Archive for the ‘February 26’ Category

Feast of Jakob and Katharina Hutter (February 26)   Leave a comment

Above:  Holy Roman Empire, 1559

Scanned from Hammond’s World Atlas–Classics Edition (1957), H-20

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JAKOB HUTTER (1500-FEBRUARY 25, 1536)

Founder of the Hutterites

Anabaptist Martyr, 1536

husband of

KATHARINA PURST HUTTER (CIRCA 1508-1538)

Anabaptist Martyr, 1538

The Golden Rule is part of the ethical system of almost every religion in the world.  Nevertheless, religious history reveals many examples of leaders and adherents have made to the Golden Rule.  That rule does not say,

Love your neighbors as you love yourself, unless ….

Jakob Hutter founded the Hutterites, a communal sect of Anabaptists.  He, from Moos, near St. Lorenz, near Bruneck, in the Puster Valley of Tyrol entered the world in 1500.  Our saint, barely educated, learned hatmaking in Prague.  Hutter, having learned his trade, traveled widely for professional reasons.  Along the way, he encountered Anabaptists.  No historical record of when and where our saint converted has survived; it was probably by 1527, however.

Ferdinand I (later the Holy Roman Emperor) launched the persecution of Anabaptists and other Protestant sects in Austria in 1527.  When the persecution of Anabaptists in the Tyrol commenced in 1529, Hutter, a minister, sought greener pastures for his flock.  He found those pastures in Moravia.  They fled there in 1533.

Moravia was not an Anabaptist paradise, though.  The movement included mutually hostile factions, which Hutter united.  Nevertheless, Ferdinand I, citing a violent Anabaptist sect’s takeover of Münster, Westphalia, persecuted the Anabaptists in Moravia.  He arranged for their expulsion in late 1535.

Hutter returned to Tyrol with his wife, Katharina Purst Hutter.  He had baptized her in 1532 and married her in May 1535.  Authorities arrested the Hutters on November 29, 1535.  Shortly thereafter, authorities separated the couple and sent Jakob to Innsbruck.  There he endured tortures and refused to renounce his faith.

Jakob burned at the stake on February 25, 1536.

Katharina likewise remained firm in her faith.  She, having had mastered survival on the lam, escaped from prison in 1536 and remained free for about two years.  Authorities rearrested our saint in 1538.  They martyred her (perhaps by drowning) immediately, in Schöneck (now in Italy).

The Hutterite movement continues, however.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 2, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF RALPH W. SOCKMAN, UNITED METHODIST MINISTER

THE FEAST OF CARL DOVING, NORWEGIAN-AMERICAN LUTHERAN MINISTER AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF JAMES ALLEN, ENGLISH INGHAMITE THEN GLASITE/SANDEMANIAN HYMN WRITER; AND HIS GREAT-NEPHEW, OSWALD ALLEN, ENGLISH GLASITE/SANDEMANIAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF PETRUS HERBERT, GERMAN MORAVIAN BISHOP AND HYMNODIST

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Almighty God, who gave to your servants Jakob and Katharina Hutter

boldness to confess the Name our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of the world,

and courage to die for this faith;

Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us,’

and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ;

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

2 Esdras 2:42-48

Psalm 126 or 121

1 Peter 3:14-18, 22

Matthew 10:16-22

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 713

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Feast of Charles Sheldon (February 26)   Leave a comment

Above:  Charles Sheldon

Image in the Public Domain

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CHARLES MONROE SHELDON (FEBRUARY 26, 1857-FEBRUARY 24, 1946)

U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Author, Christian Socialist, and Social Gospel Theologian

The Reverend Charles Monroe Sheldon 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).

Sheldon took to heart Christ’s command to be salt and light in the world.  Some efforts were more successful than others, but all of them shared one point of origin:  Christian faith.

Sheldon grew up in a Congregationalist family.  His father was a minister.  Our saint moved with his family from church to church.  Sheldon, born in Wellsville, New York, on February 26, 1857, grew up mostly in the Dakotas.  The family was not wealthy; it struggled financially.  That background and the socially and theologically background of nineteenth-century Congregationalism influenced Sheldon.

Sheldon became a socially-conscious minister.  After graduating from Brown University and Andover Theological Seminary, he served as a pastor, uin Waterbury, Vermont (1887-1889).  Typhoid was a frequent problem in town.  Our saint suggested that the proximity of the water supply to pig pens was the cause of the unsafe water.  The town corrected the issue and solved the problem.

Sheldon served in one other church; he was pastor of Central Congregational Church, Topeka, Kansas,, from 1889 to his retirement in 1920.  Our saint left the congregation better off in every way after three decades of leadership.  Attendance and membership increased.  So did outreach in the community.  Sheldon, author of more than 30 Social Gospel novels, including In His Steps (1896), asked a crucial question:

What would Jesus do?

In 1893 the pastor, a Christian Socialist and a theologian of the Social Gospel, concluded that Jesus would approve of the Central Congregational Church sponsoring the first kindergarten for African Americans west of the Mississippi River.  The congregation did that.  Sheldon, who encouraged middle-class and upper-class Christians to sympathize and identify with the poor and the marginalized paired evangelism with faith-based activism.

Much less successful were Sheldon’s campaigns for the prohibition of alcohol (throughout his life) and for world peace (after the retired).  Prohibition proved to be a movement that perhaps only mobsters loved more than moralistic idealists did.  World peace has been elusive, of course.  In the aftermath of World War I, however, that quest was of its time, as well as admirable.

Sheldon, from 1920 to 1924 the editor of a periodical, Christian Herald, died in Topeka on February 24, 1946.  In two more days he would have celebrated his eighty-ninth birthday.

The question of what Jesus would do is always relevant in public and private life.  That issue, like the Law of Moses, requires one to consider the timeless principles and variable factors.  The Golden Rule is a constant factor, a timeless principle.  The proper application of it depends on variables, tough.  For example, who one is, how old one is, where one is, when one is, and other particulars of one’s context vary from person to person.  Variables add a degree of relativism to the mix.  We (individually and collectively) have a mandate to live according to the Golden Rule when and where we are.  May we succeed, by grace.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 28, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JEHU JONES, JR., AFRICAN-AMERICAN LUTHERAN MINISTER

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH HOSKINS, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT LORENZO RUIZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR, 1637

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

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

Help us, like your servant Charles Sheldon,

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

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

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

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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This is post #1800 of SUNDRY THOUGHTS.

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Feast of St. Paula of St. Joseph of Calasanz (February 26)   Leave a comment

spain-and-portugal-1855

Above:  Map of Spain and Portugal, 1855

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT PAULA OF SAINT JOSEPH OF CALASANZ (OCTOBER 11, 1799-FEBRUARY 26, 1889)

Foundress of the Daughters of Mary

Paula Montal Fornes devoted her life to God and helped many people.  The native of Arenys de Mar (near Barcelona), Spain, came from a pious family.  Her father, Ramon Montal, died when she was 10 years old.  Our saint helped her mother, Vicenta Fornes Montal, raise the other children in the family.  Paula also helped to support the family financially by working as a lace-maker and a seamstress.  Furthermore, she helped to care for other children in the parish.  When she was 30 years old our saint and a friend, Inez Busquets, founded a school at Gerona.  Paula founded a college in 1842 and another school four years later.  In 1847 she founded the Daughters of Mary to operate and staff these institutions.  Our saint, who assumed the name St. Paula of St. Joseph of Calasanz, led the congregation, which received papal approval in 1860.  She died at Olesa de Montserrat, Barcelona, on February 26, 1889.  She was 89 years old.

Pope John Paul II declared our saint a Venerable in 1988, beatified her in 1993, and canonized her in 2001.

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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Gracious and eternal God, by your grace St. Paula of St. Joseph of Calasanz,

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

inflame us with the same spirit of discipline and love,

that we may always walk before you as children of light;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

1 Kings 19:9-18

Psalm 119:161-168

2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Matthew 6:24-33

–Adapted from A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989), pages 685-686

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Feast of Antonio Valdivieso (February 26)   Leave a comment

map-of-the-world-1596

Above:  Map of the New World (1596), by Theodor de Bry

Image in the Public Domain

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ANTONIO VALDIVIESO (1495-FEBRUARY 26, 1550)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Leon and Martyr

Antonio Valdivieso, born at Burgos, Spain, in 1495, was a Spanish Dominican priest and a disciple of Bartolome de Las Casas (1474/1484-1566), who also defended the rights of indigenous people.  Valdevieso arrived in Nicarague in 1544.  He confronted the governor and other colonial officials who oppressed the native people.  Our saint went so far as to return to Spain and express his concerns to King Charles I/Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (1516-1556) in person.  The monarch made our saint the Bishop of Leon and sent him back to Nicaragua in 1545.  Valdivieso suspected that this was effectively a death sentence.  He was correct.  Our saint continued to oppose the governor and his administration in person.  Valdivieso, based at the cathedral in Leon, made himself a thorn in the side of officialdom.  On Ash Wednesday (February 26),  1550, the governor and some henchmen killed our saint and two other Dominicans.  Valdivieso became the first bishop in the Americas to die for the rights of indigenous people.

He was one of many Roman Catholic clerics to lay down their lives for that just cause.

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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Ever-loving God, by your grace and power your holy martyr

Antonio Valdivieso triumphed over suffering and was 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

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Feast of Andrew Reed (February 26)   2 comments

Flag of England

Above:  The Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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ANDREW REED (NOVEMBER 27, 1787-FEBRUARY 25, 1862)

English Congregationalist Minister, Humanitarian, and Hymn Writer

Andrew Reed, son of a watchmaker, learned how to make watches–to follow in his father’s footsteps.  But Reed had a different vocation, which he followed.  So he studied for the Congregational ministry at Hackney College then served his home church, New Road Chapel, St. George’s-in-the-East, London, beginning in 1811.  There he continued until 1831, when the congregation, having outgrown its building, relocated and assumed a new name, Wycliffe Chapel.  He pastored that church until 1861.

Reed’s legacy has two main components:  hymns and humanitarian works.  He founded and raised funds for three orphanages and three mental asylums.  Reed’s rationale was:

We can never rise to the highest, nor are our moralities safe, till we can say, “of Him, and to Him are all things.”

Late in life, Reed, in reply to a question, summarized his life as follows:

I was born yesterday, I shall die to-morrow, and I must not spend to-day in telling what I have done, but in doing what I may for HIM who has done all for me.  I sprang from the people, I have lived for the people–the most for the most unhappy; and the people when they know it will not suffer me to die out of loving remembrance.

Reed composed twenty-one hymns and edited two hymnals (1817 and 1842).  One of these hymns, “Spirit Divine, Attend Our Prayers,” appeared in The Evangelical Magazine (June 1829) and his Hymn-Book (1842).  The hymn’s first singing occurred at London on Good Friday, 1829.

Spirit divine, attend our prayers,

And make this house Thy home;

Descend with all Thy gracious powers;

O come, great Spirit, come!

Come as the light: to us reveal

Our emptiness and woe;

And lead us in those paths of life

Where all the righteous go.

Come as the fire: and purge our hearts

Like sacrificial flame;

Let our whole soul an offering be

To our Redeemer’s Name!

Come as the dove: and spread Thy wings,

The wings of peaceful love;

And let Thy Church on earth become

Blest as the Church above.

Spirit divine, attend our prayers;

Make a lost world Thy home;

Descend with all Thy gracious powers;

O come, great Spirit, come!

Reed understood the proper relationship of creeds to deeds.  May the same be true of each of us.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 17, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MARIA STEWART, EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF EGLANTYNE JEBB, FOUNDER OF SAVE THE CHILDREN

THE FEAST OF FRANK MASON NORTH, U.S. METHODIST MINISTER

THE FEAST OF SAINT OLYMPIAS, ORTHODOX DEACONESS

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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 94:1-15

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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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
  • Mitchell J. Dahood, Roman Catholic Priest and Biblical Scholar
  • 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
  • James Nicholas Joubert and Marie Elizabeth Lange, Founders of the Oblate Sisters of Providence
  • 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)

5 (Martyrs of Japan, 1597-1639)

  • Avitus of Vienne, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Jane (Joan) of Valois, Co-Founder of the Sisters of the Annunciation
  • Pedro Arrupe, Advocate for the Poor and Marginalized, and Superior General of the Society of Jesus
  • Phileas and Philoromus, Roman Catholic Martyrs, 304

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

  • Danny Thomas, U.S. Roman Catholic Entertainer and Humanitarian; Founder of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • 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
  • Daniel J. Harrington, U.S. Roman Catholic Priest and Biblical Scholar
  • Gregorio Allegri, Italian Roman Catholic Priest, Composer, and Singer; brother of Domenico Allegri, Italian Roman Catholic Composer and Singer
  • Moses, Apostle to the Saracens
  • William Boyce and John Alcock, Anglican Composers

8 (Josephine Bakhita, Roman Catholic Nun)

  • Cornelia Hancock, U.S. Quaker Nurse, Educator, and Humanitarian; “Florence Nightingale of North America”
  • 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, Founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family

9 (Bruce M. Metzger, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Biblical Scholar, and Biblical Translator)

  • 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
  • Henry Williams Baker, Anglican Priest, Hymnal Editor, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • 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
  • 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
  • Michael Weisse, German Moravian Minister and Hymn Writer and Translator; and Jan Roh, Bohemian Moravian Bishop and Hymn Writer
  • Orange Scott, U.S. Methodist Minister, Abolitionist, and first President of the Wesleyan Methodist Connection

13 (AQUILA, PRISCILLA, AND APOLLOS, CO-WORKERS 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
  • Francis Harold Rowley, Northern Baptist Minister, Humanitarian, and Hymn Writer
  • 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
  • Henry B. Whipple, Episcopal Bishop of Minnesota
  • John Tietjen, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Ecumenist, and Bishop
  • 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
  • Edward Hopper, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer
  • 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
  • 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)

  • 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
  • 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, 1943)

  • Bernhardt Severin Ingemann, Danish Lutheran Author and Hymn Writer of Cortona, Penitent and Founder of the Poor Ones
  • Praetextatus, Roman Catholic Bishop of Rouen
  • Thomas Binney, English Congregationalist Minister, Liturgist, and “Archbishop of Nonconformity”

23 (Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, and Irenaeus of Lyons, Bishops and Martyrs, 107/115, 155/156, and Circa 202)

  • Alexander Akimetes, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • Austin Carroll (Margaret Anne Carroll), Irish-American Roman Catholic Nun, Author, and Educator
  • 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 ChildrenGregory of Nazianzus the Younger, Caesarius of Nazianzus, and Gorgonia of Nazianzus)

  • Bernhardt Severin Ingemann, Danish Lutheran Author and Hymn Writer
  • 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, 1495)

  • Andrew Reed, English Congregationalist Minister, Humanitarian, and Hymn Writer
  • Charles Sheldon, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Author, Christian Socialist, and Social Gospel Theologian
  • 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 Saint Joseph of Calasanz, Founder 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
  • Fred Rogers, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
  • Gabriel Possenti, Roman Catholic Penitent
  • Marian Anderson, African-American Singer and Civil Rights Activist
  • Raphael of Brooklyn, Syrian-American Russian Orthodox Bishop of Brooklyn

28 (Anna Julia Haywood Cooper and Elizabeth Evelyn Wright, African-American Educators)

  • Mary Lyon, U.S. Congregationalist Feminist and Educator
  • Joseph Badger, Sr., U.S. Congregationalist and Presbyterian Minister; First Missionary to the Western Reserve
  • Samuel Simon Schmucker, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Theologian, and Social Reformer

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

  • Luis de Leon, Spanish Roman Catholic Priest and Theologian
  • Patrick Hamilton, First Scottish Protestant Martyr, 1528

 

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

Feast of Emily Malbone Morgan (February 26)   1 comment

Above:  Episcopal Shield

Image in the Public Domain

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EMILY MALBONE MORGAN (DECEMBER 10, 1862-FEBRUARY 27, 1937)

Founder of the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross

The Biblical prophets said, among other things, that holiness (or the absence thereof) consists of what one does.   Hospitality is one of the virtues they associate with holiness.  The life of Emily Malbone Morgan reflects an understanding of this.

Morgan came from an Episcopalian family in Hartford, Connecticut, on December 10, 1862.  One brother became a prominent priest.  She devoted herself to simple living and knew the value of praying and of helping other women, whom she called together for prayer and companionship.  Beginning in 1889, she operated a series of vacation houses across the northeastern states for working women who needed to get away and rest, for the sake of spiritual renewal.  This effort was part of the ministry of the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross, founded in 1884.

The Society opened its first permanent house, Adelynrood, in Byfield, Massachusetts, in 1901.  Today this is the headquarters and retreat center for the Society.  Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), of The Episcopal Church, states that the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross operates in six countries and has over seven hundred Companions, lay and ordained, all women.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 26, 2010 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ALFRED THE GREAT, KING OF THE WEST SAXONS

THE FEAST OF CEDD, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF LONDON

THE FEAST OF DMITRY BORTNIANSKY, COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF PHILIP NICOLAI, JOHANN, HEERMANN, AND PAUL GERHARDT, HYMN WRITERS

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Gracious God, we thank you for the life and witness of Emily Malbone Morgan,

who helped to establish the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross

so that women who live in the world might devote themselves

to intercessory prayer, social justice, Christian unity, and simplicity of life.

Help us to follow her example in prayer, simplicity, ecumenism, and witness to your justice,

for the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ, who with you and

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

Exodus 1:15-21

Psalm 119:137-144

Romans 16:1-6

Luke 10:38-42

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 245

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Revised on December 8, 2016

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First Sunday in Lent, Year A   Leave a comment

Above: Temptations of Christ, a Byzantine Mosaic which Resides at St. Mark’s, Venice, Italy, because Knights of the Fourth Crusade Stole It from Constantinople (But Who Is Keeping Track?)

Interpreting the Temptations of Jesus

FEBRUARY 26, 2023

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Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7 (New Revised Standard Version):

The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man,

You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman,

Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?

The woman said to the serpent,

We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.”

But the serpent said to the woman,

You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

Psalm 32 (New Revised Standard Version):

Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,

whose sin is covered.

Happy are those to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity,

and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.

For day and night your hand was heavy upon me,;

my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you,

and I did not hide my iniquity;

I said,

I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,

and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

Therefore let all who are faithful

offer prayer to you;

at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters

shall not teach them.

You are a hiding place for me;

you preserve me from trouble;

you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.

I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;

I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,

whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,

else it will not stay near you.

Many are the torments of the wicked,

but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the LORD.

Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, O righteous,

and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.

Romans 5:12-19 (New Revised Standard Version):

As sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned– sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law. Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come.

But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many. And the free gift is not like the effect of the one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. If, because of the one man’s trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

Matthew 4:1-11 (New Revised Standard Version):

After Jesus was baptized, he was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him,

If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.

But he answered,

It is written, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him,

If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.”

Jesus said to him,

Again it is written, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him,

All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.

Jesus said to him,

Away with you, Satan! for it is written, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.”

Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.

The Collect:

Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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It is appropriate to have this Gospel reading on the First Sunday in Lent, for the number “40” for days of this season comes partially from the 40 days the Gospels say Jesus spent in the wilderness.

There is something mythic about a great religious leader having to face three temptations at the hand of an evil spiritual figure as a rite of passage.  At least one Buddhist version of this tale says that Siddhartha faced down fear, lust, and ego before the became the Enlightened One.  And we read that Jesus faced three temptations, also.  I suspect that this story is part of mythology, just as much as are the early chapters of Genesis.  (All the Bible is true, and some of it happened.)

As I write this devotional nine months early, in the energy-sapping heart of Summer 2010 (with the weather certain to become worse before it improves), I turn to the late Henri Nouwen, the Dutch Roman Catholic priest and wonderful spiritual writer for his cogent interpretation of Christ’s temptations.  In The Way of the Heart (1981), Father Nouwen wrote of harried, compulsive ministers:

Just look for a moment at our daily routine.  In general we are very busy people.  We have many meetings to attend, many visits to make, many services to lead.  (Our calendars are filled with appointments, our days and weeks filled with engagements, and our years filled with plans and projects.  There is seldom a period in which we do not know what to do, and we move through life in such a distracted way that we do not even take the time to rest to wonder if any of the things we think, say, or do are worth thinking, saying, or doing.  We simply go along with the many “musts” and “oughts” that have been handed on to us, and we live with them as if they were authentic translations of the Gospel of our Lord.  People must be motivated to come to church, youth must be entertained, money must be raised, and above all everyone must be happy.  Moreover, we ought to be on good terms with the church and civil authorities; we ought to be liked or at least respected by a fair majority of our parishioners; we ought to move up in the ranks according to schedule; and we ought to have enough vacation and salary to live a comfortable life.  Thus we are busy people just like all other busy people, rewarded with the rewards which are rewarded to busy people! (page 12 from the 2003 reprint)

Then Nouwen defined the false self, or secular self, which, Thomas Merton explained, social compulsions have manufactured.  Instead, Nouwen wrote, one’s true self, which is spiritual, requires solitude for the purpose of transformation.  Solitude, he wrote, is “the solitude of transformation.”  Then Nouwen continued:

Jesus himself entered into this furnace.  There he was tempted with the three compulsions of the world:  to be relevant (“turn stones into loaves”), to be spectacular (“throw yourself down”), and to be powerful (“I will give you all these kingdoms”.  There affirmed God as the only source of his identity (“You must worship the Lord your God and serve him alone.”)  Solitude is the place of the great struggle and the great encounter–the struggle against the compulsions of the false self, and the encounter with the loving God who offers himself as the substance of the new self.  (page 16 from the 2003 reprint)

That is one truth we can take from this mythic story and apply in our lives.

KRT

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/first-sunday-in-lent-year-b/