Archive for the ‘June 25’ Category

Feast of Vincent Lebbe (June 25)   Leave a comment

Above:  Vincent Lebbe

Image in Public Domain

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FRÉDÉRIC-VINCENT LEBBE (AUGUST 19, 1877-JUNE 24, 1940)

Belgian-Chinese Roman Catholic Priest, Missionary, and Founder of the Little Brothers of Saint John the Baptist

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I would rather die than go on living as a neutral, not daring to call good and evil by their proper names, not daring to give my last ounce of blood for the oppressed.

–Vincent Lebbe

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Vincent Lebbe comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (1997).

Frédéric-Vincent Lebbe, like his Presbyterian contemporary, Pearl S. Buck, was a culturally sensitive missionary.  Lebbe, born in Ghent, Belgium, on August 19, 1877, grew up in a Roman Catholic family.  At the tender age of 11 years, our saint discerned his vocation to become a missionary priest in China, and to die there.  He joined the Congregation of the Mission (the Vincentians/the Lazarists) in Paris in 1895.  Lebbe arrived in China in 1901 and joined the ranks of priests on October 28.  Alphonse Favier (1837-1905), the Titular Bishop of Pentacomia, ordained him in Beijing.

Lebbe, unlike many of his fellow missionaries, respected Chinese culture.  He, unpretentious, carried his own luggage off the boat when he arrived in 1901, although, as one fellow missionary told him,

In China no missionary ever carries his own case.

Lebbe rejected all political and cultural imperialism.  Cultural imperialism caused many Chinese people to perceive all Christian missionaries as imperial agents.  Many were, of course.  Rather, our saint identified as Chinese.  He even became a Chinese citizen in 1927.  Lebbe mastered Chinese, dressed like a Chinese laborer, and encouraged indigenous leadership of the Church.  In 1926, Pope Pius XI consecrated six Chinese bishops, all of whom Lebbe had recommended.

Lebbe, an outcast and a traitor, according to many of his European counterparts, was home.  He resigned from the Congregation of the Mission in 1929 and led the new Little Brothers of Saint John the Baptist.  During the war with China, our saint led efforts to save many lives while placing his life at risk.  This did not prevent Communists from mistaking him for a government spy.  After six weeks as a prisoner of Communist forces in 1940, Lebbe was in a weakened state.  He, released, died on June 14, 1940.  Lebbe was 62 years old.  The Chinese government declared a day of mourning for the man whose Chinese name translated as, “the thunder that sings in the distance.”

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 17, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF THOMAS BRADBURY CHANDLER, ANGLICAN PRIEST; HIS SON-IN-LAW, JOHN HENRY HOBART, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF NEW YORK; AND HIS GRANDSON, WILLIAM HOBART HARE, APOSTLE TO THE SIOUX AND EPISCOPAL MISSIONARY BISHOP OF NIOBRARA THEN SOUTH DAKOTA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CATERINA VOLPICELLI, FOUNDRESS OF THE SERVANTS OF THE SACRED HEART; SAINT LUDOVICO DA CASORIA, FOUNDER OF THE GRAY FRIARS OF CHARITY AND COFOUNDER OF THE GRAY SISTERS OF SAINT ELIZABETH; AND SAINT GIULIA SALZANO, FOUNDRESS OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE CATECHETICAL SISTERS OF THE SACRED HEART

THE FEAST OF CHARLES HAMILTON HOUSTON AND THURGOOD MARSHALL, ATTORNEYS AND CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS

THE FEAST OF DONALD COGGAN, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

THE FEAST OF SAINT IVAN ZIATYK, POLISH UKRAINIAN GREEK CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1952

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God of grace and might, we praise you for your servant Vincent Lebbe,

to whom you gave gifts to make the good news known.

Raise up, we pray, in every country, heralds and evangelists of your kingdom,

so that the world may know the immeasurable riches of our Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Isaiah 62:1-7

Psalm 48

Romans 10:11-17

Luke 24:44-53

–Adapted from Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of Pearl S. Buck (June 25)   1 comment

Above:  Pearl S. Buck

Image in the Public Domain

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PEARL COMFORT SYDENSTRICKER BUCK (JUNE 26, 1892-MARCH 6, 1973)

U.S. Presbyterian Missionary, Novelist, and Social Activist

Buck spent most of the first half-century of her life in China.  She, born in Hillsborough, West Virginia, on June 26, 1892, was a daughter of Southern Presbyterian missionaries Absalom Sydenstricker (1852-1931) and Caroline Stulting Sydenstricker (1857-1921).  The couple was on furlough when Caroline gave birth to Pearl.  Our saint, raised in China (except during furloughs) from infancy, grew up learning both English and Chinese.  Pearl also learned respect for Chinese culture and rejection of racism, ethnocentrism, and cultural imperialism from her parents.  Our saint attended Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (now Randolph College), Lynchburg, Virginia, from 1910 to 1914.  She returned to China shortly after graduating; her mother’s health was failing.

Our saint became a missionary in her own right.  In 1915, she met John Lossing Buck (1890-1975), a missionary from the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.  The couple married in 1917.  They had one child, Caroline Grace Buck (1920-1992).  She had Phenylketonuria (PKU), which caused profound mental disabilities.  The Bucks adopted a daughter, Janice, in 1925.  The family lived and taught on the campus of Nanjing University from 1920 to 1933, except during furloughs.  During the furlough of 1924-1925, Pearl earned her M.A. from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.  The marriage, unhappy for a long time, ended in divorce in 1935.

Buck, who had become a published author in the 1920s, started with essays and stories published in major magazines.  He first novel, East Wind, West Wind, went to the presses in 1930.  Richard Walsh published that book.  Her second novel, The Good Earth (1931), made our saint a household name, a best-selling author, and a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.  Buck wrote for the rest of her life.  She composed novels, short stories, biographies (including those of her parents), autobiographies, and nonfiction.  She also won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Two of Buck’s works of nonfiction got her into ecclesiastical trouble and caused the termination of her career as a missionary.  She wrote in opposition to racism, ethnocentrism, and culturally imperialistic missionaries.  Indeed, she had encountered many of them since her childhood.  The timing of our saint’s justifiable criticism was the fundamentalist-modernist controversy within the old Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (1870-1958), the so-called “Northern Presbyterian Church.”  (That was an inaccurate label; the PCUSA was actually national.  The old Presbyterian Church in the United States lived up to its informal name, the Southern Presbyterian Church, however.)  Many prominent fundamentalist Presbyterians objected to Buck’s criticism.  She resigned under pressure in 1934.

Our saint returned to the United States and continued her writing and her revolutionary work.  She married Richard Walsh in 1935.  The couple remained married until he died in 1960. They resided on the Green Hills Farm, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  Pearl was active in the civil rights movement.  She a trustee of Howard University, wrote for publications of the Urban League and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (N.A.A.C.P.).  She and Walsh promoted interracial adoption and modeled the practice.  They founded Welcome House, the first international, interracial adoption agency, in 1949.  She founded the Pearl S. Buck Foundation in 1964 to help Amerasian children otherwise ineligible for adoption.

Buck, aged 80 years, died in Danby, Vermont, on March 6, 1973.  Her ten children (nine of them adopted) survived her.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 16, 2020 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 PRIESTS OF THE SACRED HEART OF BETHARRAM

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN NEPOMUCENE, BOHEMIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1393

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF THE SUDAN, 1983-2005

THE FEAST OF SAINT UBALDO BALDASSINI, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF GUBBIO

THE FEAST OF SAINT VLADIMIR GHIKA, ROMANIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1954

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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 Pearl S. Buck,

to use our freedom to bring justice among people and nations, to the glory of your name;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-14

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

–Adapted from Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of William Henry Heard (June 25)   1 comment

Above:  William Henry Heard

Image in the Public Domain

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WILLIAM HENRY HEARD (CIRCA JUNE 25, 1850-SEPTEMBER 12, 1937)

African Methodist Episcopal Missionary and Bishop

Bishop William Henry Heard comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via a few sources.  The main source is Ray Chandler, “Up from Slave Row:  The Making of Bishop William Henry Heard” (Georgia Backroads, Autumn 2018), 44-49.  This post also depends directly on Bishop Heard’s autobiography, From Slavery to the Bishopric in the A.M.E. Church (1924), available at Documenting the American South.  I also rely on the website of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church, Athens, Georgia.  Furthermore, I cite a one of my deceased fellow parishioners and a fine local historian in Athens, Georgia.  Al Hester’s Enduring Legacy:  Clarke County, Georgia’s Ex-Slave Legislators:  Madison Davis and Alfred Richardson (2010) provides a little information about Heard.  And measuringworth.com is an invaluable tool for adjusting monetary amounts for inflation.  This post also draws minor details from various historical works and congregations’ websites.

Our saint, born a slave, rose to become the senior bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (hereafter the A.M.E. Church).  He, born in Longstreet community, about ten miles from Elberton, Georgia, or or about June 25, 1850, was a son of slaves.  His mother was Parthenia, whose main duties were to bear and raise children.  The future bishop, originally called William Harrison Heard, was one of five children she bore.  Parthenia died of typhoid fever in 1859.  Our saint’s father was George Heard, a blacksmith and a wheelwright on a neighboring plantation.  George Heard was probably a son of planter (and his owner), Thomas Jefferson Heard, a son Stephen Heard (1740-1815), whose public offices in Georgia included a term (1780-1781) as governor.  The future bishop grew up in conditions one would generously describe as primitive.  In the slave cabin, waking up to find a snake in his bed was not unusual.  He also remembered the two times he and family members were on the auction block.  Our saint, a field hand on the plantation of John Trenchard, headmaster of Elberton Academy during the Civil War, received his freedom in May 1865.  He was nearly 15 years at the time.

William Harrison Heard went to live with his father, who had opened a blacksmith and wheelwright business near Elberton.  Not surprisingly, there were no schools for African Americans in the area in 1865 and 1866.  In 1867, the Reverend William Jefferson White, a Baptist minister from Augusta, Georgia, visited Elberton.  He, an agent of the Freedmen’s Bureau, came to encourage African-American education.  White, of Caucasian, Muskogee, and African ancestry, impressed the future bishop by speaking the King’s English.  White was the first African-American Heard had met who was so well educated and articulate.

Our saint had some education already.  During the Civil War, he had learned the Bible and the catechism at Elberton Methodist Episcopal Church, South (now First United Methodist Church).  He remained unable to read and write, though.  Through his father’s intervention, William Harrison Heard obtained tutoring using Noah Webster‘s Blue Back Speller.  Our saint took his new name from William Henry Heard, a farmer for whom he worked and who taught him at home from late 1865 to June 1866.  Then our saint returned to his father’s house.  After the African-American school opened, the future bishop attended it.  Then he passed the test to become a teacher in 1867.  Heard earned in excess of $300 (about $5,400 in 2020 currency) in three months of teaching in Elberton.  Meanwhile, our saint continued his studies and kept teaching.

Above:  Henry McNeal Turner

Image in the Public Domain

Henry McNeal Turner (1834-1915) influenced Heard’s life greatly.  Turner, a minister in the A.M.E. Church, was active in post-Civil War politics in Georgia.  He was an organizer of the state Republican Party (when the Republican Party was to the left of the Democratic Party, especially in the former Confederacy) in the state, eventually a member of the General Assembly, and an activist in the movement to encourage former slaves to immigrate to Liberia.  In 1867, Turner spoke in Augusta.  Heard attended the speech and went away inspired.  Turner became one of Heard’s mentors and patrons, in time.

Above:  Amos Tappan Akerman

Image in the Public Domain

Heard, back in Elberton, joined the local Colored Methodist Episcopal Church (perhaps Rock Springs C.M.E. Church, founded in 1868) and became involved in politics.  The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was in the process of spinning off the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church (founded in 1870), called the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church since 1954.  Our saint became his congregation’s secretary.  He also collaborated with another mentor and patron, Amos Tappan Akerman (1821-1880).  Akerman, a former slaveholder and a Confederate veteran, had become a “scalawag,” as resentful neighbors called white Southerners, such as Akerman, who supported civil rights and joined the Republican Party.  Akerman, a staunch opponent of the first Ku Klux Klan (racially-motivated domestic terrorists), was so zealous in the prosecution of the Klan that, less than a year after becoming the Attorney General of the United States, President Ulysses S. Grant fired him in late 1871.  Heard, whom Akerman mentored in politics, ran for a seat in the General Assembly in 1872.  He lost, probably because of election-related fraud.

Heard, spent 1872-1877 in South Carolina.  He taught at Mount Carmel (in the county on the other side of the Savannah River), earning $40 (about $872 in 2020 currency) per month.  Meanwhile, our saint continued his education.  He taught at Mount Carmel for four years then studied classics at the University of South Carolina (1876-1877) on scholarship.  The end of Congressional Reconstruction terminated his education at that university.  The end of Congressional Reconstruction also terminated Heard’s political career in South Carolina.  He had won a seat in the state legislature in 1876.  However, our saint’s effort to guarantee the integrity of the electoral system nearly caused his death.  He also survived an abduction.

Heard, back in Georgia, settled in Athens in 1877.  The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in downtown Athens (now First United Methodist Church) spawned Pierce Chapel in 1866.  Henry McNeal Turner brought Pierce Chapel (now First A.M.E. Church) into the A.M.E. Church in 1867.  Our saint joined Pierce Chapel in 1877 and founded the school in the church’s basement.  He taught in that school for years.  Heard also took classes at Clark University (one term) and Atlanta University (one year) in Atlanta.  Furthermore, our saint became the editor and one of the publishers of the local African-American newspaper, the Athens Blade.  Henry McNeal Turner preached a revival at Pierce Chapel in 1879.  At that revival, Heard had a conversion experience.  In 1880, our saint became a federal employee; he was a railway postal clerk.  One route ran between Macon and Atlanta, Georgia.  The other route ran between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Atlanta.  The salary was $1150 (about $30,000 in 2020 currency) a year.  And, in 1882, he was a finalist for postmaster of Athens.

Heard turned to the ministry in 1879.  In June of that year, the A.M.E. Church licensed him as an exhorter.  He progressed to local preacher after three months then joined the North Georgia Annual Conference in January 1880.  Our saint became a deacon in 1881 then an elder the following year.  The A.M.E. Church transferred out saint frequently, according to Methodist custom.  He always left a congregation better off in terms of attendance, membership, and finances.

Heard’s first stage of ordained ministry spanned 1880-1895.

  1. He served in Johntown, Dawson County, Georgia, for two years (1880-1882), while continuing to work as a railway postal clerk.  When he arrived, the A.M.E. Church had a mission.  Two years later, the denomination had a circuit.
  2. Heard transferred to Markham Street Mission, Atlanta, where he served for about two months.
  3. He married his second wife, Josephine Henderson, in Athens, in 1882.  (His first wife had been Amanda.)
  4. Heard resigned his postal job to accept a post in Aiken, South Carolina.  His financial compensation was $650 (about $16, 930 in 2020 currency) the first year then about $930 (about $24, 223 in 2020 currency) the second year.
  5. Next, the future bishop served at Mount Zion Church, South Carolina (1885-1888), followed by a year (1888-1889) at Allen Chapel Church (now Allen Church), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  6. After a year as the Presiding Elder of the Lancaster District, Heard spent two years as pastor of Mother Bethel Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1890-1892.)
  7. While in Philadelphia, our saint studied at Reformed Episcopal Seminary.
  8. Heard was the pastor of Bethel Church, Wilmington, Delaware (1892-1894).
  9. Then he served at the A.M.E. congregation that, at the time, occupied a building on State Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Above:  Eliza Turner Memorial A.M.E. Church, Monrovia, Liberia

Image in the Public Domain

Heard went to Liberia next.  Henry McNeal Turner, a bishop since 1880, arranged for President Grover Cleveland to appoint our saint the U.S. Minister Resident and Consul General and doubled as a missionary.  He transferred to the A.M.E. Church’s Liberia Conference and doubled as a missionary.  He founded and led Eliza Turner Memorial Church, Monrovia.  (Eliza Turner had been Bishop Turner’s first wife.)

Heard’s third stage of ministry spanned 1899-1909.

  1. He spent a year (1899-1900) at Zion Mission, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, followed by another year (1900-1901) as the Presiding Elder of the Long Island District.  Then he spent several months at Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.
  2. Bishop Turner arranged for the appointment of Heard to the pulpit of Allen Temple Church, Atlanta, Georgia, in August 1901, after the death of the previous pastor.  Heard left that pulpit in 1904.
  3. His next position was Secretary-Treasurer of the A.M.E. Church’s Connectional Preacher’s Aid and Mutual Relief Society.  Then, in 1908, he became a bishop.

Heard had three assignments as a bishop.  He returned to West Africa (Liberia, especially) in 1909.  From 1917 to 1920, our saint presided over the Eighth Episcopal District (Mississippi and Louisiana).  His final assignment (1920-death) was the First Episcopal District (Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, and New England).

Heard, aged 87 years, died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on September 12, 1937.

Heard found his niche, excelled in it, and glorified God in doing so.  May we, by grace, live so that others, speaking and writing about us, may truthfully and accurately describe our lives in those words or in words to that effect.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 15, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JUNIA AND ANDRONICUS, COWORKERS OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE

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Heavenly Father, shepherd of your people,

we thank you for your servant William Henry Heard,

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 full stature of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84

1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21

John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 38

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Feast of Sts. Domingo Henares de Zafira Cubero, Phanxico Do Van Chieu, and Clemente Ignacio Delgado Cebrian (June 25)   Leave a comment

Above:  Indochina, 1837

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT DOMINGO HENARES DE ZAFIRA CUBERO (DECEMBER 19, 1765-JUNE 25, 1838)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Phunhay, Vietnam, and Martyr

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SAINT PHANXICÔ ÐO VAN CHIEU (CIRCA 1797-JUNE 25, 1838)

Vietnamese Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr

Also known as Saint Francis Chieu

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SAINT CLEMENTE IGNACIO DELGADO CEBRIÁN (NOVEMBER 23, 1761-JULY 12, 1838)

Roman Catholic Bishop and Martyr in Vietnam

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Alternative feast day = November 24 (as Martyrs of Vietnam)

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St. Domingo Henares de Zafira Cubero spent much of his life in Vietnam.  He, born in Baena, Cordoba, Spain, on December 19, 1765, came from a poor family.  He joined the Dominicans (the Order of Preachers) at Granada, Spain, in 1783.  On September 29, 1785, Henares sailed from Asia.  He arrived in the Philippines on July 9, 1786.  There our saint studied theology at the College of St. Thomas, Manila and became a teacher.  Henares, ordained to the priesthood on September 18, 1790, became an Apostolic Vicar and the Titular Bishop of Fez on September 9, 1800.  From 1893 Henares was the Bishop of Phunhay, Vietnam.

One of his aides was St. Phanhixô Ðo Van Chieu, born in Trung Le, Liên Thùy, Nam Ðinh, Vietnam, circa 1797.  Chieu grew up a Christian.  He served as a catechist and assisted missionary priests.

The third saint was Clemente Ignacio Delgado Cebrián, born in Villafeliche, Zaragoza, Spain, on November 23, 1761.  He came from a devout family.  In 1780 Cebrián joined the Order of Preachers.  He, later ordained a priest, served as a missionary in the Philippines then in Vietnam.  Cebrián, from 1794 the Titular Bishop of Metellopolis, was, with Henares, an Apostolic Vicar.

Emperor Minh Mang (reigned 1820-1841) considered Christianity to be a threat to Vietnamese culture.  He therefore persecuted Christians, both foreign and domestic.  In 1838, at the beginning of the persecution, authorities arrested our three saints.  Henares and Chieu became martyrs (by beheading) on June 25, 1838.  Cebrián and several other Dominicans hid in a cave until May 13, 1838, when, after a betrayal, they became prisoners.  Cebrián spent his final weeks in a public cage, subject to abuse.  He died of thirst, hunger, and exposure to elements on July 12, 1838.

The Roman Catholic Church has recognized these saints.  Pope Leo XIII declared them Venerables in 1799 then Blesseds the following year.  Pope John Paul II canonized them in 1988.

Minh Mang’s policy of persecuting Christians failed to eliminate Christianity in Vietnam, obviously and fortunately.

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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Almighty and everlasting God, who kindled the flame of your love in the hearts of your holy martyrs

Saint Domingo Henares de Zafira Cubero,

Saint Phanxicô Ðo Van Chieu, and

Saint Clemente Ignacio Delgado Cebrián:

Grant to us, your humble servants a like faith, and power of love,

that we who rejoice in their triumph may profit by their examples;

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

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

Jeremiah 15:15-21

Psalm 124 or 31:1-5

1 Peter 4:12-19

Mark 8:34-38

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 715

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Feast of Sts. William of Vercelli and John of Matera (June 25)   Leave a comment

Above:  Italy in 1190 Common Era

SAINT WILLIAM OF VERCELLI (1085-1142)

Roman Catholic Hermit

His feast = June 25

friend of

SAINT JOHN OF MATERA (DIED 1139)

a.k.a. Saint John of Pulsano

Roman Catholic Abbot

His feast transferred from June 20

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I have detected a pattern common to many hermits:  They seek solitude yet attract followers.  It is good to seek to follow a holy person, a positive influence, for the polar opposite is to run with a bad crowd.  But what about the holy hermit’s need for solitude?  Today’s saints were such hermits.

St. John of Matera (died 1139) was born–where else?–at Matera, in Basilicata, in southern Italy.  He joined an island monastery nearby, off the coast of Taranto, in the region of Apulia.  His aloofness and austerity alienated other monks there, so he left for Calabria then for Sicily.  Spending 2 1/2 years as a monk at Ginosa, St. John rebuilt a church.  Unfortunately for the saint, he allegedly found a hidden treasure.  This charge was enough for authorities to imprison him.  Yet the saint broke out of jail and fled the area.

Next he encountered St. William of Vercelli (1085-1142).  St. William was a nobleman from Vercelli, in the Piedmont region of northern Italy.  His parents died when he was an infant, so relatives raised him.  At age fourteen St. William made a pilgrimage to Compostela.  Seven years later, at Melfi, in Basilicata, in southern Italy, he began to live as a hermit on Monte Solicoli.  Once St. William began to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, but he abandoned it after robbers attacked him.  He became a hermit at Monte Virgiliano instead.  St. William attracted so many followers that he built a monastery there.  And there St. John of Matera, a fugitive, joined the community.  It was a strict community–too austere for many.  So Sts. William and John, along with five followers, left for Monte Laceno in Apulia, in southern Italy.  This community ended in fire.  The hermitages destroyed, the saints went their separate ways.

St. John moved to Bari, where his effective preaching did not shield him from charges of heresy.  So he returned to the community at Ginosa.  Later he went to Monte Gargano, where he built a monastery and served as abbot.

St. William relocated to Monte Cogneto in Basilicata.  Later he founded monasteries at Salerno, Conza, and Guglietto.  While at Salerno St. William advised King Roger II of Sicily (reigned 1102-1154), whose empire ranged from southern Italy to northern Africa and who reformed the law and patronized science.  St. William died at Guglietto.

Reading about lives of saints and organizing the material one has learned can be quite interesting.  In this post alone I have had the opportunity to write about an empire and a jailbreak.  Even better, I had a chance to ponder two men within whom still waters ran deeply.  That was inspiring.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 20, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALCUIN OF YORK, DEACON AND ABBOT

THE FEAST OF SAINT HELENA, MOTHER OF EMPEROR CONSTANTINE I

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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

Saints William of Vercelli and John of Matera,

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, 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.