Archive for the ‘April 21’ Category

Feast of Georgia Harkness (April 21)   1 comment

Above:  My Copy of Toward Understanding the Bible (1952)

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

GEORGIA ELMA HARKNESS (APRIL 21, 1891-AUGUST 21, 1974)

U.S. Methodist Minister, Theologian, Ethicist, and Hymn Writer

Georgia Harkness comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via Toward Understanding the Bible (1952) and The Interpreter’s Bible (12 volumes, 1951f), in my library.

Georgia Elma Harkness was a pioneer for women in her Methodist tradition and in the mainstream of Christianity in the United States of America.  She, born in Harkness, New York, on April 21, 1891, was the fourth of four children of Joseph Warren Harkness and Lillie Merrill Harkness.  Our saint, from a progressive and upper middle class family, members of the Methodist Episcopal Church (1784-1939), perceived her vocation when an adolescent.  The institutional church had other ideas, however.

Sexism remained a barrier for Harkness, who had received a call to ordained ministry.  She, a graduate of Cornell University (B.A. in Philosophy, 1912), could not matriculate at any of the theological seminaries in the United States because of her chromosomes.  Had Georgia Elma Harkness been George Elmo Harkness, such institutional barriers would not have existed.  After teaching high school for six years, Harkness matriculated at Boston University.  Her gender kept her out of the School of Theology, so she went to the School of Religion instead.  She graduate with her doctorate in 1923.  Her dissertation was, “The Relations Between Philosophy of Religion and Ethics in the Thought of Thomas Hill Green.”

Harkness became an academic.  She taught religion and philosophy courses at Elmira College, Elmira, New York, a women’s college, from 1923 to 1938.  She continued her studies during summers.  Our saint was a summer student at Harvard Divinity School, Yale Divinity School, and Union Theological Seminary, New York City.  She was Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Mount Holyoke College from 1937 to 1940.  The Methodist Episcopal Church ordained Harkness a deacon in 1926 and an elder in 1939.  However, given that no female could yet join a conference, our saint could not yet function as an ordained minister.  Delegates to the Methodist reuniting conference (1939) voted on a resolution to approve the ordination of women.  The resolution failed by a few votes.  The Methodist Church (1939-1968) finally authorized the ordination of women at the General Conference of 1956.  In the meantime, however, Harkness did make history by becoming the first woman to hold the position of professor at a theological seminary in the United States.  She joined the faculty of Garrett Biblical Institute (a predecessor of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary), near Chicago, Illinois, in 1940.  Our saint taught Applied Theology there for a decade then transferred to the Pacific School of Religion, a Congregationalist seminary in Berkeley, California.  Harkness retired in 1960.

Harkness’s liberal tendencies were prominent.  She, a pacifist, wrote materials for the Methodist Board of World Peace.  Economic justice, a major concern of Hebrew prophets, was another priority for our saint.  Harkness, an ecumenist, was active in the World Council of Churches.  She wrote the hymn, “Hope of the World” (1953) for the WCC Assembly of 1954.  Harkness also supported civil rights for African Americans and confronted Karl Barth (1886-1968) to his face (at the first WCC Assembly, in 1948) over his opposition to feminism.

Harkness wrote other hymns, too.  “Hope of the World” has become her most popular hymn.  Other titles were:

  1. “The Earth Thou Givest, Lord, is Thine;”
  2. “Tell it!  Tell it Out with Gladness;”
  3. “Speak Through the Living Silence;”
  4. “Speak Thou, O Lord, Thy Light;” and
  5. “God of the Fertile Fields.”

Harkness also served as one of the Consulting Editors of The Interpreter’s Bible in the 1950s.

Harkness had a practical bent and wrote most often for general audiences.  She preferred to write books many people would read and find useful.  Her publications included the following:

  1. The Church and the Immigrant (1921),
  2. Holy Flame (1935),
  3. The Resources of Religion (1936),
  4. The Recovery of Ideals (1937),
  5. How to Find Prayer More Meaningful (1946),
  6. Prayer and the Common Life (1948),
  7. Conflicts in Religious Thought (1949),
  8. The Gospel and Our World (1949),
  9. Through Christ Our Lord:  A Devotional Manual Based on the Recorded Works of Jesus (1950),
  10. Toward Understanding the Bible (1952),
  11. Christian Ethics:  Emerging Social Trends and the Future of American Christianity (1952),
  12. Eschatology in the Great Poets (1952),
  13. The Sources of Western Culture:  From Primitive Society to the Beginnings of Christian Ethics (1954),
  14. Religious Living (1958),
  15. The Bible Speaks to Daily Needs (1959),
  16. Does God Care? (1960),
  17. The Providence of God (1960),
  18. John Calvin:  The Man and His Ethics (1963),
  19. The Glory of God:  Poems and Prayers for Devotional Use (1963),
  20. The Methodist Church in Social Thought and Action (1964),
  21. The Dark Night of the Soul (1965),
  22. Disciplines of the Christian Life (1967),
  23. A Devotional Treasure from the Early Church (1968),
  24. Grace Abounding (1969),
  25. The Ministry of Reconciliation (1971),
  26. Women in Church and Society:  A Historical and Theological Inquiry (1972), and
  27. Understanding the Kingdom of God (1974).

For the sake of clarity, I make clear what Harkness meant by “liberal” and “liberalism” before I continue.  She described herself as a “chastened liberal,” standing between the overly optimistic Social Gospel of Walter Rauschenbush (1861-1918) and the Neo-orthodoxy of Karl Barth, Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) and H. Richard Niebuhr (1894-1962).  Harkness, writing in Toward Understanding the Bible (1952), noted the common ground between liberalism and Neo-orthodoxy (acceptance of science, rejection of fundamentalism, et cetera) then argued that the difference was one of emphasis.  She wrote that Neo-orthodoxy emphasized human weakness and sinfulness but that liberal Christianity emphasized that

man is made in the spiritual image of God, and, as God’s supreme creation, is a living soul with a great, God-given responsibility to honor and obey him.

–124

Consistent with Harkness’s stance vis-à-vis Neo-orthodoxy, she stood with the Eastern Orthodox by rejecting original sin.  She told The Christian Century, regarding original sin,

The faster it goes, the better.

Yet Harkness, like Reinhold Niebuhr, recognized the power of sin in people and in social institutions.

By theological position, by the way, is Neo-orthodoxy.   I also describe myself as a theological, social, and political liberal.  I use “liberal” more broadly than Harkness did.

Harkness, 83 years old, died in Claremont, California, on August 21, 1974.

Engaging with writings of Georgia Harkness will provide one with much food for ethical and theological thoughts.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 5, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF KARL RAHNER, JESUIT PRIEST AND THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF AMBROSE PHILLIPPS DE LISLE, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC CONVERT, SPIRITUAL WRITER, AND TRANSLATOR OF SPIRITUAL WRITINGS; FOUNDER OF MOUNT SAINT BERNARD ABBEY

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER MACASSOLI OF VIGEGANO, FRANCSICAN PRIEST

THE FEAST OF SAINT EUSEBIUS OF CREMONA, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND HUMANITARIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT ION COSTIST, FRANCISCAN LAY BROTHER

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Almighty God, we praise you for your servant Georgia Harkness,

through whom you have called the church to its tasks and renewed its life.

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 reign,

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

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

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of George B. Caird (April 21)   Leave a comment

Above:  Three of the Volumes to Which Caird Contributed

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

GEORGE BRADFORD CAIRD (JULY 17, 1917-APRIL 21, 1984)

English Congregationalist then United Reformed Minister, Biblical Scholar, and Hymn Writer and Translator

Also known as G. B. Caird

INTRODUCTION

George Bradford Caird comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Interpreter’s Bible and two translations of the Bible.He wrote the introduction to and the exegesis of the Books of Samuel for Volume II (1953) of The Interpreter’s Bible.

Caird was one of the great Biblical scholars of the twentieth century.  He, a protégé of Charles Harold (C. H.) Dodd (1884-1973) and an influence on Nicholas Thomas (N. T.) Wright, was, depending on one’s perspective, too conservative, too liberal, or about right.  Fans of Burton Mack, John Dominic Crossan, Marcus Borg, and other members of that school that argues for discontinuity from Jesus to the early Church consider him too far to the right.  However, fundamentalists think he was too far to the left.  Caird accepted the Sources Hypothesis regarding much of the Hebrew Bible  and did not try to harmonize divergent voices in the New Testament, for example.

I argue that Caird was usually about right.

I using knowledge I have gained from belonging to a Historical Jesus-early Church reading group for a few years, place Caird on the spectrum.  I position him to the right of Borg, Crossan, and Mack, and slightly to the right of Luke Timothy Johnson, an effective critic of Borg, Crossan, and Mack.  Caird belongs in the same camp as his mentor, C. H. Dodd.  Most of Dodd’s endnotes in The Founder of Christianity (1970) are merely scriptural citations.  Caird’s influence is evident in N. T. Wright’s Jesus and the Victory of God (1996), my copy of which I insist on keeping, even as I reduce the size of my library.  Caird’s works are slightly more optimistic regarding the Gospels as sources of information about the historical figure of Jesus than James D. G. Dunn‘s Jesus Remembered (2003), my copy of which I also insist on retaining.

BIOGRAPHY

George Bradford Caird belonged to the Reformed tradition.  He, born in Wandsworth, England, to Scottish parents on July 17, 1917, grew up in Birmingham, England.  He graduated from King Edward’s School, Birmingham; Peterhouse, Cambridge (B.A., 1939); and Mansfield College, Oxford (M.A., 1943; doctorate, 1944).  Our saint, ordained a Congregationalist minister, served as pastor of a church in Highgate, London.  In 1946, he and his wife, Viola Mary “Mollie” Caird, moved to Canada.  Our saint spent the rest of his life in academia.

Caird spent 1946-1959 in Canada.  He was initially Professor of Old Testament at St. Stephen’s College, Edmonton, Alberta.  By 1951 he was Professor of New Testament at McGill University and Principal of the Theological College of Montreal, Quebec.

Caird spent 1959-1984 at Oxford.  He was a senior tutor (1959-1969) at then the Principal (1970-1977) of Mansfield College, Oxford.  One of his more noteworthy students was the Reverend Brian Wren (born in 1936), one of the greatest hymn writers of the twentieth century.  From 1977 to 1984, Caird was the Dean Ireland’s Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture.  His successor was E. P. Sanders, author of Paul and Palestinian Judaism (1985), Jesus and Judaism (1985), and The Historical Figure of Jesus (1993).

Caird translated portions of the Bible.  He translated part of the Apocrypha/Deuterocanon of The New English Bible (1970), a project over which C. H. Dodd presided.  Our saint also worked on the The Revised English Bible (1989).  Caird preferred the dynamic equivalency approach to translating the Bible.  He criticized the Revised Standard Version (1952, 1971) for being overly literal, to the point of awkwardness in places.  Our saint’s preference for dynamic equivalency was consistent with his literary style, which was graceful and succinct.

Caird also translated and wrote hymns.  He translated “Shepherds Come, Their Praises Bringing” (1951) and wrote “Not Far Beyond the Sea, Nor High” and “Almighty Father, Who For Us,” for example.  Hymnal committees that possess good taste include at least some of his hymns in the volumes they produce.

Caird wrote books plus many articles and book reviews.  His books included:

  1. The Truth of the Gospel (1950);
  2. The Apostolic Age (1955);
  3. Principalities and Powers (1956);
  4. The Gospel of St. Luke (1963);
  5. Jesus and God (1965), with D. E. Jenkins;
  6. Jesus and the Jewish Nation (1965);
  7. The Revelation of St. John the Divine (1966);
  8. Our Dialogue with Rome:  The Second Vatican Council and After (1967); and
  9. Paul’s Letters from Prison (1976).

Death prevented Caird from completing New Testament TheologyLincoln Hurst completed this work, published in 1994.

Caird held some scholarly and theological opinions that would have made him anathema in some of the communities in which I grew up in rural southern Georgia. U.S.A.  He admired St. Paul the Apostle without crossing the line into hero worship.  Caird thought of St. Paul as a social revolutionary, including vis-à-vis equality for women.  Caird also disagreed with the great apostle sometimes.  Our saint, like his mentor, C. H. Dodd, argued for Realized Eschatology.  Caird wrote in his commentary on Revelation that the author (“John”) did not expect an imminent end of the age.  Caird would not have pleased anyone at a fundamentalist prophecy conference.

Caird was a social progressive.  He openly supported equality for women and opposed racism.  He, as the Moderator of the United Reformed Church  in 1975-1976, visited South Africa on denominational business.  While there, he confronted his pro-Apartheid counterparts in the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa (DRCSA).  (The Congregational Church in England and Wales and the Presbyterian Church of England had merged into the United Reformed Church in 1972.)  The DRCSA eventually recanted and apologized for its theological defense of Apartheid.  Caird did not live to see that day, however.

Caird, a scholar and a preacher extraordinaire who used either few or no notes, died in Wantage, England, on April 21, 1984.  He was 66 years old.

CONCLUSION

The Bible shaped George Bradford Caird.  He combined intellectual rigor, cautious scholarship, and Christian faith into a synthesis that challenged institutionalized social injustice and individual obliviousness to the (not unanimous) chorus of voices in the Bible.  Our saint, a scholar’s scholar, loved God with his heart, soul, and mind.  His articulate, graceful prose and poetry survives him, fortunately.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 4, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHARLES SIMEON, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND PROMOTER OF MISSIONS; HENRY MARTYN, ANGLICAN PRIEST, LINGUIST, TRANSLATOR, AND MISSIONARY; AND ABDUL MASIH, INDIAN CONVERT AND MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF HENRY SUSO, GERMAN ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTIC, PREACHER, AND SPIRITUAL WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHN EDGAR PARK, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEN CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF PAUL CUFFEE, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MISSIONARY TO THE SHINNECOCK NATION

THE FEAST OF THOMAS HORNBLOWER GILL, ENGLISH UNITARIAN THEN ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [George B. Caird and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

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

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of David Brainerd (April 21)   Leave a comment

Above:  Brainerd Preaching to the Indians

Image in the Public Domain

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

DAVID BRAINERD (APRIL 21, 1718-OCTOBER 9, 1747)

American Congregationalist then Presbyterian Missionary and Minister

David Brainerd 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).

Brainerd came from a Congregationalist background.  He, born in Haddam, Connecticut, on April 20, 1718, was a son of Hezekiah Brainerd (died in 1727) and Dorothy Brainerd (died in 1732).  Our saint, orphaned at 14 years of age, spent about a year in his pastor’s household.  Then the minister died.  Next, Brainerd joined the household of Jerusha, his older sister, who lived in East Haddam.  Our saint inherited a farm near Durham when he was 19 years old.  Agricultural life disagreed with Brainerd, though.  So he returned to East Haddam at age 20, to prepare to matriculate at Yale.  While waiting to start classes at Yale, he had a conversion experience on July 12, 1739.

Brainerd had a weak physical constitution.  It interfered with his studies at Yale, which began in the fall of 1739.  During one of our saint’s health-related absences from Yale, the (First) Great Awakening took hold on campus, much to the disapproval of the faculty, Old Lights Calvinists.  Brainerd, back on campus, joined the New Lights party.  After he spoke dismissively of one tutor as having

no more grace than a chair,

the administration expelled Brainerd in 1741.

The following year, New Lights Calvinists licensed Brainerd to preach.  This brought him to the attention of the Reverend Jonathan Dickinson (died in 1747), who tried to have our saint reinstated at Yale.  Brainerd was done at Yale, though; missionary work beckoned.

In 1743-1746, Brainerd worked under the auspices of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge.  He worked as a missionary to indigenous people on the frontier–to the Housatonic near Nassau, New York (1743-1744), then to the Delaware tribe in New Jersey.  His health suffered in the wilderness.  Nevertheless, our saint, ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1744, founded a school for the Housatonic, began to translate the Psalms for them, and founded a Presbyterian congregation for the Delaware.

Brainerd, ill, left the mission field in late 1746.  He arrived at the home of Jonathan Dickinson in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, in November 1746.  After a few months, he moved on to the home of Jonathan Edwards in Northampton, Massachusetts, in early 1747.  Our saint died of tuberculosis there on October 9, 1747.  He was 29 years old.

Edwards published An Account of the Life of the Late Reverend Mr. David Brainerd (1749).  The book became influential among certain prominent, subsequent missionaries.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 2, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SHABBAZ BHATTI AND OTHER CHRISTIAN MARTYRS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

THE FEAST OF SAINT AIDAN OF LINDISFARNE, CELTIC MISSIONARY BISHOP; SAINT CAELIN, CELTIC PRIEST; CEDD OF LASTINGHAM, CELTIC AND ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, BISHOP OF ESSEX, AND ABBOT OF LASTINGHAM; CYNIBIL OF LASTINGHAM, CELTIC AND ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MONK; SAINT CHAD OF MERCIA, CELTIC AND ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, ABBOT OF LASTINGHAM, BISHOP OF YORK/THE NORTHUMBRIANS AND OF LICHFIELD/THE MERCIANS AND THE LINDSEY PEOPLE; SAINT VITALIAN, BISHOP OF ROME; SAINT ADRIAN OF CANTERBURY, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL, CANTERBURY; AND SAINT CUTHBERT OF LINDISFARNE, CELTIC AND ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, HERMIT, PRIEST, AND BISHOP OF LINDISFARNE

THE FEAST OF DANIEL MARCH, SR., U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST AND PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, POET, HYMN WRITER, AND LITURGIST

THE FEAST OF JOHN STUART BLACKIE, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN SCHOLAR, LINGUIST, POET, THEOLOGIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT LUDMILLA OF BOHEMIA, DUCHESS OF BOHEMIA, AND MARTYR, 921; HER GRANDSON, SAINT WENCESLAUS I, DUKE OF BOHEMIA, AND MARTYR, 929; SAINT AGNES OF PRAGUE, BOHEMIAN PRINCESS AND NUN; HER PEN PAL, SAINT CLARE OF ASSISI, FOUNDRESS OF THE POOR CLARES; HER SISTER, SAINT AGNES OF ASSISI, ABBESS AT MONTICELLI; AND HER MOTHER, SAINT HORTULANA OF ASSISI, POOR CLARE NUN

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

God of grace and glory, we praise you for your servant David Brainerd,

who made the good news known to the Housatonic and the Delaware.

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 10:1-17

Luke 24:44-53

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 59

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of St. Roman Adame Rosales (April 21)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Roman Adame Rosales

Image in the Public Domain

++++++++++++++++++++++++

SAINT ROMAN ADAME ROSALES (FEBRUARY 27, 1859-APRIL 21, 1927)

Mexican Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1927

Alternative feast day = May 21

St. Roman Adame Rosales witnessed for Christ in the face of persecution.  He, born at Teocaltiche, Jalisco, Mexico, on February 27, 1859, became a priest on November 30, 1890.  Our saint, who served as the parish priest at Nochistlan, Zacatecas, from 1913 to 1927, cared for the sick, built chapels, and founded the Daughters of the Mary of Nocturnal Adoration.  He went underground when persecution of the Roman Catholic Church began.  Our saint said his final Mass on April 18, 1927, at Rancho Veladones.  One person in attendance betrayed the priest, who authorities arrested the following day.  The man chiefly responsible for the martyrdom of our saint was one Colonel Quinones, who had taken over the rectory at Yahualican, Jalisco, as headquarters, and kept him a prisoner there.  Quinones, who did not give Rosales food and water, kept him tied to a post during daytime and locked up in a cell at nighttime.  The Colonel accepted a ransom of $6000 from locals, pocketed the funds, and had the priest executed.  Antonio Carillo, a soldier, refused to fire on Rosales, so he (Carillo) also died via firing squad on April 21, 1927.

Pope John Paul II declared Rosales a Venerable then a Blessed in 1992 and a full saint in 2000.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 12, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF DESIDERIUS ERASMUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF JOHN GUALBERT, FOUNDER OF THE VALLOMBROSAN BENEDICTINES

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES RENATUS VERBEEK, MORAVIAN MINISTER AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF PETER RICKSECKER, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER, MISSIONARY, MUSICIAN, MUSIC EDUCATOR, AND COMPOSER; STUDENT OF JOHANN CHRISTIAN BECHLER, MORAVIAN MINISTER, MUSICIAN, MUSIC EDUCATOR, AND COMPOSER; FATHER OF JULIUS THEODORE BECHLER, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER, MUSICIAN, EDUCATOR, AND COMPOSER

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Almighty God, who gave to your servant Saint Roman Adame Rosales boldness

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

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 the Lord Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 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), page 713

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of St. Conrad of Parzham (April 21)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Conrad of Parzham

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++

SAINT CONRAD OF PARZHAM (DECEMBER 22, 1818-APRIL 21, 1894)

Capuchin Friar

Born Johann Birndorfer

Johann Birdorfer was a holy man.  He, born in Parzham, Bavaria, on December 22, 1818, came from a farming family.  As a young man he devoted himself to solitary prayer and to peacemaking.  He also frequented churches and shrines in his native region.  Our saint became a Capuchin tertiary at the age of 31 years and a novice (as Conrad) two years later.  For more than forty years Friar Conrad, a porter at the Shrine of Our Lady at Alotting, Bavaria, distributed alms, assisted pilgrims, counseled people spiritually, and taught the faith to children.  He performed these duties until three days before he died.  During those final days, as St. Conrad lay on his death-bed, children to whom he had taught the rosary recited it outside his window.  He died on April 21, 1894.

Pope Pius XI declared St. Conrad a Venerable in 1928, a Blessed in 1930, and a full saint in 1934.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 12, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF DESIDERIUS ERASMUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF JOHN GUALBERT, FOUNDER OF THE VALLOMBROSAN BENEDICTINES

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES RENATUS VERBEEK, MORAVIAN MINISTER AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF PETER RICKSECKER, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER, MISSIONARY, MUSICIAN, MUSIC EDUCATOR, AND COMPOSER; STUDENT OF JOHANN CHRISTIAN BECHLER, MORAVIAN MINISTER, MUSICIAN, MUSIC EDUCATOR, AND COMPOSER; FATHER OF JULIUS THEODORE BECHLER, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER, MUSICIAN, EDUCATOR, AND COMPOSER

+++++++++++++++++++++++

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 Conrad of Parzham, 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 22

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of St. Simeon Barsabae and His Companions (April 21)   Leave a comment

Above:  Exaltation of the Cross

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SAINT SIMEON BARSABAE (DIED 341)

Bishop of Seleucia and Ctesiphon

The account of the martyrdom of St. Simeon Barsabae and his companions requires contextualization.  Relations between the Roman Empire and the revived Persian Empire under the Sasanid Dynasty were difficult, punctuated by wars.   The Sasanids governed from 226 to 651, thus the beginning of their tenure coincided with a difficult century for the Roman Empire.  Rome stabilized somewhat in the late 200s yet experienced civil war in the early 300s.  Constantine I “the Great” (reigned jointly from 306 to 323 and alone from 323 to 337) legalized Christianity.  This was a political move, an attempt to stabilize the empire and extend its lifespan by grafting onto it the hierarchy and organization of the Church.

Meanwhile, in Persia, King Shapur/Sapor II (reigned 310-379) perceived his Christian population as disloyal.  Persian policy had been to persecute heterodox populations, but religious toleration had taken its place.  Then Constantine I legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire.  Acting on the premise of guilt by association, Shapur II resumed persecution of Christians and other non-Zoroastrians.  Attempting to use Zoroastrianism to unify his realm by force if deemed necessary, Shapur II declared heresy (as he defined it) a death penalty offense.

St. Simeon Barsabae (died 341), Bishop in Ctesiphon, capital city of Persia, refused to betray his faith.  And many of his fellow Christians likewise refused.  The persecution during which these valiant people died was notoriously harsh and violent.  St. Simeon had to witness the beheading of about a hundred of his fellow Christians.  Among them were the following:

  1. Usthazanes, the royal tutor, whom the saint had led back to Christ after apostasy;
  2. Abdechalas and Ananias, two priests;
  3. and Pusicius, a layman who had encouraged Ananias.

Finally, on Good Friday, St. Simeon and his daughter, Askitrea, went to Jesus.

The persecution of Persian Christians persisted after Shapur II’s death.  I refer you, O reader, to the case of St. James Intercisus.  Yet, as the 1968 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica tells me,

Nonetheless, substantial Christian communities survived in parts of Iran long after the close of the Sasanian dynasty.–Volume 17, page 672

Persecutors, I suppose, think that they are doing what is necessary for the greater good.  Yet they are mistaken, of course.  An immoral or amoral monster probably does not look at his reflection and recognize evil, or at least bad behavior.  He probably justifies his actions to himself.  I find it ironic that one would commit murder in the name of Zoroastrianism, a faith tradition which affirms life.  Yet people have killed in the name of Christ, love incarnate.  God, save us from your alleged followers!

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 21, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF STEVE DE GRUCHY, SOUTH AFRICAN CONGREGATIONALIST THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT ARNULF OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP, AND SAINT GERMANUS OF GRANFEL, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT ETHELBERT OF KENT, KING

THE FEAST OF SAINT ROBERT SOUTHWELL, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Everloving God,

by your grace and power

your holy martyrs Saint Simeon Barsabae and his companions triumphed over suffering

and were faithful even to death;

strengthen us with your grace

that we may faithfully witness

to Jesus Christ our Saviour.  Amen.

2 Chronicles 24:17-21

Psalm 3 or 116

Hebrews 11:32-40

Matthew 10:16-22

–Adapted from A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989), pages 680-681

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A Related Post:

The Church’s One Foundation:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/06/26/the-churchs-one-foundation/

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Saints’ Days and Holy Days for April   Leave a comment

Daisies

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
  • 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
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., U.S. Civil Rights Leader, and Martyr, 1968 (also January 15)

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
  • 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)

  • 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

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)

  • David Uribe-Velasco, Mexican Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1927
  • Julius I, Bishop of Rome
  • 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
  • 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”

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
  • 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
  • Vitalis of Gaza, Monk, Hermit, and Martyr, Circa 625

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

  • 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
  • Jakob Böhme, German Lutheran Mystic
  • Johann Walter, “First Cantor of the Lutheran Church”
  • Mellitus, Bishop of London, and Archbishop of Canterbury

25 (MARK THE EVANGELIST, MARTYR, 68)

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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

 

Floating

  • 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.