Archive for the ‘June 17’ Category

Feast of Jane Cross Bell Simpson (June 17)   1 comment

Flag of Scotland

Above:  The Flag of Scotland

Image in the Public Domain

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JANE CROSS BELL SIMPSON (NOVEMBER 21, 1811-JUNE 17, 1886)

Scottish Presbyterian Poet and Hymn Writer

Facts about the life of Jane Cross Bell Simpson are scarce.  She seems to have been like most holy people in that regard, for she kept her personal life private.

Our saint was the daughter of James Bell, an attorney in Glasgow, Scotland.  She, born on November 21, 1811, had an older brother, Henry Glassford Bell (1803-1874), an attorney, poet, historian, magazine editor, and defender of the late Mary, Queen of Scots.  [Aside:  One can find some of his books at archive.com.]  Henry, as editor of The Edinburgh Literary Journal, published texts by his sister, who wrote as “Gertrude.”  Our saint also contributed to The Scottish Christian Herald, a magazine of The Church of Scotland.  At least two books edited by other people contained some her work.  These were:

  • The Seaman’s Devotional Assistant (1830), and
  • Lyra Britannica:  A Collection of British Hymns; Printed from the Genuine Texts; with Biographical Sketches of the Hymn Writers (first edition, 1867; second edition, 1868).

She also published books:

  • The Piety of Daily Life (1836),
  • April Hours (1838),
  • Women’s History (1848),
  • The Consumptive (1850),
  • Linda, or Beauty and Genius (1859),
  • Picture Poems (1879), and
  • Linda, and Other Poems (1879).

Our saint, who married cousin J. Bell Simpson of Glasgow in 1837, died at Aberdeen, Scotland, on June 17, 1886.

I have added one of Simpson’s texts, “Star of Peace to Wanderers Weary” (1830), to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.  I have also located two other notable hymns, the first of which offers advice regarding prayer:

Go when the morning shineth,

Go when the noon is bright;

Go when the eve declineth,

Go in the hush of night;

Go with pure mind and feeling,

Fling earthly thought away,

And, in thy chamber kneeling,

Do thou in secret pray.

+++++

Remember all who love thee,

All who are loved by thee;

Pray, too, for those that hate thee,

If any such there be.

Then for thyself, in meekness,

A blessing humbly claim;

And link, with each petition,

The great Redeemer’s name.

+++++

Or if ’tis e’er denied thee

In solitude to pray,

Should holy thoughts come o’er thee,

When friends are round thy way;

Even then the silent breathing

Of thy spirit raised above,

May reach His throne of glory,

Who is mercy, truth, and love!

+++++

O! not a joy of blessing

With this can we compare,

The power that He hath given us

To pour our hearts in prayer!

Whene’er thou pin’st in sadness,

Before His footstool fall,

And remember, in thy gladness,

His grace who gave thee all.

Another text meditates on the death of children:

I had a lesson to teach them,

The children that God had given,

From a Book most high and holy,

Whose theme is the love of heaven.

+++++

But some of these baby-blossoms

Were laid by the reaper low,

Ere yet they could spell the lettres

I wish’d them so much to know.

+++++

And one, on whose soul had fallen

The lesson with deepest power,

Went home to the sainted glory

In the dawn of his manhood’s hour.

+++++

Ah! then, as the waves of sorrow

Went over my drooping head,

My pupils became my teachers,

The living was taught by the dead!

+++++

And the more their memory held me,

The children I ne’er could see;

The more we rehearsed that lesson

The children yet left with me.

+++++

And still, when the Book is opened

Where wisdom and peace are found,

We fancy our loved ones bending

To meet us on holy ground.

+++++

And the lesson so pure and tender,

We study with silent prayer,

Sinks down to our inmost spirits,

With these angels hovering there!

+++++

And we long to fold our pinions,

By sin and by sorrow press’d,

‘Neath the tree by the crystal river,

The city of endless rest.

+++++

Till then, with a real untiring,

We’ll con the lesson of love;

The children on earth yet dwelling,

And the children moored above.

The decline in the frequency of inclusion of texts by Simpson in hymnals since the early 1900s is quite unfortunate, given the high quality of her writing and the relatively poor quality of many recent texts hymnal committees have chosen to include in lieu of other options.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 5, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE SAINT OF SAINT AVITUS OF VIENNE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDWARD HAYES PLUMPTRE, ANGLICAN PRIEST

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF JAPAN

THE FEAST OF SAINTS PHILEAS AND PHILOROMUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Jane Cross Bell Simpson 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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Feast of Edith Florence Boyle MacAlister (June 17)   Leave a comment

07596v

Above:  Glasgow University, Between 1890 and 1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-07596

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EDITH FLORENCE BOYLE MACALISTER (JUNE 16, 1873-NOVEMBER 27, 1950)

English Novelist and Hymn Writer

Information about Edith Florence Boyle MacAlister is, in my experience, not plentiful.  Yet what I have found is positive.

Our saint, born in 1873, wrote Uncle Hal (1910), a book for girls.  Not only id she write juvenile fiction, but she served for a time as superintendent of the Primary Department of St. Columba’s Presbyterian Church, Cambridge, England (now St. Columba’s United Reformed Church).

In 1895 Edith married Donald MacAlister (1854-1934) who, from 1909 to 1929 served as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow.  He became Sir Donald MacAlister, Baronet of Tarbert, in 1924, and Chancellor of the University five years later.  As if all this were not enough, he was also a linguist, a mathematician, and a medical doctor.

The Hymnal (1933), Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. contains a lovely text for the occasion of an infant baptism written by our saint and altered.  Those verses read:

Father, hear us as we pray

For these little ones today:

Good and gentle may they be;

Ever loving Thee.

+++++

Fold them ‘neath the wings of love;

Write their names in heaven above:

Guard and keep them safe from harm;

Hold them with Thine arm.

Our saint died in 1950.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 11, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MIEP GIES, RIGHTEOUS GENTILE

THE FEAST OF DAVID I OF SCOTLAND, KING

THE FEAST OF GEORGE FOX, QUAKER FOUNDER

THE FEAST OF SAINT PAULINUS OF AQUILEIA, ROMAN CATHOLIC PATRIARCH

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

We bless your name for inspiring Edith Florence Boyle MacAlister

and all those who with words 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 Chronicles 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

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

Feast of Sts. Teresa, Sanchia, and Mafalda of Portugal (June 17)   Leave a comment

Above:  Iberia in 1190

SAINT TERESA OF PORTUGAL (1178-1250)

Princess, Queen, and Nun

Her feast = June 17

sister of

SAINT SANCHIA OF PORTUGAL (1182-1229)

Princess and Nun

Her feast = June 17

sister of

SAINT MAFALDA OF PORTUGAL (1204-1252)

Princess, Queen, and Nun

Her feast transferred from May 2

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Today I add to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days three sisters, members of the royal house of Portugal.  Theirs was a world different from ours.  Theirs was a world of absolute monarchies, arranged marriages, and an Iberian peninsula divided among several kingdoms and between two religions.  Shall we begin?

Sts. Teresa (1178-1250), Sanchia (1182-1229), and Mafalda (1204-1252) were daughters of King Sancho I of Portugal (reigned 1185-1211).  Sancho’s son Alfonso II (reigned 1211-1223) succeeded to the throne immediately.  The Kings of Castille and Leon were close relatives.  So it was that Rome anulled the marriage of St. Teresa to her cousin, King Alfonso IX of Leon (reigned 1188-1230), and the union of St. Mafalda and her cousin, King Enrique I of Castille (reigned 1214-1217), on the grounds that everybody was too closely related.  These were arranged marriages.  And both Mafalda and Enrique were minors; she was eleven years old on her wedding day.  It was, as I wrote, a different time.

St. Teresa, no longer married (yet the mother of two daughters and a son) returned to Portugal and founded a double monastery on the grounds of the family estate at Lorvau.  She became a nun there after 1230, when she settled the succession dispute in Leon.  Alfonso IX had died.  His widow, another cousin named Berengaria, whose marriage Rome also anulled, asked the first wife to solve the problem of succession.  St. Teresa permitted Beregaria’s son Fernando III of Castille (reigned 1217-1252) to rule in Leon.

St. Mafalda, upon her return to Portugal, entered religious life at Arouca Convent.  She used her royal connections to obtain generous funding for a home for a widows, a hostel for travelers, the restoration of Oporto Cathedral, and other charitable works.

St. Sanchia retired from court life upon the death of her father in 1211.  She helped the Francicans and the Dominicans expand into Portugal.  And she founded a convent at Celles and became a nun there.

I could take this opportunity to defend the merits of monasticism against those who impugn it, but I have done so in other posts; I do not feel like repeating myself in that regard at this time.  But I do make this point:  These women, within the rules of society at their place and in their time, pursued holy lives.  They helped other people and did not use their royal connections for their own benefit.  We should honor their memories and thank God that they lived.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 16, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS ANDREW FOURNET AND ELIZABETH BICHIER, COFOUNDERS OF THE DAUGHTERS OF THE CROSS; AND SAINT MICHAEL GARICOITS, FOUNDER OF THE PRIEST OF THE SACRED HEART OF BETHARRAM

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN NEPOMUCENE, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF SUDAN

THE FEAST OF TE WERA HAURAKI, ANGLICAN MISSIONARY

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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 servants

Saint Teresa of Portugal,

Saint Sanchia of Portugal, and

Saint Mafalda of Portugal,

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 9:57-62

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

Saints’ Days and Holy Days for June   Leave a comment

Honeysuckles

Image in the Public Domain

 

1 (Justin Martyr, Christian Apologist and Martyr)

  • Pamphilus of Caesarea, Bible Scholar and Translator; and His Companions, Martyrs
  • Samuel Stennett, English Seventh-Day Baptist Minister and Hymn Writer; and John Howard, English Humanitarian
  • Simeon of Syracuse, Roman Catholic Monk

2 (Blandina and Her Companions, the Martyrs of Lyons, 177)

  • Anders Christensen Arrebo, “The Father of Danish Poetry”
  • Margaret Elizabeth Sangster, Hymn Writer, Novelist, and Devotional Writer
  • Stephen of Sweden, Roman Catholic Missionary, Bishop, and Martyr

3 (John XXIII, Bishop of Rome)

  • Christian Gottfried Geisler and Johann Chrstian Geisler, Silesian Moravian Organists and Composers; and Johannes Herbst, German-American Organist, Composer, and Bishop
  • Frances Ridley Havergal, English Hymn Writer and Composer
  • Will Campbell, Agent of Reconciliation

4 (Christoph Homburg, German Lutheran Hymn Writer)

  • Francis Caracciolo, Cofounder of the Minor Clerks Regular
  • Ole T. (Sanden) Arneson, U.S. Norwegian Lutheran Hymn Translator
  • Stanislaw Kostka Starowieyski, Roman Catholic Martyr

5 (Dorotheus of Tyre, Bishop of Tyre, and Martyr)

6 (Franklin Clark Fry, President of The United Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church in America)

  • Claude of Besançon, Roman Catholic Priest, Monk, Abbot, and Bishop
  • Henry James Buckoll, Author and Translator of Hymns
  • William Kethe, Presbyterian Hymn Writer

7 (Matthew Talbot, Recovering Alcoholic in Dublin, Ireland)

  • Anthony Mary Gianelli, Founder of the Missionaries of Saint Alphonsus Liguori and the Sisters of Mary dell’Orto
  • Frederick Lucian Hosmer, U.S. Unitarian Hymn Writer
  • Seattle, First Nations Chief, War Leader, and Diplomat

8 (Clara Luper, Witness for Civil Rights)

  • Gerard Manley Hopkins, English Roman Catholic Poet and Jesuit Priest
  • Henry Downton, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • Roland Allen, Anglican Priest, Missionary, and Mission Strategist

9 (Columba of Iona, Roman Catholic Missionary and Abbot)

  • Giovanni Maria Boccardo, Founder of the Poor Sisters of Saint Cajetan/Gaetano; and his brother, Luigi Boccardo, Apostle of Merciful Love
  • Jose de Anchieta, Apostle of Brazil and Father of Brazilian National Literature
  • Thomas Joseph Potter, Roman Catholic Priest, Poet, and Hymn Writer

10 (James of Nisibis; Bishop; and Ephrem of Edessa, “The Harp of the Holy Spirit”)

  • Getulius, Amantius, Caeraelis, and Primitivus, Martyrs at Tivoli, 120; and Symphorosa of Tivoli, Martyr
  • Landericus of Paris, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Thor Martin Johnson, U.S. Moravian Conductor and Music Director

11 (BARNABAS THE APOSTLE, COWORKER OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE)

12 (Edwin Paxton Hood, English Congregationalist Minister, Philanthropist, and Hymn Writer)

  • Christian David Jaeschke, German Moravian Organist and Composer; and his grandson, Henri Marc Hermann Voldemar Voullaire, Moravian Composer and Minister
  • Enmegahbowh, Episcopal Priest and Missionary to the Ojibwa Nation
  • Joseph Dacre Carlyle, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

13 (Milton Smith Littlefield, Jr., U.S. Presbyterian and Congregationalist Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymnal Editor)

  • Sigismund von Birken, German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • William Cullen Bryant, U.S. Poet, Journalist, and Hymn Writer

14 (Charles Augustus Briggs, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Episcopal Priest, Biblical Scholar, and Alleged Heretic; and his daughter, Emilie Grace Briggs, Biblical Scholar and “Heretic’s Daughter”)

  • Methodius I of Constantinople, Defender of Icons and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople; and Joseph the Hymnographer, Defender of Icons and the “Sweet-Voiced Nightingale of the Church”
  • William Hiram Foulkes, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer

15 (John Ellerton, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer and Translator)

  • Carl Heinrich von Bogatsky, Hungarian-German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • Dorothy Frances Blomfield Gurney, English Poet and Hymn Writer
  • Landelinus of Vaux, Roman Catholic Abbot; Aubert of Cambrai, Roman Catholic Bishop; Ursmar of Lobbes, Roman Catholic Abbot and Missionary Bishop; and Domitian, Hadelin, and Dodo of Lobbes, Roman Catholic Monks

16 (George Berkeley, Irish Anglican Bishop and Philosopher; and Joseph Butler, Anglican Bishop and Theologian)

  • John Francis Regis, Roman Catholic Priest
  • Norman Macleod, Scottish Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer; and his cousin, John Macleod, Scottish Presbyterian Minister, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer
  • Rufus Jones, U.S. Quaker Theologian and Cofounder of the American Friends Service Committee

17 (Edith Boyle MacAlister, English Novelist and Hymn Writer)

  • Emily de Vialar, Founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition
  • Jane Cross Bell Simpson, Scottish Presbyterian Poet and Hymn Writer
  • Teresa and Mafalda of Portugal, Princesses, Queens, and Nuns; and Sanchia of Portugal, Princess and Nun

18 (Adolphus Nelson, Swedish-American Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer)

  • Johann Franck, Heinrich Held, and Simon Dach, German Lutheran Hymn Writers
  • Richard Massie, Hymn Translator
  • William Bingham Tappan, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Poet, and Hymn Writer

19 (James Arthur MacKinnon, Canadian Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr in the Dominican Republic)

  • Alfred Ramsey, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Hymn Translator
  • Charitie Lees Smith Bancroft de Chenez, Hymn Writer
  • William Pierson Merrill, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Social Reformer, and Hymn Writer

20 (Joseph Augustus Seiss, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Liturgist, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator)

  • Charles Coffin, Roman Catholic Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Hans Adolf Brorson, Danish Lutheran Bishop, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • Johann Friedrich Hertzog, German Lutheran Hymn Writer

21 (Aloysius Gonzaga, Jesuit)

  • Bernard Adam Grube, German-American Minister, Missionary, Composer, and Musician
  • Carl Bernhard Garve, German Moravian Minister, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer
  • John Jones and John Rigby, Roman Catholic Martyrs

22 (Alban, First British Martyr)

  • Desiderius Erasmus, Dutch Roman Catholic Priest, Biblical and Classical Scholar, and Controversialist; John Fisher, English Roman Catholic Classical Scholar, Bishop of Rochester, Cardinal, and Martyr; and Thomas More, English Roman Catholic Classical Scholar, Jurist, Theologian, Controversialist, and Martyr
  • Gerhard Gieschen, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Hymn Translator
  • Paulinus of Nola, Roman Catholic Bishop of Nola

23 (John Johns, English Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer)

  • Heinrich Gottlob Gutter, German-American Instrument Maker, Repairman, and Merchant
  • Nicetas of Remesiana, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Wilhelm Heinrich Wauer, German Moravian Composer and Musician

24 (NATIVITY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST)

25 (William of Vercelli, Roman Catholic Hermit; and John of Matera, Roman Catholic Abbot)

  • Domingo Henares de Zafira Cubero, Roman Catholic Bishop of Phunhay, Vietnam, and Martyr; Phanxicô Đo Van Chieu, Vietnamese Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr; and Clemente Ignacio Delgado Cebrián, Roman Catholic Bishop and Martyr in Vietnam

26 (Isabel Florence Hapgood, U.S. Journalist, Translator, and Ecumenist)

  • Andrea Giacinto Longhin, Roman Catholic Bishop of Treviso
  • Philip Doddridge, English Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Virgil Michel, U.S. Roman Catholic Monk, Academic, and Pioneer of Liturgical Renewal

27 (Cornelius Hill, Oneida Chief and Episcopal Priest)

  • Hugh Thomson Kerr, Sr., U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Liturgist; and his son, Hugh Thomson Kerr, Jr., U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Scholar, and Theologian
  • James Moffatt, Scottish Presbyterian Minister, Scholar, and Bible Translator
  • John the Georgian, Abbot; and Euthymius of Athos and George of the Black Mountain, Abbots and Translators

28 (John Gerard, English Jesuit Priest; and Mary Ward, Foundress of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

  • Plutarch, Marcella, Potanominaena, and Basilides of Alexandria, Martyrs
  • Teresa Maria Masters, Foundress of the Institute of the Sisters of the Holy Face
  • William and John Mundy, English Composers and Musicians

29 (PETER AND PAUL, APOSTLES AND MARTYRS)

30 (Johann Olaf Wallin, Archbishop of Uppsala and Hymn Writer)

  • Gennaro Maria Sarnelli, Italian Roman Catholic Priest and Missionary to the Vulnerable and Exploited People of Naples
  • Heinrich Lonas, German Moravian Organist, Composer, and Liturgist
  • Philip Powel, English Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr

Floating

  • First Book of Common Prayer, 1549

 

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

Feast of St. Emily de Vialar (June 17)   Leave a comment

The Dream of Saint Joseph (Painted 1773-1774), by Anton Raphael Mengs

SAINT EMILY (EMILIE) DE VIALAR (1797-1856)

Founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition

http://www.stjoseph-apparition.org/

Members of religious orders are among the greatest treasures of the Church and the human race in general.  These religious devote their lives to prayer and the service of God and their fellow human beings.  And the study of history tells me that monks and nuns have preserved knowledge, provided medicines, served as missionaries, and cared for the vulnerable people around them for centuries.  Thus I am especially fond of adding founders of religious orders to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

Let us consider one such saint, Emily (Emilie) de Vialar.  She was born to money in 1797.  Her father, a physician in Gaillac, in southwestern France, sent her to school in Paris when she was seven years old.  Eight years later, he brought her back home after the death of her mother.  The saint’s father wanted her find a suitable husband, but she had a different goal:  to enter religious life and serve God and the poor and marginalized in society.  Emily began this work as a young woman in her father’s home, for she delivered medicines, clothing, and hot soup to people in her town.  Sometimes she did not even leave home to do this, for people came to her front door.  The saint and her father argued over their differing visions of her future, but Emily was focused on the mystery of the Incarnation and its implications for her life.  She was determined to serve God in those around her.

In 1832, when the saint was 35 years old, her grandfather died and left her a large inheritance.  She used it to found her order, the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Incarnation, and began with one house and a few sisters.  By the time she died, on August 24, 1856, the number of houses had grown to forty, located in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.  These were twenty-four years of service and struggle.  For example, the saint and some sisters lent aid during the 1835 cholera epidemic in Algeria then commenced missionary work there.  And the saint went bankrupt in 1851 due to mismanagement by her financial advisor.  So she and her sisters themselves became like those they sought to help.  Fortunately, Eugene de Mazenod, Bishop of Marseilles, rescued them and enabled them build up the order again.

Pope Pius XII beatified the saint in 1939 and canonized her in 1951.

Here are some quotes from St. Emily de Vialar:

  • “Since God does so much for me, what could I not do for him?”
  • “Quietly to trust in God is better than trying to safeguard material interests:  I learned that by bitter experience.”
  • “My only desire is to accomplish God’s will.”
  • Her last words:  “Love one another.”

Today the members of the order continue the good work the saint began.  Among other things, they participate in foreign missions, provide nursing services to the sick, visit the bereaved, take the Eucharist to the sick, instruct converts, and offer psychological counseling.  And it all started with a young woman who preferred a life of service to one of comfort.  She chose the better part.

For this post I have selected scriptural readings and written a collect.

1 Kings 17:8-16

Psalm 23

James 1:22-27

Matthew 6:19-21

Compassionate God, we thank you for the holy example of the life of Saint Emily de Vialar, who served you faithfully during difficult times.  May we also persevere in obeying and following you when circumstances are hard and the light at the end of the tunnel is either dim or absent or seemingly an oncoming train.  May we strive always to be faithful, leaving questions of success to you.  In the name of Jesus, who, though rich, became poor for our sakes, and suffered much distress and humiliation, and who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 7, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ROSE VENERINI, FOUNDER OF THE VENERINI SISTERS

THE FEAST OF HARRIET STARR CANNON, COFOUNDER OF THE COMMUNITY OF SAINT MARY