Archive for the ‘February 5’ Category

Feast of James Nicholas Joubert and Mary Elizabeth Lange (February 5)   Leave a comment

Above:  Baltimore (1837)

Image Creators = Moses Swett and Philip Haas

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-pga-04182

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JACQUES MARIE HECTOR NICOLAS JOUBERT DE LA MURAILLE (SEPTEMBER 6, 1777-1843)

French-American Roman Catholic Priest

worked with

MARIE ELIZABETH LANGE (1784?-FEBRUARY 3, 1882)

Haitian-American Roman Catholic Nun

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FOUNDERS OF THE OBLATE SISTERS OF PROVIDENCE

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Mary Elizabeth Lange 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).  James Nicholas Joubert joins Lange and shares a feast day with her because they founded the Oblate Sisters of Providence in 1829.  The Roman Catholic Church is considering taking Lange through steps that may culminate in canonization.  I choose, however, not to wait for Holy Mother Church to act.

Jacques Marie Hector Nicolas Joubert de la Muraille was one of the priests who proved invaluable in making Lange’s accomplishments possible.  He, born to Suzanne Claire Cathering Guimbaut and attorney Jean Joseph Marie Joubert in Saint Jean d’Angely, France, on September 6, 1777, worked as a soldier then as a tax agent.  The Napoleonic government assigned Joubert to Saint-Dominigue (now Haiti).  The tax agent fled in 1803, during the Haitian Revolution.  He arrived first in Cuba then immigrated to the United States.  Joubert matriculated at St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore, Maryland, in 1805.  He, ordained a priest five years later, joined the Society of Saint-Sulpice and taught geology and French at the seminary.  Starting in 1827, our saint taught the catechism (in French) to Haitian-American children at the Lower Chapel of the seminary.  He met Mary Elizabeth Lange at the Lower Chapel.

Marie Elizabeth Lange obeyed her calling from God.  She, born into a well-to-do Haitian family in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, circa 1784, received a fine education.  Lange immigrated to the United States in the early 1800s.  She, having settled in Baltimore by 1813, recognized the need for more schools for free African Americans in the city.  Church-run schools existed yet did not meet all needs collectively.  Furthermore, no public schools for African Americans existed.  Lange opened a school for Haitian immigrant youth in her home.  Marie Balas helped our saint teach the otherwise underserved population.

James Whitfield, the Archbishop of Baltimore, asked Father Joubert to open a girls’ school.  The priest recruited Lange and Balas.  Joubert also learned of the vocations of Lange, Balas, and two other African-American women to religious life.  Given the lack of any order to accept them, the women became the first members of a new order, which Joubert and Lange founded.  The Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first order for African-American women in the Roman Catholic Church, came into existence on July 2, 1829, with four sisters.  Lange became Sister (later Mother) Mary and served as the first Superior General.  The order, which received papal approval in 1831, operated St. Frances Academy, Baltimore.  As time passed, the Sisters grew in numbers and in social services, such as classes for women, career and vocational training, and homes for orphans and widows.  In 1832, Sisters (including Lange) risked their lives to minister to victims of an outbreak of cholera in the city.  This work required financing, of course.  Joubert, Lange, and the other Sisters raised funds.

Archbishop Samuel Eccleston (in office 1834-1851, succeeding Whitfield) attempted to disband the new religious order.  Regarding the Oblate Sisters of Providence, he asked,

What’s the use?

After Father Joubert died in 1843, the position of spiritual director of the order remained vacant for years.  Finally, in 1847, Father Thaddeus Anwander persuaded Eccleston to appoint him to fill the vacancy, and the fortunes and prospects of the Sisters improved.

Lange, the mistress of novices (1850-1860), laid down her burdens on February 3, 1882.

The Oblate Sisters of Providence minister in the United States and Costa Rica.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 11, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT PAPHNUTIUS THE GREAT, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF UPPER THEBAID

THE FEAST OF ANNE HOULDITCH, ANGLICAN NOVELIST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHN STAINER AND WALTER GALPIN ALCOCK, ANGLICAN CHURCH ORGANISTS AND COMPOSERS

THE FEAST OF SAINT PATIENS OF LYONS, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP

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O God, by whose grace your servants James Nicholas Joubert and Mary Elizabeth Lange,

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

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

and walk before you as children of light;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Acts 2:42-47a

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

2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Matthew 6:24-33

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

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Feast of the Martyrs of Japan (February 5)   Leave a comment

martyrs-of-nagasaki

Above:  Martyrs of Nagasaki

Image in the Public Domain

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MARTYRS OF JAPAN, 1597-1639

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The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.

–Tertullian (circa 155-circa 240)

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Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries had converted at least 300,000 Japanese by 1597.  This alarmed the Tokugawa shogun that year, for he associated Christianity with Western imperialism.  The first victims of the persecution were the Martyrs of Nagasaki, crucified together on February 5, 1597.  The 26 Franciscan missionaries, Jesuit missionaries, and Japanese converts were:

  1. St. Antony Deynan (age 13),
  2. St. Bonaventure of Miyako,
  3. St. Cosmas Takeya,
  4. St. Francis Blanco,
  5. St. Francis of Nagasaki,
  6. St. Francis of St. Michael,
  7. St. Gabriel de Duisco,
  8. St. Gundisalvus Garcia,
  9. St. James Kisai,
  10. St. Joachim Saccachibara,
  11. St. John Kisaka,
  12. St. John Soan de Goto,
  13. St. Kichi Franciscus,
  14. St. Leo Karasumaru,
  15. St. Louis Ibaraki (age 12),
  16. St. Martin of the Ascension,
  17. St. Matthias of Miyako,
  18. St. Michael Kozaki,
  19. St. Paul Ibaraki,
  20. St. Paul Miki,
  21. St. Paul Suzuki,
  22. St. Peter Baptist,
  23. St. Peter Sukejiroo,
  24. St. Philip of Jesus,
  25. St. Thomas Kozaki (age 15), and
  26. St. Thomas Xico.

The Roman Catholic Church has beatified and canonized hundreds of other Martyrs of Japan who died for the faith from 1598 to 1639.

Sustained persecutions drove Christianity in Japan underground by 1630.  Nevertheless, a remnant of the faithful persisted for more than two centuries.  When new missionaries arrived in the 1800s, they found Christians.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 28, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT STEPHEN THE YOUNGER, DEFENDER OF ICONS

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK COOK ATKINSON, ANGLICAN CHURCH ORGANIST AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPH PIGNATELLI, RESTORER OF THE JESUITS

THE FEAST OF KAMEHAMEHA IV AND EMMA ROOKE, KING AND QUEEN OF HAWAII

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O God our Father, source of strength to all your saints,

you brought the holy martyrs of Japan

through the suffering of the cross to the joys of eternal life:

Grant that we, encouraged by their example,

may hold fast the faith we profess, even to death itself;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you

and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:10-12

Psalm 40:1-11 or 40:5-11

1 Corinthians 1:18-24

John 12:23-33

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

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Feast of Sts. Phileas and Philoromus (February 5)   Leave a comment

Above:  Ruins of Mud Brick Structures at Thmuis, Egypt

Image Source = Link

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SAINTS PHILEAS AND PHILOROMUS (DIED 304 C.E.)

Roman Catholic Martyrs

Their feast transferred from February 4

St. Phileas was Bishop of Thmuis, Egypt, the city of his birth.  Arrested during the last empire-wide persecution of Christianity, he refused, under the threat of death, to sacrifice to pagan gods.  St. Philoromus, imperial treasurer at Alexandria, Egypt, had become a Christian through the efforts of St. Phileas.  He objected to the handling of the bishop’s case and also found himself under a death sentence.  Both men died by beheading.

When will authorities learn that killing adherents of a religion does not end the religion, but often swells its ranks instead?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

THE FEAST OF CHANNING MOORE WILLIAMS

THE FEAST OF JOHN BROWN, ABOLITIONIST

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Gracious God,

in every age you have sent men and women

who have given their lives in witness to your love and truth.

Inspire us with the memory of Saints Phileas and Philoromus,

whose faithfulness led to the way of the cross,

and give us courage to bear full witness with our lives

to your Son’s victory over sin and death,

for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God,

now and forever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 20:40-42

Psalm 5

Revelation 6:9-11

Mark 8:34-38

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

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Revised on November 27, 2016

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Posted December 2, 2011 by neatnik2009 in February 5, Saints of 300-399

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Feast of St. Avitus of Vienne (February 5)   Leave a comment

Above:  Gaul in 511 C.E.

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT AVITUS OF VIENNE (CIRCA 470-523/525)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Vienne

St. Avitus of Vienne, born at Auvergne, was son of Isychius, Bishop of Vienne.  He succeeded  his father in the episcopate in 490.  The saint earned his reputation for learning, wisdom, and charity, and for the ransoming of many captives from the Burgundians.  He converted King Sigismund (reigned 516-524), who had murdered his son, Sigeric in 522, due to a false accusation from Sigeric’s stepmother, to rebuild the monastery at Aganaum as a penance.  Sigismund, had been an Arian, but the saint brought him over to Roman Catholicism in 516.

My consultations with old encyclopedias (yes, multi-volume, hardcover sets) reveal that Sigismund (listed on the Roman Catholic calendar of saints as a marytr, with a feast day of May 1), died by the hand of the Clodomer, Frankish King of Orleans (reigned 511-524), son of  King Clovis I (reigned 481-511), founder of the Merovingian Dynasty.  Burgundy passed into the rule of Gundomar, who reigned for a decade before the Franks absorbed the kingdom.

St. Avitus also argued against Semi-Pelagianism and wrote on various topics, including chastity and original sin.  Some of his works survive.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

THE FEAST OF CHANNING MOORE WILLIAMS

THE FEAST OF JOHN BROWN, ABOLITIONIST

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Almighty God,

you raised up faithful bishops of your church,

including your servant Saint Avitus of Vienne.

May the memory of his life be a source of joy for us and a bulwark of our faith,

so that we may serve and confess your name before the world,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84

1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21

John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47

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

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Revised on November 27, 2016

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Posted December 2, 2011 by neatnik2009 in February 5, Saints of 400-499, Saints of 500-599

Tagged with

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.

Feast of St. Jane (Joan) of Valois (February 5)   Leave a comment

Map of France in 1453

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT JANE (JOAN) OF VALOIS (APRIL 23, 1464-FEBRUARY 4, 1505)

Cofounder of the Sisters of the Annunciation

Her feast transferred from February 4

Joan of France was a daughter of King Louis XI of France (reigned 1461-1483).  He was a schemer who enhanced royal authority.  These plots entailed the arranged marriage of Joan to the king’s second cousin, Louis, the Duke of Orleans.  It was a loveless marriage between the pious child bride Joan (aged nine years), who wanted to devote her life to God, and the Duke, who preferred a life of pleasure.  They were married in name only.

Joan’s brother became King Charles VIII in 1483, reigning until 1498.  Since Charles VIII died childless, the throne passed to the Duke of Orleans, who became Louis XII (reigned 1498-1515).  The new king asked Pope Alexander VI to annul the marriage to Joan, based on false and salacious rumors about details ranging from a spinal deformity to alleged witchcraft and sexual problems.  The Holy Father consented to the annulment for political reasons in 1498, and Joan entered exile at Bourges as Duchess of Berry.  She prayed for her former husband and devoted herself to social, educational, and monastic work.

The Duchess founded a college, established scholarships for the poor, worked to reform prostitutes, cared for the sick, and helped the needy.  And, in 1502, with the help of her confessor, Father Gabriel Mary, a Fransiscan priest, she founded the Sisters of the Annunciation, a Franciscan order devoted to encouraging living according the virtues manifested the life of St. Mary of Nazareth.

Joan died in 1505, aged forty years.  Beatified in 1742, she became St. Jane of Valois in 1950.

The life of St. Jane of Valois demonstrates the value of living according to the standards of compassion and forgiveness.  Compassion is far more than a warm, fuzzy feeling; it is active and observable in deeds.

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God our sovereign, we thank you for the holy example of St. Jane of Valois, who overcame difficult circumstances and maintained her faith and compassion.  May we, in our trials, remain close to you and find our difficult circumstances nothing less than opportunities to serve you and help others.  In your name we pray.  Amen.

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 70

Hebrews 13:1-16

Luke 1:46-56

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 22, 2010 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ST. FRANCES XAVIER CABRINI, FOUNDER OF THE MISSIONARY SISTERS OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS

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Revised on November 27 2016

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