Archive for the ‘February 12’ Category

Feast of Absalom Jones, Richard Allen, and Jarena Lee (February 12)   Leave a comment

st-georges-church

Above:  St. George’s Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Image Scanned from Matthew Simpson, Editor, Cyclopedia of Methodism; Embracing Sketches of Its Rise, Progress, and Present Condition, with Biographical Notices and Numerous Illustrations–Fifth Revised Edition (1882)

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ABSALOM JONES (NOVEMBER 6, 1746-FEBRUARY 13, 1818)

First African-American Priest in The Episcopal Church

His feast transferred from February 13

friend and colleague of

RICHARD ALLEN (FEBRUARY 14, 1760-MARCH 26, 1831)

First Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church

His feast transferred from March 26

licensed

JARENA LEE (FEBRUARY 11, 1783-1855 OR 1857)

African Methodist Episcopal Evangelist

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In The Episcopal Church February 13 and March 26 are the Feasts of Absalom Jones and Richard Allen, respectively.

Among my goals during this renovation of my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, however long the process will take, is to emphasize relationships and influences.  Thus, with this post, which replaces two older posts, I emphasize the joint efforts of Absalom Jones and Richard Allen as I add a third saint, Jarena Lee.  I also locate the composite feast on February 12.  The Ecumenical Calendar, in its current state of ongoing renovation, has just one feast (that of Sts. Aquila, Priscilla, and Apollos), imported from the calendar of saints of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, on February 13.  With few exceptions, I prefer to reserve a date with a feast of a Biblical character or characters for that person or those individuals.

absalom-jones

Above:  Portrait of Absalom Jones, by Charles Wilson Peale

Image in the Public Domain

Absalom Jones, born on November 6, 1746, was a native of Sussex County, Delaware.  He, born a slave, taught himself to read via a variety of books, including the New Testament.  His first master sold the 16-year-old Jones to a store owner in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  In the City of Brotherly Love our saint attended a Quaker-run night school for African Americans.  In 1770 Jones, aged 23 years, married Mary, a slave.  He purchased her freedom in 1778 and his own six years later.

richard-allen

Above:  Richard Allen

Image in the Public Domain

Richard Allen, born Negro Richard, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on February 14, 1760, came from a family of slaves also.  When our saint was a child the family’s master, Benjamin Chew (attorney and Chief Justice of the Commonwealth, 1774-1777), sold them to Stokely Sturgis, a planter from Delaware.  Sturgis was a relatively humane slave owner, but he did break up the family when, to settle debts, he sold the mother and three of the siblings.  Richard converted to Christianity and joined the Methodist society at the age of 17 years.  He evangelized his friends and neighbors, with the approval of Sturgis, who thought that religion made a slave better, not worse.  Meanwhile, Sturgis, who became convinced that slavery was immoral, facilitated the process by which his slaves purchased their freedom.  Richard bought his freedom in 1780 and assumed the surname “Allen.”  For six years he was a traveling evangelist in South Carolina, New York, Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, supporting himself via trades; he was a woodcutter, a bricklayer, a cobbler, and a salt-wagon driver.  Allen was present at the Christmas Conference (at which the Methodist Episcopal Church formed, thereby separating from The Church of England), Lovely Lane Chapel, Baltimore, Maryland, in 1784.  He also became a licensed preacher in the new denomination that year.

Jones and Allen were lay ministers for African Americans at St. George’s Methodist Episcopal (now United Methodist) Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  They were so successful at increasing the African-American contingent of the congregation that they bothered the white leaders of the parish, who attempted (without notice) to segregate the African Americans into an upstairs gallery.  When, during a Sunday service in November 1786, ushers tried to remove the African-American members from where they were sitting, those parishioners walked out of the building together.

aecst-1829

Above:  The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1829

Image in the Public Domain

In 1787 Jones and Allen helped to found the Free African Society, for mutual aid.  The Society founded The African Church, Philadelphia, in 1792.  The congregation applied for admission to the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania and accomplished that goal in late 1794.  The African Church became African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, with Jones as its lay reader (1794), deacon (1795), and priest (1804).  Jones became the first African-American priest in The Episcopal Church.  Allen led faction of the The African Church that preferred Methodism.  He founded and led the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, in 1794.  Eventually this congregation became Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

bethel_ame_church_

Above:  (Mother) Bethel African Methodist Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1829

Image in the Public Domain

Jones and Allen worked together over the decades.  In 1793, for example, they mobilized the African-American community of the city to serve during an epidemic of yellow fever.  They also wrote and published a refutation of false allegations that African Americans had looted and engaged in profiteering during the outbreak.  Jones and Allen also helped to found the African Masonic Lodge in Philadelphia in 1798, petitioned the state legislature to abolish slavery the following year, petitioned the U.S. Congress to do the same in 1800, founded the Society for the Suppression of Vice and Immorality in 1809, and condemned the new American Colonization Society in 1817.

Jones and Allen made ecclesiastical history.  Jones became the first African American ordained by a hierarchical denomination.  The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas became the second largest congregation in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania by 1815, operated a school, and had one of the nation’s oldest African-American women’s groups and one of the U.S.A.’s oldest African-American men’s groups.  Bishop Francis Asbury ordained Allen, making him the first African-American deacon in the Methodist Episcopal Church, in 1799.  Allen’s first wife, Flora, to whom he was wed from 1790 until her death in 1801, had helped to found The African Church and Mother Bethel Church.  His second wife, Sarah Bass Allen, a former slave, became the Founding Mother of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1816, the same year her husband became the first bishop of the new denomination.

Husband and wife were also conductors of the Underground Railroad.

Jones died at Philadelphia on February 13, 1818.

jarena-lee

Above:  Jarena Lee

Image in the Public Domain

Jarena Lee (original surname unknown) also made ecclesiastical history.  She, a native of Cape May, New Jersey, entered the world on February 11, 1783.  She was never a slave.  Her family, however, was impoverished.  Jarena became a live-in domestic servant living in the home of the Sharps, a white family, at the age of seven years.  As a teenager Jarena relocated to Philadelphia and continued to work as a domestic servant.  She attended Allen’s African Methodist Episcopal Church, heard him preach, and converted to Christianity.  In 1807 Jarena perceived her vocation to preach.  Allen initially refused to permit her to preach, for reasons of gender.  Four years later she married the Reverend Joseph Lee.  The couple, married for seven years (ending in Joseph’s death), had two children.  The widow renewed her determination to pursue gender equality in ministry.  One Sunday in 1819, at Mother Bethel Church, a visiting minister could not complete his sermon; Jarena completed it for him.  Allen was impressed, not angry, so he changed his mind and licensed her to preach.  Jarena, active in the abolitionist movement, eventually became a traveling evangelist.  She died in 1855 or 1857.

Allen died at Philadelphia on March 26, 1831.

These three saints, inspired by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, proclaimed that Gospel and struggled for social justice.  They were simultaneously of their time and ahead of it.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 2, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHANNING MOORE WILLIAMS, EPISCOPAL MISSIONARY BISHOP IN CHINA AND JAPAN

THE FEAST OF ALICE FREEMAN PALMER, U.S. EDUCATOR AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT BRIOC, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT TUDWAL, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT OSMUND OF SALISBURY, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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Set us free, heavenly Father, from every bond of prejudice and fear;

that, honoring the steadfast courage of your servants Absalom Jones, Richard Allen, and Jarena Lee,

we may show forth in our lives the reconciling love and true freedom of the children of God,

which you have given us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ;

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

Genesis 8:12-17, 20-22

Psalm 51:1-17

Hebrews 4:12-16

Luke 23:32-43

–Adapted from A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016)

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Feast of Michael Weisse and Jan Roh (February 12)   2 comments

Moravian Logo

Above:  Logo of the Moravian Church

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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MICHAEL WEISSE (CIRCA 1480-MARCH 19, 1534)

German Moravian Minister and Hymn Writer

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JAN ROH (1485/1490-FEBRUARY 11, 1547)

Also known as John Horn, Johann Horn, and Johann Cornu

Bohemian Moravian Bishop and Hymn Writer

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The names of Michael Weisse and Jan Roh came to my attention because of my interest in the history of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum).  As I took notes on Roh’s life the name of Weisse kept recurring.  The best way to tell their stories, I concluded, was together.

Michael Weisse was a native of Neisse, Silesia (now Nysa, Poland).  He, born circa 1480, grew up in the Roman Catholic Church.  Weisse probably matriculated at the University of Krakow in 1504.  After he completed his studies our saint entered the Franciscan monastery at Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland) and became a priest.  In 1518, howevr, Weisse left monastic life and Roman Catholicism behind and entered the Unitas Fratrum, the Bohemian Brethren.

Jan Roh, Weisse’s contemporary, was of Bohemian origin.   Roh, a.k.a. Johann Horn, John Horn, and Johann Cornu, was a native of Domascbitz near Leitmeritz, Bohemia.  The saint, born in 1485/1490, became a presbyter in the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) in 1518 at Jungbunzlau, Bohemia.  He became one of the three Seniors of the Unity.  Three years later, he joined the ranks of bishop.

Sometime after 1518 the lives of Roh and Weisse began to overlap.  Roh, Weisse, and John Augusta (1500-1572) represented the Bohemian Brethren in theological discussions with Martin Luther.  In 1531, the year in which Weisse became a presbyter, he edited the Unity’s first German-language hymnal.  The volume reflected Weisse’s Zwinglian theology of the Holy Communion.  Roh, who edited the Unity’s Czech hymnal of 1541, revised Weisse’s German-language hymnal in 1544, correcting the Eucharistic theology to conform to the Brethren’s position–the real presence.  In 1532 and 1535 Roh and Augusta prepared the Unity’s confession of faith in Czech and Latin.  Weisse translated the 1532 statement into German, incorporating his theological tendencies in the process.

Weisse, who joined the Unity’s Inner Council in 1532, died of food poisoning in 1534.  He had founded German-language congregations in Bohemia and Moravia.  Weisse had also, since 1531, been overseer of the German-language congregations at Lanskroun and Fulnek, Moravia (now the Czech Republic).  The saint’s original legacy in hymnody consists of hymn tunes, hymn texts, and translations of hymn texts.  I have added some of his hymn translations and original texts to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.  The Moravian Book of Worship (1995) contains six hymn tunes Weisse composed and one he adapted.

Among Weisse’s original hymns from the hymnal of 1531 was the following, as Donald M. McCorkle (1929-1978) translated it in 1963:

To us a Child is born this night.

Behold His glorious light;

To us a Son is given,

Who Himself is our true God,

Our Life here and in heaven.

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Now wide is opening heaven’s door,

And out the light doth pour;

A gleam of majesty,

Christ the Son of Righteousness,

Who makes all people free.

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The light is Christ, our gracious Lord,

The true Immanuel,

To Christians now revealed;

And with wondrous grace and truth

Shows them what was concealed.

Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (1969)

Roh, who composed and adapted hymn tunes, wrote hymns, a few of which exist in English translations.  I have added the Catherine Winkworth translation, “Once He Came in Blessing” (1858), to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.  I have also found “Praise God! Praise God with Singing” (translated by John Daniel Libbey, 1871, altered).  Roh’s original text dated to 1544.

Praise God! Praise God with singing!

Rejoice, thou Christian flock!

Fear not though foes are bringing

Their hosts against thy rock;

For though they here assail thee

And seek thy very life,

Let not thy courage fail thee;

Thy God shall turn the strife.

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O be not thou dismayed,

Believing little band.

God, in His might arrayed,

To help thee is at hand.

Upon His palm engraven

Thy name ever found.

He knows, Who dwells in heaven,

The ills that thee surround.

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His purpose stands unshaken–

What He hath said he’ll do;

And, when by all forsaken,

His Church He will renew.

With pity He beholds her

E’en in her time of woe,

Still by His Word upholds her

And makes her thrive and know.

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To Him belong our praises,

Who still abides our Lord,

Bestowing gifts and graces

According to His Word.

Nor will He e’er forsake us,

But will our Guardian be

And ever stable make us

In love and unity.

Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (1969)

Roh died at Jungbunzlau, Bohemia, on February 11, 1547.

NOVEMBER 1, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ALL SAINTS

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

thank you for those (especially Michael Weisse and Jan Roh)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

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

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

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

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

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Feast of Christoph Carl Ludwig von Pfeil (February 12)   Leave a comment

Southern Germany

Above:  Southern Germany, from the Rand McNally World Atlas–Imperial Edition (1968)

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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CHRISTOPH CARL LUDWIG VON PFEIL (JANUARY 20, 1712-FEBRUARY 14, 1784)

German Lutheran Hymn Writer

Blessed Jesus, all our hearts incline

Thee to follow, where Thy footsteps shine;

At all times, and everywhere,

May our words and actions bear

A semblance, gracious Lord, to Thee.

–Baron Christoph Carl Ludwig von Pfeil, according to an unknown translator; quoted in The Liturgy and Office of Worship and Hymns of the American Province of the Unitas Fratrum, or the Moravian Church (1908)

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Baron Christoph Carl Ludwig von Pfeil (1712-1784) came from non-baronial origins.  His father was in the service of the Count of Leinigen.  Our saint, born at Grundstadt, near Worms, Germany, studied at the Universities of Halle and Tubingen.  In 1732 he became the Wurttemberg secretary of the legation at Regensberg.  He held various political offices from 1745 to 1763, but resigned rather than cooperate with the absolutist policies of Count Montmartin, the Prime Minister of Wurttemberg.

Pfeil’s retirement to Deufstetten, his estate near Crailsheim, was brief.  King Frederick II “the Great” of Prussia (reigned 1740-1786) appointed him to be the Privy Councillor and Ambassador to the Diets of Swabia and Franconia that year.  Then Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II (reigned 1765-1790) created our saint a baron.  And, in 1765, Frederick the Great awarded Pfeil the cross of the Red Eagle Order, a great honor.

Our saint wrote 950 hymns.  He started after the Tenth Sunday after Trinity, 1730, the occasion of a religious epiphany for him, and stopped due to his death.  Unfortunately, few of these texts exist in English translations and even those which do are mostly absent from the majority of English-language hymnals.  Pfeil also published collections of his hymns, including a volume of psalm settings from 1747.

Our saint came down with an intermittent fever, which confined him to bed, in August 1783.  There he remained until he died on February 14, 1784.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 22, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT SYNCLETIA OF ALEXANDRIA, DESERT MOTHER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ABELARD OF CORBIE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHN JULIAN, ANGLICAN PRIEST, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMNOLOGIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT VINCENT PALLOTTI, FOUNDER OF THE PALLOTINES

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Christoph Carl Ludwig von Pfeil and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

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

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

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

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

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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

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Saints’ Days and Holy Days for February   Leave a comment

Winter, by Hendrick Avercamp

Image in the Public Domain

1 (Henry Morse, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr)

  • Benedict Daswa, Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr
  • Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, 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)

  • Alfred Delp, German Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr
  • Charles Seymour Robinson, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymnologist
  • Nicholas Kasatkin, Orthodox Archbishop of All Japan

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

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

  • Mateo Correa-Magallanes and Miguel Agustin Pro, Mexican Roman Catholic Priests and Martyrs
  • Vedast (Vaast), Roman Catholic Bishop of Arras and Cambrai
  • William Boyce and John Alcock, Anglican Composers

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

  • Adalbert Nierychlewski, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr
  • Mitchell J. Dahood, Roman Catholic Priest and Biblical Scholar
  • Moses, Apostle to the Saracens

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

9 (Benjamin Schmolck, German Lutheran Pastor and Hymn Writer)

  • Adelaide Anne Procter, English Poet and Feminist
  • Alto of Altomunster, Roman Catholic Hermit
  • Porfirio, Martyr

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 of Aniane, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • Henry Williams Baker, Anglican Priest
  • Philip Armes, Anglican Church Organist and Composer

11 (ONESIMUS, BISHOP OF BYZANTIUM)

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

  • Charles Freer Andrews, Anglican Priest
  • Christoph Carl Ludwig von Pfeil, German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • 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)

  • Cyril and Methodius, Missionaries 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)

  • Francis Harold Rowley, Northern Baptist Minister, Humanitarian, and Hymn Writer
  • Michael Praetorious, German Lutheran Composer and Musicologist
  • Thomas Bray, Anglican Priest

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

  • Christian Frederick Martin, Sr., and Charles Augustus Zoebisch, German-American Instrument Maker
  • Louis (Lewis) F. Kampmann, U.S. Moravian Minister, Missionary, and Hymn Translator
  • Norbert of Xanten, Founder of the Premonstratensians; Hugh of Fosses, Second Founder of the Premonstratensians; and Evermod, Bishop of Ratzeburg

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

  • Francis Serrano, Roman Catholic Priest and Missionary
  • Janani Luwum, Archbishop and Martyr
  • Marie Adolphine Dierks, Roman Catholic Nun, Missionary, and Martyr

18 (Ben Salmon, Roman Catholic Pacifist and Conscientious Objector)

  • Barbasymas, Sadoth of Seleucia, and Their Companions, Martyrs
  • Colman of Lindisfarne, Agilbert, and Wilfrid, Bishops
  • Guido di Pietro, a.k.a. Fra Angelico, Roman Catholic Monk and Artist

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

  • Bernard Barton, English Quaker Poet and Hymn Writer
  • James Drummond Burns, Scottish Presbyterian Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • Samuel Davies, American Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer

20 (Johann Heermann, German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer)

  • Henri de Lubac, Roman Catholic Priest, Cardinal, and Theologian
  • Karl Friedrich Lochner, German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer
  • 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
  • Robert Southwell, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr
  • Samuel Wolcott, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Missionary, and Hymn Writer

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

  • Eric Liddell, Scottish Presbyterian Missionary to China
  • 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
  • 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
  • Theodor Fliedner, Renewer of the Female Diaconate; and Elizabeth Fedde, Norwegian Lutheran Deaconess

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

  • 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; George Herbert, Anglican Priest and Metaphysical Poet; and All Saintly Parish Priests)

  • Anne Line and Roger Filcock, Roman Catholic Martyrs
  • Gabriel Possenti, Penitent
  • Luis de Leon, Spanish Roman Catholic Priest and Theologian

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

  • Andrew Reed, English Congregationalist Minister, Humanitarian, and Hymn Writer
  • Anna Julia Haywood Cooper and Elizabeth Evelyn Wright, African-American Educators
  • Elizabeth C. Clephane, Scottish Presbyterian Philanthropist and Hymn Writer

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

  • Bernhardt Severin Ingemann, Danish Lutheran Author and Hymn Writer
  • Edward Hopper, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Jemima Thompson Luke, English Congregationalist Hymn Writer; and James Edmeston, Anglican Hymn Writer

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

Feast of Charles Freer Andrews (February 12)   Leave a comment

Above:  Map of India in 1900

Source = http://www.wmcarey.edu

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THE REVEREND CHARLES FREER ANDREWS

Born in Birmingham, England, February 12, 1871

Died in Calcutta, India, April 5, 1940

Priest of the Church of England; known during his lifetime as “Christ’s Faithful Apostle” and “Friend of the Poor”

The history of Christian global missions has both glorious and shameful aspects.  On the negative side, many missionaries have carried their ethnocentric and racist views with them, functioning more as emissaries of their native imperial powers than as messengers for Jesus.  These individuals have alienated many people from the Gospel.  The study of history tells me that this style of foreign missions leads frequently to indigenous peoples identifying Christianity with imperialism, and therefore rejecting both Christ and the imperialists.  So the act of embracing whatever religion is indigenous becomes an indicator of national pride and anti-imperialism.    And the cross of Christ does not prevail in another foreign land.  This is quite unfortunate.

Yet many other missionaries have advocated for the rights of those to whom God has sent them.  Some of have died for the indigenous peoples.  Charles Freer Andrews did not die for this cause, but he did dedicate most of his adult life to it.  The Episcopal Church has placed his feast on February 12, but since I already have four people on that day, I have moved him up one  day.  And he is a fine addition to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

Above:  An Indian Stamp Bearing the Image of Charles Freer Andrews

Image Source = http://dailyoffice.wordpress.com/

Charles Freer Andrews became an Anglican priest in 1897.  The cause of social justice was an integral part of his faith, and the abuses of the native peoples of India at the hands of the British government concerned him.  So, in 1904, Andrews moved to Delhi, where he began to teach philosophy at St. Stephen’s College.  There he received the label Deenabandhu, which means, “Friend of the Poor.”  This was an apt title, for the priest was active in the Indian National Congress.  And, in 1913, Andrews mediated a settlement to a strike in Madras, thereby averting violence.

Andrews opposed violence, a point that caused him to disagree with his friend Mohandas K. Gandhi in 1918 when the latter participated in a military recruiting effort.  For Andrews, nonviolence was a principle not subject to compromise, even during time of war.  He did cooperate closely with Gandhi for many years, participating in negotiations with the British government and organizing an ashram. And, in India, Andrews opened a Hindu-Christian dialogue and advocated for the rights of the Dalits, or the Untouchables, arguing that they had rights, too.   Gandhi paid Andrews the highest possible compliment, calling him “Christ’s Faithful Apostle.”

Andrews also traveled to Fiji, in the South Pacific Ocean, multiple times during his life.  There he found social justice causes, too, advocating for the rights of exploited indentured workers and employees of sugar companies.  (The corporation controlled the lives of its workers, making them slaves of a sort.)

Andrews returned to England in 1935, accepting Gandhi’s suggestion that native-born Indians should lead the struggle for independence.  He did visit the subcontinent from time to time, though.  Andrews died during such a visit in 1940.

Sometimes circumstances present opportunities to do great things for God and our fellow human beings, and people, such as Charles Freer Andrews, accept the challenge.  The particulars of your call are not identical to mine or that of Charles Freer Andrews, but a principle is constant.  May I be “Christ’s Faithful Apostle” wherever God wants me to be, and may you be “Christ’s Faithful Apostle” wherever God wants you to be.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 22, 2010 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF BARTHOLOMEW ZOUBERBUHLER, ANGLICAN PRIEST

THE FEAST OF PAUL TILLICH, LUTHERAN THEOLOGIAN

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Gracious God, you called Charles Freer Andrews to empty himself, after the example of our Savior, so that he might proclaim your salvation to the peoples of India and the Pacific Islands:  By your Holy Spirit inspire us with like zeal to bring together people of every race and class, that there may be one Body and one Spirit in Jesus Christ, our Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Deuteronomy 15:7-11

Psalm 113:2-8

Ephesians 2:13-22

Matthew 23:8-12

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 219

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Revised on November 30, 2016

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