel to the Sioux.

Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom,

that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 96 or 96:1-7

Acts 1:1-9

Luke 10:1-9

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 716

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