Archive for the ‘June 22’ Category

Feast of Desiderius Erasmus, St. John Fisher, and St. Thomas More (June 22)   3 comments

Above:  The Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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DESIDERIUS ERASMUS ROTERDAMUS (OCTOBER 1466-JULY 12, 1536)

Dutch Roman Catholic Priest, Biblical and Classical Scholar, and Controversialist

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SAINT JOHN FISHER (1469-JUNE 22, 1535)

English Roman Catholic Classical Scholar, Bishop of Rochester, Cardinal, and Martyr

Alternative feast day = July 6 (The Church of England)

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SAINT THOMAS MORE (FEBRUARY 7, 1487-JULY 6, 1535)

English Roman Catholic Classical Scholar, Jurist, Theologian, Controversialist, and Martyr

Alternative feast day = December 1 (as one of the Martyrs of Oxford University)

Alternative feast day = July 6 (The Church of England)

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A TRIPLE BIOGRAPHY OF THREE GREAT MEN

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On the Roman Catholic calendar the feasts of Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More fall on June 22.  They also share a feast day (July 6) in The Church of England.  To their commemoration at this, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, I add their friend and colleague, Desiderius Erasmus.

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THE EARLY LIFE OF DESIDERIUS ERASMUS

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Above:  Portrait of Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam with Renaissance Pilaster, by Hans Holbein the Younger

Image in the Public Domain

Desiderius Erasmus, a great scholar and historically influential man, was a native of Rotterdam, The Netherlands.  He, born in 1466, was a son of a priest and the brother of Peter.  After Gerard, the father, died, guardians directed the educations of Desiderius and Peter.  After Peter became a monk at a monastery near Delft our saint joined the Augustinian order.  Erasmus, ordained to the priesthood on April 25, 1492, left the monastery in 1494 and pursued his scholarly work in the world.

Erasmus was a Christian Humanist in the style of the Northern Renaissance.  As such he objected to the dogmatic theology he encountered at the University of Paris.  In Paris our saint became a teacher and began writing.  Apparently Erasmus had a distinctive speaking style, for William Tyndale (1494-1536) described our saint as one

whose tongue maketh of little gnats great elephants, and laudeth up above the skies, whosoever giveth him a little exhibition.

Erasmus, whose English patrons included St. John Fisher and disciples included St. Thomas More (whom he met in 1497), visited England periodically, starting in 1499-1500.  Erasmus thought, despite the cumulative time he spent in England, that the weather and beer there were bad, and that More was the only genius in the realm.

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THE EARLY LIFE OF SAINT THOMAS MORE

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Above:  Sir Thomas More, by Hans Holbein the Younger

Image in the Public Domain

St. Thomas More was a jurist and a classical scholar.  He, born in London on February 7, 1487, was a son of Sir John More, a judge.  Our saint, educated at St. Anthony’s School, Threadneedle Street, London, then in the household of Archbishop of Canterbury John Morton, continued his studies at Oxford University before studying law at New Inn (1494-1496) then Lincoln’s Inn (1496f).  More was a reader at Furnival’s Inn then butler at Lincoln’s Inn (as his father had been) in 1507.  Our saint was also reader at Lincoln’s Inn in 1511 and 1515.

Meanwhile More was studying theology and Latin and Greek literature.  He met Erasmus, his longtime friend, in 1497.  More also translated classical works into English and composed English poetry.

More was a devout man.  For about four years he had lived at the London Charterhouse.  Although he never took monastic vows, he learned certain lifelong austere habits.  More did make wedding vows, however.  In 1505 he married Jane Colt (d. 1511).  The couple had four children.  His second wife was Alice Middleton, a widow.  Her daughter became part of the blended family.  More was a pioneer in the education of women in England, for his daughters were well-educated people.

More was a longtime Member of Parliament and a negotiator.  He, the Undersheriff of London (1510-1518), was also an officer in various companies.  In various capacities he settled disputes in England and France through 1529.

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THE EARLY LIFE OF SAINT JOHN FISHER

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Above:  John Fisher, by Hans Holbein the Younger

Image in the Public Domain

St. John Fisher was a scholar and a priest.  He, born in Beverley, Yorkshire, England, in 1469, graduated from Cambridge University in 1487 and 1491.  He, ordained a priest in 1491, served as a parish priest in Northallerton from 1491 to 1494.  Fisher, a tutor to the young Henry VIII (born in 1491; reigned from 1509 to 1547), was, from 1497, the confessor to Lady Margaret Beaufort (1443-1509), mother of King Henry VII (reigned 1485-1509).  At Fisher’s urging she founded readerships in divinity at Oxford and Cambridge (1503) then at Christ’s College, Cambridge (1505).  Fisher, the Vice-Chancellor (1501-1504) then Chancellor (1504-1534) of Cambridge University and Bishop of Rochester (1504-1534), for all intents and purposes founded St. John’s College, Cambridge, for which he hired Erasmus as Lecturer in Greek in 1511.  As a bishop Fisher was also devoted to his diocese–unusually so, by the standards of the period.

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ERASMUS THE BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

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Erasmus was a classical scholar and a man of letters. His volumes (1516-1536) on various Church Fathers were masterpieces of scholarship.  Or saint spent much time on St. Jerome (347-419) and his works in particular.  In 1504 Erasmus commenced his work on the Greek New Testament.  The influential volume, published in 1516, was epoch-making.  Our saint, who prioritized Patristic sources and the best Greek texts available to him, was more reliable than St. Jerome’s Latin Vulgate.  Erasmus dedicated the work to Pope Leo X.  The Holy Father accepted the dedication, but some powerful factions in the Church opposed the scholarly work.  Martin Luther, however, admired it.

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SAINT THOMAS MORE, 1514-1532

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St. Thomas More, a devout man and a gentle father, was also an influential writer, a statesman, and a controversialist.  The author of Utopia (1515-1516) produced many other works, including The History of Richard III (1514), which influenced William Shakespeare’s treatment of the monarch.  More held a series of positions in the 1520s.  He was, for example, the Speaker of the House of Commons and a Justice of the Peace from 1523.  The following year he became a High Steward of Oxford University.  In 1525 he became a High Steward of Cambridge University and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.  Then, from 1529 to 1532, he served as the Lord Chancellor.

The position of Lord Chancellor, although of high rank, was still one of a royal servant.  The position increased More’s wealth.  He gave more to charity.  The duties of the job also required More to present the royal position to the House of Lords, even when this left him with an uneasy conscience, as in the “King’s great matter” involving Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn.  Our saint, citing health concerns, resigned in 1532.

More was a devout Roman Catholic who considered Protestantism heretical.  In 1525 and 1526 he wrote German Lutheran theologian Johannes Bugenhagen (1485-1558) in defense of papal authority.  More abhorred both Protestantism and violence.  As much as More argued with and prayed for the conversion of his Lutheran son-in-law, William Roper, Roper recalled never seeing his father-in-law “in a fume.”

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SAINT JOHN FISHER, 1511-1533

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St. John Fisher, a devout Roman Catholic, honored God in various ways.  A devout and simple life was a moral imperative, he preached, to the consternation of some powerful men.  Fisher also honored God with his intellect.  The great man, who undertook the study of Greek at the age of 50 years, encouraged the study of Hebrew at Cambridge University.  Like More, Fisher considered Protestantism heretical, and argued vigorously against it and for Roman Catholicism.

Fisher also opposed the interference of the state in ecclesiastical affairs.  He, a consistent defender of Queen Catherine of Aragon, starting in 1527, opposed the annulment of that marriage as well as the granting to Henry VIII the title of Supreme Head of the Church and Clergy of England.

Fisher’s conscience was about to lead him to his martyrdom.

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THE MARTYRDOM OF SAINTS JOHN FISHER AND THOMAS MORE

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More and Fisher opposed the Act of Supremacy (1534).  Thus, on April 13, 1534, when summoned, both men refused to swear an oath accepting the marriage of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn, recognizing the succession of their issue, and repudiating papal authority.  Their refusal was officially treasonous.  From April 17, 1534, to the end of their lives they were prisoners in the Tower of London.  The circumstances of their incarceration were inhumane.

Pope Paul III created Fisher a Cardinal on May 20, 1535.  The infuriated Henry VIII, referring to a Cardinal’s red hat, said,

Mother of God!  He shall wear it on his shoulders, for I will leave him never ahead to set it on.

Fisher, tried and sentenced to death on June 17, 1535, died via beheading at Tower Hill, London, five days later.

More wrote in prison.  He began and completed A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulacyon (1534), in which he also argued against the idea that any head of state can dictate religious belief.  More also began a treatise on the Passion of Jesus, but his jailers did not permit him to famish it.  Our saint, tried on July 1, 1535, died via beheading at Tower Hill five days later.

The Roman Catholic Church has recognized these saints.  Pope Leo XIII beatified them in 1886.  Pope Pius XI canonized them in 1935.

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ERASMUS AND THE CHURCH

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Erasmus was a devout Roman Catholic from his cradle to his grave.  Nevertheless, he had both admirers and detractors in Protestant and Roman Catholic circles.  Furthermore, Erasmus was openly critical of some aspects of an powerful people in Holy Mother Church.  For example, he wrote anonymously then denied having written Julius Exclusus (1514), a satire about the late Pope Julius II (in office 1503-1513) attempting to gain entry into Heaven.  Julius II deserved strong criticism, for he was, in the words of scholar J. N. D. Kelly,

a forceful ruler, ruthless and violent.

The Oxford Dictionary of Popes (1986), page 255

Erasmus criticized certain Popes, but not the Papacy.  He condemned abuses in the Church, but not the Church itself.  He avoided committing schism, although some especially defensive Catholics accused him of being worse than Martin Luther, who did commit schism, albeit only after the Church forced the matter.  In fact, Luther and Erasmus, who never met, carried on a literary debate.  Furthermore, Erasmus was critical of more than one Protestant Reformer.

Erasmus, more at home at Basel, Switzerland, than anywhere else, lived there in 1514-1517, 1521-1529, and 1536.  At the end of his life Erasmus really became a Cardinal, but he died at Basel on July 12, 1536, instead.  His heir, Boniface Amerbach, wrote of the great man’s passing:

As was his life, so was the death of this most upright of men.  Most holy was his living, most holy was his dying.

The last words of Erasmus, in Dutch, were:

Dear God.

After his death the Church added his writings to the Index of Forbidden Books.

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CONCLUSION

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These three saints of God were scholars, friends, and colleagues.  They left the world better than they found it and entrusted it with their intellects and piety.  Two of these men died rather than betray their consciences and, they believed, God.  Erasmus also remained faithful to God, as he understood God.  All of these men did this nonviolently.

As I have prepared this post, I have arrived at another conclusion:  I like Erasmus most of all.  The punchiness of his personality has appealed to part of my personality.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 28, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALBERT THE GREAT AND HIS PUPIL, SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS, ROMAN CATHOLIC THEOLOGIANS

THE FEAST OF CHARLES KINGSLEY, ANGLICAN PRIEST, NOVELIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH BARNBY, ANGLICAN CHURCH MUSICIAN AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF RICHARD FREDERICK LITTLEDALE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND TRANSLATOR OF HYMNS

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O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of Desiderius Erasmus, Saint John Fisher, and Saint Thomas More,

and all others who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

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

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

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Feast of St. Paulinus of Nola (June 22)   1 comment

Above:  St. Paulinus of Nola

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT MEROPIUS PONTIUS ANACIUS PAULINUS (CIRCA 354-JUNE 22, 431)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Nola

St. Paulinus of Nola and his wife Therasia did much to help the poor, especially of Nola, Italy.

St. Paulinus and his wife were initially pagans.  Our saint, born in Buridigala, Gaul (now Bordeaux, France), circa 354, came from a prominent and wealthy family.  He became a lawyer and a Roman imperial official.  After he left public service the couple retired to Buridigala.  Later they moved to Therasia’s estate at Alcala de Henares, Spain.  There they welcomed their only son into the world.  There they also grieved after he died about a week after his birth.

In the wake of their son’s death St. Paulinus and Therasia converted to Christianity and dedicated their lives to God.  St. Ambrose of Milan and St. Delphinus of Bordeaux (d. 403), the Bishop of Buridigala, facilitated the conversions and baptisms in 392.  St. Paulinus and Therasia sold or gave away most of their wealth and embarked on their new lives.

St. Paulinus became a clergyman.  He, ordained a priest in Barcelona in 394, moved to Nola, Italy, where he and Therasia helped poor people.  In 409 our saint, by then a widower, became the Bishop of Nola by popular demand; he served for the rest of his life.  He lived as a monk at home.

St. Paulinus, a prolific writer, composed one of the oldest surviving Christian wedding songs.

St. Paulinus had a group of prominent friends.  They included Emperor Theodosius I “the Great” (reigned 379-395), Pope St. Anastasius I (in office 399-401), St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Nicetas of Remesiana, St. Martin of Tours, and St. Jerome.  The glue of Christian faith held them together.

St. Paulinus died at Nola on June 22, 431.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 28, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALBERT THE GREAT AND HIS PUPIL, SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS, ROMAN CATHOLIC THEOLOGIANS

THE FEAST OF CHARLES KINGSLEY, ANGLICAN PRIEST, NOVELIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH BARNBY, ANGLICAN CHURCH MUSICIAN AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF RICHARD FREDERICK LITTLEDALE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND TRANSLATOR OF HYMNS

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Heavenly Gather, Shepherd of your people, we thank you for your servant Saint Paulinus of Nola,

who was faithful in the care and nurture of your flock;

and we pray that, following his example and the teaching of his holy life,

we may by your grace grow into the stature of the fullness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ;

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

Ezekiel 34:11-16

Psalm 23

1 Peter 5:1-4

John 21:15-17

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 718

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Feast of St. Alban (June 22)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Alban

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT ALBAN (DIED CIRCA 209 OR 305)

First British Martyr

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The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ.  This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of baptism without being a sacrament.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994), paragraph 1258

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Albanum egregium fecundia Britannia profert.

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In fertile Britain’s land

was noble Alban born.

–St. Venantius Honorius Clementius Fortunatus (circa 530-circa 610)

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The traditional year of the martyrdom of St. Alban was circa 305.  More recent scholarship has preferred 209 or so, however.

St. Alban was a convert to Christianity and the first British martyr.  He, born and raised a pagan at Verulamium (now St. Albans, England), sheltered a fugitive priest for a few days.  During that time the priest converted our saint to Christianity.  When the Roman soldiers seeking the priest searched St. Alban’s home, they found our saint, wearing the priest’s cloak.  The priest was elsewhere.  The soldiers arrested St. Alban.  At his trial he admitted to sheltering the priest and to being a Christian.  The judge sentenced St. Alban to death.  During the process of becoming a martyr our saint, by his conduct, converted two of his would-be executioners, Aaron and Julius, who also became martyrs shortly thereafter.  According to tradition, soldiers caught up with the priest, whom they stoned to death at Redbourn a few days after the capture of St. Alban.

Were the sacrifices of Sts. Alban, Aaron, and Julius worthwhile?  Yes, they were.  These men demonstrated great courage as well as fidelity to God during their brief periods of being Christians.  They were more committed Christians for the few days of their Christian lives than many longterm Christians have been.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 26, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS TIMOTHY, TITUS, AND SILAS, COWORKERS OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr Alban

triumphed over suffering and was faithful even to death:

Grant us, who now remember him in thanksgiving,

to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world,

that we may receive with him the crown of life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9

Psalm 31:1-5

1 John 3:13-16

Matthew 10:34-42

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 435

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Feast of James Arthur MacKinnon (June 22)   Leave a comment

Ottawa 01

Above:  A Germane Headline from The Ottawa Journal, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Article accessed via newspapers.com

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JAMES ARTHUR MACKINNON (SEPTEMBER 30, 1932-JUNE 22, 1965)

Canadian Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr in the Dominican Republic

Most of the saints (canonized and otherwise) I add to this, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, lived and died hundreds of years ago.  Some lived and died thousands of years ago.  With this post I add another saint who lived and died decades ago.

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The divine mandate of social justice thunders off the pages of the Old and New Testaments.  It is prominent in the Law of Moses, with the ethos of interdependence and condemnation of human exploitation.  The divine mandate is also prominent in the pronouncements of Hebrew prophets, as in Amos 8:4-6 (The New Revised Standard Version:  Catholic Edition, 1993):

Hear this, you that trample on the needy,

and bring to ruin the poor of the land,

saying, “When will the new moon be over

so that we may sell grain;

and the sabbath,

so that we may offer wheat for sale?

We will make the ephah small and the shekel great,

and practice deceit with false balances,

buying the poor for silver

and the needy for a pair of sandals,

and selling the sweepings of the wheat.”

Jesus identified himself with that ethos of economic justice when he quoted from Isaiah 61 and 58 at Nazareth (Luke 4:16-19).  And, in Revelation 18, those who profited from business arrangements with the fallen Roman Empire (“Babylon”) mourn the fall of that corrupt and exploitative government:

And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, cargo of gold, silver, jewels and pearls, fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet, all kinds of scented wood, all articles of ivory, all articles of costly wood, bronze, iron, and marble, cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, olive oil, choice flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, slaves–and human lives.

–Revelation 18:11-13, The New Revised Standard Version:  Catholic Edition (1993)

James Arthur MacKinnon, born at New Victoria, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada, on September 30, 1932, learned that ethos well and gave his life acting according to it.  He was 32 years old when he died.

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Before I expand on those statements I must, if I am to write this post properly, explain the situation in the Dominican Republic, on the island of Hispaniola.  The ownership of land in the American colonies of the Spanish Empire was concentrated into the hands of a small minority of the population.  This meant that the vast majority of people were poor and landless.   This pattern remained after colonies became independent countries, which frequently had unstable political systems as well as  long stretches of time with military dictatorships as the norms.  Meanwhile, the landless poor desired land at least as much as large landowners resisted efforts to break up estates.

Dominican Republic 1945

Above:  A Map of Hispaniola in 1945

Image Source = Hammond’s New Era Atlas of the World (1945)

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

In 1930 military leader Rafael Trujillo began his 31-year-long rule via a stolen election.  Sometimes he was the President of the Dominican Republic; at other times one puppet or another occupied the presidency.  Nevertheless, Trujillo was the de facto ruler (and sometimes de jure leader) of his country from 1930 to 1961.  His was a brutal regime.  It had started by means of thugs (secret police) torturing and killing supporters of his opponent in the election of 1930.  Trujillo tolerated no dissent and ordered the executions of tens of thousands of people, sometimes at once.  He also instituted policies which made him extremely wealthy at the expense of the masses, built up the capital city (Santo Domingo, which he renamed “Ciudad Trujillo” after himself in 1936) to the detriment of the common good, harmed the rural areas, and presided over a cult of personality.  His reign ended via assassination on May 30, 1961.  Ciudad Trujillo reverted to Santo Domingo, but Trujillo loyalists abounded.

Juan Bosch, a historian and novelist, was a leftist opponent of Trujillo.  Bosch had gone into exile in 1937 and founded the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) two years later.  He appealed to intellectuals, the middle class, and the poor.  Bosch won the presidential election of December 1962 in a landslide.  His time in office (February 27-September 25, 1963) was brief.  In the context of the Cold War Bosch’s plans for the redistribution of land alarmed the Kennedy Administration and large Dominican landowners alike.  Bosch’s desire to rein in the military upset elements of the armed forces.  His pro-labor politics alarmed industrialists.  And Bosch’s plans for a secular republic upset elements of the Roman Catholic Church opposed to the separation of church and state.  A military coup d’etat sent Bosch into exile in Puerto Rico (1963-1965).

Dominican Republic 1968

Above:  A Map of Hispaniola in 1968

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

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Civil War broke out on April 25, 1965.  The junta lost power, and a revolt to restore Bosch to power started.  The Revolutionary Committee held power for a few hours on April 25 before the two-day-long provisional presidency of Jose Rafael Molina Urena started.  During the interregnum (April 28-30) the Johnson Administration dispatched Marines to the Dominican Republic.  Pedro Bartolome Benoit led the U.S.-backed side from May 1 to 7.  Then General Antonio Imbert Barrera (who had participated in the assassination of Trujillo in 1961) succeeded Benoit, remaining in office until August 30.  On the opposite, pro-Bosch side Francisco Alberto Caamano Deno served as the rival president from May 4 to September 3, 1965.

Caught up in the civil war were thousands of innocent civilians.  Imbert’s U.S.-supported forces rounded up several thousand civilians, executed most of them, and disposed of almost all of the corpses.  This situation was intolerable to James Arthur MacKinnon, a 32-year old Roman Catholic priest whom the Scarboro Foreign Mission Society of Canada had sent to the Dominican Republic.  Father Art, or, as Dominicans knew him, Padre Arturo, worked from his home base about 55 miles outside Santo Domingo.  He was a known quantity to Dominican officialdom, for he had been agitating for land redistribution.  He protested the mass arrests and detention of civilians, making this a prominent part of a sermon.  He also interceded with officials, securing the release of some of these political prisoners.  On June 22, 1965, two police officers murdered Padre Arturo at Monte Plata.  Then a soldier killed the assassins.

Imbert’s forces (and, by extension, Imbert himself) were responsible for MacKinnon’s death.  U.S. journalist Drew Pearson minced no words about this fact in his syndicated column one week.

Pearson 01A

Pearson 01B

Pearson 02A

Pearson 02B

Pearson 03

Source = The Indiana Gazette, Indiana, Pennsylvania, August 14, 1965, Page 20

Accessed via newspapers.com

In Canada, MacKinnon’s native country, press reports were likewise clear about this point.

Ottawa 01

Ottawa 02

Ottawa 03

Source = The Ottawa Journal, Ottawa, Ontario, July 19, 1965, Page 17

Accessed via newspapers.com

The Dominican cover story was flimsy.  Imbert’s forces claimed that MacKinnon had been driving a jeep, zigzagging toward a military road block, refusing to stop at it.  Physical evidence contradicted that lie, however.  No, the policemen shot Padre Arturo at close range, according to three criminologists the Organization of American States sent to investigate this matter.

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The immediate settlement of the civil war entailed replacing the rival presidents with a provisional president, Hector Garcia Godoy, who served from September 3, 1965 to July 1, 1966.  Bosch returned to his native country and ran in the election of 1966, which he lost to U.S.-backed Joachim Balaguer.  Balaguer had been a puppet Vice President (1957-1960) and President (1960-1962) of the Dominican Republic under Turjillo.  The Johnson Administration and its successors supported Balaguer, who stole elections, jailed certain dissents, executed some of those dissidents, seized some opposition newspapers, and did little-to-nothing to help the poor.

James MacKinnon, a Canadian journalist and nephew of our saint, investigated the murder of Padre Arturo four decades after the fact.  He encountered much interference in the Dominican Republic, where many people remain loyal to Trujillo and his followers, and where the murder of Father Art continues to be politically sensitive.  The younger MacKinnon wrote of the murder of his uncle and of the realities of the Dominican Republic in Dead Man in Paradise (2006).

The problem of institutionalized and rampant poverty in the Dominican Republic continues.

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“Take up your cross and follow me,” Jesus commanded.  Padre Arturo MacKinnon obeyed our Lord and Savior.  The example of this troublesome priest should teach us, among other things, about the divine mandate to oppose economic injustice and to live according to the Golden Rule.  The servant is not greater than the master.  Consider, O reader, what happened to Jesus, the master.  Sometimes, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer understood correctly, the call of Christian discipleship is an invitation to die for a righteous cause.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 2, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF JESUS IN THE TEMPLE

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Holy and righteous God, you created us in your image.

Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression.

Help us, like your servant James Arthur MacKinnon,

to work for justice among people and nations, to the glory of your name,

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

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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Feast of Gerhard Gieschen (June 22)   Leave a comment

Lutheran Church in America Logo

Above:  Logo of the Lutheran Church in America (1962-1987)

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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GERHARD GIESCHEN (JUNE 28, 1899-JUNE 22, 1987)

U.S. Lutheran Minister and Hymn Translator

Sometimes I am especially grateful for the existence of the Internet.  Research for this post started with Lutheran hymnal companion volumes, but Internet searches and newspapers.com proved quite helpful in following up on leads and finding more information.

Gerhard Gieschen entered the world at Helenville, Wisconsin, on June 28, 1899.  His parents were John Gieschen and Anna Sophia Bieck Gieschen.  Our saint attended Concordia College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (a Missouri Synod school), then Northwestern College, Watertown, Wisconsin, and Lutheran Theological Seminary, Thiensville, Wisconsin (Wisconsin Synod schools).  The Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Wisconsin and Other States (the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod since 1959) ordained him in 1922.  Geischen served as the pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rib Falls, Wisconsin, for a few years.  Then he was assistant minister and school principal at Marshfield, Wisconsin.  That job ended in the early 1930s due to the Great Depression.

Forest Park Review, November 2, 1950, page 3

Forest Park Review, Forest Park, Illinois, November 2, 1950, page 3

Obtained via newspapers.com

Gieschen, however, spent most of his ministerial career in less conservative denominations.  He joined the United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA) in 1933, becoming the pastor of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Leigh, Nebraska.  He ministered in Wayne, Nebraska, from 1940 to 1942.  A tenure (1942-1947) at Our Redeemer Church, Omaha, Nebraska, followed.  Then, from 1947 to 1950, Gieschen served at St. Peter’s Church, Forest Park, Illinois.

Forest Park Review, January 19, 1950 I

Forest Park Review, January 19, 1950 II

Forest Park Review, Forest Park, Illinois, January 19, 1950, page 2

Obtained via newspapers.com

Next Gieschen moved to seminary work in the ULCA and its immediate successor, the Lutheran Church in America (LCA).  He taught systematic theology at the Central Lutheran Theological Seminary, Fremont, Nebraska (1893-1967), serving finally as the Acting President of that institution from 1964 to 1967, until its consolidation into the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Illinois.  Thereafter our saint held Professor Emeritus status at the merged seminary.

Gieschen remained active, however.  He taught at Midland College, Fremont, Nebraska, from 1967 to 1969.  Then he returned to the pulpit as pastor of Our Lord’s Lutheran Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, from 1970 to 1975.  In this capacity our saint succeeded one of his sons, Roger Gieschen, as the pastor there.

Gerhard and Lucille Anita Graber Gieschen (1902-1988) had four children, two of whom–Roger and David– became Lutheran ministers.  Roger, ordained in the ULCA in 1958, was the founding pastor of Our Lord’s Lutheran Church, Oklahoma City, from 1958 to 1969.  Next he ministered at St. Paul’s Church, Wichita, Kansas, serving until 1973, when he became the Director of Missions in the central states and Iowa for the LCA’s Division for Ministry.  Then, in 1978, Roger became the President of the Central States Synod.  Two years later the LCA made its synodical presidents bishops, so he was Bishop Gieschen until 1988.

David Gieschen became the founding pastor of Peace Lutheran Church, Manhattan, Kansas, in 1963.  Twelve years later he was working in the LCA’s Division of Parish Services of the Department of Program Resources.

Gerhard Gieschen translated a Martin Opitz (1597-1639) text from 1628 as “Arise and Shine in Splendor.”  The original translation, that of 1937, appeared in Faith-Life, the periodical of the Protes’tant Conference, which broke away from the Wisconsin Synod in the 1920s.  He revised the translation for The Lutheran Hymnal (1941).  Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, Missouri, holds the copyright on the translation and its variations.  Thus I refer you, O reader, to The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), Lutheran Worship (1982), and the Lutheran Service Book (2006), all of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.

Our saint died at Sun City, Arizona, on June 1987, six days short of his eighty-eighth birthday.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 10, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT THEODOSIUS THE CENOBRIARCH, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF CHARLES WILLIAM EVEREST, EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN THE GOOD, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF MILAN

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM LAUD, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

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

Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Gerhard Gieschen and others, who have translated 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 June   Leave a comment

Honeysuckles

Image in the Public Domain

1 (Justin Martyr, Christian Apologist and Martyr, 166/167)

  • Pamphilus of Caesarea, Bible Scholar and Translator; and His Companions, Martyrs, 309
  • Samuel Stennett, English Seventh-Day Baptist Minister and Hymn Writer; and John Howard, English Humanitarian
  • Simeon of Syracuse, Roman Catholic Monk
  • William Robinson, Marmaduke Stephenson, and Mary Dyer, British Quaker Martyrs in Boston, Massachusetts, 1659 and 1660

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

  • Anders Christensen Arrebo, “The Father of Danish Poetry”
  • Christoph Homburg, German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • Margaret Elizabeth Sangster, Hymn Writer, Novelist, and Devotional Writer
  • Stephen of Sweden, Roman Catholic Missionary, Bishop, and Martyr, Circa 1075

3 (John XXIII, Bishop of Rome)

  • Christian Gottfried Geisler and Johann Christian Geisler, Silesian Moravian Organists and Composers; and Johannes Herbst, German-American Organist, Composer, and Bishop
  • Frances Ridley Havergal, English Hymn Writer and Composer
  • Ole T. (Sanden) Arneson, U.S. Norwegian Lutheran Hymn Translator
  • Will Campbell, Agent of Reconciliation

4 (Stanislaw Kostka Starowieyski, Roman Catholic Martyr, 1941)

  • Francis Caracciolo, Cofounder of the Minor Clerks Regular
  • John Lancaster Spalding, Roman Catholic Bishop of Peoria then Titular Bishop of Seythopolis
  • Petroc, Welsh Prince, Abbot, and Missionary
  • Thomas Raymond Kelly, U.S. Quaker Mystic and Professor of Philosophy

5 (Dorotheus of Tyre, Bishop of Tyre, and Martyr, Circa 362)

  • Bliss Wiant, U.S. Methodist Minister, Missionary, Musician, Music Educator, and Hymn Translator, Arranger, and Harmonizer; and his wife, Mildred Artz Wiant, U.S. Methodist Missionary, Musician, Music Educator, and Hymn Translator
  • Ini Kopuria, Founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood
  • Maurice Blondel, French Roman Catholic Philosopher and Forerunner of the Second Vatican Council
  • Orlando Gibbons, Anglican Organist and Composer; the “English Palestrina”

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
  • Johann Friedrich Hertzog, German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • 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
  • Hubert Lafayette Sone and his wife, Katie Helen Jackson Sone, U.S. Methodist Missionaries and Humanitarians in China, Singapore, and Malaysia
  • Seattle, First Nations Chief, War Leader, and Diplomat

8 (Clara Luper, Witness for Civil Rights)

  • 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”
  • 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, Celtic Missionary and Abbot)

  • Giovanni Maria Boccardo, Founder of the Poor Sisters of Saint Cajetan/Gaetano; and his brother, Luigi Boccardo, Apostle of Merciful Love
  • José de Anchieta, Apostle of Brazil and Father of Brazilian National Literature
  • Thomas Joseph Potter, Roman Catholic Priest, Poet, and Hymn Writer
  • Will Herzfeld, U.S. Lutheran Ecumenist, Presiding Bishop of the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, and Civil Rights Activist

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

  • Frederick C. Grant, Episcopal Priest and New Testament Scholar; and his son, Robert M. Grant, Episcopal Priest and Patristics Scholar
  • Getulius, Amantius, Caeraelis, and Primitivus, Martyrs at Tivoli, 120; and Symphorosa of Tivoli, Martyr, 120
  • 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
  • Milton Smith Littlefield, Jr., U.S. Presbyterian and Congregationalist Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymnal Editor

13 (Spyridon of Cyprus, Bishop of Tremithus, Cyprus; and his convert, Tryphillius of Leucosia, Bishop of Leucosia, Cyprus; Opponents of Arianism)

  • David Abeel, U.S. Dutch Reformed Minister and Missionary to Asia
  • Elias Benjamin Sanford, U.S. Methodist then Congregationalist Minister and Ecumenist
  • Sigismund von Birken, German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • William Cullen Bryant, U.S. Poet, Journalist, and Hymn Writer

14 (Methodius I of Constantinople, Defender of Icons and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constaninople; and Joseph the Hymnographer, Defender of Icons and the “Sweet-Voiced Nightingale of the Church”)

  • David Low Dodge, U.S. Presbyterian Businessman and Pacifist
  • Francis J. Uplegger, German-American Lutheran Minister and Missionary; “Old Man Missionary”
  • Frank Laubach, U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Missionary
  • Mark Hopkins, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Theologian, Educator, and Physician

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
  • Evelyn Underhill, Anglican Mystic and Theologian
  • 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
  • William Hiram Foulkes, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer

17 (Samuel Barnett, Anglican Canon of Westminster, and Social Reformer; and his wife, Henrietta Barnett, Social Reformer)

  • 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 (William Bingham Tappan, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Poet, and Hymn Writer)

  • Adolphus Nelson, Swedish-American Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Bernard Mizeki, Anglican Catechist and Convert in Southern Rhodesia, 1896
  • Johann Franck, Heinrich Held, and Simon Dach, German Lutheran Hymn Writers
  • Richard Massie, Hymn Translator

19 (John Dalberg Acton, English Roman Catholic Historian, Philosopher, and Social Critic)

  • Adelaide Teague Case, Episcopal Professor of Christian Education, and Advocate for Peace
  • Michel-Richard Delalande, French Roman Catholic Composer
  • Vernard Eller, U.S. Church of the Brethren Minister and Theologian
  • 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)

  • Alfred Ramsey, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Hymn Translator
  • Charles Coffin, Roman Catholic Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Hans Adolf Brorson, Danish Lutheran Bishop, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • William John Sparrow-Simpson, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Patristics Scholar

21 (Aloysius Gonzaga, Jesuit)

  • Bernard Adam Grube, German-American Minister, Missionary, Composer, and Musician
  • Carl Bernhard Garve, German Moravian Minister, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer
  • Charitie Lees Smith Bancroft de Chenez, Hymn Writer
  • John Jones and John Rigby, Roman Catholic Martyrs, 1598 and 1600

22 (Alban, First British Martyr, Circa 209 or 305)

  • 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, 1535; and Thomas More, English Roman Catholic Classical Scholar, Jurist, Theologian, Controversialist, and Martyr, 1535
  • Gerhard Gieschen, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Hymn Translator
  • James Arthur MacKinnon, Canadian Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr in the Dominican Republic, 1965
  • Paulinus of Nola, Roman Catholic Bishop of Nola

23 (Brevard S. Childs, U.S. Presbyterian Biblical Scholar)

  • Heinrich Gottlob Gutter, German-American Instrument Maker, Repairman, and Merchant
  • John Johns, English Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Nicetas of Remesiana, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Wilhelm Heinrich Wauer, German Moravian Composer and Musician

24 (NATIVITY OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST)

25 (William Henry Heard, African Methodist Episcopal Missionary and Bishop)

  • Domingo Henares de Zafira Cubero, Roman Catholic Bishop of Phunhay, Vietnam, and Martyr, 1838; Phanxicô Đo Van Chieu, Vietnamese Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr, 1838; and Clemente Ignacio Delgado Cebrián, Roman Catholic Bishop and Martyr in Vietnam, 1838
  • Pearl S. Buck, U.S. Presbyterian Missionary, Novelist, and Social Activist
  • Vincent Lebbe, Belgian-Chinese Roman Catholic Priest and Missionary; Founder of the Little Brothers of Saint John the Baptist
  • William of Vercelli, Roman Catholic Hermit; and John of Matera, Roman Catholic Abbot

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
  • Theodore H. Robinson, British Baptist Orientalist and Biblical Scholar
  • Virgil Michel, U.S. Roman Catholic Monk, Academic, and Pioneer of Liturgical Renewal

27 (Cornelius Hill, Oneida Chief and Episcopal Priest)

  • Arialdus of Milan, Italian Roman Catholic Deacon and Martyr, 1066
  • 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)

  • Clara Louise Maass, U.S. Lutheran Nurse and Martyr, 1901
  • Plutarch, Marcella, Potanominaena, and Basilides of Alexandria, Martyrs, 202
  • 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
  • Paul Hanly Furfey, U.S. Roman Catholic Priest, Sociologist, and Social Radical
  • Philip Powel, English Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1646

Floating

  • First Book of Common Prayer, 1549

 

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