Archive for the ‘February 28’ Category

Feast of Anna Julia Haywood Cooper and Elizabeth Evelyn Wright (February 28)   Leave a comment

Flag of The Episcopal Church

Above:  The Flag of the Episcopal Church

Image in the Public Domain

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ANNA JULIA HAYWOOD COOPER, M.A., PH.D. (AUGUST 10, 1858-FEBRUARY 27, 1964)

African-American Educator

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ELIZABETH EVELYN WRIGHT (APRIL 3, 1872-DECEMBER 14, 1906)

African-American Educator

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The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class–it is the cause of humankind, the very birthright of humanity.

–Anna Julia Haywood Cooper

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With this post I add to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days two African-American women whose lives stand as testimony to the importance of education and the imperative of resisting assaults–namely racism and misogyny–on human dignity.

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Anna Julia Haywood Cooper (1858-1964) was originally a slave, a daughter of George Washington Haywood (her master) of Raleigh, North Carolina, and a slave.  Young Anna worked as a servant in her father’s home before leaving for St. Augustine’s Normal School and Collegiate Institute (now St. Augustine’s University), Raleigh, which The Episcopal Church founded for former slaves in 1867.  Our saint made the most of this opportunity, which she had because of a scholarship.  She remained at St. Augustine’s School in various capacities for fourteen years, excelling in mathematics, science, literature, and languages.  She also fought for the right to pursue an academic track usually reserved for male students.  Our saint succeeded in this effort and performed well in it.  Anna, who worked as a tutor while a student then remained at St. Augustine’s School as an instructor after graduating, fell in love with George A. C. Cooper, the second African-American Episcopal priest in North Carolina and one of her former teachers.  They married in 1877.  He died two years later, and she never remarried.

Our saint devoted her life to education.  After becoming a widow she studied at Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, where she also pursued and excelled in an academic program usually reserved for men.  Next she taught at Wilberforce College, Wilberforce, Ohio, a school of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, for a few years.  Then she returned to St. Augustine’s School in 1885.  Next our saint went back to Oberlin College, from which she graduated with an M.A. in mathematics in 1887.  Subsequently she taught at then led the influential M Street High School, Washington, D.C.  In her fifties and sixties Cooper undertook doctoral studies, first at Columbia University.  She started in 1914, but had to interrupt her course work due to family matters; she adopted her half-brother’s five children after their mother died.  Our saint completed her course work then her dissertation, a translation of the Medieval French epic poem Le Pelerinage de Charlemagne (The Pilgrimage of Charlemagne).  She completed her doctorate at the Sorbonne in Paris, France.  That institution rejected her Columbia dissertation, so she researched and wrote The Attitude of France on the Question of Slavery Between 1789 and 1848 instead.  In 1925 she received her doctorate.  From 1930 to 1942 our saint served as the President of Freylinghausen University, Washington, D.C.

Cooper died in Washington, D.C., on February 27, 1964.  She was 105 years old.  During her life she, a feminist, had argued that African-American women could, by means of education, improve their communities, and that successful, educated African-American women had a responsibility to support their disadvantaged sisters.  Cooper had also committed many thoughts to paper in A Voice from the South (1892) and given voice to her positions in many speeches.

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Elizabeth Evelyn Wright (1872-1906), a native of Talbotton, Georgia, was a daughter of Virginia Rolfe (a Cherokee) and John Wesley Wright (a carpenter).  Our saint first attended school in a church basement.  Her teachers helped her gain admission to the Tuskegee Institute.  At first Lizzie, as those who knew her well called her, worked for the Institute during the day and attended night classes, but Olivia Washington, wife of Booker T. Washington, arranged for her to attend day classes.

Wright also devoted her life to education.  She interrupted her studies at the Tuskegee Institute to start a school for rural African-American children in Hampton County, South Carolina, but arsonists foiled that plan.  Our saint completed her studies at the Tuskegee Institute then returned to South Carolina to try again.  Arsonists continued to foil her plans to educate rural African-American children.  Wright and two colleagues, Jessie Dorsey and Hattie Davidson, founded the Denmark Industrial Institute, Denmark, South Carolina, in 1897.  Five years later it became the Voorhees Industrial Institute, for Ralph Voorhees, a philanthropist in New Jersey, and his wife donated large sums of money to the school.  For many years this was the only high school for African Americans in the area.

Wright found love, marrying Martin A. Menagee in 1906.  The union was brief, however, for she died of natural causes before the end of the year.  She was 34 years old.

The legacy of the Voorhees Industrial Institute continues.  It became an Episcopal Church-affiliated institution in 1924.  The name changed to Voorhees School and Junior College in 1947 and to Voorhees College in 1962.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 10, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF EDWIN HATCH, ANGLICAN PRIEST, SCHOLAR, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT LEO THE GREAT, BISHOP OF ROME

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Eternal God, you inspired Anna Julia Haywood Cooper and Elizabeth Evelyn Wright

with the love of learning and the joy of teaching:

Help us also to gather and use the resources of our communities

for the education of all your children;

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns

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

Proverbs 9:1-6

Psalm 78:1-7

1 Timothy 4:6-16

Luke 4:14-21

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 249

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Feast of Elizabeth C. Clephane (February 28)   3 comments

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Above:  Ruins of Melrose Abbey, Between 1860 and 1890

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USZ62-109098

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

Scottish Presbyterian Philanthropist and Hymn Writer

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

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

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

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

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

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 9, 2013 COMMON ERA

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

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

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF GORKUM, HOLLAND

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

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

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

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom

the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:18-23

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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Revised on December 9, 2016

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Feast of Andrew Reed (February 28)   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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Feast of Thomas Binney (February 28)   2 comments

Union Jack

Above:  The Union Jack

Image in the Public Domain

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THOMAS BINNEY (APRIL 30, 1798-FEBRUARY 24, 1874)

English Congregationalist Minister, Liturgist, and “Archbishop of Nonconformity”

Thomas Binney, raised in a Presbyterian family, educated himself while apprenticing under a bookseller.  The saint became a Congregationalist (notnfar from the tree; still Reformed), studied at the theological seminary at Coward College, Wymondley, Herts, and became an ordained minister.  He served congregations at Bedford, then the Isle of Wight before becoming senior pastor of Weigh House Chapel (founded in 1695), London, where he had a reputation as one of the greatest preachers in England.

Binney was a man of strong opinions.  He opposed slavery actively.   He also argued against The Church of England vigorously while being on friendly terms with some C of E bishops and participating in at least one interdenominational service with one in Australia.  Binney might have thought that The Church of England had damned more souls than it had saved, but he did not find everyone in it objectionable.  (Aside:  I, as an Episcopalian, have a different opinion of The Church of England.)  Binney also pioneered a relatively high order of worship, introducing chants and anthems into the services at Weigh House Chapel.  That was radical by the standards of the day, given the historic Calvinist principle of Jure Divino and how many adherents had interpreted it for so long.  He also published Historical Sketches on the Liturgical Forms of the Reformed Churches, by Charles W. Baird, of New York, New York.    The saint wrote the introduction and an appendix, asking,

Are Dissenters to have a Liturgy?

Binney also wrote many devotional poems–

cart loads,

he said.  Among them was “Eternal Light, which he composed at Newport, Isle of Wight, in 1826.

Eternal Light! Eternal Light!

How pure that soul must be,

When, placed within thy searching sight,

It shrinks not, but with calm delight

Can live, and look on thee.

O how shall I, whose native sphere

Is dark, whose mid is dim,

Before the Ineffable appear,

And on my naked spirit bear

The uncreated beam?

There is no way for man to rise

To that sublime abode;

An offering and a sacrifice,

A Holy Spirit’s energies,

An Advocate with God:

These, these prepare us for the sight

Of holiness above:

The sons of ignorance and night

May dwell in the eternal Light,

Through the eternal Love!

Binney also headed the Congregational Union of England and Wales, which, along with the former Presbyterian Church of England, has become part of The United Reformed Church.

The congregation of Weigh House Chapel disbanded in 1966.  Their former building has become home of the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family in Exile.

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

thank you for those (especially Thomas Binney)

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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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, 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.