Archive for the ‘January 1-10’ Category

Feast of St. Philip II of Moscow (January 9)   Leave a comment

philip-ii-and-ivan-iv

Above:  Metropolitan Philip II and Czar Ivan IV, by Vasili Purikev

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SAINT PHILIP II OF MOSCOW (FEBRUARY 11, 1507-DECEMBER 12, 1569)

Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia, and Martyr

St. Philip II of Moscow took a stand for righteousness while facing a tyrant.  He knew what the high price for that action would be and did the right thing anyway.

Theodore Kolyshov was a nobleman and a soldier before, at the age of 30 years, he entered the monastery at Solovetsk, on the White Sea, and became Philip.  Ten years later he became the abbot.  He was not only a capable abbot but a skilled agricultural engineer; he designed a new drainage and irrigation system for the monastery grounds.  In 1565 our saint became the Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia.

St. Philip II’s tenure was brief and politically difficult.  Czar Ivan IV “the Terrible” (reigned 1547-1584) was a tyrant; he had political opponents executed, sometimes en masse.  Our saint opposed the violent monarch.  At Dormition Cathedral, Moscow, on March 2, 1568, the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross, with Ivan IV in attendance, Philip II refused to bless the Czar.    During the Eucharistic prayers St. Philip II said:

At this altar we are offering a pure and bloodless sacrifice for men’s salvation.  Outside this holy temple the blood of innocent Christians is being shed.  God rejects him who does not love his neighbor.  I have to tell you this though I die for it.

–Quoted in Donald Attwater, The Penguin Dictionary of Saints (1965), page 283

Ivan IV had his revenge.  He had St. Philip II deposed, convicted of false allegations (including sorcery), and sentenced to life imprisonment later that year.  One of Ivan IV’s lackeys, obeying orders, choked our saint with a cushion at Otrosh monastery on December 12, 1569.

The Russian Orthodox Church canonized St. Philip II in 1636.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 14, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN AMOS COMENIUS, FATHER OF MODERN EDUCATION

THE FEAST OF THE CONSECRATION OF SAMUEL SEABURY, FIRST EPISCOPAL BISHOP

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM ROMANIS, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Almighty God, who gave to your servant St. Philip II of Moscow

boldness to confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ

before the rulers of this 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 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

Holy Women:  Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 713

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Advertisements

Feast of Julia Chester Emery (January 9)   Leave a comment

emery

Above:  Julia Chester Emery

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

JULIA CHESTER EMERY (SEPTEMBER 24, 1852-JANUARY 9, 1922)

Upholder of Missions

The Episcopal Church added Julia Chester Emery to its calendar of saints in 1994.

Emery was the daughter of a sea captain and the sister of two Episcopal priests.  She was also the sister of Mary Emery, who served as the first National Secretary of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Board of Missions, The Episcopal Church.  (The General Convention of 1871 created the Women’s Auxiliary.)

Our saint succeeded her sister in 1876 and served until retirement, 40 years later, at the age of 63 or 64 years.  She traveled widely in The Episcopal Church, visiting remote mission stations around the world and speaking in every diocese and missionary district.  This travel was frequently difficult.  Emery also encouraged support for these missionary efforts and created the United Thank Offering.  She died about six years later, on January 9, 1922.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 14, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN AMOS COMENIUS, FATHER OF MODERN EDUCATION

THE FEAST OF THE CONSECRATION OF SAMUEL SEABURY, FIRST EPISCOPAL BISHOP

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM ROMANIS, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

God of all creation, you call us in Christ to make disciples of all nations and to proclaim your mercy and love:

Grant that we, after the example of your servant Julia Chester Emery,

may have vision and courage in proclaiming the Gospel to the ends of the Earth;

through Jesus Christ our light and our salvation, who lives and reigns

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

Isaiah 61:1-3

Psalm 67

Romans 12:6-13

Mark 10:42-45

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 163

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei (January 8)   6 comments

copernican-system

Above:  The Copernican System

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

NICOLAUS COPERNICUS (FEBRUARY 18, 1473-MAY 24, 1453)

Scientist

++++++++++++++

GALILEO GALILEI (FEBRUARY 15, 1564-JANUARY 8, 1642)

Scientist

++++++++++++++

Second. I say that, as you know, the Council [of Trent] prohibits expounding the Scriptures contrary to the common agreement of the holy Fathers. And if Your Reverence would read not only the Fathers but also the commentaries of modern writers on Genesis, Psalms, Ecclesiastes and Josue, you would find that all agree in explaining literally (ad litteram) that the sun is in the heavens and moves swiftly around the earth, and that the earth is far from the heavens and stands immobile in the center of the universe. Now consider whether in all prudence the Church could encourage giving to Scripture a sense contrary to the holy Fathers and all the Latin and Greek commentators. Nor may it be answered that this is not a matter of faith, for if it is not a matter of faith from the point of view of the subject matter, it is on the part of the ones who have spoken. It would be just as heretical to deny that Abraham had two sons and Jacob twelve, as it would be to deny the virgin birth of Christ, for both are declared by the Holy Ghost through the mouths of the prophets and apostles.

St. Robert Bellarmine, 1615

++++++++++++++

It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved.

–Galileo Galilei

++++++++++++++

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.

–Galileo Galilei

++++++++++++++

The Bible shows us the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go.

–Galileo Galilei

++++++++++++++

For biographies of these two saints I refer you, O reader, to the following links:

To bash the Roman Catholic Church for its posthumous treatment of Copernicus and its abuse of Galileo, as well as its tardiness in rescinding the decree of heresy against him, is about as easy as fishing with dynamite.  To do so while ignoring the broader, more complex history of the relationship between Holy Mother Church and science is also deceptive.  Besides, leading Protestants of the time tended to be just as skeptical of the Copernican theory and Galileo’s observations as were Roman Catholic officials.

The Copernican theory contradicted bad and well-established theology.  Sinful humans were on the Earth; God and the angels dwelt out there, according to orthodox theology.  Therefore, according to the orthodox position, to make the Sun the center and the Earth a planet orbiting it was to make a heretical statement about the place of sinful human beings in the cosmos.  Science disproved not only conventional wisdom but foundational theological assumptions.

Now, of course, we know that reality is far more revolutionary (pardon the double entendre) than Copernicus and Galileo could have guessed; the Sun is not the center of the universe.  Furthermore, our galaxy is one of many, and the Sun is far from its center.  We humans are marginal and insignificant in the universe (never mind the multiverse, if there is such a thing).  God’s creation is unimaginably vast and spectacular.

Science helps us to understand our physical reality better, if not completely.  When it does this will we accept objective reality and embrace a religious faith for the modern age?  Or will we restrict our theological horizons to those of previous eras?  Will we honor those scientists who teach us this “new” knowledge?  Or will we scorn–even persecute–them?

As Galileo understood, that which seems like orthodoxy might actually be heresy.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 14, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN AMOS COMENIUS, FATHER OF MODERN EDUCATION

THE FEAST OF THE CONSECRATION OF SAMUEL SEABURY, FIRST EPISCOPAL BISHOP

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM ROMANIS, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

God of grace and glory, you create and sustain the universe in majesty and beauty:

We thank you for Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, and all in whom you have

planted the desire to know your creation and to explore your work and wisdom.

Lead us, like them, to understand better the wonder and mystery of creation;

through Christ your eternal Word, through whom all things were made.  Amen.

Genesis 2:9-20

Psalm 34:8-14

2 Corinthians 13:1-6

John 20:24-27

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 738

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of Harriet Bedell (January 8)   Leave a comment

bedell

Above:  Harriet Bedell

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

HARRIET BEDELL (MARCH 19, 1875-JANUARY 8, 1969)

Episcopal Deaconess and Missionary

Starting in 1889, The Episcopal Church formally had the order of deaconesses.  In the 1970s the denomination opened the Sacred Order of Deacons to women.  Howard Harper wrote:

A deaconess used to be a “devoted unmarried woman” (to quote the old canon) appointed by the bishop to do just about anything that happened to be needed in a parish or an institution.  She could be a spinster or a widow–if she married, that automatically terminated her appointment.

She wore a distinctive, identifying garb and went wherever she could make herself useful.  She visited the sick and the poor, she gave Baptism and Confirmation instructions, she read Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and the Litany at public services, she specialized in work with women and children, and when licensed by the bishop to do so, she gave “addresses”–which means she preached.  And if circumstances called for it, she mopped the floor and mowed the lawn.

There are still, bless them, a few deaconesses around, but their tribe will not increase.  There is no longer any canonical provision for creating new ones.

The Episcopalian’s Dictionary (1974), pages 56-57

The General Convention of 1964 permitted deaconesses to marry, according to Robert Prichard, A History of the Episcopal Church, Revised Edition (1999), page 255.

Harriet Bedell, born at Buffalo, New York, on March 19, 1875, devoted most of her adult life to missionary work among Native Americans.

Bedell prepared for her vocation at the New York Training School for Deaconesses, where she studied teaching, missions, education, and hygiene.  She taught Cheyenne Indians at the Whirlwind Mission in Oklahoma before going to Alaska in 1916.  There, in 1922, she became a deaconess.  Her home base was Allakaket, 40 miles south of the Arctic Circle.  She worked as a nurse and a teacher at St. Johns-in-the-Wilderness Mission.  Bedell also traveled to and from remote villages via dogsled.  Furthermore, our saint opened a boarding school.

Bedell relocated to Florida (and the Episcopal Diocese of South Florida) in 1932.  There she remained for the rest of her life.  Our saint used her own salary to reopen the Blades Cross Mission to the Seminoles and the Miccosukees.  Until 1960, when Hurricane Donna destroyed the mission, Bedell pursued a three-prong mission:  education, health care, and economic development.  One strategy was to encourage traditional crafts, simultaneously respecting the culture and providing a means of increasing income.  Retirement did not stop her; she retired at the age of 63 years in 1938.

Our saint won the respect of the indigenous people among whom she lived and worked.  She was also a popular author for The Spirit of Missions, an Episcopal Church missions magazine.

Bedell died on January 8, 1969.  She was 93 years old.  Her commemoration has spread from the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida to The Episcopal Church generally.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 14, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN AMOS COMENIUS, FATHER OF MODERN EDUCATION

THE FEAST OF THE CONSECRATION OF SAMUEL SEABURY, FIRST EPISCOPAL BISHOP

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM ROMANIS, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Holy God, you chose your faithful servant Harriet Bedell to exercise

the ministry of deaconess and to be a missionary among indigenous peoples:

Fill us with compassion and respect for all people, and

empower us for the work of ministry throughout the world;

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

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

Proverbs 8:32-9:6

Psalm 96:1-7

Romans 16:1-2

Matthew 5:1-12

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 161

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of Arcangelo Corelli (January 8)   Leave a comment

corelli

Above:  Arcangelo Corelli

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

ARCANGELO CORELLI (FEBRUARY 17, 1653-JANUARY 8, 1713)

Roman Catholic Musician and Composer

Arcangelo Corelli glorified God with his God-given talents.

Corelli, a native of Fusignano, near Imola, the Papal States, lived in Rome for most of his life.  He moved around, but, for the majority of the time from 1675 to 1713, he was a resident of the Eternal City.  The composer, who came from a prosperous family, was among the most respected violin virtuosos of his time.  He also composed sonatas and concerti grossi (one of which was the Christmas Concerto).  His compositions influenced some other great composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach.  Our saint, a collector of violins and fine art, won the favor and patronage of monarchs, dukes, Cardinals, and Pope Alexander VIII (reigned 1689-1691).

Corelli also left a musical legacy that continues to add beauty to the world and enrich the lives of people.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 14, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN AMOS COMENIUS, FATHER OF MODERN EDUCATION

THE FEAST OF THE CONSECRATION OF SAMUEL SEABURY, FIRST EPISCOPAL BISHOP

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM ROMANIS, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring Arcangelo Corelli and all those

who with music have filled us with desire and love for you;

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 728

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of St. Angela of Foligno (January 7)   Leave a comment

st-angela-of-foligno

Above:  St. Angela of Foligno

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SAINT ANGELA OF FOLIGNO (CIRCA 1248-JANUARY 4, 1309)

Penitent and Humanitarian

Her feast transferred from January 4

Alternative feast day = March 30

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Let us go and look for Christ our Lord.  We will go to the hospital and perhaps among the sick and the suffering we shall find Him.

–St. Angela of Foligno, quoted in Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (1997), page 15

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

St. Angela of Foligno spent much of her life helping the poor of that city.

We know little about the life of St. Angela of Foligno until the 1280s.  We do know that she was the wife of a wealthy merchant of Foligno, Italy, and that she enjoyed the benefits of his success more than she should have done, to the detriment of soul; wealth became an idol for her.  We also know that St. Angela enjoyed wearing flashy clothing, gossiping, and flirting with men.  Furthermore, we know that, in 1285, she had an epiphany.

In 1285 St. Angela committed adultery.  Then she went to confession, but she concealed that sin.  Next she compounded the error by taking communion.  She, fearing that she might have condemned herself to Hell, prayed to St. Francis of Assisi and asked him to direct her to a confessor.  St. Angela perceived St. Francis as telling her:

Sister, if you would have asked me sooner, I would have complied with your request sooner.  Nonetheless, your request is granted.

That day, at the cathedral, St. Angela confessed her sins to a kinsman, Father Arnoldo.  She found peace and vowed to reform her life.

For five years that reform proceeded in baby steps.  She began to sell some of her possessions to raise funds to help the poor of the city, but she remained susceptible to the temptations of wealth.  Then, in 1290, after her husband and sons died, St. Angela became more serious about selling her possessions.  Priests counseled her to consider this prayerfully, for she might not have a vocation to poverty, they said.  Our saint made a pilgrimage to Rome, to ponder their advice.  She returned to Foligno and resumed the process of selling her possessions.  She also became a Franciscan tertiary and had mystical experiences.

These ecstasies and visions attracted some people to her company and embarrassed and scandalized others.  Certain devout people sought to learn of God from her.  Yet once, while St. Angela was on pilgrimage to Assisi, Father Arnoldo scolded her for allegedly making a spectacle of herself at the basilica.  He even ordered her to leave and never to return.  She obeyed this command.

At Foligno St. Angela became the core of a community of women who lived as Franciscans and performed many good works.  For years, until her death in 1309, Father Arnoldo was their chaplain.

The cult of St. Angela led the Roman Catholic Church to recognize her formally.  Pope Innocent XII declared her a Blessed in 1693; Pope Clement XI confirmed this eight years later.  Pope Francis canonized her in 2013.

St. Angela is the patron invoked against sexual temptation, temptation in general, and the death of children and for people ridiculed for their piety, as well as for widows.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 14, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN AMOS COMENIUS, FATHER OF MODERN EDUCATION

THE FEAST OF THE CONSECRATION OF SAMUEL SEABURY, FIRST EPISCOPAL BISHOP

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM ROMANIS, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

O God, whose blessed son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich:

Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that we,

inspired by the devotion of your servant Saint Angela of Foligno,

may serve you with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the world to come;

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.

Song of Songs 8:6-7

Psalm 34

Philippians 3:7-15

Luke 12:33-37 or Luke 9:57-62

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 722

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of St. Genoveva Torres Morales (January 5)   Leave a comment

morales

Above:  St. Genoveva Torres Morales

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SAINT GENOVEVA TORRES MORALES (JANUARY 3, 1870-JANUARY 5, 1956)

Foundress of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Angels

St. Genoveva Torres Morales served Christ in the poor while she struggles with her own problems, both physical and spiritual.

Morales was a native of Almenara, Castille, Spain.  She, born on January 3, 1870, was the sixth of six children.  By her eighth year she was not only an orphan but one of two surviving siblings.  Her brother became her guardian.  By the age of 10 years our saint had become accustomed to solitude and spiritual reading.  She knew that the purpose of all life is to follow God.  At the age of 13 years Morales had to have a leg amputated (without anesthesia) due to gangrene.  For the rest of her life she walked on crutches.

In 1885, at the age of 15 years, Morales had to move to the Mercy Home operated by the Carmelites of Charity.  She remained there for nine years, during which she deepened her spiritual life and learned how to sew.  Our saint hoped to join the order, but she was too ill to do so.  So, in 1894, Morales and two other lay women became housemates, supporting each other and spending much time in prayer.

Morales perceived a vocation to help poor women.  In 1911 she founded the first community of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Angels in Valencia, Spain.  Pope Pius XII granted his approval for the order in 1953.  Over the decades our saint served as the Mother General of the order, increasing the number of communities while struggling with her infirmities and her desire for more solitude.  In 1954, by which time she was deaf, our saint resigned her leadership role.

Morales died, aged 86 years, at Zaragoza, Spain.  Pope John Paul II declared her a Venerable in 1991, a Blessed in 1995, and a saint in 2003.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 14, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN AMOS COMENIUS, FATHER OF MODERN EDUCATION

THE FEAST OF THE CONSECRATION OF SAMUEL SEABURY, FIRST EPISCOPAL BISHOP

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM ROMANIS, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich:

Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that we, inspired

by the devotion of your servant Saint Genoveva Torres Morales,

may serve you with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come;

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.

Song of Songs 8:6-7

Psalm 34

Philippians 3:7-15

Luke 12:33-37 or Luke :57-62

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 722

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++