Archive for the ‘March 8’ Category

Feast of William Henry Sheppard, Lucy Gantt Sheppard, and Samuel Lapsley (March 8)   1 comment

Above:  The Flag of the Congo Free State and Belgian Congo

Image in the Public Domain

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WILLIAM HENRY SHEPPARD, JR. (MARCH 8, 1865-NOVEMBER 25, 1927)

LUCY GANTT SHEPPARD (1867-MAY 27, 1955)

SAMUEL N. LAPSLEY (APRIL 14, 1866-MARCH 26, 1892)

Southern Presbyterian Missionaries to the Congo

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INTRODUCTION

When one surveys the names of presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), one notices that most names are geographical or historical-cultural.  In Georgia, where I live, for example, the PC(USA) has five presbyteries.  The Flint River Presbytery–named for the Flint River–is in the southwestern part of the state.  The Savannah Presbytery is to the east of the Flint River Presbytery.  The Presbytery of Greater Atlanta requires no explanation for its name.  Northwest of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta sits the Cherokee Presbytery, named after the tribe that used to live there.  The Northeast Georgia Presbytery is the other presbytery in the state.

Next door, in Alabama, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has three presbyteries–South Alabama, the Sheppards and Lapsley, and North Alabama.

The Presbytery of the Sheppards and Lapsley?  Why not?  I will explain in this post.

I have already added two other missionaries to the Congo to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy DaysLouise Cecilia Fleming (1862-1899) was a medical missionary.  Althea Brown Edmiston (1875-1937) served with the Sheppards.

BEGINNINGS

William Henry Sheppard, Jr., entered the world at Waynesboro, Virginia, on March 8, 1865.  His father, William Henry Sheppard, Sr., was a barber.  Our saint’s mother, Fannie Francis Martin Sheppard, was a maid and a free person of color.  Young William attended local schools worked as a stable hand for a white family.  Eventually, he moved to Staunton, Virginia, where he lived with his aunt and worked for a white dentist, S. Homer Henkel.

William matriculated at the Hampton Normal and Industrial School (now Hampton University), Hampton, Virginia, in 1880.  There he studied under Booker T. Washington and, with the help of chaplain Hollis B. Frissel, founded a mission in the poor African-American community in nearby Slabtown.

Our saint, having graduated from Hampton in 1883, matriculated at the Tuscaloosa Theological Institute (now Stillman College), Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  There he met Lucy Gantt, a student at Talladega College.  The couple became engaged to marry in 1886, the year Lucy graduated.  William (Class of 1884) worked in a church in Montgomery through 1887.

The engagement was long.  In the meantime, the old (Southern) Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS) ordained William in 1887.  He spent two years as pastor of Zion Presbyterian Church, Atlanta.  His dream, however, was to serve as a missionary in Africa.  The PCUS policy regarding African-American missionaries required sending a white missionary as a supervisor.

The corresponding white missionary was Samuel N. Lapsley, commissioned with William in 1889.  While the two missionaries departed for the Congo Free State, Lucy taught school.  She also sang with the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee.

Lapsley entered the world at Selma, Alabama, on April 14, 1866.  He grew up in the First Presbyterian Church in that city; Lapsley, Sr., was a judge in Selma, as well as an elder in First Presbyterian Church, and eventually the Moderator of the PCUS General Assembly.  Lapsley, Sr., had built a church for African Americans in Vine Hill.  Samuel served as the Sunday School superintendent of that African-American congregation.  He also played the piano and organ there.  Samuel, a graduate of The University of Alabama, turned down a promising academic career to become a minister.  While a student at McCormick Theological Seminary, he applied for the new PCUS mission field in the Congo, opened in 1889.  The field was open, but the laborers were few.

IN THE CONGO

Above:  Congo Free State

Image in the Public Domain

Sheppard and Lapsley arrived in the Congo on May 10, 1890.  They arrived at their chosen site–Luebo–on April 22.  The American Presbyterian Congo Mission had begun.  Lapsley handled financial and diplomatic matters.  Sheppard learned local languages, preached, hunted for food, and negotiated with local leaders.  Lapsley, only 25 years old, died of fever in Leopoldville on March 26, 1892.

The First Presbyterian Church of Selma raised funds for the S. N. Lapsley, a steamer, completed at Richmond, Virginia, in June 1900.  This vessel arrived at the American Presbyterian Congo Mission in July 1901.  Unfortunately, it sank on November 16, 1903.  However, the second S. N. Lapsley, also a steamer, built in Scotland and dedicated on December 15, 1906, served the mission for a quarter of a century.

William, on furlough in the United States in 1893, married Lucy, then teaching in Birmingham, Alabama.  Lucy joined her husband as a missionary in the Congo; they served until 1910.  Lucy opened the first school in the Presbyterian mission at Ibanche and founded the mission’s first women’s society.  She also proved invaluable in the publication of a hymnal, the first book printed in the Tshiluba dialect.  Furthermore, Lucy directed the mission’s choir.

During a period when Lucy had returned to the United States, William began a series of extramarital affairs.  This matter returned to haunt him after he completed his missionary service.

Above:  The Congo Free State, 1905

Image in the Public Domain

William courageously helped to expose the brutality of the Congo Free State, the private colony of King Leopold II of Belgium.  The penalty for a man who failed to meet his quota in rubber sap collection was the severing of his right hand.  Official discouragement of agriculture led to mass starvation.  William, accepting the suggestion of fellow missionary William Morrison that he investigate one incident, photographed partially dismembered bodies, 81 severed hands, and human flesh cooking over a fire while a raider from the Zappo-Zaps boasted.  (That tribe committed atrocities on behalf of rubber companies.)  William’s article, with photographs, appeared in Morrison’s missionary newspaper, the Kasai Herald, in January 1908.  The Kasai Rubber Company sued the two missionaries for libel.  With charges against Morrison dropped, William went on trial.  Equipped with witnesses and the support of the William Howard Taft Administration, our saint won.  The Belgian parliament took control of the Congo.

William also explored the terrain in the Congo.  His adventures earned him the nickname “the Black Livingstone.”

BACK IN THE UNITED STATES

William, suffering from Malaria, returned to the United States in 1910.  The PCUS, citing affairs, suspended him for fifteen months and revoked his missionary appointment.  William founded Grace Presbyterian Church, Louisville, Kentucky, in 1912.  He served as its pastor until 1927.

The Sheppards also collected African art; they were some of the first African Americans to do so.  Their collection has become the property of the Hampton University Museum.

Willam Henry Sheppard, Jr., aged 62 years, died in Louisville, Kentucky, on November 25, 1927.

Lucy Gantt Sheppard, aged 88 years, died in Louisville on May 27, 1955, after a long illness.  Survivors included two children, Wilhemina Sheppard Brown and Max Sheppard.

William’s epitaph is,

He lived for others.

That epitaph also applies to Samuel N. Lapsley and to Lucy.

CONCLUSION

The Presbytery of the Sheppards and Lapsley bears a good and an honorable name.    This name indicates lives devoted to the service of Christ–specifically, to people, for the glory of God.  That is a standard worth emulating.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 27, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THOMAS GALLAUDET AND HENRY WINTER SYLE, EPISCOPAL PRIESTS AND EDUCATORS OF THE DEAF

THE FEAST OF SAINT AMADEUS OF CLERMONT, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK; AND HIS SON, SAINT AMADEUS OF LAUSANNE, FRENCH-SWISS ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT DOMINIC BARBERI, ROMAN CATHOLIC APOSTLE TO ENGLAND

THE FEAST OF HENRIETTE LUISE VON HAYN, GERMAN MORAVIAN HYMN WRITER

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servants

William Henry Sheppard, Jr.;

Lucy Gantt Sheppard; and

Samuel N. Lapsley;

whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of the Congo.

Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom,

that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 96 or 96:1-7

Acts 1:1-9

Luke 10:1-9

Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 716

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Feast of Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy (March 8)   1 comment

geoffrey-studdert-kennedy

Above:  Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy

Image Source = Hymntime.com

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GEOFFREY ANKETELL STUDDERT KENNEDY (JUNE 27, 1883-MARCH 8, 1929)

Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

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Nobody worries about Christ as long as he can be kept shut up in churches.  He is quite safe inside.  But there is always trouble if you try and let him out.

–Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy

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Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy (surname = Studdert Kennedy) was a man from and of the Church.  He, born on June 27, 1883, was a native of Leeds, England, where his father, William Studdert Kennedy, was an Anglican vicar.  Our saint, educated at Leeds Grammar School and at Trinity College, Dublin, took Holy Orders.  He served as a priest at, in order, Ripon and Rugby, before becoming the Vicar of St. Paul’s Worcester, in 1914.  From 1916 to 1919 Studdert Kennedy was a military chaplain.  He placed his life at risk to tend to the material and spiritual needs of soldiers, especially the injured and the dying.  For his valor–recklessness, King George V called it–our saint received the Military Cross in 1917.  He became known as “Woodbine Willie” for distributing Woodbine cigarettes to soldiers.

After the war Studdert Kennedy, who married Emily Catlow in 1914, became a pacifist and a Christian Socialist.  Our saint, the Rector of St. Edmund, King and Martyr, Lombard Street, London, from 1922, went on the lecture circuit for the Industrial Christian Fellowship.

Studdert Kennedy published poems, sermons, essays, and social critiques.  His published works included the following:

  1. The Hardest Part (1918);
  2. Rough Rhymes of a Padre (1918);
  3. More Rough Rhymes (1919);
  4. Lies (1919);
  5. Democracy and the Dog Collar (1921);
  6. Food for the Fed Up (1921);
  7. The Wicked Gate (1923);
  8. The Word and the Work (1925);
  9. I Believe:  Sermons on the Apostles’ Creed (1928); and
  10. The Warrior, the Woman, and the Christ (1928).

There was also an undated volume, The Sorrows of God, and Other Poems.

Studdert Kennedy’s hymns included “Not Here for High and Holy Things” and “When Through the Whirl of Wheels.”

When thro’ the whirl of wheels, and engines humming,

Patiently powerful for the sons of men,

Peals like a trumpet promise of his coming,

Who in the clouds is pledged to come again;

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When thro’ the night of the furnace fires aflaring,

Shooting out tongues of flame like leaping blood,

Speak to the heart of Love, alive and daring,

Sing of the boundless energy of God;

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When in the depths of the patient miner striving,

Feels in his arms the vigor of the Lord,

Strikes for a kingdom and his King’s arriving,

Holding his pick more splendid than the sword;

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When on the sweat of labor and its sorrow,

Toiling in the twilight flickering and dim,

Flames out sunshine of the great tomorrow,

When all the world looks up because of him–

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Then will he come with meekness for his glory,

God in a workman’s jacket as before,

Living again in th’eternal gospel story,

Sweeping the shavings from his workshop floor.

Studdert Kennedy died at Liverpool, England, on March 8, 1929, while on the lecture circuit for the Industrial Christian Fellowship.  He was 45 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 13, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT HILARY OF POITIERS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF POITIERS, “ATHANASIUS OF THE WEST,” AND HYMN WRITER; MENTOR OF SAINT MARTIN OF TOURS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF TOURS

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN KEIMANN, GERMAN LUTHERAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT KENTIGERN, A.K.A. MUNGO, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF GLASGOW

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARGUERITE BOURGEOYS, FOUNDRESS OF THE SISTERS OF NOTRE DAME

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Glorious God, we give thanks not merely for high and holy things,

but for the common things of earth which you have created:

Wake us to love and work, that Jesus, the Lord of life,

may set our hearts ablaze and that we, like Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy,

may recognize you in your people and in your creation,

serving the holy and undivided Trinity;

who lives and reigns throughout all ages and ages.  Amen.

2 Samuel 22:1-7 (8-16) 17-19

Psalm 69:15-20

1 Corinthians 15:50-58

Luke 10:25-37

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 265

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Feast of Edward King (March 8)   Leave a comment

NPG Ax38337; Edward King

Above:  Edward King

Image in the Public Domain

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EDWARD KING (DECEMBER 29, 1829-MARCH 8, 1910)

Bishop of Lincoln

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We must not give up on any soul as hopeless.

–Edward King

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We should acknowledge God in trade by truthfulness of work, by fair dealing, and by fair wages.

–Edward King

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The housing of the people is in reality immediately connected with the social and moral condition of the nation.

–Edward King

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The Feast of Edward King comes from the calendar of saints of The Church of England.

Edward King came from an ecclesiastical family and served God via the Church.  His grandfather was Walker King (Sr.) (1751-1827), the Bishop of Rochester from 1809 to 1827.  Our saint’s parents were Anne Heberden and Walker King (Jr.), Rector of Stone, Kent.  Edward, born at London on December 29, 1829, was the third of ten children.  He had a reputation for kindliness from an early age.  Anne, one of his sisters, was an invalid for twelve years.  Our saint sat by her bedside many nights and learned Italian so he could share her love of the writing of Dante Alighieri.  Edward’s constitution was also weak; he remained at home while John Day, his father’s curate (and later the Vicar or Ellesmere, Shropshire) tutored him.  Our saint helped Day with the choir and a Bible class for men. In February 1848 King matriculated at Oriel College, Oxford.  There he became a Tractarian.  Our saint had to leave Oxford for health reasons in 1851, but he accepted an honorary degree.  Next he toured the Holy Land and environs (in 1852) and worked as a private tutor (in 1853).  King, ordained deacon in 1854 and priest the following year, served as the Curate of Wheatley from 1854 to 1858.  It was his only pastorate.  Cuddesdon Theological College (now Ripon College), Cuddesdon, beckoned next.  He was chaplain from 1858 to 1863 and principal from 1863 to 1873.  From Cuddesdon our saint returned to Oxford; he became the Chair of Pastoral Theology and the Canon of Christ Church in 1873.  Six years later King helped to found St. Stephen’s House, Oxford, an Anglo-Catholic theological college.  In 1885 King succeeded Christopher Wordsworth (1807-1885) as the Bishop of Lincoln.  Our saint remained in that post for the rest of his life.  King remained kindly and concerned about the plight of a wide range of people, from farmers to industrial workers to prisoners condemned to die.  The Gospel commanded him to minister to them, he understood.

King’s liturgical “innovations,” actually returns to older practices, proved controversial and got him into trouble.  At the time members of the Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic wings of The Church of England clashed, with some Evangelical Anglicans went so far as to accuse Anglo-Catholics of being in league with Satan and certain Anglo-Catholics accused Evangelical Anglicans of practicing false religion.  Also, Parliament passed the Public Worship Regulation Act of 1874, forbidding certain ritualistic practices.  In 1888 King had to contend with eight allegations of supposed liturgical malfeasance:

  1. Mixing water and wine in the chalice;
  2. Administering the mixed elements to communicants;
  3. Washing the communion vessels ceremonially then drinking the water;
  4. Facing eastward before communion;
  5. Standing during the prayer of consecration so that nobody in the congregation could see him perform the Manual Acts of Consecration;
  6. Having two lit candles not necessary for illumination on the altar during the service;
  7. Permitting the singing of the Agnus Dei after the consecration of the elements; and
  8. Making the sign of the cross in the air with his hand at the benediction.

Archbishop of Canterbury Edward White Benson (1829-1896) spared King a civil prosecution by convening an ecclesiastical court.  In 1890 the court exonerated the Bishop of Lincoln on all but two counts:  (5) and (6).  Benson ordered King not to commit them any longer.  King obeyed that judgment.  The ordeal, however, stressed him spiritually and physically. The matter should never have come to the attention of any court.

King, who never married, died on March 8, 1910.  He was 80 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 9, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS PEPIN OF LANDEN, ITTA OF METZ, THEIR RELATIONS, AMAND, AUSTREGISILUS, AND SULPICIUS II OF BOURGES, FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS ACROSS GENERATIONAL LINES

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTHONY MARY PUCCI, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

THE FEAST OF JULIA CHESTER EMERY, UPHOLDER OF MISSIONS

THE FEAST OF SAINT PHILIP II OF MOSCOW, METROPOLITAN OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA AND MARTYR

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O God, our heavenly Father, who raised up your faithful servant Edward King

to be a bishop in your Church and to feed your flock:

Give abundantly to all pastors the gifts of your Holy Spirit,

that they may minister in your household as true servants of Christ

and stewards of your divine mysteries;

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

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

Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84 or 84:7-11

Ephesians 3:14-21

Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 719

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Feast of John Hampden Gurney (March 8)   1 comment

St. Marylebone, London, 1834

Above:  Map of St. Marylebone, London, England, 1834

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHN HAMPDEN GURNEY (AUGUST 15, 1802-MARCH 8, 1862)

Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

John Hampden Gurney came from a wealthy family.  His father, Sir John Gurney, was a baron in the court of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.  Our saint, a member of the British establishment, studied at Trinity College, Cambridge (A.B., 1824; A.M., 1827) and took Anglican Holy Orders (1824).  The native of London served as the Curate of Lutterworth, Leicestershire (1824-1844), where he also worked as the chaplain of the poor-law union.  Helping the downtrodden was one of Gurney’s passions; another was the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK).  From 1847 to 1857 he was the Rector of St. Mary’s, Bryanstone, Marylebone, London.  Then, from 1857 to 1862, Gurney was Prebendary of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London.

Our saint wrote hymns and edited hymnals.  He also wrote on the subject of hymnody.  His published works in the field were:

  1. A Collection of Hymns for Public Worship, a.k.a. the Lutterworth Collection (1838), with 300 hymns;
  2. Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship, Selected for some of the Churches of Marylebone, a.k.a. the Marylebone Collection (1851), with 300 hymns; and
  3. Church Psalmody:  Hints for the Improvement of a Collection of Hymns Published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (1853).

I have added some of Gurney’s hymns to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.

Our saint also published collections of sermons.  I found the following volumes at archive.org:

  1. Sermons Chiefly on Old Testament Histories; from Texts in the Sunday Lessons (1856);
  2. Sermons Preached in St. Mary’s, Marylebone:  Third Series (1860); and
  3. Sermons on the Acts of the Apostles (1862).

Other published works by Gurney included the following:

  1. The New Poor Law the Poor Man’s Friend; A Plain Address to the Labouring Classes Among His Parishioners (1836); and
  2. Historical Sketches; Illustrating Some Important Events and Epochs from A.D. 1400 to A.D. 1546 (1852).

Gurney died in London on March 8, 1862.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 12, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JANE FRANCES DE CHANTAL, FOUNDER OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE VISITATION

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Heavenly Father, Shepherd of your people,

we thank you for your servant John Hampden Gurney,

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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Saints’ Days and Holy Days for March   Leave a comment

Daffodil

Image Source = Bertil Videt

1 (Anna of Oxenhall and Her Faithful Descendants, Wenna the Queen, Non, Samson of Dol, Cybi, and David of Wales)

  • Edward Dearle, Anglican Organist and Composer
  • Edwin Hodder, English Biographer, Devotional Writer, and Hymn Writer
  • George Wishart, Scottish Calvinist Reformer and Martyr, 1546; and Walter Milne, Scottish Protestant Martyr, 1558
  • Richard Redhead, Anglican Composer, Organist, and Liturgist
  • Roger Lefort, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bourges

2 (Shabbaz Bhatti and Other Christian Martyrs of the Islamic World)

  • Aidan of Lindisfarne, Celtic Missionary Bishop; Caelin, Celtic Priest; Cedd of Lastingham, Celtic and Roman Catholic Priest, Bishop of Essex, and Abbot of Lastingham; Cynibil of Lastingham, Celtic and Roman Catholic Priest and Monk; Chad of Mercia, Celtic and Roman Catholic Priest, Abbot of Lastingham, Bishop of York/the Northumbrians and of Lichfield/the Mercians and the Lindsey People; Vitalian, Bishop of Rome; Adrian of Canterbury, Roman Catholic Abbot of Saints Peter and Paul, Canterbury; Theodore of Tarsus, Roman Catholic Monk and Archbishop of Canterbury; and Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, Celtic and Roman Catholic Monk, Hermit, Priest, and Bishop of Lindisfarne
  • Daniel March, Sr., U.S. Congregationalist and Presbyterian Minister, Poet, Hymn Writer, and Liturgist
  • Engelmar Unzeitig, German Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1945
  • John Stuart Blackie, Scottish Presbyterian Scholar, Linguist, Poet, Theologian, and Hymn Writer
  • Ludmilla of Bohemia, Duchess of Bohemia, and Martyr, 921; her grandson, Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia, and Martyr, 929; Agnes of Prague, Bohemian Princess and Nun; her pen pal, Clare of Assisi, Founder of the Poor Clares; her sister, Agnes of Assisi, Abbess at Monticelli; and her mother, Hortulana of Assisi, Poor Clare Nun

3 (Katharine Drexel, Founder of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament)

  • Antonio Francesco Marzorati, Johannes Laurentius Weiss, and Michele Pro Fasoli, Franscican Missionary Priests and Martyrs in Ethiopia, 1716
  • Gervinus, Roman Catholic Abbot and Scholar
  • Henry Elias Fries, U.S. Moravian Industrialist; and his wife, Rosa Elvira Fries, U.S. Moravian Musician
  • Teresa Eustochio Verzeri, Founder of the Institute of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

4 (Charles Simeon, Anglican Priest and Promoter of Missions; Henry Martyn, Anglican Priest, Linguist, Translator, and Missionary; and Abdul Masih, Indian Convert and Missionary)

  • Christoph E. F. Weyse, Danish Lutheran Organist and Composer
  • Henry Suso, German Roman Catholic Mystic, Preacher, and Spiritual Writer
  • John Edgar Park, U.S. Presbyterian then Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Marie-Louise-Élisabeth de Lamoignon de Molé de Champlâtreux, Founder of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Louis
  • Thomas Hornblower Gill, English Unitarian then Anglican Hymn Writer

5 (Karl Rahner, Jesuit Priest and Theologian)

  • Ambrose Phillipps de Lisle, English Roman Catholic Convert, Spiritual Writer, and Translator of Spiritual Writings; Founder of Mount Saint Bernard Abbey
  • Christopher Macassoli of Vigevano, Franciscan Priest
  • Eusebius of Cremona, Roman Catholic Abbot and Humanitarian
  • Ion Costist, Franciscan Lay Brother
  • John S. Stamm, Bishop of The Evangelical Church then the Evangelical United Brethren Church

6 (Martin Niemoller, German Lutheran Minister and Peace Activist)

  • Chrodegang of Metz, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Fred B. Craddock, U.S. Disciples of Christ Minister, Biblical Scholar, and Renowned Preacher
  • Jean-Pierre de Caussade, French Roman Catholic Priest and Spiritual Director
  • Jordan of Pisa, Dominican Evangelist
  • William Bright, Anglican Canon, Scholar, and Hymn Writer

7 (James Hewitt McGown, U.S. Presbyterian Humanitarian)

  • Drausinus and Ansericus, Roman Catholic Bishops of Soissons; Vindician, Roman Catholic Bishop of Cambrai; and Leodegarius, Roman Catholic Bishop of Autun
  • Edward Osler, English Doctor, Editor, and Poet
  • Maria Antonia de Paz y Figueroa, Founder of the Daughters of the Divine Savior
  • Paul Cuffee, U.S. Presbyterian Missionary to the Shinnecock Nation
  • Perpetua, Felicity, and Their Companions, Martyrs at Carthage, 203

8 (Edward King, Bishop of Lincoln)

  • Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • John Hampden Gurney, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • John of God, Founder of the Brothers Hospitallers of Saint John of God
  • William Henry Sheppard, Lucy Gantt Sheppard, and Samuel N. Lapsley, Southern Presbyterian Missionaries in the Congo

9 (Harriet Tubman, U.S. Abolitionist)

  • Emanuel Cronenwett, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • Frances of Rome, Founder of the Collatines
  • Johann Pachelbel, German Lutheran Organist and Composer
  • Pacian of Barcelona, Roman Catholic Bishop of Barcelona
  • Sophronius of Jerusalem, Roman Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem

10 (Marie-Joseph Lagrange, Roman Catholic Priest and Biblical Scholar)

  • Agripinnus of Autun, Roman Catholic Bishop; Germanus of Paris, Roman Catholic Bishop; and Droctoveus of Autun, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • Alexander Clark, U.S. Methodist Protestant Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymnal Editor
  • Folliot Sandford Pierpoint, Anglican Educator, Poet, and Hymn Writer
  • John Oglivie, Scottish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1615
  • Macarius of Jerusalem, Roman Catholic Bishop

11 (John Swertner, Dutch-German Moravian Minister, Hymn Writer, Hymn Translator, and Hymnal Editor; and his collaborator, John Mueller, German-English Moravian Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymnal Editor)

  • Aengus the Culdee, Hermit and Monk; and Maelruan, Abbot
  • Eulogius of Spain, Roman Catholic Bishop of Toledo, Cordoba; and Leocrita; Roman Catholic Martyrs, 859
  • Francis Wayland, U.S. Baptist Minister, Educator, and Social Reformer
  • Mary Ann Thomson, Episcopal Hymn Writer
  • Pal Prennushi, Albanian Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1948

12 (Trasilla and Emiliana; their sister-in-law, Sylvia of Rome; and her son, Gregory I “the Great,” Bishop of Rome)

  • Henry Walford Davies, Anglican Organist and Composer
  • John H. Caldwell, U.S. Methodist Minister and Social Reformer
  • Maximillian of Treveste, Roman Conscientious Objector and Martyr, 295
  • Rutilio Grande, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1977
  • Theophanes the Chroncler, Defender of Icons

13 (Yves Congar, Roman Catholic Priest and Theologian)

  • Heldrad, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • James Theodore Holly, Episcopal Bishop of Haiti, and the Dominican Republic; First African-American Bishop in The Episcopal Church
  • Plato of Symboleon and Theodore Studites, Eastern Orthodox Abbots; and Nicephorus of Constantinople, Patriarch
  • Roderic of Cabra and Solomon of Cordoba, Roman Catholic Martyrs, 857

14 (Fannie Lou Hamer, Prophet of Freedom)

  • Albert Lister Peace, Organist in England and Scotland
  • Harriet King Osgood Munger, U.S. Congregationalist Hymn Writer
  • Nehemiah Goreh, Indian Anglican Priest and Theologian
  • Vincenzina Cusmano, Superior of the Sisters Servants of the Poor; and her brother, Giacomo Cusmano, Founder of the Sisters Servants of the Poor and the Missionary Servants of the Poor
  • William Leddra, British Quaker Martyr in Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1661

15 (Zachary of Rome, Bishop of Rome)

  • Jan Adalbert Balicki and Ladislaus Findysz, Roman Catholic Priests in Poland
  • Jean Baptiste Calkin, Anglican Organist and Composer
  • Ozora Stearns Davis, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Theologian, and Hymn Writer
  • Vethappan Solomon, Apostle to the Nicobar Islands

16 (Adalbald of Ostevant, Rictrudis of Marchiennes, and Their Relations)

  • Abraham Kidunaia, Roman Catholic Hermit; and Mary of Edessa, Roman Catholic Anchoress
  • John Cacciafronte, Roman Catholic Monk, Abbot, Bishop, and Martyr, 1183
  • Megingaud of Wurzburg, Roman Catholic Monk and Bishop
  • Thomas Wyatt Turner, U.S. Roman Catholic Scientist, Educator, and Civil Rights Activist; Founder of Federated Colored Catholics
  • William Henry Monk, Anglican Organist, Hymn Tune Composer, and Music Educator

17 (Patrick, Apostle of Ireland)

  • Ebenezer Elliott, “The Corn Law Rhymer”
  • Henry Scott Holland, Anglican Hymn Writer and Priest
  • Jan Sarkander, Silesian Roman Catholic Priest and “Martyr of the Confessional,” 1620
  • Josef Rheinberger, Germanic Roman Catholic Composer
  • Maria Barbara Maix, Founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

18 (Leonides of Alexandria, Roman Catholic Martyr, 202; Origen, Roman Catholic Theologian; Demetrius of Alexandria, Roman Catholic Bishop; and Alexander of Jerusalem, Roman Catholic Bishop)

  • Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop, Theologian, and Liturgist
  • Eliza Sibbald Alderson, Poet and Hymn Writer; and John Bacchus Dykes, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Paul of Cyprus, Eastern Orthodox Martyr, 760
  • Robert Walmsley, English Congregationalist Hymn Writer

19 (JOSEPH OF NAZARETH, HUSBAND OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD)

20 (Sebastian Castellio, Prophet of Religious Liberty)

  • Christopher Wordsworth, Hymn Writer and Anglican Bishop of Lincoln
  • Ellen Gates Starr, U.S. Episcopalian then Roman Catholic Social Activist and Reformer
  • Maria Josefa Sancho de Guerra, Founder of the Congregation of the Servants of Jesus
  • Samuel Rodigast, German Lutheran Academic and Hymn Writer
  • Simon William Gabriel Bruté de Rémur, Roman Catholic Bishop of Vincennes

21 (Johann Sebastian Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, and Johann Christian Bach, Composers)

  • Lucia of Verona, Italian Roman Catholic Tertiary and Martyr, 1574
  • Mark Gjani, Albanian Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1947
  • Nicholas of Flüe and his grandson, Conrad Scheuber, Swiss Hermits
  • Serapion of Thmuis, Roman Catholic Bishop

22 (Deogratias, Roman Catholic Bishop of Carthage)

  • Emmanuel Mournier, French Personalist Philosopher
  • James De Koven, Episcopal Priest
  • Thomas Hughes, British Social Reformer and Member of Parliament
  • William Edward Hickson, English Music Educator and Social Reformer

23 (Gregory the Illuminator and Isaac the Great, Patriarchs of Armenia)

  • Meister Eckhart, Roman Catholic Theologian and Mystic
  • Metodej Dominik Trčka, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1959
  • Umphrey Lee, U.S. Methodist Minister and President of Southern Methodist University
  • Victorian of Hadrumetum, Martyr at Carthage, 484
  • Walter of Pontoise, French Roman Catholic Abbot and Ecclesiastical Reformer

24 (Oscar Romero, Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Salvador; and the Martyrs of El Salvador, 1980-1992)

  • Didacus Joseph of Cadiz, Capuchin Friar
  • George Rawson, English Congregationalist Hymn Writer
  • George Rundle Prynne, Anglican Priest, Poet, and Hymn Writer
  • Paul Couturier, Apostle of Christian Unity
  • Thomas Attwood, “Father of Modern Church Music”

25 (ANNUNCIATION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST)

  • Dismas, Penitent Bandit

26 (Margaret Clitherow, English Roman Catholic Martyr, 1586)

  • Austin C. Lovelace, United Methodist Organist, Composer, Hymn Writer, and Liturgist
  • Flannery O’Connor, U.S. Roman Catholic Writer
  • James Rendel Harris, Anglo-American Congregationalist then Quaker Biblical Scholar and Orientalist; Robert Lubbock Bensly, English Biblical Translator and Orientalist; Agnes Smith Lewis and Margaret Dunlop Smith Gibson, English Biblical Scholars and Linguists; Samuel Savage Lewis, Anglican Priest and Librarian of Corpus Christi College; and James Young Gibson, Scottish United Presbyterian Minister and Literary Translator
  • Ludger, Roman Catholic Bishop of Munster
  • Rudolph A. John, German-American Evangelical Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator

27 (Charles Henry Brent, Episcopal Missionary Bishop of the Philippines, Bishop of Western New York, and Ecumenist)

  • Nicholas Owen, Thomas Garnet, Mark Barkworth, Edward Oldcorne, and Ralph Ashley, Roman Catholic Martyrs, 1601-1608
  • Peter Lutkin, Episcopal Composer, Liturgist, and Music Educator
  • Robert Hall Baynes, Anglican Bishop of Madagascar
  • Rupert of Salzburg, Apostle of Bavaria and Austria
  • Stanley Rother, U.S. Roman Catholic Priest, Missionary, and Martyr in Guatemala, 1981

28 (James Solomon Russell, Episcopal Priest, Educator, and Advocate for Racial Equality)

  • Elizabeth Rundle Charles, Anglican Writer, Hymn Translator, and Hymn Writer
  • Guntram of Burgundy, King
  • Katharine Lee Bates, U.S. Educator, Poet, and Hymn Writer
  • Richard Chevenix Trench, Anglican Archbishop of Dublin
  • Tutilo, Roman Catholic Monk and Composer

29 (Charles Villiers Stanford, Composer, Organist, and Conductor)

  • Dora Greenwell, Poet and Devotional Writer
  • John Keble, Anglican Priest and Poet
  • Jonas and Barachisius, Roman Catholic Martyrs, 327
  • Julius Ewald Kockritz, German-American Evangelical Minister, Hymn Writer, and Christian Educator

30 (Innocent of Alaska, Equal to the Apostles and Enlightener of North America)

  • Cordelia Cox, U.S. Lutheran Social Worker, Educator, and Resettler of Refugees
  • John Wright Buckham, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Theologian, and Hymn Writer
  • Julio Alvarez Mendoza, Mexican Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1927
  • Maria Restituta Kafka, Austrian Roman Catholic Nun and Martyr, 1943

31 (Maria Skobtsova, Russian Orthodox Martyr, 1945)

  • Ernest Trice Thompson, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Renewer of the Church
  • Franz Joseph Haydn and his brother, Michael Haydn, Composers
  • Joan of Toulouse, Carmelite Nun; and Simon Stock, Carmelite Friar
  • John Donne, Anglican Priest and Poet
  • John Marriott, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

 

Floating

  • The Confession of Saint Martha of Bethany (the Sunday immediately prior to Palm Sunday; March 8-April 11)

 

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

Feast of St. John of God (March 8)   2 comments

Above:  Caduceus

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT JOHN OF GOD (MARCH 8, 1495-MARCH 8, 1550)

Founder of the Brothers Hospitallers of Saint John of God

Sometimes the process of finding of one’s vocation, the intersection of one’s deepest joys and the world’s greatest needs, takes some time.  However long this process might last, it is never too late to pursue one’s calling from God.

Consider the case of St. John of God.  Born in Portugal in 1495, he bounced around in various careers.  He served the Count of Oroprusa (in Castille and Spain) as Bailiff.  Then, in 1522, the saint began to fight in military campaigns, first against the French (who were fighting the Spanish) then the Turks in Hungary.  After the close of his military career, in 1536, the saint became a shepherd near Seville.

Yet there was greater work awaiting the saint.  He became a penitent at age 40.  He sought ways to devote his life to God.  But what was the best way for him to accomplish this noble goal?  Might he travel to Africa, to rescue Christian slaves?  It was surely a noble cause.  The saint chose instead to sell sacred books and pictures in Gibraltar, in 1538.  There he heard St. John of Avila preach on St. Sebastian’s Day, the bookseller overreacted, crying aloud, beating his breast, begging for mercy publicly, wandering the streets, and generally behaving like a lunatic.  So he wound up in an asylum, where St. John of Avila advised him that the best penance was doing something to help others.

So the former bookseller began his greatest work for God.  Initially he began to help his fellow patients.   After his release, the saint sold wood to raise funds for helping the poor of Granada.  In 1540 he opened a shelter for the poor and offered medical care on the streets before finding a suitable building to function as a hospital.  He offered these services freely, in the name of God, despite the scandal which arose from the fact that he did not refuse to help people of allegedly bad character.  The only bad character at the hospital, the saint said, was himself.

A decade of this hard work led to illness and death on March 8, 1550.  The archbishop presided over the saint’s funeral.  Canonized in 1690, he is the patron saint of the sick, of hospitals, and of nurses, printers, and booksellers.  The Order of Hospitallers, which he organized to assist him in his work among the poor of Granada, became the Brothers Hospitallers of Saint John of God in 1572.  The website (http://www.hospitallers.org/) of the U.S.A. Province of the order says this:

We, the Brothers of St. John of God, are called to witness to the people of God, Christ’s healing love as expressed by our charism of hospitality, through a community of faith and a compassionate service to God’s suffering people.

The legacy of St. John of God rests on how he spent the last ten years of his life.  What will you do for God and your fellow human beings with what remains of your time on Earth?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 20, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SARAH, BIBLICAL MATRIARCH

THE FEAST OF ST. FABIAN, BISHOP OF ROME

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The Collect from Christian Prayer:  The Liturgy of the Hours (1976):

Father, you gave John of God love and compassion for others.  Grant that by doing good for others we may be counted among the saints in your kingdom.  We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Readings I Have Selected:

Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 38:1-4, 6-10, 12-14

Psalm 51

1 Corinthians 13

Matthew 25:31-46

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Revised on December 24, 2016

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