Archive for the ‘April 18’ Category

Feast of Mary C. Collins (April 18)   Leave a comment

Above:  Mary C. Collins

Image in the Public Domain



U.S. Congregationalist Missionary and Minister

Mary C. Collins 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).

Collins represented the best tradition of Christian missionary work among indigenous people; she served the Kingdom of God, not any earthly power.  Our saint defended her flock and opposed their oppression.

One may ask, “Of course, she did.  Why would she not have done so?”  I reply that the historical record contains many examples of “Christian” missionaries who really worked for the empires or countries, thereby aiding and abetting racism and cultural destruction.  I assert that this behavior contradicted the Golden Rule, a commandment Collins took seriously.

Mary Clementine Collins, born in Upper Alton, Illinois, on April 18, 1846, developed her interest in missionary work at an early age.  She, a daughter of Ephraim and Margaret Collins, grew up in Keokuk, Iowa.  A Sunday School teacher sparked our saint’s interest in becoming a missionary.  Collins, a graduate of Ripon College, Ripon, Wisconsin, applied to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.  That agency accepted her in 1875.  However, a lung condition prevented Collins from receiving approval to go to Melanesia, her first choice of destination.  Therefore, she went to work for the American Missionary Association and evangelized Lakota Sioux in the Dakota Territory then in South Dakota instead.

Collins spent 1875-1910 among the Lakota Sioux.  Her time among them coincided with some of the tribe’s most difficult years at the hands of the federal government and American settlers.  She mastered the language, obtained high status within the tribe, and practiced medicine.  Collins also became a close friend of Sitting Bull in 1885.  Our saint spoke out on behalf of the Lakota Sioux, who suffered at the hands of ranchers, railroad companies, and the federal government.  She opposed residential schools, part of a plan to destroy the Lakota Sioux culture.  Our saint, ordained in 1899, supervised eight staffers, four churches, three meeting houses, and two chapels.

Collins, who never married, retired in 1910, due to failing health.  She returned to Keokuk, Iowa, and moved in with a sister.  Our saint, aged 74 years, died on May 25, 1920.









God of grace and glory, we praise you for your servant Mary C. Collins,

who made the good news known among the Lakota Sioux.

Raise up, we pray, in every country, heralds of the gospel,

so that the world may know the immeasurable riches of your love,

and be drawn to worship you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Isaiah 62:1-7

Psalm 48

Romans 10:11-17

Luke 24:44-53

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 59


Feast of Blessed Roman Archutowski (April 18)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Roman Archutowski

Image in the Public Domain



Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1943

Alternative feast day = June 12

During World War II many Christians in Europe and Muslims in norther Africa rendered assistance to their Jewish neighbors.  These acts of kindness, hospitality, and decency placed those who committed them in mortal danger.  Blessed Roman Archutowski and many others walked the road that began with hospitality and ended in martyrdom.

Archutowski was a priest.  He, born on at Karolin, Poland (not a nation-state at the time), received ordination to the priesthood in 1904.  Our saint served at Jezow in 1904-1905 then studied theology further at St. Petersburg in 1905-1910.  After that he returned to Warsaw, where he served as the Prefect (1910-1925), then the Director (1925-1940) of St. Stanislaus Kostka Gymnasium.  From 1940 to 1942 our saint served as the Rector of the theological seminary in Warsaw.

Helping Jews was a capital offense in the German-occupied portion of Poland.  Archutowski obeyed the laws of God, not the Third Reich.  For this authorities arrested in September 1942, tortured him, and detained him for a month.  Then, on November 10, 1942, authorities arrested our saint again.  Ultimately they transported him to Lublin concentration camp, where he contracted typhoid fever, which cost him his life.  Archutowski received the crown of martyrdom on April 18, 1943.

Pope John Paul II declared Archutowski a Venerable then a Blessed in 1999.





Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr Blessed Roman Archutowski

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), page 714


Feast of Blessed Maria Anna Blondin (April 18)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Maria Anne Blondin

Image in the Public Domain



Foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Anna

Born Esther Blondin

Alternative feast day = January 2

Blessed Maria Anne Blondin was a saint whom the Roman Catholic Church marginalized then recognized as holy.

Esther Blondin, born at Terrebonne, Quebec, on April 18, 1809, came from an illiterate farming family.  Our saint, a daughter of Jean-Baptiste Blondin and Maria Rose Limoges Blondin, worked as the domestic servant of a village merchant when she was young.  The Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame educated young Esther, who became a novice in the order yet had to abandon that plan, due to bad health.

Blondin became concerned about how best to reduce rates of illiteracy in her area.  In 1833 she began to teach at a parochial school in Vaudreuil.  Eventually our saint rose to lead that institution.  Blondin concluded that, in her geographical area, illiteracy was commonplace because only men could teach girls most effectively.  Therefore two parochial schools per parish were ideal.  However, some parishes were too poor to have even one parochial school, and many who could one did not have one.  Our saint founded the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Anne in 1850 for the purpose of teaching impoverished girls.

Blondin, unlike founders of many other religious orders, did not preside over her order for long.  She struggled with meddling by the chaplain, Father Louis Adolphe Marechal.  He lied about her, accusing our saint of financial mismanagement.  Marechal had Blondin demoted to Directress of the St. Genevieve Convent then recalled to the mother house in 1858.  At the mother house our saint endured many indignities.  She had to perform menial tasks.  Also, the sisters could not address her as “Mother,” for Marechal had imposed that rule.  Blondin endured all this for the good of the order and those it served.  She died of natural causes at Lachine, Quebec, on January 2, 1890.  She was 80 years old.

Eventually the Roman Catholic Church rehabilitated Blondin’s reputation.  Pope John Paul II declared her a Venerable in 1991 then a Blessed ten years later.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.

So says an inaccurate chant.  According to ancient Jewish mythology, God spoke the universe into existence.  As bad as killing someone is, assassinating one’s character can be at least as bad.  One might think of people falsely accused of a crime–perhaps even convicted in a court of law–but certainly convicted in the court of public opinion.  As bad as this has always been, it is worse in a digital age, due to the accessibility of news stories (even partial and discredited ones) via websites.  In this digital age, old and inaccurate stories haunt people more than in previous times.  The timeless commandment against not bearing false witness becomes more urgent than ever.





O God, by whose grace your servant Blessed Maria Anne Blondin,

kindled with the flame of your love, became a burning and a shining light in your Church:

Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline,

and walk before you as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Unity of the Holy Spirit, now and for ever.  Amen.

Acts 2:42-47a

Psalm 133 or 34:1-8 or 119:161-168

2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Matthew 6:24-33

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 723


Feast of Venerable Cornelia Connelly (April 18)   Leave a comment

Above:  Venerable Cornelia Connelly

Image in the Public Domain



Foundress of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus


I belong all to God.

–Venerable Cornelia Connelly


The spiritual pilgrimage of the Venerable Cornelia Connelly entailed learning to distinguish between the wishes of her husband and the call of God on her life.  Cornelia Peacock, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 15, 1809, grew up a Presbyterian.  In 1831 she married Pierce Connelly (1804-1883), an Episcopal priest.  In 1835 the Connellys converted to Roman Catholicism, for Pierce had become convinced that Holy Mother Church was the true church.  By 1839 husband and wife were teaching in rural church-operated schools in Louisiana.  Soon hardships visited the family.  Their fourth child, Mary Magdalene, died at the age of seven weeks in 1840.  Shortly thereafter, John Henry, their two-year-old son, died on February 2 (the Feast of the Presentation), of injuries he had suffered after a dog had pushed him into a vat of boiling cane juice.  Later in 1840, when Cornelia was pregnant with Adeline, her fifth child, Pierce announced that he had decided to study for the priesthood.  This started the process of breaking up the family, for he would have to take a vow of celibacy to become a Roman Catholic priest.

Cornelia eventually accepted her husband’s decree as being consistent with the will of God.  Certainly God worked through Pierce’s decree for the good of many, including Cornelia.  (She was better off without him.)  In 1843 Pierce was in Rome, studying under the guidance of Pope Gregory XVI.  Cornelia and the children joined him in the Eternal City and resided at the Sacred Heart Convent on Trinita de Monte.  Pierce visited once a week; the marriage was functionally over.  Soon the couple separated formally.  In 1845 Pierce became a priest and Cornelia took a vow of celibacy.  She built a new life in England, where Roman Catholicism, recently emancipated, was reviving and rebuilding.  In 1846 she began to work in the field of education of girls and assumed leadership of a new convent school at Derby.  The following year she founded and became the superior of the new Society of the Holy Child Jesus.  Our saint told the nuns:

As you step through the muddy streets, love God with your feet; and when your hands toil, love Him with your hands; and when you teach the little children, love Him in His little ones.

Pierce had a vindictive aspect to his character.  In 1848, when he arrived in England, Cornelia told him to leave.  He took three of their children out of the new order’s school without Cornelia’s permission, posed as the co-founder of the Society, and sued (in an Anglican court) for his conjugal rights.  (He was supposed to be a celibate priest, according to his vows.)  Eventually the court sided with Cornelia.  Then Pierce resigned from the Roman Catholic priesthood, turned against Holy Mother Church, took all but one child (a painter, who remained loyal to his mother) to the United States, and turned them against our saint.  Pierce spent the rest of his life defaming Cornelia’s character and writing and publishing anti-Roman Catholic tirades.

Cornelia, who suffered emotionally due to the alienation from most of her family and the published attacks of her character, served as the superior of the Society for more than three decades.  She oversaw the founding of schools in England, France, and the United States, and promoted the education of young women.  Physical suffering (in the form of eczema) marred her final few years.  Our saint died, aged 70 years, at St. Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex, on April 18, 1879.

Pope John Paul II declared Cornelia a Venerable in 1992.

The passage of time has rendered its verdict in favor of Cornelia, as opposed to Pierce.  She, as a nun, was married to Jesus, certainly a better husband.







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 Venerable Cornelia Connelly,

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), page 722


Feast of Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson (April 18)   4 comments

Above:  Flag of Rhode Island

Image in the Public Domain



Founder of Rhode Island



Rebellious Puritan




Well-behaved women seldom make history.

–Laurel Thatcher Ulrich


Forced worship stinks in God’s nostrils.

–Roger Williams


The feast day of Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson in The Episcopal Church is February 5.  On my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, however, the feast day is April 18.  The irony of Williams and Hutchinson, who left The Church of England, which they considered too Catholic, being saints on the Episcopal calendar, does not escape me.  I interpret the irony as an indication of the broad mindedness of The Episcopal Church.

Anne Marbury, born in Alford, Lincolnshire, England, in 1591, was a daughter of the Reverend Francis Marbury (1555-1611) and his second wife, Bridget Dryden, a cousin of playwright John Dryden (1631-1700).  Anne, baptized on July 17, 1591, grew up in a home with strong Puritan influences.  Her mother had strong nonconformist roots.  Francis, an Anglican priest, insisted publicly that was not a Puritan, but he made occasional public denunciations of The Church of England for being too Catholic.  Such statements belied his public denials of not being a Puritan and led to two trials (in 1578 and 1591) and years (as in 1591-1594) of house arrest, followed by public silence regarding certain opinions.  His life and double life ended, due to natural causes, in 1611.

Francis Marbury supervised the education of his children who survived infancy.  He and his first wife (Elizabeth Moore, who died in 1585) had three daughters from 1581 to 1585.  Marbury and his second wife had fifteen children from 1588 to 1610.  Anne was his sixth child and his third child with Bridget Dryden.  He and Bridget raised Anne as a well-educated, Biblically literate, confident, and assertive young woman.

In 1612 Anne married William Hutchinson, with whom she had grown up in London and who had attended her father’s church.  They were devoted to each other for the rest of their lives.  The couple also had fifteen children from 1613 to 1636.  (Her final pregnancy terminated via miscarriage in 1636.)  Anne, William, ten of their children, Katherine Marbury Scott (Anne’s sister), Katherine’s husband, and Anne and Frances Freiston (William’s unmarried cousins) sailed for Boston, Massachusetts Bay colony, in 1634.

Above:  The Coat of Arms of the Massachusetts Bay Colony

Image in the Public Domain

Notice the arrogant reference to the Macedonian Call in the Indian’s words.

Puritans came in two varieties–the Separatists and the Non-Separatists.  The Separatist Puritans considered The Church of England to be too Catholic and beyond the possibility of redemption.  The Non-Separatist Puritans agreed that The Church of England was too Catholic yet not that it was beyond the possibility of redemption.  Despite their de jure status as Anglicans, the Non-Separatist Puritans of New England had separated de facto, for they did not worship according to The Book of Common Prayer.

Roger Williams was a Separatist Puritan.  He, born in London (perhaps in 1603), was a son of merchant James Williams and his wife, Alice Pemberton Williams, who hailed from a family of merchants.  Young Roger worked as a legal clerk for Sir Edward Coke.  Williams also studied at the Charterhouse (1621-1624) then at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge (1624-1627).  After Cambridge our saint became the chaplain to Sir William Marsham in Otes, Essex County.  In that assignment Williams completed his transformation from an Anglican into a Puritan.

Williams sailed for the new Massachusetts Bay colony (Non-Separatist) in late 1630 and arrived the following year.  He declined the opportunity to become the minister at Salem.  Not only did he insist that a royal land grant was illegitimate because colonists should purchase land from indigenous people, but he also refused to be a pastor to Non-Separatists.  So, in 1632, Williams relocated to the Plymouth colony (Separatist).  There he remained for about a year; his opinion regarding royal land grants also proved unpopular in the Plymouth colony.

So it came to pass that Williams returned to the Massachusetts Bay colony in 1633.  He finally accepted the offer to become the minister at Salem, but civil magistrates opposed him.  Williams called upon the leaders of the colony to do officially what they had done in practice–separate from The Church of England.  He also argued that the civil magistrate should have no role in religion.  The state should never compel anyone to pray, Williams stated.

The call for the separation of church and state contradicted Puritan and Anglican norms.  Contrary to popular misconception, the founders of the Plymouth and the Massachusetts Bay colonies were not champions of religious freedom.  No, they left England proper to find religious liberty for themselves and those who agreed with them, but persecuted dissidents.  The founders of those colonies failed the basic test of religious freedom–a general policy of toleration.  Williams was more fortunate that some other dissidents; his fate was merely banishment.  (Authorities hanged some Quakers decades later.)  He and his traveling companions walked out of the Massachusetts Bay colony in January 1636.  In April they arrived that the future site of the settlement of Providence.  He purchased the land from the Narragansett tribe, befriended them, and learned their language.

Meanwhile, in Boston, Anne was being herself and getting into trouble.  The fact that she got into trouble reflected negatively on her persecutors, not on her.  At home meetings during which she, other pious women, and certain others discussed the most recent sermon, she criticized the theology of the Reverend John Wilson.  Anne, a devout Calvinist, accused Wilson of having preached the Covenant of Works, not the Covenant of Grace.  Ministers were pillars of the theocracy in Puritan New England.  They were also, according to Puritan orthodoxy, closer to God than mere laypeople–certainly a woman.  Furthermore, Hutchinson taught that the Holy Spirit dwells in everyone and that salvation comes via divine grace.  Her teaching regarding the Holy Spirit (literally, God speaks to everyone) threatened the exalted status of ministers in the Puritan hierarchy.  Hutchinson, brought up on charges in 1637 and sentenced to banishment late in the year, spent the beginning of the year and the beginning of the next one as a prisoner, due to the cold weather.  She and her companions settled on Aquidneck Island in the spring of 1638.  During this difficult time of her life she was pregnant.  After she left the Massachusetts Bay colony, she suffered a miscarriage.  Certain Puritan divines understood this as evidence of God’s judgment on her.

William Hutchinson became a civic leader in Portsmouth, on Aquidneck Island.  In 1639 he became the treasurer.  Later that year he became he the chief magistrate.  In 1640, when Aquidneck Island joined the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, he became an assistant governor.  He died the following year.

In 1642-1644 Rhode Island was in peril, for orthodox Puritan forces were threatening to conquer it.  Williams secured the future of the colony by obtaining charter from the royal government in 1644.  During the time of uncertainty, however, Anne and six of her children relocated to Long Island, then part of New Netherland, in 1642.  There, in August or September 1643, some Native Americans killed her and five of her children.  This, certain Puritan divines in Massachusetts claimed, was more evidence of divine judgment on her.

Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was one of the minority of the thirteen colonies to have no official religion.  Religious toleration was the policy there.  Williams had definite and changing religious opinions, none of which he imposed on anyone.  His house church became the First Baptist Church, Providence, in 1637.  He resigned as pastor the following year.  He went on to identify as a seeker and to reject organized religion.  The colony became a haven for a variety of people, including Quakers (founded in England in 1652), aspects of whose theology Anne Hutchinson had presaged.  Williams argued publicly against Quaker theology, but he welcomed Friends into his colony.

Williams, who supported himself financially as a farmer and a merchant, died broke; his commerce never recovered from the great regional disruption that was King Philip’s War (1675-1676).  Williams between January 27 and March 15, 1683, aged about 80 years.

Alan Heimert concluded his article on Williams in The Encyclopedia Americana (1962) with these words:

Roger Williams, who even as a shaker of nations had never been wholly of this world, was perhaps the purest of American Puritans.

–Volume 28, page 792

Williams was certainly a man committed to certain principles.  He was, for all his faults and inconsistencies, a champion of religious toleration.  He and Anne Hutchinson, with whom he might have had some fascinating arguments, challenged authority figures who deserved the challenges.  These two saints were pioneers of American religious liberty.







O God, our light and salvation, who makes all free to worship you:

May we ever strive to be faithful to your call,

following the example of Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson,

that we may faithfully set our hands to the Gospel plow,

confident in the truth proclaimed by your Son Jesus Christ; who with you

and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016)


O God, our light and salvation, we thank you for Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson,

whose visions of the liberty of the soul illumined by the light of Christ

made them brave prophets of religious tolerance in the American colonies;

and we pray that we also may follow paths of holiness and good conscience,

guided by the radiance of Jesus Christ; who with you and the

Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Kings 17:1-16

Psalm 133

1 Peter 1:13-16

Luke 9:51-62

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 211


Feast of Sts. Murin of Fahan, Laserian of Leighlin, Goban of Picardie, Blitharius of Seganne, Fursey of Peronne, Foillan of Fosses, and Ultan of Peronne (April 18)   Leave a comment

Above:  A Map of Gaul in 628 Common Era



Abbot of Fahan

His feast transferred from March 12

mentor of


Abbot and Bishop of Leighlin

His feast transferred from April 18

brother of


Abbot and Hermit

His feast transferred from June 20

Traveled with



His feast transferred from January 16

Evangelized with



His feast transferred from June 11




Brother of Saint Fursey of Peronne

His feast transferred from October 31

Other feast days = January 16 and November 5

brother of



His feast transferred from May 2


This post began when I found one name–St. Laserian.  Reading about him led to other names, which led to still more names.  Thus, from one lead I have arrived at seven names, including two sets of brothers.  Thus is fitting, for faith is at its best when it is both individual and shared.  We human beings ought to encourage one another in righteousness.

We begin our stroll down Holiness Lane with St. Murin of Fahan (circa 550-645).  Also known as Mura McFeredach and Murin McFeredach, he became Abbot of Fahan, in Ireland, when St. Columba appointed him to that post.  St. Murin wrote voluminously, including a biography of St. Columba.  St. Murin also served as a spiritual mentor to our next saint, Laserian of Leighlin.

St. Laserian of Leighlin, a.k.a. Molaisse (died 639) was a monk who became an abbot and a bishop.  He lived at Iona Monastery before going to Rome, where Pope St. Gregory I “the Great” (reigned 590-604) ordained him.  Then St. Laserian transferred to the monastery at Leighlin, in southern Ireland.  Then he favored the Roman manner of observing Easter over the Celtic one.  He defended this position at the synod at White Fields in 635.  With the synod at an impasse, the saint and some fellow monks traveled to Rome, to meet with Pope Honorius I (reigned 625-638).  At Rome the Pope consecrated the saint a bishop and appointed him papal legate to Ireland.  Back in Ireland, St. Laserian ruled in favor of Roman practices.  He succeeded his brother, St. Goban of Picardie, as Abbot of Leighlin in 637.

St. Goban of Picardie (died circa 670) became a hermit.  He traveled with his spiritual mentor, St. Fursey of Peronne, to East Anglia.

St. Fursey (died circa 648) and his brothers, St. Foillan of Fosses (died circa 655) and St. Ultan of Peronne (died 686), were Irish noblemen.  They were sons of Fintan, prince of South Muster, and Gelgesia, daughter of Aedhfinn, prince of Hy-Briuin, in Connaught.  The three brothers and St. Goban evangelized in East Anglia and founded a monastery at Great Yarmouth, on the coast of the North Sea.  They did this circa 630.  England was politically divided in the 600s, for kingdoms waged wars against each other.  Thus it happened that, in 642, forces of the Kingdom of Mercia invaded East Anglia and destroyed the monastery at Great Yarmouth.

The four saints fled to Francia, where King Clovis II of Neustria and Burgundy (reigned 639-657) welcomed them.  In Francia they finished their days and completed their work.  St. Fursey evangelized with St. Blitharius of Seganne (died 600s), a Scottish-born monk also known as St. Blier.  St. Blitharius settled in Seganne, Champagne, where he died of natural causes.  St. Fursey founded a monastery at Ligny, in Neustria.  St. Foillan formed an association Sts. Itta of Metz and Gertrude of Nivelles, becoming the founding Abbot of Fosses, in modern-day Belgium.  He died on October 31, 655, after saying Mass.  Outlaws murdered him.  His brother, St. Ultan, succeeded him as abbot.

What about St. Goban?  He became a hermit in the forest near the Oise River and built a church and a hermitage near Premontre.  He died when bandits beheaded him.








Everlasting God,

you have sent your messengers

to carry the good news of Christ

into the world;

grant that we who commemorate

Saint Murin of Fahan,

Saint Laserian of Leighlin,

Saint Goban of Pirardie,

Saint Blitharius of Seganne,

Saint Fursey of Peronne,

Saint Foillan of Fosses,

and Saint Ultan of Peronne

may know the hope of the gospel

in our hearts

and show forth its light in all our ways;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Isaiah 49:1-6

Psalm 67 or 96

Acts 16:6-10

Matthew 9:35-38

–Adapted from A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989), pages 682-683)

Fifteenth Day of Easter: Third Sunday of Easter, Year B   Leave a comment

Above: Supper at Emmaus, by Caravaggio, 1601

A Time for Courage

APRIL 18, 2021


Acts 3:12-19 (New Revised Standard Version):

When Peter saw the astonishment of those who had seen the lame man healed, he addressed the people,

You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.

And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out.

Psalm 4 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

1  Answer me when I call, O God, defender of my cause;

you set me free when I am hard-pressed;

have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

2  ”You mortals, how long will you dishonor my glory;

how long will  you worship dumb idols

and run after false gods?

3  Know that the LORD does wonders for the faithful;

when I call upon the LORD, he will hear me.

4  Tremble, then, and do not sin;

speak to your heart in silence upon your bed.

5  Offer the appointed sacrifices

and put your trust in the LORD.

6  Many are saying,

“Oh, that we might see better times!”

Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O LORD.

7  You have put gladness in my heart,

more than when grain and wine and oil increase.

8  I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep;

for only you, LORD, make me dwell in safety.

1 John 3:1-7 (New Revised Standard Version):

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.

Luke 24:36b-48 (New Revised Standard Version):

When the disciples were telling how they had seen Jesus risen from the dead, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them,

Peace be with you.

They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them,

Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.

And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them,

Have you anything here to eat?

They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.

Then he said to them,

These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you– that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.

Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them,

Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.

The Collect:

O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Some Related Posts:

Fifteenth Day of Easter:  Third Sunday of Easter, Year A:

Fifteenth Day of Easter:  Third Sunday of Easter, Year B:

Acts 3:

1 John 3:


The Apostles were understandably perplexed.  Just a few days previously, the Roman Empire had executed Jesus.  More than once he had predicted this event as well as his Resurrection, but they did not understand what he meant.  So the reality took them aback.  Besides, might they be next?  How long might they survive?

Then they heard that Jesus was alive, and had spoken at length to two disciples on the road to Emmaus.  These followers could not be making this up, could they?

Then Jesus appeared to them and charged them to carry on his work.  They did.  This required great courage and, for most of them, ended in martyrdom.  Simon Peter, the impetuous redhead, became a great leader of the nascent movement.  The reading from Acts 3 occurs after he healed a crippled beggar at the Beautiful Gate, at the Jerusalem Temple.  Onlookers, understandably amazed, listened to the Apostles’ bold proclamation.

We are all children of God, albeit ones in various stages of rebellion against God.  Nevertheless, there is the hope of repentance, or turning around or changing one’s mind.  As we read in 1 John 3, sin is lawlessness, but we need not remain in that state, at least to the extend we are in it.

The eleven surviving Apostles plus Matthias, who filled the vacancy Judas Iscariot created, changed the world.  We who call ourselves Christians stand on their shoulders of faith.  These men acted courageously and boldly and, in so doing, left the world a better place.  How many positive social reform movements, inspiring works of musical and visual art, masterpieces of theological and devotional literature, improved communities, and changed lives have flowed from what the Apostles did?

Our impact might not be as great, but it does not need to be so in order to answer faithfully God’s call on our lives.  Each of us affects many other people directly and indirectly.  They, in turn, do likewise.  And so it goes.  May our impacts be positive, for the benefit of others and the glory of God.

We have much to do.  May we take courage, be bold, get to work, and continue it faithfully.



Published in a nearly identical form at LENTEN AND EASTER DEVOTIONS BY KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR on July 30, 2011

Saints’ Days and Holy Days for April   Leave a comment


Image Source = WiZZiK

1 (Frederick Denison Maurice, Anglican Priest and Theologian)

  • Giuseppe Girotti, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1945
  • John Gray, Scottish Presbyterian Minister, Mythologist, Biblical Scholar, and Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages
  • Ludovico Pavoni, Roman Catholic Priest and Educator
  • Syragius of Autun and Anarcharius of Auxerre, Roman Catholic Bishops; and Valery of Leucone and Eustace of Luxeuit, Roman Catholic Abbots

2 (James Lloyd Breck, “The Apostle of the Wilderness”)

  • Carlo Carretto, Spiritual Writer
  • John Payne and Cuthbert Mayne, Roman Catholic Priests and Martyrs, 1582 and 1577
  • Joseph Bernardin, Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago
  • Mykolai Charnetskyi, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Titular Bishop of Lebed, and Martyr, 1959
  • Sidonius Apollinaris, Eustace of Lyon, and His Descendants, Roman Catholic Bishops

3 (Luther D. Reed, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Liturgist)

  • Burgendofara and Sadalberga, Roman Catholic Abbesses, and Their Relatives
  • Marc Sangnier, Founder of the Sillon Movement
  • Mary of Egypt, Hermit and Penitent
  • Reginald Heber, Anglican Bishop of Calcutta, and Hymn Writer
  • Sidney Lovett, U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Chaplain of Yale University

4 (Benedict the African, Franciscan Friar and Hermit)

  • Alfred C. Marble, Jr., Episcopal Bishop of Mississippi then Assisting Bishop of North Carolina
  • Ernest W. Shurtleff, U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Gaetano Catanoso, Founder of the Congregation of the Daughters of Saint Veronica (Missionaries of the Holy Face)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., U.S. Civil Rights Leader, and Martyr, 1968 (also January 15)
  • Ndue Serreqi, Albanian Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1954

5 (Emily Ayckbowm, Founder of the Community of the Sisters of the Church)

  • Mariano de la Mata Aparicio, Roman Catholic Missionary and Educator in Brazil
  • Pauline Sperry, Mathematician, Philanthropist, and Activist; and her brother, Willard Learoyd Sperry, Congregationalist Minister, Ethicist, Theologian, and Dean of Harvard Law School
  • Ruth Youngdahl Nelson, U.S. Lutheran Renewer of Society
  • William Derham, Anglican Priest and Scientist

6 (Marcellinus of Carthage, Roman Catholic Martyr, 413)

  • Benjamin Hall Kennedy, Greek and Latin Scholar, Bible Translator, and Anglican Priest
  • Daniel G. C. Wu, Chinese-American Episcopal Priest and Missionary
  • Emil Brunner, Swiss Reformed Theologian
  • Milner Ball, Presbyterian Minister, Law Professor, Witness for Civil Rights, Humanitarian
  • Nokter Balbulus, Roman Catholic Monk

7 (Tikhon of Moscow, Russian Orthodox Patriach)

  • André Trocmé, Magda Trocmé, and Daniel Trocmé, Righteous Gentiles
  • George the Younger, Greek Orthodox Bishop of Mitylene
  • Jay Thomas Stocking, U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Montford Scott, Edmund Gennings, Henry Walpole, and Their Fellow Martyrs, 1591 and 1595
  • Randall Davidson, Archbishop of Canterbury

8 (Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, Patriarch of American Lutheranism; his great-grandson, William Augustus Muhlenberg, Episcopal Priest, Hymn Writer, and Liturgical Pioneer; and his colleague, Anne Ayres, Founder of the Sisterhood of the Holy Communion)

  • Dionysius of Corinth, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Godfrey Diekmann, U.S. Roman Catholic Monk, Priest, Ecumenist, Theologian, and Liturgical Scholar
  • Hugh of Rouen, Roman Catholic Bishop, Abbot, and Monk
  • Julie Billiart, Founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame
  • Timothy Lull, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Scholar, Theologian, and Ecumenist

9 (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German Lutheran Martyr, 1945

  • Johann Cruger, German Lutheran Organist, Composer, and Hymnal Editor
  • John Samuel Bewley Monsell, Anglican Priest and Poet; and Richard Mant, Anglican Bishop of Down, Connor, and Dromore
  • Lydia Emilie Gruchy, First Female Minister in the United Church of Canada
  • Mikael Agricola, Finnish Lutheran Liturgist, Bishop of Turku, and “Father of Finnish Literary Language”
  • William Law, Anglican Priest, Mystic, and Spiritual Writer

10 (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Roman Catholic Priest, Scientist, and Theologian)

  • Bademus, Persian Martyr, 376
  • Bonifacy Zukowski, Polish Roman Catholic Friar and Martyr, 1942
  • Fulbert of Chartres, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Henry Van Dyke, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Liturgist
  • Howard Thurman, Protestant Theologian

11 (Heinrich Theobald Schenck, German Lutheran Pastor and Hymn Writer)

  • Charles Stedman Newhall, U.S. Naturalist, Hymn Writer, and Congregationalist and Presbyterian Minister
  • George Augustus Selwyn, Anglican Bishop of New Zealand, Primate of New Zealand, and Bishop of Lichfield; Missionary
  • George Zabelka, U.S. Roman Catholic Priest, Military Chaplain, and Advocate for Christian Nonviolence
  • Henry Hallam Tweedy, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer
  • Symforian Ducki, Polish Roman Catholic Friar and Martyr, 1942

12 (Henry Sloane Coffin, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Theologian, and Hymn Translator; and his nephew, William Sloane Coffin, Jr., U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Social Activist)

  • Carl F. Price, U.S. Methodist Hymnologist and Composer
  • David Uribe-Velasco, Mexican Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1927
  • Julius I, Bishop of Rome
  • Teresa of Jesus of the Andes, Chilean Roman Catholic Nun
  • Zeno of Verona, Bishop

13 (Joseph Barber Lightfoot, Bishop of Durham)

  • Henri Perrin, French Roman Catholic Worker Priest
  • John Gloucester, First African-American Presbyterian Minister
  • Lucy Craft Laney, African-American Presbyterian Educator and Civil Rights Activist
  • Martin I, Bishop of Rome, and Martyr, 655; and Maximus the Confessor, Eastern Orthodox Monk, Abbot, and Martyr, 662
  • Rolando Rivi, Roman Catholic Seminarian and Martyr, 1945

14 (Edward Thomas Demby and Henry Beard Delany, Episcopal Suffragan Bishops for Colored Work)

  • Anthony, John, and Eustathius of Vilnius, Martyrs in Lithuania, 1347
  • George Frederick Handel, Composer
  • Lucien Botovasoa, Malagasy Roman Catholic Martyr, 1947
  • Wandregisilus of Normandy, Roman Catholic Abbot; and Lambert of Lyons, Roman Catholic Abbot and Bishop
  • Zenaida of Tarsus and her sister, Philonella of Tarsus; and Hermione of Ephesus; Unmercenary Physicians

15 (Olga of Kiev, Regent of Kievan Russia; Adalbert of Magdeburg, Roman Catholic Bishop; Adalbert of Prague, Roman Catholic Bishop and Martyr, 997; and Benedict and Gaudentius of Pomerania, Roman Catholic Martyrs, 997)

  • Damien and Marianne of Molokai, Workers Among Lepers
  • Flavia Domitilla, Roman Christian Noblewoman; and Maro, Eutyches, and Victorinus of Rome, Priests and Martyrs, Circa 99
  • Hunna of Alsace, the “Holy Washerwoman”

16 (Bernadette of Lourdes, Roman Catholic Visionary)

  • Calvin Weiss Laufer, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Hymnodist
  • Isabella Gilmore, Anglican Deaconess
  • Mikel Suma, Albanian Roman Catholic Priest, Friar, and Martyr, 1950
  • Peter Williams Cassey, African-American Episcopal Deacon; and his wife, Annie Besant Cassey, African-American Episcopal Educator

17 (Daniel Sylvester Tuttle, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church)

  • Emily Cooper, Episcopal Deaconess
  • Lucy Larcom, U.S. Academic, Journalist, Poet, Editor, and Hymn Writer
  • Max Josef Metzger, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1944
  • Wilbur Kenneth Howard, Moderator of The United Church of Canada

18 (Roger Williams, Founder of Rhode Island; and Anne Hutchinson, Rebellious Puritan)

  • Cornelia Connelly, Founder of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus
  • Maria Anna Blondin, Founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Anne
  • Mary C. Collins, U.S. Congregationalist Missionary and Minister
  • Murin of Fahan, Laserian of Leighlin, Goban of Picardie, Foillan of Fosses, and Ultan of Peronne, Abbots; Fursey of Peronne and Blitharius of Seganne, Monks
  • Roman Archutowski, Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1943

19 (Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Martyr, 1012)

  • Emma of Lesum, Benefactor
  • Olavus Petri, Swedish Lutheran Theologian, Historian, Liturgist, Minister, Hymn Writer, Hymn Translator, and “Father of Swedish Literature;” and his brother, Laurentius Petri, Swedish Lutheran Archbishop of Uppsala, Bible Translator, and “Father of Swedish Hymnody”
  • Samuel Sebastian Wesley, Anglican Organist and Composer

20 (Johannes Bugenhagen, German Lutheran Theologian, Minister, Liturgist, and “Pastor of the Reformation”)

  • Amator of Auxerre and Germanus of Auxerre, Roman Catholic Bishops; Mamertinus of Auxerre, Roman Catholic Abbot; and Marcian of Auxerre, Roman Catholic Monk
  • Chiara Bosatta, Co-Founder of the Daughters of Saint Mary of Providence
  • Christian X, King of Denmark and Iceland; and his brother, Haakon VII, King of Norway
  • Marion MacDonald Kelleran, Episcopal Seminary Professor and Lay Leader
  • Robert Seymour Bridges, Anglican Hymn Writer and Hymn Translator

21 (Roman Adame Rosales, Mexican Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1927)

  • Conrad of Parzham, Capuchin Friar
  • David Brainerd, American Congregationalist then Presbyterian Missionary and Minister
  • George B. Caird, English Congregationalist then United Reformed Minister, Biblical Scholar, and Hymn Writer and Translator
  • Georgia Harkness, U.S. Methodist Minister, Theologian, Ethicist, and Hymn Writer
  • Simeon Barsabae, Bishop; and His Companions, Martyrs, 341

22 (Gene Britton, Episcopal Priest)

  • Donald S. Armentrout, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Scholar
  • Hadewijch of Brabert, Roman Catholic Mystic
  • Kathe Kollwitz, German Lutheran Artist and Pacifist
  • Ndoc Suma, Albanian Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1958
  • Vitalis of Gaza, Monk, Hermit, and Martyr, Circa 625

23 (Toyohiko Kagawa, Renewer of Society and Prophetic Witness in Japan)

  • Maria Gabriella Sagheddu, Italian Roman Catholic Nun
  • Martin Rinckart, German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Teresa Maria of the Cross, Founder of the Carmelite Sisters of Saint Teresa of Florence
  • Walter Russell Bowie, Episcopal Priest, Seminary Professor, and Hymn Writer

24 (Genocide Remembrance)

  • Egbert of Lindisfarne, Roman Catholic Monk; and Adalbert of Egmont, Roman Catholic Missionary
  • Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Capuchin Friar and Martyr, 1622
  • Frank von Christierson, Finnish-American Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Jakob Böhme, German Lutheran Mystic
  • Johann Walter, “First Cantor of the Lutheran Church”
  • Mellitus, Bishop of London, and Archbishop of Canterbury


26 (William Cowper, Anglican Hymn Writer)

  • Adelard of Corbie, Frankish Roman Catholic Monk and Abbot; and his protégé, Paschasius Radbertus, Frankish Roman Catholic Monk, Abbot, and Theologian
  • Robert Hunt, First Anglican Chaplain at Jamestown, Virginia
  • Ruth Byllesby, Episcopal Deaconess in Georgia
  • Stanislaw Kubista, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1940; and Wladyslaw Goral, Polish Roman Catholic Bishop and Martyr, 1945
  • William Stringfellow, Episcopal Attorney, Theologian, and Social Activist

27 (George Washington Doane, Episcopal Bishop of New Jersey; and his son, William Croswell Doane, Episcopal Bishop of Albany; Hymn Writers)

  • Antony and Theodosius of Kiev, Founders of Russian Orthodox Monasticism; Barlaam of Kiev, Russian Orthodox Abbot; and Stephen of Kiev, Russian Orthodox Abbot and Bishop
  • Christina Rossetti, Poet and Religious Writer
  • Remaclus of Maastricht, Theodore of Maastricht, Lambert of Maastricht, Hubert of Maastricht and Liege, and Floribert of Liege, Roman Catholic Bishops; Landrada of Munsterbilsen, Roman Catholic Abbess; and Otger of Utrecht, Plechelm of Guelderland, and Wiro, Roman Catholic Missionaries
  • Zita of Tuscany, Worker of Charity

28 (Jaroslav Vajda, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Hymn Translator, and Hymn Writer)

  • Jozef Cebula, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1941
  • Louis de Montfort, Founder of the Company of Mary (the Montfort Missionaries) and Co-Founder of the Daughters of Wisdom; and Marie-Louise Trichet, Co-Founder of the Daughters of Wisdom
  • Pamphilius of Sulmona, Roman Catholic Bishop and Almsgiver
  • Peter Chanel, Protomartyr of Oceania, 1841

29 (Catherine of Siena, Roman Catholic Mystic and Religious)

  • Bosa of York, John of Beverley, Wilfrid the Younger, and Acca of Hexham, Roman Catholic Bishops
  • Hanna Helena Chrzanowska, Polish Roman Catholic Nurse
  • James Edward Walsh, Roman Catholic Missionary Bishop and Political Prisoner in China
  • Simon B. Parker, United Methodist Biblical Scholar
  • Timothy Rees, Welsh Anglican Hymn Writer and Bishop of Llandaff

30 (James Montgomery, Anglican and Moravian Hymn Writer)

  • Diet Eman; her fiancé, Hein Sietsma, Martyr, 1945; and his brother, Hendrik “Henk” Sietsma; Righteous Among the Nations
  • Giuseppe Benedetto Cottolengo, Founder of the Little House of Divine Providence
  • James Russell Woodford, Anglican Bishop of Ely, Hymn Translator, and Hymn Writer
  • John Ross MacDuff and George Matheson, Scottish Presbyterian Ministers and Authors
  • Sarah Josepha Buell Hale, Poet, Author, Editor, and Prophetic Witness



  • The Confession of Saint Martha of Bethany (the Sunday immediately prior to Palm Sunday; March 8-April 11)


Lowercase boldface on a date with two or more commemorations indicates a primary feast.