Archive for the ‘February 19’ Category

Feast of Sts. Agnes Tsao Kou Ying, Agatha Lin Zhao, Lucy Yi Zhenmei, Auguste Chapdelaine, and Laurentius Bai Xiaoman (February 19)   2 comments

Above:  Map of China, 1843

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT AGNES TSAO KOU YING (CIRCA 1821-MARCH 1, 1856)

Chinese Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr, 1856

Roman Catholic feast day (solo) = March 1

Roman Catholic feast day (as one of the Martyrs of China) = September 28

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SAINT AGATHA LIN ZHAO (CIRCA 1817-JANUARY 28, 1858)

Chinese Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr, 1858

Roman Catholic feast day (solo) = January 28

Former Roman Catholic feast day (solo) = February 18

Roman Catholic feast day (as one of the Martyrs of China) = September 28

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SAINT LUCY YI ZHENMEI (JANUARY 17, 1815-FEBRUARY 19, 1862)

Chinese Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr, 1862

Roman Catholic feast day (solo) = February 19

Roman Catholic feast day (as one of the Martyrs of China) = September 28

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SAINT AUGUSTE CHAPDELAINE (JANUARY 6, 1814-FEBRUARY 29, 1856)

French Roman Catholic Priest, Missionary, and Martyr, 1856

Roman Catholic feast days (solo) = February 28 and 29

Roman Catholic feast day (as one of the Martyrs of China) = September 28

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SAINT LAURENTIUS BAI XIAOMAN (CIRCA 1821-FEBRUARY 25, 1856)

Chinese Roman Catholic Convert and Martyr, 1856

Also known as Saint Lawrence Po-Men

Roman Catholic feast day (solo) = February 25

Roman Catholic feast day (as one of the Martyrs of China) = September 28

Roman Catholic feast day (as one of the Martyrs of Cochin) = November 24

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INTRODUCTION

These five saints come to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via two sources.  All of the five saints are official, according to the Roman Catholic Church.  All of them, as Martyrs of China, share the Roman Catholic feast day of September 28.  Sts. Agnes Tsao Kou Ying, Agatha Lin Zhao, and Lucy Yi Zhenmei share the feast day of February 19 in The Episcopal Church, as of the approval of Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018 at the General Convention of 2018.  Sts. Auguste Chapdelaine and Laurentius Bai Xiaoman join the three women in this post because their stories overlap with that of St. Agnes Tsao Kou Ying.

I, as an anti-imperialist, affirm that anti-imperialism does not justify religious persecution.

Western imperialism in China led to abuses, including the British Empire selling opium and various powers exercising extra-territoriality.  Chinese anti-imperialism, although justified, led to violent excesses, notably the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901).  Chinese anti-imperialism also led to occasional persecutions of Christians over time.  Our five saints died because of this policy.

SAINTS AUGUSTE CHAPDELAINE, LAURENTIUS BAI XIAOMAN, AND AGNES TSAO KOU YING

St. Auguste Chapdelaine, despite experiencing obstacles, eventually fulfilled his vocation as a priest and a missionary.  He, born in La Rochelle-Normande, France, on January 6, 1814, was a son of Nicolas Chapdelaine and Madeleine Dodeman.  Our saint dropped out of grammar school to work on the family farm.  He eventually discerned his vocation to the priesthood, but his family objected until after two of his brothers died suddenly.  Finally, on October 1, 1834, Chapdelaine, aged 20 years, matriculated at the minor seminary, Mortain.  He, being twice as old as many of his classmates, became “Papa Chapdelaine.”  Chapdelaine, ordained to the priesthood on June 10, 1843, worked as an associate parish priest in 1844-1851.  Our saint, having discerned his vocation to be a missionary, applied to join French Foreign Missions, which accepted him, although he was, technically, two years too old to join.

Chapdelaine completed his days as a missionary in China.  He, having left France on April 30, 1852, arrived in Singapore on September 5.  When the time to depart for his mission station in China came, our saint was ready.  Robbery delayed him en route to the mission station in Kwang Si province, though.  Our saint finally arrived in 1854.  Ten days later, authorities arrested him and incarcerated him for three weeks.  Chapdelaine, released, spent the next two years or so well; he converted hundreds of people.

St. Laurentius Bai Xiaoman, born Loulong, was one of those converts.  He, born in Shuicheng, Guizhou, circa 1821, came from a poor family.  Loulong, orphaned as a boy, worked as a day laborer in Guangxi then in the village of Yaoshan.  He married in his early thirties and had a daughter.  Chapdelaine converted Loulong circa 1855.

Chapdelaine also met St. Agnes Tsao Kou Ying.  She, born in Wujiazhou circa 1821, came from a Roman Catholic family.  Her parents died during her adolescence, prompting our saint to move to Xingyi.  St. Agnes married a young farmer when she was 18 years old.  Their marriage was brief; about two years later, she became a widow when her husband became a martyr.  The widowed saint became a catechist.  Eventually Chapdelaine asked our saint to assist him in his missionary work; she agreed.  St. Agnes cared for children, taught cooking, and catechized.

Authorities arrested Chapdelaine and St. Agnes in late February 1856.  Our saints, incarcerated and tortured, refused to renounce their faith. So did St. Laurentius, arrested after he protested the arrests of Chapdelaine and St. Agnes.  All three received death sentences.  St. Laurentius died on February 25.  Chapdelaine became a martyr on February 29.  St. Agnes received the crown of martyrdom on March 1.

Holy Mother Church recognized these saints formally.  Pope Leo XIII declared them Venerable in 1899 and beatified them the following year.  Pope John Paul II canonized the three saints in 2000.

SAINT AGATHA LIN ZHAO

St. Agatha Lin Zhao was another catechist and martyr.  She, born in Quinlong, Guizhou circa 1817, grew up in a Roman Catholic family.  She, an only child, discerned her vocation to live as a single woman and operate a church-related girls’ school.  Her parents reluctantly agreed to release her from plans for an arranged marriage.  St. Agatha, having earned her university degree, returned to her hometown and opened a school for girls.  Our saint, arrested in late 1857, refused to renounce her faith.  She died via beheading on January 28, 1858.

The Church formally recognized this saint.  Pope Pius X beatified St. Agatha in 1909.  Pope John Paul II canonized her in 2000.

SAINT LUCY YI ZHENMEI

St. Lucy Yi Zhenmei was a catechist and a martyr.  When she was 20 years old and recovering from a severe illness, St. Lucy deepened her faith.  She continued to reside with and to support her family, but she adopted a semi-monastic lifestyle.  Our saint also began to teach the catechism to children.  After St. Lucy’s priest asked Lucy to become a missionary, she initially refused.  She, citing safety concerns, moved to a convent instead.  In 1862, however, our saint and Father Wen Nair opened a mission in Jiashanlong.  Almost immediately, they became victims of a provincial persecution of Christianity.  Authorities arrested the priest and three others then, without conducting a formal trial, sentenced them to die.  The priest and the three other condemned persons were en route to die on February 18, 1862, when St. Lucy met them on the road and spoke up.  Authorities arrested her immediately.  Before the end of the day, she had received her death sentence.  She received the crown of martyrdom on February 19.

The Roman Catholic Church recognized St. Lucy formally.  Pope Pius X declared her a Venerable in 1908 then beatified her the following year.  Pope John Paul II canonized her in 2000.

CONCLUSION

Writing about martyrs is easy.  Living as a Christian in a country with religious freedom is also easy.  Asking oneself if one would rather die or remain faithful may lead one to examine one’s faith more closely.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 25, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SARAH LOUISE “SADIE” DELANY, AFRICAN-AMERICAN EDUCATOR; HER SISTER, ANNIE ELIZABETH “BESSIE” DELANY, AFRICAN-AMERICAN DENTIST; AND THEIR BROTHER, HUBERT THOMAS DELANY, AFRICAN-AMERICAN ATTORNEY, JUDGE, AND CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT EUPHROSYNE AND HER FATHER, SAINT PAPHNUTIUS OF ALEXANDRIA, MONKS

THE FEAST OF SAINT HERMAN OF REICHENAU, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, LITURGIST, POET, AND SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF SAINT SERGIUS OF RADONEZH, ABBOT OF THE MONASTERY OF THE HOLY TRINITY, SERGIYEV POSAD, RUSSIA

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Lord Jesus Christ, who willingly walked the way of the cross:

Strengthen your church through the witness of your servants

Saint Agnes Tsao Kou Ying,

Saint Agatha Lin Zhou,

Saint Lucy Yi Zhenmai,

Saint Auguste Chapdelaine, and

Saint Laurentius Bai Xiaoman,

to hold fast to the path of discipleship even unto death;

for with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Ephesians 3:13-19

Psalm 27

Matthew 25:1-13

–Adapted from Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, 141

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Feast of Massey H. Shepherd, Jr. (February 19)   1 comment

Above:  The Book of Common Prayer (1979)

Photograph by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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MASSEY HAMILTON SHEPHERD, JR. (MARCH 14, 1913-FEBRUARY 19, 1990)

Episcopal Priest, Ecumenist, and Liturgist

Dean of American Liturgists

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O God, whose son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people:  Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

–Massey H. Shepherd, Jr., Contemporary Collect for the Fourth Sunday of Easter; in The Book of Common Prayer (1979), 225

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Massey H. Shepherd, Jr., with his courtly Southern manners, big smile, and love of cats, was an engaging person.  He has come to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via his liturgical work, mainly.

Shepherd helped to revolutionize liturgy in The Episcopal Church, to much praise and condemnation.  He, born in Wilmington, North Carolina, on March 14, 1913, grew up primarily in Columbia, South Carolina.  Our saint eared his B.A. and M.A. at the University of South Carolina.  His Ph.D. (1937) from The University of Chicago followed.  Then our saint matriculated at Berkeley Divinity School, New Haven, Connecticut.  There he became a protégé of William Palmer Ladd (1870-1941), Dean of the seminary and a proponent of liturgical renewal, especially with regard to increasing congregational participation in worship.  As early as 1956, Shepherd advocated having the celebrant face the congregation, not turn his back on it, during the Eucharistic prayers.

Shepherd was an ecclesiastical historian and a liturgist.  The two fields went hand-in-hand, for our saint found influences in ancient liturgies.  (Liturgical renewal was, to a great extent, a process of reviving older, abandoned traditions that predated Reformation-era practices.)  Our saint taught at the Episcopal Theological School, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1940-1954); and the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, California (1954-1981).  He also sat on the denomination’s Standing Liturgical Commission from 1947 to 1976 and served as its Vice-Chairman from 1964 to 1976.

Shepherd had a few goals, which became reality.  In 1946 he helped to found the Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission, one purpose of which was to make the Eucharist the central Sunday service in The Episcopal Church.  He also made Baptism a public (never private) rite in The Book of Common Prayer (1979).  Furthermore, our saint wrote The Liturgy of the Lord’s Supper (1967), which began the introduction of modern English into worship in The Episcopal Church.  He, as a member of the Standing Liturgical Commission, had a hand in subsequent trial-use volumes:

  1. Services for Trial Use (1971),
  2. Authorized Services 1973 (1973), and
  3. The Proposed Book of Common Prayer and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church (1976).

Shepherd, author of more than 30 books (mostly about liturgies), the General Article about the Post-Apostolic Church in Volume I (1952) of The Interpreter’s Bible, and the commentaries on the Gospel and three Epistles of John in The Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary on the Bible (1971), had a magnum opus:  The Book of Common Prayer (1979).  He translated the alternative (second) form of absolution (page 448) from Form One of the Reconciliation of a Penitent.  Shepherd wrote:

  1. the Litany of Penitence (pages 267-269) from the Ash Wednesday service,
  2. the postcommunion prayer (page 432) from the marriage ceremony,
  3. an alternative postcommunion prayer (page 457) from Ministration to the Sick,
  4. the postcommunion prayer (pages 482 and 498) from the Burial of the Dead,
  5. the Litany of Thanksgiving (pages 836-837),
  6. the collect for the Third Sunday after the Epiphany (pages 163 and 215),
  7. the collect for the Fourth Sunday of Easter (pages 173 and 225),
  8. the collect for Proper 6 (pages 178 and 230),
  9. the collect for the Feast of the Confession of Saint Peter (pages 187 and 238),
  10. the collect for the Feast of Saint Joseph (pages 188 and 239),
  11. the collect for the Feast of Saint Mark (pages 188 and 240),
  12. the collect for the Feast of Saint Barnabas (pages 189 and 241),
  13. the collect for the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul (pages 190 and 241),
  14. the collect for Holy Cross Day (pages 192 and 244),
  15. the collect for the Feast of Saint Matthew (pages 192-193 and 244),
  16. the collect for the Feast of Saint James of Jerusalem (pages 193 and 245), and
  17. the collect for the Feast of Saints Simon and Jude (pages 194 and 245).

If all that were not enough, Shepherd was also an ecumenist.  He was an observer from the Anglican Communion to the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II).  Our saint, as a member of the worship committee of the Churches of Christ Uniting (COCU, founded as the Consultation on Church Union), wrote much of COCU’s liturgy.  (COCU has become Churches Uniting in Christ.)

Shepherd’s liturgical contribution was great.  It was also controversial. (Bile regarding him is easy to find on the Internet, not that I encourage anyone to read it.)  In the early 1970s, publishing the Lord’s Prayer without archaic pronouns upset many people, for example.  Many members of the Society for the Preservation of the Book of Common Prayer (the Prayer Book Society) have probably never forgiven Shepherd for his work in the revision of The Book of Common Prayer (1928).

C’est la vie.

Shepherd, aged 76 years, died in Sacramento, California, on February 19, 1990.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 24, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ANNA ELLISON BUTLER ALEXANDER, AFRICAN-AMERICAN EPISCOPAL DEACONESS IN GEORGIA, AND EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF HENRY HART MILMAN, ANGLICAN DEAN, TRANSLATOR, HISTORIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JUVENAL OF ALASKA, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MARTYR IN ALASKA, AND FIRST ORTHODOX MARTYR IN THE AMERICAS, 1796

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER THE ALEUT, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MARTYR IN SAN FRANCISCO, 1815

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

thank you for those (especially Massey H. Shepherd, Jr.)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

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

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

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

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

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Feast of Elizabeth C. Clephane (February 19)   1 comment

Above:  Elizabeth C. Clephane

Image in the Public Domain

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ELIZABETH CECILIA CLEPHANE (JUNE 18, 1830-FEBRUARY 19, 1869)

Scottish Presbyterian Humanitarian and Hymn Writer

Elizabeth C. Clephane comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via her contributions of hymnody, mainly “Beneath the Cross of Jesus.”

Clephane, who had a weak constitution, had a relatively brief life, which she spent well.  She and her sisters, Anna Maria and Anna Jane, were daughters of Anna Maria Douglas and Andrew Douglas Clephane, the Sheriff Principal of Fife and Kinross.  Our saint, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on June 18, 1830, grew up in Melrose, near Abbotsford, England, after her father died.  She and her sisters met their needs then donated their excess income to the poor.  Beneficiaries called Clephane “the Sunbeam.”  Our saint wrote at least eight hymns, which appeared posthumously in The Family Treasury (1872-1874), a publication of the Free Church of Scotland.  Clephane died in Bridgend, Wales, on February 19, 1869.

Clephane’s literary legacy continues to bless people.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 23, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF AMOS NIVEN WILDER, U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, POET, LITERARY CRITIC, AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF BERNHARD W. ANDERSON, UNITED METHODIST MINISTER AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF ELIZABETH KENNY, AUSTRALIAN NURSE AND MEDICAL PIONEER

THE FEAST OF FRANCISCO DE PAULA VICTOR, BRAZILIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Elizabeth C. Clephane and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

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

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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Feast of Elizabeth C. Clephane (February 19)   3 comments

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Above:  Ruins of Melrose Abbey, Between 1860 and 1890

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USZ62-109098

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ELIZABETH CECILIA CLEPHANE (JUNE 18, 1830-FEBRUARY 19, 1869)

Scottish Presbyterian Philanthropist and Hymn Writer

Elizabeth Cecilia Clephane and her two sisters were daughters of the Sheriff of Fife and Kinross.  After he died they left Edinburgh, Scotland, for Ormiston, East Lothian, then for Melrose, where our saint settled.  The sisters, members of the Free Church of Scotland, devoted themselves to philanthropy in the community.  Our saint, although ill for most of her short life, was, according to James Moffatt:

…gentle and retiring in disposition, and generous to a degree; she was known as “the Sunbeam” among the poor and suffering in Melrose.  The sisters spent all their income each year, giving what was not needed for their maintenance to charity.

Handbook to The Church Hymnary, Revised Edition (London, UK:  Oxford University Press, 1927, page 299)

Our saint published some of her hymns in periodicals, such as The Children’s Hour.  Others appeared in print posthumously.  Among her hymns was “Beneath the Cross of Jesus.”

Elizabeth Cecilia Clephane could have focused on her own problems to the exclusion of those of others.  Yet she walked a different spiritual path–the correct one.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 9, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHANN RUDOLPH AHLE AND JOHANN GEORG AHLE, GERMAN LUTHERAN ORGANISTS AND COMPOSERS

THE FEAST OF EARL WARREN, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF GORKUM, HOLLAND

THE FEAST OF ROBERT GRANT, BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT AND HYMN WRITER

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O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served,

and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom

the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary,

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 94:18-23

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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Revised on December 9, 2016

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Feast of Bernard Barton (February 19)   Leave a comment

Flag of England

Above:  Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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BERNARD BARTON (JANUARY 31, 1784-FEBRUARY 19, 1849)

English Quaker Poet and Hymn Writer

Bernard Barton, born into a Quaker home, attended Ipswich Quaker School.  As a young man, he apprenticed to a Halstead, Essex, shopkeeper from 1796 to 1806 then entered into the corn-and-coal business at Woodbridge, Suffolk, with a brother.  Barton married Lucy Jesup in 1807 yet lost her to death during childbirth the next year.  The widower worked briefly as a tutor at Liverpool before returning to Woodbridge, where, for four decades, he worked at a bank.

Barton was a published poet with a day job.  Thus he did not have to rely on his writing to support himself.  He also befriended Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott, major literary figures.  And Barton’s son-in-law, husband of his daughter Lucy, was Edward FitzGerald, translator of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.  During his lifetime Barton published nine books, including Devotional Verses (1826).  A posthumously published memoir completed the list of volumes.

Barton had a good reputation.  People knew him to be punctual, methodical, gentle, and good-natured.  And, of course, they knew about the devotional poems he had published.

Among Barton’s poems which have become hymns are “Walk in Light! So Shalt Thou Know” (based on 1 John 1:7) and “Lamp of our Feet.”

Lamp of our feet, whereby we trace

Our path when  wont to stray;

Stream from the fount of heavenly grace,

Brook by the traveler’s way;

Bread of our souls, whereon we feed,

True manna from on high;

Our guide and chart, wherein we read

Of realms beyond the sky;

Word of the everliving God,

Will of His glorious Son;

Without thee how could earth be trod,

Or heaven itself be won?

Lord, grant us all aright to learn

The wisdom it imparts;

And to its heavenly teaching turn

With simple, childlike hearts.

1 John 1:7, as Barton knew it, read:

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Authorized Version

Barton’s hymn based on that verse follows:

Walk in the light! so shalt thou know

That fellowship of love

His Spirit only can bestow,

Who reigns in light above.

Walk in the light! and thou shalt find

Thy heart made truly his

Who dwells in cloudless light enshrined,

In whom no darkness is.

Walk in the light! and thou shalt own

Thy darkness pass’d away,

Because that light hath on thee shone

In which is perfect day.

Walk in the light! thy path shall be

A path, though thorny bright;

For God, by grace, shall dwell in thee,

And God himself is light.

Vocation can lead to a career in a field for which one  might become well-known or respected.  Or vocation can manifest itself in a hobby for which one might become well-known or respected.  Or vocation might lead to both.  Barton is here, on my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, because of his poetry, not his profession at a bank–honorable work, to be sure.  But his legacy of writing survives to today.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 16, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF GUSTAV AULEN, SWEDISH LUTHERAN THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT ADELAIDE, HOLY ROMAN EMPRESS

THE FEAST OF MARIANNE WILLIAMS, ANGLICAN MISSIONARY

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Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring Bernard Barton

and all those who with words and image have filled us with desire and love for you,

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 728

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Revised on December 2, 2016

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Feast of Sts. Nerses I the Great and Mesrop (February 19)   1 comment

Above:  Logo of the Armenian Apostolic Church

SAINT NERSES I THE GREAT (DIED CIRCA 373)

Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church

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SAINT MESROP (DIED 441)

Armenian Priest, Scholar, and Linguist

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With this post I add two more Armenian saints to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

St. Nerses I the Great (died circa 373), of royal ancestry, was related to St. Gregory the Illuminator and father of St. Isaac the Great.  St. Nerses entered the world at Caesarea, Cappadocia, in 333 or 337.  He grew up and married a princess, who predeceased him.  Then the saint became a priest.  Made Catholicos (archbishop) against his will in 353, St. Nerses founded hospitals and encouraged monasticism.

But not all was well.  St. Nerses had condemned Armenian King Arshak II (reigned 350-367) for murdering the Queen.  So the monarch banished the Catholicos, who returned after Arshak died.  The new king was Pap (reigned 370-374), whom the Catholicos condemned for what sources I have consulted describe vaguely as a wicked lifestyle.  Pap was certainly a bad character, for he pretended to repent and to reconcile with St. Nerses, whom he poisoned at a banquet.

St. Mesrop (died 441) was a government official who became a hermit then a disciple of St. Nerses I the Great, who ordained him to the priesthood.  St. Mesrop studied Greek, Syraic, and Persian.  He also worked with St. Isaac the Great  as a missionary and proved instrumental in creating the Armenian alphabet.  St. Mesrop also translated the New Testament and Proverbs into Armenian.  “But wait,” as Ron Popeil says, “there’s more.”  St. Mesrop also organized schools in Armenia and Georgia, created a Georgian alphabet, and preached well into his eighties, until his dying day, February 19, 441.  His nickname is “the Teacher.”

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 7, 2011 COMMON ERA

FEAST OF SAINT AMBROSE OF MILAN, ARCHBISHOP

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Almighty God,

we praise you for your servants Saint Nerses I the Great and Saint Mesrop,

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

Raise us 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), page 60

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Revised on December 2, 2016

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Saints’ Days and Holy Days for February   Leave a comment

Winter, by Hendrick Avercamp

Image in the Public Domain

1 (Henry Morse, English Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1645)

  • Benedict Daswa, South African Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr, 1990
  • Charles Seymour Robinson, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymnologist
  • Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Italian Roman Catholic Composer and Musician
  • Sigebert III, King of Austrasia

2 (PRESENTATION OF JESUS IN THE TEMPLE)

3 (Anskar and Rimbert, Roman Catholic Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen)

  • Adelaide Anne Procter, English Poet and Feminist
  • Alfred Delp, German Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1945
  • Jemima Thompson Luke, English Congregationalist Hymn Writer’ and James Edmeston, Anglican Hymn Writer
  • Samuel Davies, American Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer

4 (CORNELIUS THE CENTURION, WITNESS TO THE CRUCIFIXION)

5 (Martyrs of Japan, 1597-1639)

  • Avitus of Vienne, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • James Nicholas Joubert and Marie Elizabeth Lange, Founders of the Oblate Sisters of Providence
  • Jane (Joan) of Valois, Cofounder of the Sisters of the Annunciation
  • Phileas and Philoromus, Roman Catholic Martyrs, 304

6 (Marcus Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, Poet and Hymn Writer)

  • Cornelia Hancock, U.S. Quaker Nurse, Educator, and Humanitarian; “Florence Nightingale of North America”
  • Mateo Correa-Magallanes and Miguel Agustin Pro, Mexican Roman Catholic Priests and Martyrs, 1927
  • Orange Scott, U.S. Methodist Minister, Abolitionist, and first President of the Wesleyan Methodist Connection
  • Vedast (Vaast), Roman Catholic Bishop of Arras and Cambrai

7 (Helder Camara, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Olinda and Recife)

  • Adalbert Nierychlewski, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1942
  • Daniel J. Harrington, U.S. Roman Catholic Priest and Biblical Scholar
  • Moses, Apostle to the Saracens
  • William Boyce and John Alcock, Anglican Composers

8 (Josephine Bakhita, Roman Catholic Nun)

  • Jerome Emiliani, Founder of the Company of the Servants of the Poor
  • John of Matha and Felix of Valois, Founders of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity
  • Josephina Gabriella Bonino, Foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Family
  • Mitchell J. Dahood, Roman Catholic Priest and Biblical Scholar

9 (Danny Thomas, U.S. Roman Catholic Entertainer and Humanitarian; Founder of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital)

  • Alto of Altomunster, Roman Catholic Hermit
  • Bruce M. Metzger, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Biblical Scholar, and Biblical Translator
  • John Tietjen, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Ecumenist, and Bishop
  • Porfirio, Martyr, 203

10 (Scholastica, Abbess of Plombariola; and her twin brother, Benedict of Nursia, Abbot of Monte Cassino and Father of Western Monasticism)

  • Benedict of Aniane, Restorer of Western Monasticism; and Ardo, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • Julia Williams Garnet, African-American Abolitionist and Educator; her husband, Henry Highland Garnet, African-American Presbyterian Minister and Abolitionist; his second wife, Sarah J. Smith Tompkins Garnet, African-American Suffragette and Educator; her sister, Susan Maria Smith McKinney Steward, African-American Physician; and her second husband, Theophilus Gould Steward, U.S. African Methodist Episcopal Minister, Army Chaplain, and Professor
  • Norbert of Xanten, Founder of the Premonstratensians; Hugh of Fosses, Second Founder of the Premonstratensians; and Evermod, Bishop of Ratzeburg
  • Philip Armes, Anglican Church Organist

11 (ONESIMUS, BISHOP OF BYZANTIUM)

12 (Absalom Jones, Richard Allen, and Jarena Lee, Evangelists and Social Activists)

  • Benjamin Schmolck, German Lutheran Pastor and Hymn Writer
  • Charles Freer Andrews, Anglican Priest
  • Henry Williams Baker, Anglican Priest, Hymnal Editor, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • Michael Weisse, German Moravian Minister and Hymn Writer and Translator; and Jan Roh, Bohemian Moravian Bishop and Hymn Writer

13 (AQUILA, PRISCILLA, AND APOLLOS, COWORKERS OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE)

14 (Abraham of Carrhae, Roman Catholic Bishop)

  • Christoph Carl Ludwig von Pfeil, German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • Cyril and Methodius, Apostles to the Slavs
  • Johann Michael Altenburg, German Lutheran Pastor, Composer, and Hymn Writer
  • Victor Olof Petersen, Swedish-American Lutheran Hymn Translator

15 (New Martyrs of Libya, 2015)

  • Ben Salmon, U.S. Roman Catholic Pacifist and Conscientious Objector
  • Francis Harold Rowley, Northern Baptist Minister, Humanitarian, and Hymn Writer
  • Michael Praetorius, German Lutheran Composer and Musicologist
  • Thomas Bray, Anglican Priest and Missionary

16 (Philipp Melanchthon, German Lutheran Theologian and Scribe of the Reformation)

  • Charles Todd Quintard, Episcopal Bishop of Tennessee
  • Christian Frederick Martin, Sr., and Charles Augustus Zoebisch, German-American Instrument Makers
  • Louis (Lewis) F. Kampmann, U.S. Moravian Minister, Missionary, and Hymn Translator
  • Nicholas Kasatkin, Orthodox Archbishop of All Japan

17 (August Crull, German-American Lutheran Minister, Poet, Professor, Hymnodist, and Hymn Translator)

  • Antoni Leszczewicz, Polish Roman Catholic Priest, and His Companions, Martyrs, 1943
  • Janini Luwum, Ugandan Anglican Archbishop and Martyr, 1977
  • Johann Heermann, German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer
  • John Meyendorff, Russian-French-American Orthodox Priest, Scholar, and Ecumenist

18 (Colman of Lindisfarne, Agilbert, and Wilfrid, Bishops)

  • Barbasymas, Sadoth of Seleucia, and Their Companions, Martyrs, 342
  • Guido di Pietro, a.k.a. Fra Angelico, Roman Catholic Monk and Artist
  • Henry B. Whipple, Episcopal Bishop of Minnesota
  • James Drummond Burns, Scottish Presbyterian Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator

19 (Nerses I the Great, Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church, and Mesrop, Bible Translator)

  • Agnes Tsao Kou Ying, Agatha Lin Zhao, and Lucy Yi Zhenmei, Chinese Roman Catholic Catechists and Martyrs, 1856, 1858, and 1862; Auguste Chapdelaine, French Roman Catholic Priest, Missionary, and Martyr, 1856; and Laurentius Bai Xiaoman, Chinese Roman Catholic Convert and Martyr, 1856
  • Bernard Barton, English Quaker Poet and Hymn Writer
  • Elizabeth C. Clephane, Scottish Presbyterian Humanitarian and Hymn Writer
  • Massey H. Shepherd, Jr., Episcopal Priest, Ecumenist, and Liturgist; Dean of American Liturgists

20 (Henri de Lucac, French Roman Catholic Priest, Cardinal, and Theologian)

  • Charles Sheldon, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Author, Christian Socialist, and Social Gospel Theologian
  • Gregorio Allegri, Italian Roman Catholic Priest, Composer, and Singer; brother of Domenico Allegri, Italian Roman Catholic Composer and Singer
  • Stanislawa Rodzinska, Polish Roman Catholic Nun and Martyr, 1945
  • Wulfric of Haselbury, Roman Catholic Hermit

21 (John Henry Newman, English Roman Catholic Priest-Cardinal)

  • Arnulf of Metz, Roman Catholic Bishop; and Germanus of Granfel, Roman Catholic Abbot and Martyr, 677
  • Austin Carroll (Margaret Anne Carroll), Irish-American Roman Catholic Nun, Author, and Educator
  • Robert Southwell, English Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1595
  • Thomas Pormort, English Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1592

22 (Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl, and Christoph Probst, Anti-Nazi Martyrs at Munich, Germany)

  • Bernhardt Severin Ingemann, Danish Lutheran Author and Hymn Writer
  • Edward Hopper, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Margaret of Cortona, Penitent and Foundress of the Poor Ones
  • Praetextatus, Roman Catholic Bishop of Rouen

23 (Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, and Irenaeus of Lyons, Bishops and Martyrs)

  • Alexander Akimetes, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • Samuel Wolcott, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Missionary, and Hymn Writer
  • Stefan Wincenty Frelichowski, Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1945
  • Willigis, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Mainz; and Bernward, Roman Catholic Bishop of Hildesheim

24 (MATTHIAS THE APOSTLE, MARTYR)

25 (Gregory of Nazianzus the Elder, Nonna, and Their Children:  Gregory of Nazianzus the Younger, Caesarius of Nazianzus, and Gorgonia of Nazianzus)

  • Felix Varela, Cuban Roman Catholic Priest and Patriot
  • John Roberts, Episcopal Missionary to the Shoshone and Arapahoe
  • Karl Friedrich Lochner, German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Theodor Fliedner, Renewer of the Female Diaconate; and Elizabeth Fedde, Norwegian Lutheran Deaconess

26 (Antonio Valdivieso, Roman Catholic Bishop of Leon and Martyr)

  • Andrew Reed, English Congregationalist Minister, Humanitarian, and Hymn Writer
  • Emily Malbone Morgan, Founder of the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross
  • Jakob Hutter, Founder of the Hutterities, and Anabaptist Martyr, 1536; and his wife, Katharina Hutter, Anabaptist Martyr, 1538
  • Paula of St. Joseph of Calasanz, Foundress of the Daughters of Mary

27 (Nicholas Ferrar, Anglican Deacon and Founder of Little Gidding; George Herbert, Anglican Priest and Metaphysical Poet; and All Saintly Parish Priests)

  • Anne Line and Roger Filcock, English Roman Catholic Martyrs, 1601
  • Gabriel Possenti, Roman Catholic Penitent
  • Luis de Leon, Spanish Roman Catholic Priest and Theologian
  • Raphael of Brooklyn, Syrian-American Russian Orthodox Bishop of Brooklyn

28 (Thomas Binney, English Congregationalist Minister, Liturgist, and “Archbishop of Nonconformity”)

  • Anna Julia Haywood Cooper and Elizabeth Evelyn Wright, African-American Educators
  • Fred Rogers, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
  • Joseph Badger, Sr., U.S. Congregationalist and Presbyterian Minister; First Missionary to the Western Reserve
  • Pedro Arrupe, Advocate for the Poor and Marginalized, and Superior General of the Society of Jesus

29 (John Cassian and John Climacus, Roman Catholic Monks and Spiritual Writers)

  • Marian Anderson, African-American Singer and Civil Rights Activist
  • Mary Lyon, U.S. Congregationalist Feminist and Educator
  • Patrick Hamilton, First Scottish Protestant Martyr, 1528
  • Samuel Simon Schmucker, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Theologian, and Social Reformer

 

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