Archive for the ‘January 11’ Category

Feast of George Fox (January 11)   1 comment

fox

Above:  Memorial of George Fox

Image in the Public Domain

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GEORGE FOX (JULY 1624-JANUARY 13, 1691)

Founder of the Religious Society of Friends

I refer you, O reader to this biography of George Fox.

I am an Episcopalian, not a Quaker; my spiritual type is somewhere between Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism–increasingly closer to the former than the latter.  Nevertheless, I have great respect for the Religious Society of Friends.  The world needs more people like them, I am convinced.  This respect extends to George Fox, of course.

The Quakers have been subject to persecution in various lands over time.  In New England, for example, Puritan authorities persecuted Quakers, hanging some of them in the late 1600s.  Religious persecution has always been wrong.  Furthermore, the violent treatment of pacifists has been especially inexcusable.  I, for one, have always thought ill of those who have engaged in such activities.

Although my conscience will not permit me to become a pacifist, I thank God for the witness of people such as the Quakers, especially of their founder, George Fox.

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

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God of compassion, you have reconciled us in Jesus Christ, who is our peace:

Enable us to live as Jesus lived, breaking down walls of hostility and healing enmity.

Give us grace to make peace with those from whom we are divided, that forgiven and forgiving,

we may ever be one in Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns for ever,

one holy and undivided Trinity.  Amen.

Genesis 8:12-17, 20-22

Psalm 51:1-17

Hebrews 4:12-16

Luke 23:32-43

A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016), page A68

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Feast of Miep Gies (January 11)   Leave a comment

Presentatie boek "Herinneringen aan Anne Frank" van Miep Gies in het Anne Frankhuis in Amsterdam; Miep Gies  *5 mei 1987

Presentatie boek “Herinneringen aan Anne Frank” van Miep Gies in het Anne Frankhuis in Amsterdam; Miep Gies
*5 mei 1987

Above:  Miep Gies, 1987

Image Source = Nationaal Archief

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MIEP GIES (FEBRUARY 15, 1909-JANUARY 11, 2010)

Righteous Gentile

I refer you, O reader, to this biography of Miep Gies.

My reflection on the legacy of Miep Gies is simple yet challenging:  Would I have been in her place?  I like to think that I would have done so, but I do not really know.  Perhaps the only way to know for sure is to in the position to have to make a decision in the matter.  The call of the Gospel entails loving one’s neighbor as one loves oneself, with the understanding that this might be dangerous–even deadly.

Grace is free at all times yet never cheap.  No, it makes demands upon the lives of those who accept it.  “Take up your cross and follow Jesus,” grace tells us.

Miep Gies was fortunate enough to live long enough to survive the Third Reich.  Many other rescuers were less fortunate, become martyrs.  She took that risk, however.

For what cause would I be willing to risk martyrdom?  For what cause would you, O reader, be willing to risk martyrdom?

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

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Almighty God, whose prophets taught us righteousness in the care of your poor:

By the guidance of your Holy Spirit, grant that we may

do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in your sight;

through Jesus Christ, our Judge and Redeemer, who lives and reigns

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

Isaiah 55:11-56:1

Psalm 2:1-2, 10-12

Acts 14:14-17, 21-23

Mark 4:21-29

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 736

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Feast of Mary Slessor (January 11)   Leave a comment

Mary Slessor

Above:  Mary Slessor

Image in the Public Domain

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MARY MITCHELL SLESSOR (DECEMBER 2, 1848-JANUARY 13, 1915)

Scottish Presbyterian Missionary to West Africa

The Church of England celebrates the life of Mary Slessor (1848-1915), a Scottish Presbyterian, on January 11.

True stories of Western missionaries who devastated indigenous cultures, often while functioning more as agents of a particular imperial power rather than as emissaries of Jesus Christ, are numerous.  Such accounts help to explain the bad name Christianity has acquired in many cultural settings, especially in places where another religion has a longer history.  This post celebrates the life and legacy of a missionary of a different stripe–one who respected the people she sought to convert to Christ and met practical needs while avoiding the opposing fallacies of ethnocentrism and cultural relativism.

Mary Slessor had a difficult youth.  Slessor, born at Aberdeen, Scotland, on December 2, 1848, was the second of five children–two sons and three daughters–of Robert and Mary Slessor.  The family was impoverished.  Robert, a shoemaker then a mill worker, was an alcoholic and an abusive husband.  Mary, the mother, was a weaver and a mill worker.  Our saint started working at a mill half-time at the age of 11 years.  At the time she also attended school at that mill.  Three years later, after her father and two brothers had died, she started working ten hours a day.

Our saint grew up a member of the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland (1847-1900), which merged into The United Free Church of Scotland (1900-1929), which reunited with The Church of Scotland (1560-present).  From an early age Slessor had a fascination with missionaries.  In 1875, upon learning of the death of David Livingstone (1813-1873), she decided to become a missionary.  Our saint applied to the United Presbyterian Church’s Foreign Missionary Board, which accepted her.  Our saint, aged 28 years, sailed for West Africa on August 5, 1876.

Map

Above:  Map of a Part of West Africa

Image Source = Rand McNally World Atlas–Imperial Edition (1968)

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Our saint spent most of her life as a missionary to the Efik people in that art of West Africa now called Nigeria.  She spent a few years back in Scotland because of health-related furloughs, recovering from malaria more than once, but she lived mostly in West Africa from 1876 to 1915.

Among my first lessons in cultural anthropology in college was that both ethnocentrism and cultural relativism were fallacies.  Ethnocentrism is the idea that one’s culture is the standard by which to evaluate other cultures.  This fallacy overlooks shortcomings in one’s own culture and merits in other cultures.  Cultural relativism reacts to the arrogance of ethnocentrism by arguing for the absence of a standard according to which to evaluate cultures.

Unfortunately, ethnocentrism has marked much of the Christian missionary movement for a long time.  (Many missionaries have avoided that error, fortunately.)  Ethnocentrism was part of Slessor’s worldview when she became missionary.  Fortunately, she grew out of that way of thinking, thereby becoming a more effective evangelist.  She also rejected the fallacy of cultural relativism.

Our saint, for many years headquartered at Calabar, on the coast, saved the lives of many people.  She helped to end the practice of testing innocence or guilt by forcing the accused person to drink poison.  She also saved the lives of hundreds of abandoned newborn twins.  Local superstition held that a mother of twins had sinned grievously, and that one of the twins was an evil spirit.  The practice of abandoning newborn twins in the wilderness horrified our saint, who saved many of them and adopted some of them.

Slessor respected the people among whom she worked, gaining their confidence and respect.  She lived in a hut, not in the missionary compound, and devoted herself to addressing practical needs.  She helped to found a vocational school, the Hope Waddell Training Institute.  In 1888 Slessor relocated her base of operations to the village of Oloyong, where locals had killed the previous male missionaries.  Our saint survived and won respect, however.  She became the “White Queen of Oloyong,” settling disputes among people there.

Toward the end of her life Slessor became so weak due to malaria-related fever that she ceased to be able to walk on her own.  She died on January 13, 1915, aged 66 years.

Slessor did not invent culturally friendly mission work, but she did bring much attention to it.  She did, however, pioneer addressing practical needs as a technique in foreign missions.  This has become a common strategy.  I recall a story I heard more than a decade ago.  A team of missionaries in an area where wells were scarce ordered the usual religious supplies, such as Bibles.  They also ordered equipment for digging wells.  After all, the people with whom they worked needed both wells and eternal life.  The legacy of Mary Slessor has been flourishing for a long time.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 4, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ALL CHRISTIAN PEACEMAKERS AND PEACE ACTIVISTS

THE FEAST OF PAUL JONES, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF UTAH AND WITNESS FOR PEACE

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For Further Reading:

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-30577100

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-30798845

http://maryslessor.org/mary-slessor/

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God of grace and glory, we praise you for your servant Mary Slessor,

who made the good news known in West Africa.

Raise up, we pray, in every country, heralds of the gospel,

so that the world may know the immeasurable riches of your love,

and be drawn to worship you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Isaiah 62:1-7

Psalm 48

Romans 10:11-17

Luke 24:44-53

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

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Saints’ Days and Holy Days for January   Leave a comment

Snow in January

Image in the Public Domain

1 (EIGHTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS:  HOLY NAME OF JESUS)

  • World Day of Peace

2 (NINTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS: Johann Konrad Wilhelm Loehe, Bavarian Lutheran Minister and Coordinator of Domestic and Foreign Missions)

  • Narcissus, Argeus, and Marcellinus of Tomi, Roman Martyrs
  • Odilo of Cluny, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • Sabine Baring-Gould, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

3 (TENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS: William Alfred Passavant, Sr., U.S. Lutheran Minister, Humanitarian, and Evangelist)

  • Edward Caswall, Roman Catholic Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Edward Perronet, British Methodist Preacher
  • Gladys Aylward, Missionary in China and Taiwan

4 (ELEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS: Felix Manz, First Anabaptist Martyr)

  • Elizabeth Ann Seton, Foundress of the American Sisters of Charity
  • Gregory of Langres, Terticus of Langres, Gallus of Clermont, Gregory of Tours, Avitus I of Clermont, Magnericus of Trier, and Gaugericus, Roman Catholic Bishops
  • Johann Ludwig Freydt, German Moravian Composer and Educator

5 (TWELFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS: John Nepomucene Neumann, Roman Catholic Bishop of Philadelphia)

  • Antonio Lotti, Roman Catholic Musician and Composer
  • Genoveva Torres Morales, Foundress of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Angels
  • Margaret Mackay, Scottish Hymn Writer

6 (EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST)

7 (François Fénelon, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cambrai)

  • Aldric of Le Mans, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Angelia of Foligno, Penitent and Humanitarian
  • Lucian of Antioch, Roman Catholic Martyr

8 (Thorfinn of Hamar, Roman Catholic Bishop)

  • Archangelo Corelli, Roman Catholic Musician and Composer
  • Harriet Bedell, Episcopal Deaconess and Missionary
  • Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei, Scientists

9 (Pepin of Landen, Itta of Metz, Their Relations, Amand, Austregisilus, and Sulpicius II of Bourges, Faithful Christians Across Generational Lines)

  • Anthony Mary Pucci, Roman Catholic Priest
  • Julia Chester Emery, Upholder of Missions
  • Philip II of Moscow, Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia, and Martyr

10 (Theodosius the Cenobiarch, Roman Catholic Monk)

  • Charles William Everest, Episcopal Priest and Hymn Writer
  • John the Good, Roman Catholic Bishop of Milan
  • William Gay Ballantine, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Educator, Scholar, Poet, and Hymn Writer

11 (Mary Slessor, Scottish Presbyterian Missionary in West Africa)

  • George Fox, Founder of the Religious Society of Friends
  • Miep Gies, Righteous Gentile
  • Paulinus of Aquileia, Roman Catholic Patriarch

12 (Benedict Biscop, Roman Catholic Abbot of Wearmouth)

  • Aelred of Hexham, Roman Catholic Abbot of Rievaulx
  • Henry Alford, Dean of Canterbury
  • Samuel Preiswerk, Swiss Reformed Minister and Hymn Writer

13 (Hilary of Poitiers, Roman Catholic Bishop of Poitiers, “Athanasius of the West,” and Hymn Writer; mentor of Martin of Tours, Roman Catholic Bishop of Tours)

  • Christian Keimann, German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • Kentigern (Mungo), Roman Catholic Bishop of Glasgow
  • Marguerite Bourgeoys, Foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame

14 (Macrina the Elder, Her Family, and Gregory of Nanzianzus the Younger)

  • Christian Keimann, German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • Civil Rights Martyrs and Activists
  • Kristen Kvamme, Norwegian-American Hymn Writer and Translator

15 (MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER AND MARTYR)

16 (Pachomius the Great, Founder of Christian Communal Monasticism)

  • Greville Phillimore, English Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • Richard Meux Benson, Anglican Priest and Cofounder of the Society of St. John the Evangelist; Charles Chapman Grafton, Episcopal Priest, Cofounder of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, and Bishop of Fond du Lac; and Charles Gore, Anglican Bishop of Worcester, Birmingham, and Oxford; Founder of the Community of the Resurrection; Theologian; and Advocate for Social Justice and World Peace
  • Roberto de Nobili, Roman Catholic Missionary in India

17 (Antony of Egypt, Roman Catholic Abbot and Father of Western Monasticism)

  • Berard and His Companions, Roman Catholic Martyrs in Morocco
  • Edmund Hamilton Sears, Unitarian Pastor and Hymn Writer
  • Rutherford Birchard Hayes, President of the United States of America

18-25 (WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY)

18 (CONFESSION OF ST. PETER, APOSTLE)

19 (Sargent Shriver and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Humanitarians)

  • Caesarius of Arles, Roman Catholic Bishop, and Caesaria of Arles, Roman Catholic Abbess
  • Henry Augustine Collins, Anglican then Roman Catholic Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Richard Rolle, English Roman Catholic Spiritual Writer

20 (Fabian, Bishop of Rome and Martyr)

  • Deicola and Gall, Roman Catholic Monks, and Othmar, Roman Catholic Abbot at St. Gallen
  • Euthymius the Great and Theoctistus, Roman Catholic Abbots
  • Harriet Auber, Anglican Hymn Writer

21 (Mirocles of Milan and Epiphanius of Pavia, Roman Catholic Bishops)

  • Alban Roe and Thomas Reynolds, Roman Catholic Priests and Martyrs
  • Gaspar del Bufalo, Founder of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood
  • John Yi Yon-on, Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr in Korea

22 (Syncletica of Alexandria, Desert Mother)

  • Adelard of Corbie, Roman Catholic Monk
  • John Julian, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymnologist
  • Vincent Pallotti, Founder of the Pallotines

23 (John the Almsgiver, Roman Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria)

  • Caspar Neumann, German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Phillips Brooks, Episcopal Bishop of Massachusetts
  • Thomas A. Dooley, Physician and Humanitarian

24 (Ordination of Florence Li-Tim-Oi, First Female Priest in the Anglican Communion)

  • Angela Merici, Founder of the Company of St. Ursula
  • Martyrs of Podlasie, 1874
  • Suranus of Sora, Roman Catholic Abbot and Martyr

25 (CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL, APOSTLE)

26 (TIMOTHY, TITUS, AND SILAS, COWORKERS OF THE APOSTLE PAUL)

27 (Allen William Chatfield, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Translator)

  • Jerome, Paula of Rome, Eustochium, Blaesilla, Marcella, and Lea of Rome
  • John Cosin, Anglican Bishop of Cosin
  • William Jones, Anglican Priest and Musician

28 (Albert the Great and his pupil, Thomas Aquinas, Roman Catholic Theologians)

  • Charles Kingsley, Anglican Priest, Novelist, and Hymn Writer
  • Joseph Barnby, Anglican Church Musician and Composer
  • Richard Frederick Littledale, Anglican Priest and Translator of Hymns

29 (LYDIA, DORCAS, AND PHOEBE, COWORKERS OF THE APOSTLE PAUL)

30 (Lesslie Newbigin, Missionary and Theologian)

  • Bathildas, Queen of France
  • Frederick Oakeley, Anglican then Roman Catholic Priest
  • Genesius I of Clermont and Praejectus of Clermont, Roman Catholic Bishops, and Amarin, Roman Catholic Abbot

31 (Charles Frederick Mackenzie, Anglican Bishop of Central Africa)

  • Henry Twells, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Mary Lundie Duncan, Scottish Presbyterian Hymn Writer
  • Menno Simons, Mennonite Leader


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

Feast of St. Paulinus of Aquileia (January 11)   Leave a comment

Above:  Aquileia Basilica

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT PAULINUS OF AQUILEIA (CIRCA 726 OR 730/740-802 OR 804)

Roman Catholic Patriarch

St. Paulinus of Aquileia (born circa 726 or 730/740 and died in 802 or 804) became the Patriarch of Aquileia in 787, when Charlemagne appointed him to that post.  St. Paulinus was also a poet, hymnwriter, and theologian.

St. Paulinus condemned the Adoptionist heresy, which claimed that Jesus was the adopted son of God.  The Patriarch also defended the “filogue” clause of the Nicene Creed, wrote a commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews, and required the priests of his archdiocese to celebrate the Mass according to the rubrics and the missal.

After the Franks defeated the Avars, who lived along the Danube River, St. Paulinus presided over a the synod that established a plan for evangelizing the Avars.  There were to be no forced conversions.

He wrote hymns for major feasts of the Christian year, also.

KRT

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Almighty God, you have raised up faithful bishops of your church, including your servant St. Paulinus of Aquileia.  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

Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006)

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Revised on November 14, 2016

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