Archive for the ‘February 25’ Category

Feast of Theodor Fliedner and Elizabeth Fedde (February 25)   2 comments

luther-rose

Above:  The Luther Rose

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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THEODOR FLIEDNER (JANUARY 21, 1800-OCTOBER 4, 1864)

Renewer of the Female Diaconate in the Lutheran Church

His feast transferred from October 4

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ELIZABETH FEDDE (DECEMBER 25, 1850-FEBRUARY 25, 1921)

Norwegian Lutheran Deaconess

Her feast = February 25

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theodor-fliedner

Above:  Theodor Fliedner

Image in the Public Domain

Theodor Fliedner revived the female diaconate in the Lutheran Church.  He, born at Eppstein, Hesse, on February 21, 1800, was a son of a Lutheran minister.  Our saint, educated at Giessen, Gottingen, and Herborn, became the minister at a church at Kaiserworth (now Dusselforf) in 1821.  There he became involved in prison ministry.  Eventually Fliedner founded a halfway house for released female inmates.  Our saint also founded a nursery school.

The Moravian Church, the original Protestant denomination, founded in 1457, nearly extinguished after 1620, and renewed in 1727, revived the ancient order of deaconesses in 1745.  Their example inspired Fliedner to do the same for the Lutherans.  In 1836 he founded a deaconess training center at Kaiserworth.  He sent deaconesses around the world.  In 1846 William Alfred Passavant, Sr. (1821-1894), asked Fliedner to send some deaconesses to the United States.  In early 1849 our saint and four deaconesses–Elizabeth Hupperts, Paulina Ludwig, Luise Hinrichsen, and Elizabeth Hess–departed for America.  They arrived in Pittsburgh, where the deaconesses helped to open the new Lutheran deaconesses’ hospital the following year.  Fliedner toured the United States before returning to his home.  In 1864, when Fliedner died, he was responsible for the existence of 30 motherhouses and the fact that 1,600 women were deaconesses.

elizabeth-fedde

Above:  Elizabeth Fedde

Image in the Public Domain

Among the deaconesses for whom Fliedner was indirectly responsible was Elizabeth Fedde, born at Feda, Vest-Agder, Norway, on December 25, 1850.  Her parents were Andreas Willumsen Fedde (1814-1873), a sea captain-turned-farmer, and Anne Marie Olsdatter (1818-1864).  Our saint trained as a deaconess at Christiania (now Oslo), Norway; her trainer was Katinka Guldberg, a deaconess who had trained at a motherhouse Fliedner had established.  Fedde worked at a minimally supplied hospital in Troms for a few years.  Then she received a letter from Gabriel Fedde, her brother-in-law and a lay minister with the Norwegian Seamen’s Mission, encouraging her to come to the United States.  She arrived in New York City in April 1883.

Fedde’s time (1883-1895) in the United States was productive.  In Brooklyn our saint worked as a home nurse, founded the Norwegian Relief Society, and, in 1885, began to rent a hospital.  Also in 1885, Passavant invited Fedde to work at the Lutheran deaconesses’ hospital in Pittsburgh.  She spent some time there.  Then, in 1888, while vacationing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, our saint helped to organize the Norwegian Lutheran Deaconesses’ Home and Hospital there.  She lived and worked in that city for a few years.  Meanwile, Fedde built her first hospital in Brooklyn in 1889.  Three years later our saint opened the Norwegian Lutheran Deaconesses’ Home and Hospital in Brooklyn.  Planning for the Norwegian Lutheran Deaconesses’ Home and Hospital in Chicago, opened in 1897, began in 1895.  Fedde participated in the planning process.

Our saint returned to Norway in 1895.  She married Ole Sletteb and remained wedded to him for the rest of her life.  Fedde died at Egersund, Rogaland, Norway, on February 25, 1921.  She was 70 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 10, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF PAUL EBER, GERMAN LUTHERAN THEOLOGIAN AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF HOWELL ELVET LEWIS, WELSH CONGREGATIONALIST CLERGYMAN AND POET

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN ROBERTS, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF ROBERT MURRAY, CANADIAN PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

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Almighty God, we praise you for your servants Theodor Fliedner and Elizabeth Fedde,

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), page 60

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Feast of Venerable Felix Varela (February 25)   Leave a comment

felix-varela

Above:  Felix Varela

Image in the Public Domain

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VENERABLE FELIX VARELA (NOVEMBER 20, 1788-FEBRUARY 27, 1853)

Cuban Roman Catholic Priest and Patriot

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I have always concluded that Christianity and liberty are inseparable.

–Felix Varela, Quoted in Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (New York, NY:  The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1997), page 91

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Lesslie Newbigin (1909-1998) agreed with that perspective.

The Venerable Felix Varela was an important figure in Cuban history.  He, born in Havana on November 20, 1788, grew up in St. Augustine, Florida, with his maternal grandfather.  Our saint, ordained to the priesthood in 1811, taught philosophy, physics, music, theology, and chemistry at San Carlos College, Havana.  In 1821 Varela became a delegate to the Cortes in Madrid.  He introduced two crucial bills–one to abolish slavery in Cuba and another to grant Cuban independence.  For this alleged sedition Varela had to go into exile in 1823.

Our saint spent the rest of his life in exile.  In New York City he served as a priest.  In 1827 he founded the Church of Immigrants, later renamed the Church of the Transfiguration.  He also lobbied for Cuban independence via the Spanish-language newspaper he founded.  This activism concerned the Spanish government sufficiently to send an assassin, but Varela talked him out of committing the act.  Our saint, who became the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of New York in 1837, received his doctorate in theology from St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore.  The defender of the rights of immigrants also considered the lack of religiosity to be a threat to the moral fabric of society and antecedent of tyranny.  He also criticized Roman Catholics who opposed liberty and constitutional government, for he argued that the suppression of liberty leads to fanaticism and dogmatism.

Varela retired to St. Augustine, Florida, where he died on February 27, 1853.  He was 64 years old.

The Roman Catholic Church declared Varela a Venerable in 2012.

The cause for his beatification and canonization is in progress.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 10, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF PAUL EBER, GERMAN LUTHERAN THEOLOGIAN AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF HOWELL ELVET LEWIS, WELSH CONGREGATIONALIST CLERGYMAN AND POET

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN ROBERTS, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF ROBERT MURRAY, CANADIAN PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

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

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

Help us, like your servant Venerable Felix Varela,

to work for justice among people and nations, to the glory of your name,

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

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

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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Feast of Karl Friedrich Lochner (February 25)   Leave a comment

Germany 1648

Above:  Map of Germany in 1648, after the Peace of Westphalia

Scanned from Hammond’s World Atlas–Classics Edition (1957)

As Voltaire explained correctly, the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire. 

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KARL FRIEDRICH LOCHNER (APRIL 2, 1634-FEBRUARY 25, 1697)

German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer

Whom should I give my heart’s affection

But Thee, who givest Thine to faith?

Thy fervent love is my protection;

Lord, Thou hast loved me unto death.

My heart with Thine shall ever be

One heart throughout eternity.

–From The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), Hymn 404, a composite translation of a Lochner hymn from 1673

Karl Friedrich Lochner was a poet, an academic, and a minister.  He entered the world at Nuremberg, Germany, on April 2, 1634, where his father, Friedrich Lochner (1602-1672/1673), was a municipal official.  Friedrich, also a poet, belonged to the Order of the Society of Pegnitz Shepherds (in short, the Pegnitz Order), devoted to the purification and improvement of the German language.  He rose from the rank of notary public to clerk of the Board of Works to the registrar at the Chancery.  Friedrich also married Florentine Heinrich (before 1620-after 1650), with whom he had eight children–four sons and four daughters.  Our saint was the firstborn son and offspring.

Young Karl Friedrich studied at Breslau, Altdorf, and Rostock before becoming a lecturer in logic and metaphysics at Rostock then at Nuremberg.  Another vocation beckoned, however, so he became a minister.  At first our saint assisted at Worhd then at Furth.  In 1663, after the senior pastor died, Lochner succeeded him in that post.  Our saint held that post for the rest of his life, which ended on February 25, 1697.

Our saint, the husband of Sabina Mayer (1638/1639-1704) from October 28, 1660 until his death and the father of ten children–six sons and four daughters–joined the Pegnitz Order in 1671.  Three years later Sigismund von Birken (1626-1681), Chief Shepherd of the order, presented him with the poet’s wreath.  Lochner’s hymns, some of which exist in English translations, have lasted much longer than that wreath.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 23, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN THE ALMSGIVER, ROMAN CATHOLIC PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA

THE FEAST OF PHILLIPS BROOKS, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF MASSACHUSETTS

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Karl Friedrich Lochner and others, who have written 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 Sts. Gregory of Nazianzus the Elder, Nonna, and Their Children (February 25)   3 comments

Above:  Asia Minor in 395 C.E.

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS THE ELDER (CIRCA 276-374)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Nazianzus

His feast transferred from January 2

Husband of

SAINT NONNA (DIED 374)

Her feast transferred from August 5

Mother of

SAINT GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS THE YOUNGER (CIRCA 329-389)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Nazianzus then Patriarch of Constantinople

His feast transferred from January 25

Brother of

SAINT CAESARIUS OF NAZIANZUS (329-369)

Physician

His feast = February 25

Brother of

SAINT GORGONIA OF NAZIANZUS (DIED CIRCA 372)

Wife

Her feast transferred from December 9

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A family, when it is at its best, nurtures deep and healthy faith.  The family of Saints Gregory of Nazianzus the Elder and Nonna provides an excellent example of this.

St. Gregory of Nazianzus the Elder served as Bishop of Nazianzus for forty-five years.  Born in Nazianzus, Cappodocia, in modern-day Turkey, he was an imperial official in his home city.  His wife, St. Nonna, converted him to Christianity.  He became bishop in 328.  He and St. Nonna had three children:  St. Gergory of Nazianzus (the Younger), St. Caesarius of Nazianzus, and St. Gorgonia of Nazianzus.

St. Gregory of Nazianzus (the Younger), born in Nazianzus, studied at Caesasria in Cappodocia and at Athens.  He was a hermit for two years, beginning about age 30, then returned to Nazianzus to help his aging father, who ordained him priest in 362 and made him Bishop Coadjutor in 372.  St. Gregory the Elder lapsed temporarily into Arianism, but St. Gregory the Younger brought him back to orthodoxy with regard to Christology.  St. Gregory the Elder died in 374, at which point St. Gregory the Younger became Bishop of Nazianzus until 375, when he suffered a breakdown.  He recovered by 379, when he became Patriarch of Constantinople.  He restored that see to orthodoxy after a reign of Arianism.  The manner of St. Gregory the Younger‘s appointment did not inspire universal acceptance, so he resigned in 381, in hopes of restoring peace.  He died at Nazianzus on January 25, 389.

St. Caesarius of Nazianzus, an imperial physician, studied at Alexandria, Egypt.  Attracted to power like an insect to light, he served as physician to a succession of Roman Emperors, including Julian the Apostate (reigned 355-363).  Valens (reigned 364-378) appointed him to an imperial position in Bithynia, whereby the saint was responsible for collecting taxes.  There was an earthquake at Nicea on October 11, 368.  St. Caesarius survived it with a desire to dedicate the rest of his life to God.  So St. Caesarius heeded the plea of his brother, St. Gregory the Younger, to enter religious life. St. Caesarius was baptized late in life, as was common at the time.  Upon his death, vultures descended upon his estate, but that which remained went to help the poor.

St. Gorgonia of Nazianzus led a holy life.  She settled down and married.  She also committed many charitable acts, especially for the blind and the poor.  Her brother, St. Gregory the Younger, eulogized her as a model Christian wife, “the Paragon of Women,” and “the Diamond of Her Sex.”

William Shakespeare, in Julius Caesar, had Mark Antony eulogize Casear by saying, among other things,

The evil that men do lives after them;

the good is oft interred with their bones.

Such is hardly the case with these five saints, Deo Gratias.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 8, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MARTIN RINCKART, ARCHDEACON OF EILENBURG

THE FEAST OF RICHARD BAXTER, ANGLICAN THEOLOGIAN

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Lord God,

you have surrounded us with so great a cloud of witnesses.

Grant that we, encouraged by the example of your servants

Saint Gregory of Nazianzus the Elder,

Saint Nonna,

Saint Gregory of Nazianzus the Younger,

Saint Caesarius of Nazianzus,

and

Saint Gorgonia of Nazianzus,

may persevere in the course that is set before us and,

at the last, share in your eternal joy with all the saints in light,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 59

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Revised on December 7, 2016

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Second Sunday in Lent, Year B   Leave a comment

Above:  Economic Inequality Made Manifest

Image Source = eenthappana

Justification, Love, and Justice

FEBRUARY 25, 2018

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Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 (New Revised Standard Version):

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said to him,

I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.

Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him,

As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.

God said to Abraham,

As for Sarah your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.

Psalm 22:22-30 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

22 Praise the LORD, you that fear him;

stand in awe of him, O offspring of Israel;

all you of Jacob’s line, give glory.

23 For he does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty;

neither does he hide his face from them;

but when they cry to him he hears them.

24 My praise is of him in the great assembly;

I will perform my vows in the presence of those who worship him.

25 The poor shall eat and be satisfied,

and those who seek the LORD shall praise him:

“May your heart love for ever!”

26 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD,

and all the families of the nations shall bow before him.

27 For kingship belongs to the LORD;

he rules over the nations.

28 To him alone who sleep in the earth bow down in worship;

all who go down to the dust fall before him.

29 My soul shall live for him;

my descendants shall serve him;

they shall be known as the LORD’s for ever.

30 They shall come and make known to a people yet unborn

the saving deeds that he has done.

Romans 4:13-25 (New Revised Standard Version):

The promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.

For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”) — in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Therefore his faith “was reckoned to him as righteousness.” Now the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.

Mark 8:31-38 (New Revised Standard Version):

Jesus began to teach his disciples that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said,

Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them,

If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

The Collect:

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Some Related Posts:

Second Sunday in Lent, Year A:

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/second-sunday-in-lent-year-a/

Second Sunday in Lent, Year B:

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2011/07/25/second-sunday-in-lent-year-b/

Romans 4:

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/week-of-proper-23-saturday-year-1/

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/05/08/week-of-proper-24-monday-year-1/

Genesis 17:

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirty-second-day-of-lent/

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/week-of-proper-7-friday-year-1/

Mark 8:

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/week-of-6-epiphany-thursday-year-1/

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/week-of-6-epiphany-friday-year-1/

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/11/20/proper-5-year-a/

Faith in Romans vs. Faith in James:

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/week-of-proper-23-tuesday-year-1/

O Lord,You Gave Your Servant John:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2010/08/06/o-lord-you-gave-your-servant-john/

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Last Sunday’s readings focused on baptism, a sacrament which is an outward sign of something God has done and is doing.  This Sunday we have another great word:  justification.  This is also something God has done and is doing.   Justification indicates having a right relationship with God; it is a legal term.  And, according to Paul, it comes through faith and grace.  The Letter of James, of course, speaks of justification by deeds, but that book uses “faith” to mean something different than in Romans.  For more details, follow the germane link I have provided.  The bottom line is this:  There is no contradiction between Romans and James on the issue of justification.

This justification, since the time of Jesus, owes much to the Atonement, which, I am convinced, was a process which began with the Incarnation (again, something God initiated) and ended with the death and resurrection of Jesus (something God did).  Our responses to God, then, are of the essence.  How will we respond to such a merciful and active deity?  This grace, which facilitates faith, is cheap but not free.  It was cheap neither to God the Father nor God the Son.  And it demands much of us.

The baptismal vows speak of loving our neighbors as ourselves and respecting the dignity of our fellow human beings. So, how will we treat our fellow human beings, and what will we consider acceptable treatment?  Will our neighbors have living wages, safe working conditions, and career opportunities which make the most of their talents an abilities?  Will they face discrimination?  What will the love of Christ and our neighbors impel us to do?

I could continue, but I trust that I have made my point clearly.  May we love our neighbors as ourselves, even if that entails taking up a cross and following Jesus.

KRT

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Published in a nearly identical form at LENTEN AND EASTER DEVOTIONS BY KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR on July 25, 2011

Saints’ Days and Holy Days for February   Leave a comment

Winter, by Hendrick Avercamp

Image in the Public Domain

THIS IS THE RESET MODE OF THE ECUMENICAL CALENDAR OF SAINTS’ DAYS AND HOLY DAYS FOR FEBRUARY, PENDING FURTHER REVISION.

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
  • 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)

  • Mateo Correa-Magallanes and Miguel Agustin Pro, Mexican Roman Catholic Priests and Martyrs, 1927
  • 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
  • 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 (Alto of Altomunster, Roman Catholic Hermit)

  • 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
  • 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
  • Christoph Carl Ludwig von Pfeil, German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • Henry Williams Baker, Anglican Priest
  • 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)

  • 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)

  • Janini Luwum, Ugandan Anglican Archbishop and Martyr, 1977

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
  • 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)

  • Bernard Barton, English Quaker Poet and Hymn Writer
  • Elizabeth C. Clephane, Scottish Presbyterian Hymn Writer

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

  • Wulfric of Haselbury, Roman Catholic Hermit

21 (John Henry Newman, Cardinal)

  • Arnulf of Metz, Roman Catholic Bishop; and Germanus of Granfel, Roman Catholic Abbot and Martyr, 677

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
  • 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
  • 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, Penitent
  • Luis de Leon, Spanish Roman Catholic Priest and Theologian

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

  • Anna Julia Haywood Cooper and Elizabeth Evelyn Wright, African-American Educators

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

 

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

Feast of John Roberts (February 25)   Leave a comment

Above:  Episcopal Shield

Image in the Public Domain

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THE REVEREND JOHN ROBERTS (MARCH 31, 1853-JANUARY 22, 1949)

Episcopal Priest and Missionary to the Shoshone and Arapahoe Nations

The history of Christian missions among indigenous peoples includes ethnocentrism, racism, and the destruction of native cultures.  To destroy a culture is to leave many people without a stable moral compass, and to forbid the use of one’s tribal language is a crime against the people themselves and cultural anthropology.  Fortunately, however, many missionaries have cared deeply about and respected the people among whom they have worked.  The Reverend John Roberts was one of these shining lights in Christian missions.

Roberts, who hailed from Wales, became a priest in 1878, in the Bahamas.  Two years later, while in New York City, he contacted John Spaulding, Bishop of Wyoming and Colorado, who was recruiting missionaries to work among the native peoples within his diocese.  Roberts engaged in this work from 1883 to his death, in 1949.

Roberts began this ministry in Colorado but moved on to the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming by 1883.  There we worked among the Shoshone and Arapahoe nations, whose languages he learned.  His partner in life, love, and missions was Laura Brown, whom he married in 1884, and with whom he had six children, five of whom lived to adulthood.

Roberts gained the trust of the people and, in 1887, the Shoshone chief granted him permission to build a mission school for girls.  And the priest built more than that; he established congregations.  He was successful in large part because he respected the cultures of the Shoshone and Arapahoe nations, seeking to bring them to Christ, not to eradicate their heritage.

Once, more years ago than I wish to admit, I watched a program on a now-defunct religious cable television channel.  This was a documentary about Roman Catholic missionary work in a tribe somewhere in the western United States.  The program showed part of a Mass.  The priest, who was the only white person in the building, functioned as a sacramentalist; the tribesmen and women did everything else.  And the processional cross had eagle feathers attached to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  This was a high compliment in that culture.

Wouldn’t the world be a boring place if we were all the same?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 25, 2010 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ANGELINA AND SARAH GRIMKE, ABOLITIONISTS

THE FEAST OF VINCENT PRICE, ACTOR

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Creator God, we thank you for bringing your missionary John Roberts from his native land to live and teach your Gospel in a spirit of respect and amity among the Shoshone and Arapahoe peoples in their own language; and we pray that we may also share the Good News of your Christ with all we meet as friends brought together by your Holy Spirit; for you are the one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, living and true, to the ages.  Amen.

Deuteronomy 31:30-32; 4:6b-12a

Psalm 90:13-17

Acts 3:18-25

John 7:37-41a

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 243

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Revised on December 7, 2016

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