Archive for the ‘May’ Category

Feast of Caroline Chisholm (May 16)   Leave a comment

Colonial Flag of Australia

Above:  The Colonial Flag of Australia

Image in the Public Domain

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CAROLINE CHISHOLM (MAY 3, 1808-MARCH 25, 1877)

English Humanitarian and Social Reformer

Caroline Chisholm helped tens of thousands of people via her work, which did not pay very well.  She was a philanthropist by means of time and work more than money.

Helping others defined Chisholm’s life.  She, born Caroline Jones at Northampton, England, on May 30, 1808, grew up in The Church of England, which has defined her feast day as May 16.  Our saint’s parents, Caroline Jones and William Jones, farmers, modeled caring for others–even taking people into the home.  Our saint was the youngest of her father’s 16 children and a daughter of the last of his four wives.  Our saint, aged 22 years, married Captain Archibald Chisholm, who was 13 years her senior.  He was also in the military service of the East India Company.  The new bride converted to her husband’s faith, Roman Catholicism.

Husband and wife spent years separated by long distances because of their work as well as long periods of time together.  They had eight children, six of whom survived them.  In the 1830s and 1840s our saint and her husband were both in India.  There, at Madras, she founded the Female School of Industry for the Daughters of European Soldiers, to protect the virtue of young women from soldiers.

In 1838 the first Australian phase of our saint’s life began.  Archibald was on leave from active duty.  The family relocated to the area of Sydney, New South Wales.  There our saint noticed the problem of unemployment in the colony.  Immigrants were arriving in droves, but the government had no plan for dispersing them to the countryside, where there was great demand for labor.  Chisholm, who remained in Australia with her children after her husband returned to active duty in 1840, met every ship of immigrants in Sydney.  She also found positions for girls and took some into her home.  During the following year Chisholm obtained permission from the government to establish a home for immigrant girls at Sydney.  Then she acted on it.  Our saint also developed a plan to resettle immigrants in the countryside.  She supervised the establishment of rest stations and employment agencies toward this end.  She also planned to resettle 23 families on donated land at Shellharbour, but some wealthy landowners in the area blocked that plan.  Archibald retired in 1845 and returned to Australia.  The Chisholms traveled across Australia to raise funds for their humanitarian work, for no financial support was forthcoming from the government.

The Chisholm family relocated to England in 1846 and continued to work on the issue of emigration from the mother country to Australia.  Our saint lobbied the Parliament successfully to permit free passage for the wives and children of freed convicts and to ensure suitable conditions aboard the ships.  In 1849, with the support of Anthony Ashley Cooper (1801-1885), Chisholm founded the Family Colonization Loan Association, with branches in the British Isles and Australia.  The Society facilitated emigration to Australia, functioned as an employment agency, and offered lower interest rates than other lenders.  Archibald returned to Australia in 1851 to work as an agent of the Society.  The family reunited there–this time in the colony of Victoria–three years later.

The Chisholms continued to commit good works in Australia in the 1850s and 1860s.  Our saint lobbied successfully for government funding for the construction of shelter sheds for miners.  Archibald and children operated a store while Chisholm traveled across Australia, speaking on behalf of small farmers.  In the early 1860s she opened a school for girls at Newtown (near Sydney).  Later our saint moved the school to Tempe (also near Sydney).

Our saint was, by the standards of the day, a radical.  She worked for the dignity of women and girls in the rough-and-tumble setting of colonial Australia, favored the secret ballot, and supported women’s suffrage.  Furthermore, she not only thought that someone ought to do something, but acted to address those issues she was able to influence.

All the Chisholms had returned to England by 1866, living first in Liverpool then in Highgate, London.  Our saint died on March 25, 1877, aged 68 years.  Archibald died in August that same year.  Both husband and wife had lived their Roman Catholic faith, uniting faith and works.

Archive.org offers three works germane to our saint:

  1. The A.B.C. of Colonization; in a Series of Letters by Mrs. Chisholm (1850);
  2. Memoirs of Mrs. Caroline Chisholm, with an Account of Her Philanthropic Labours, in India, Australia, and England; To Which is Added a History of the Family Colonization Loan Society; Also the Question, Who Ought to Emigrate?, Answered by Eneas Mackenzie (1852); and
  3. An profile in The Illustrated Magazine of Art (1854).

Chisholm

Above:  Caroline Chisholm’s Image on Money

Image Subject to Fair Use

Legacies of Caroline Chisholm include the Caroline Chisholm Society, Victoria, Australia, and her image on the back of the Australian $5 bill from the late 1960s to the early 1990s.  There is also a cause for the canonization of our saint in the Roman Catholic Church.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 15, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE NEW MARTYRS OF LIBYA, 2015

THE FEAST OF ALEXANDER VIETS GRISWOLD, PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS HAROLD ROWLEY, NORTHERN BAPTIST MINISTER, HUMANITARIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF THOMAS BRAY, ANGLICAN PRIEST

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O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served,

and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom

the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary,

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

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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Feast of St. Alcuin of York (May 20)   2 comments

Carolingian Empire 843

Above:  The Carolingian Empire, 843

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT ALCUIN OF YORK (CIRCA 735-MAY 19, 804)

Abbot of Tours

Stating that one stands on the shoulders of giants is accurate is many contexts, including the life and legacy of St. Alcuin of York, a scholar, educator, and theologian.

St. Alcuin, a native of York, Northumbria, entered the world in the 730s.  Sources have proven to be inconsistent regarding the year, with some offering 732 and others stating 735, always with the caveat “circa.”  He attended the cathedral school at York, the most renowned institution of learning in England.  Our saint taught there form 766 to 778, became a Roman Catholic deacon in 770, and served as the headmaster from 778 to 782.

St. Alcuin made his greatest contribution in the Frankish Kingdom/Carolingian Empire.  In 781 he was returning from a visit to Rome when he met King Charles I “the Great,” a.k.a. Charlemagne (reigned 768-814; Holy Roman Emperor, 800-814) at Parma, Italy.  Our saint accepted the monarch’s offer to lead the Palace School at Aix-en-Chapelle.  St. Alcuin made that school the center of learning in the kingdom and organized schools throughout the realm.  He also encouraged the study of secular liberal arts as means of spiritual edification, taught members of the nobility and the royal family, wrote works on education and grammar, and played a crucial role in preserving knowledge and reviving education in Western Europe after the demise of the Western Roman Empire.

St. Alcuin was also an important liturgist.  He revised the liturgy of the Frankish Church, basing his revision on the Georgian and Gelasian sacramentaries.  Our saint also introduced the sung creed into the Frankish liturgy and arranged notive masses for each day of the week.  St. Alcuin’s work led the the Roman Missal and to liturgical uniformity in Roman Catholicism.  He was also responsible for preserving many prayers, including the Collect of Purity:

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires are known, and from you no secrets are hid:  Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 355

Many of St. Alcuin’s written works have survived.  There were, for example, 310 Latin letters, a treasure trove for historians who study the 700s.  He also left theological works (often refutations of heresies), hagiographies, and commentaries on the Bible.  His revision of the Vulgate has not survived, however.

St. Alcuin served as the Abbot of Tours, presiding over Marmoutier Abbey in Alsace, from 796 to 804.  The roles (if any) he played in politics during his final years have been unclear for a long time.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 15, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE NEW MARTYRS OF LIBYA, 2015

THE FEAST OF ALEXANDER VIETS GRISWOLD, PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS HAROLD ROWLEY, NORTHERN BAPTIST MINISTER, HUMANITARIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF THOMAS BRAY, ANGLICAN PRIEST

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Almighty God, in a rude and barbarous age you raised up

your deacon Alcuin to rekindle the light of learning:

Illumine our minds, we pray, that amid the uncertainties and confusions

of our own time we may show forth your eternal truth;

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

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

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 39:1-9

Psalm 37:3-6, 32-33

Titus 2:1-3

Matthew 13:10-16

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 379

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Posted February 15, 2016 by neatnik2009 in May, Saints of the 700s, Saints of the 800s

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Feast of St. Dunstan of Canterbury (May 19)   1 comment

Glastonbury Abbey, 1890

Above:  Ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, 1890

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-08401

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SAINT DUNSTAN OF CANTERBURY (909-MAY 19, 988)

Abbot of Glastonbury and Archbishop of Canterbury

St. Dunstan of Canterbury lived and worked in a political context different from that of the modern Western world.  Ideas such as constitutional government and the separation of church and state were foreign to the England of the 900s.  The Magna Carta, hardly the most democratic of documents, was centuries away, as was the concept that the monarch should not play an active role in ecclesiastical affairs.  Indeed, the United Kingdom has adopted religious toleration yet not the separation of church and state in contemporary times.

St. Dunstan, born in Baltonsborough in 909, came from a West Saxon noble family.  He studied at Glastonbury Abbey, where he learned music composition, painting, and mechanical arts, in which he was proficient.  Our saint, as a young man, entered the service of Athelstan, King of the Anglo-Saxons from 924 to 927 then King of the English from 927 to 939.  Petty jealousies in the royal court led to our saint’s exile from it.  False allegations of practicing the black arts constituted the pretext for the exile; violent intimidation enforced it.

At this point St. Dunstan’s life took a crucial turn.  He found refuge with a relative, Alphege, who served as the Bishop of Winchester from 934/935 to 951.  Our saint, recovering from an attack of brain fever, became a monk and began to live as a hermit.

In time St. Dunstan’s life intersected with royalty again.  King Edmund I (reigned 939-946) appointed him the royal treasurer.  During the reign (946-955) of Edred our saint was the de facto ruler of the kingdom, governing ably and well.  These duties overlapped with St. Dunstan’s job as the Abbot of Glastonbury (starting in 943).  In that capacity our saint made the abbey school famous and renewed monastic life.  Edred’s successor was Edwy (reigned 955-959), whose incestuous marriage St. Dunstan denounced.  Our saint spent his exile (955-957) in Flanders.  A rebellion among the Mercians and the Northumbrians made Edgar a rival monarch in 957-959 before he ruled as sole King of the English (959-975).  Edgar recalled St. Dunstan and appointed him Bishop of Worcester (957-959), Bishop of London (958-960), and Archbishop of Canterbury (960-988), as well as a royal advisor.

St. Dunstan made his mark as Archbishop of Canterbury.  He replaced married and other non-celibate priests with monks when possible.  Our saint also reformed monasticism strictly according to the Rule of St. Benedict, rebuilt churches, and promoted education.  His time as archbishop overlapped with the reign of King Edward the Martyr (reigned 975-978), the cause of death was murder.  St. Dunstan retired shortly after participating in the coronation of Ethelred II the Unready (reigned 978-1013 and 1014-1016).  England descended into political chaos despite St. Dunstan’s best efforts during the preceding decades to improve the kingdom.

St. Dunstan enjoyed a quiet and productive retirement.  He lived in Canterbury, where he taught at the cathedral school, painted, composed music, made musical instruments, founded bells, and practiced calligraphy.  He died on May 19, 988.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 15, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE NEW MARTYRS OF LIBYA, 2015

THE FEAST OF ALEXANDER VIETS GRISWOLD, PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS HAROLD ROWLEY, NORTHERN BAPTIST MINISTER, HUMANITARIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF THOMAS BRAY, ANGLICAN PRIEST

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O God of truth and beauty, you richly endowed your bishop Dunstan

with skill in music and the working of metals,

and with gifts of administration and reforming zeal:

Teach us, we pray, to see you in the source of all our talents,

and move us to offer them for the adornment of worship

and the advancement of true religion,

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns

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

Job 1:6-8

Psalm 57:6-11

Ephesians 5:15-20

Matthew 24:42-47

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 377

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Feast of Frances Perkins (May 13)   Leave a comment

Frances Perkins, 1932

Above:  Frances Perkins, 1932

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USZ62-1132

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FRANCES CORALIE PERKINS (APRIL 10, 1880-MAY 14, 1965)

United States Secretary of Labor

Frances Perkins read, marked, learned, and inwardly directed potent language from Matthew 25:

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat:  I was thirsty, and ye gave my drink:  I was a stranger, and ye took me in:  Naked, and ye clothed me:  I was sick, and ye visited me:  I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee, an hungred, and fed thee?  or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in?  or naked, and clothed thee?  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Then shall he say unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat:  I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:  I was a stranger, and ye took me not in:  naked, and ye clothed me not:  sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

Then they shall also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

–Verses 34-46, Authorized Version

Fannie Coralie Perkins was a native of Boston, Massachusetts.  She grew up a Congregationalist in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Our saint, born on April 10, 1880, was daughter of Susan Bean Perkins (died in 1927) and Frederick W. Perkins (died in 1916), owner of a stationery business.  Both parents were from Maine.  Our saint, with encouragement from her parents, attended the mostly male Worcester Classical High School.  She went on to attend Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, where she majored in physics and chemistry.  During her undergraduate program she read How the Other Half Lives (1889), by Jacob Riis (1849-1914), the famous muckraking journalist who wrote about, among other things, life in slums.  Perkins graduated in 1902.  For about the next two years she worked for the benefit of her community in Worcester.  Perkins taught part-time and volunteered with social service organizations in the city.

In 1904 our saint moved to Lake Forest, Illinois, to accept a teaching position.  She taught there until 1907 and spent free time in Hull House and similar institutions in Chicago.  On June 11, 1905, at the Church of the Holy Spirit, Lake Forest, she converted to The Episcopal Church.  She also changed her first name to Frances.  Perkins became an Anglo-Catholic mystic whose faith defined her policy positions.  She stood in the tradition of the finest social teaching of Angl0-Catholicism, for she had an active concern for the poor and the downtrodden.

From 1907 to 1909 Perkins studied economics and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.  That program led to her work in New York.  In 1909 our saint, having received a Russell Sage Foundation fellowship, started work on her M.A. degree in political science (Columbia University, 1910).  She surveyed living and working conditions in Hell’s Kitchen.

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The people are what matter to government, and a government should aim to give all the people under its jurisdiction the best possible life.

–Frances Perkins

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From 1910 to 1912 Perkins served as the executive secretary of the National Consumers League.  As she went about her work our saint witnessed the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire on March 25, 1911.  In that infamous and avoidable event employees faced a terrifying choice–to die in the flames or to jump from window ledges.  The incident added to Perkins’s catalog of motivating factors as she strove for social reform.

From 1912 to 1932 Perkins worked in the administrations of Al Smith and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Governors of New York.  While serving on the Committee on Safety of the City of New York (1912-1917) our saint exposed hazardous practices in workplaces.  Starting in 1918 Perkins worked via the State Industrial Board, becoming its chair in 1926.  Then she served as the state’s Industrial Commissioner.

Perkins was a feminist.  Not only did she advocate for women’s suffrage, she decided to keep her last name when she married economist Paul Caldwell Wilson (1876-1952) in 1913.  She had to go to court to defend that.  Nevertheless, the name engraved on her headstone was “Frances Perkins Wilson,” her name on the records of the federal census of 1930.  (The census records of 1920 listed her as “Frances Perkins,” however.)

Our saint had to contend with the fact of her husband’s bipolar disorder.  In that time period the treatment was apparently institutionalization, for Paul was in and out of mental hospitals.  Perkins became the primary wage earner out of necessity while raising their daughter, Susanna Wilson (1916-2003).

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I came to Washington to work for God, FDR, and the millions of forgotten, plain common workingmen.

–Frances Perkins

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Perkins served as the U.S. Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1945.  She made history, for she was the first female member of a presidential cabinet in the United States.  Our saint was also one of the architects of the New Deal.  Her numerous accomplishments included drafting the Social Security Act, helping to establish the federal minimum wage, being instrumental in fighting child labor, helping to create the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), expanding the roles of women in workplaces, extending the rights of labor unions and their members, and advocating for unemployment insurance.  Our saint’s unrealized goal was universal access to health care, which has been on the U.S. political landscape since at least 1912, when former President Theodore Roosevelt campaigned on the issue while seeking his old job as the nominee of the Progressive Party.  Perkins resigned as Secretary of Labor on July 1, 1945.  Later that year she joined the federal Civil Service Commission, serving until 1953.

Most of the sources I consulted regarding our saint’s life and labors ignored or barely mentioned the influence of her faith upon her public life.  Not surprisingly, religious-based sources provided that information, including the fact that, while serving as the Secretary of Labor, she made monthly retreats with the All Saints’ Sisters of the Poor at Cantonsville, Maryland.

Perkins wrote books, including the following:

  1. Women as Employees (1919),
  2. A Social Experiment Under the Workmen’s Compensation Jurisdiction (1921),
  3. People at Work (1934), and
  4. The Roosevelt I Knew (1946).

Our saint spent her final years teaching at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Ithaca, New York, starting in 1957.  She died at New York, New York, on May, 14, 1965.  She was 85 years old.

Newcastle, Maine, where our saint spent summers with her grandmother, is the site of the Frances Perkins Center.

The Letter of James offers timeless wisdom:

As a body without a spirit is dead, so is faith without deeds.

–Chapter 2, Verse 26 (The New Jerusalem Bible, 1985)

The faith of Frances Perkins was vivacious.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 11, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ONESIMUS, BISHOP OF BYZANTIUM

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Loving God, we bless your Name for Frances Perkins,

who lived out her belief that the special vocation of the laity is to conduct

the secular affairs of society that all may be maintained in health and decency.

Help us, following her example, to contend tirelessly for justice

and for the protection of all in need, that we may be faithful followers of Jesus Christ;

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

Deuteronomy 15:7-11

Psalm 37:27-31

Ephesians 4:25-5:2

Luke 9:10-17

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 369

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Feast of Paul Gerhardt (May 27)   4 comments

Paul Gerhardt

Above:  Paul Gerhardt

Image in the Public Domain

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PAUL GERHARDT (MARCH 12, 1607-MAY 27, 1676)

German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer

Paul Gerhardt was a giant among German Lutheran hymn writers.  The author of the article about our saint in the Encyclopedia Britannica of 1968 described him as the greatest German hymn writer.  Armin Haeussler, author of The Story of Our Hymns:  The Handbook to the Hymnal of the Evangelical and Reformed Church (1952), had a different opinion.  He wrote that Martin Luther was the greatest hymn writer and that Gerhardt was the second best person in the category of German hymn writers.  Haeussler, in so many words, agreed with the evaluation from the Encyclopedia Britannica (1968):

His hymns have deservedly held their place in Protestant worship.

–Volume 10, Page 235

Gerhardt was a native of Grefenhainichen, Saxony, a village between Halle and Wittenberg and near to the latter.  Our saint, born on March 13, 1607, was a son of Christian Gerhardt, mayor of the village.  Christian died while our saint was a minor.  Gerhardt, who studied at Grimma (1622-1627), continued his studies at the University of Wittenberg (1628-1642), where he specialized in theology.  During this time our saint had to contend with negative consequences of the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1642).  In April 1642 Gerhardt became tutor to the family of Andreas Berthold, an attorney in Berlin, Prussia.  While in Berlin our saint published his first 18 hymns in the Praxis Pietatis Melica (1648) of Johann Cruger (1582-1662).

In 1651, at the age of 44, Gerhardt became a Lutheran clergyman.  The first congregation he served was at Mittenwald.  Our saint married Anna Maria Berthold, daughter of Andreas Berthold, in 1655.  The couple had 13 children, only one of which (Paul Frederick Gerhardt) survived both parents.  Our saint’s wife died in March 1668.

In 1557 Gerhardt became an assistant minister of St. Nicholas Church, Berlin.  Relations between the Lutheran and Reformed Churches in Prussia were tense and replete with invective.  Frederick William (in office 1640-1688), the “Great Elector,” issued an edict meant to create religious peace in his realm.  He forbade ministers from attacking each other’s doctrines.  The Elector of Prussia, himself of the Reformed camp, required ministers to sign the edict.  Gerhardt, whom certain prominent Reformed Prussians respected, refused to sign, citing freedom of speech.  Thus, early in 1666, Frederick William deposed our saint, who was ill, whose wife was in poor health also, and most of whose remaining children were approaching death’s door.  Petitions prompted the Elector to reinstate Gerhardt in 1667.  He did so, however, on the condition that our saint act as if he had signed the edict.  Gerhardt refused the offer on principle.  Kindly parishioners supported the Gerhardts financially until, in late 1668, our saint was able to return to his post and collect back wages.

Gerhardt became the archdeacon of Lubben in May 1669.  He remained in that post until May 27, 1676, when he died.  Some older sources mistakenly listed his date of death as June 7.  Some online sources, citing and even duplicating them, have repeated that error.

Gerhardt wrote 132 hymns, most of which exist in English-language translations.  (I have added some of them to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.)  His hymns, most of which he based on Biblical texts, marked the transition from objective to subjective language.  Gerhardt wrote hymns for all the major Lutheran feasts, and justification by faith was among his favorite themes.  Among our saint’s most famous hymns was “O Sacred Head, Sore Wounded,” for Good Friday.  He translated it from a Latin text.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 7, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE LAST SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINT MOSES, APOSTLE TO THE SARACENS

THE FEAST OF SAINT BLAISE OF SEBASTE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Paul Gerhardt and others, who have composed and 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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Feast of St. Aldhelm of Sherborne (May 25)   1 comment

England in 700 CE

Above:  England in 700

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT ALDHELM OF SHERBORNE (639-MAY 25, 709)

Poet, Literary Scholar, Abbot of Malmesbury, and Bishop of Sherborne

St. Aldhelm comes to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days from the Roman Catholic Church and The Church of England.

St. Aldhelm was a scholar, poet, and churchman.  Our saint, a relative–perhaps a brother–of King Ine of Wessex (reigned 688-726), studied at Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire, where Maildubh (died in 675), an Irish monk and scholar was abbot.  For a time St. Aldhelm studied at Canterbury under the tutelage of St. Adrian/Hadrian (died in 710).  Bad health forced our saint to return to Malmesbury, where he served as a monk under Abbot Maildubh until succeeding him in 675.  St. Aldhelm introduced the Rule of St. Benedict to the monastery, made the abbey a center of learning, oversaw the construction of a new church on the grounds, and expanded the land holdings of the monastery.

St. Aldhelm was a literary figure.  He was, as far as historians know, the first Anglo-Saxon to write in Latin.  His Latin writing style reflected his erudition, for it was abstruse and sesquipedalian.  His works were standard in English ecclesiastical schools for centuries, declining after the Norman Conquest (1066).  Our saint also wrote in Old English, but none of his writings in that language have survived.

St. Aldhelm, who had a strong devotion to Mary and the saints, became the first Bishop of Sherborne in 705, after the division of the large Diocese of Winchester.  He held that post until he died at Doulting, Somerset, on May 25, 709.

Archive.org offers several works about our saint:

  1. St. Aldhelm:  His Life and Times, Lectures Delivered in the Cathedral Church of Bristol, Lent, 1902 (1903), by George Forrest Browne;
  2. Life of S. Ealdhelm, First Bishop of Sherborne (1905), by William Beauchamp Wildman; and
  3. Two Ancient English Scholars:  St. Aldhelm and William of Malmesbury:  Being the First Lecture on the David Murray Foundation in the University of Glasgow Delivered on June 9th, 1931 (1931), by Montague Rhodes James.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 29, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS LYDIA, DORCAS, AND PHOEBE, COWORKERS OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE

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

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Saint Aldhelm of Sherborne 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 Apolo Kivebulaya (May 30)   Leave a comment

Map (2)

Above:  The Borderlands of Uganda and Zaire, 1979

Image Source = The International Atlas (Rand McNally, 1979)

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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APOLO KIVEBULAYA (CIRCA 1864-MAY 30, 1933)

Apostle to the Pygmies

Also known as Waswa Munubi

From the calendar of saints of The Church of England comes Apolo Kievebulaya, Apostle to the Pygmies, to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

The life of our saint began in the Kingdom of Buganda, on the northwest coast of Lake Victoria in Uganda.  Waswa Munubi, one of five children, entered the world circa 1864.  His parents raised him to become a traditional healer, but he became disillusioned after learning that a local healer was a fraud.  Our saint converted to Islam and became a soldier instead.  Arab traders had introduced Islam to Buganda.   Muteesa I (reigned 1856-1884), the Kabaka of Buganda, had political-military problems with them by 1875, when he began to accept European weapons and Christian missionaries of various denominations.

The life of a soldier did not fit our saint.  Alexander Murdoch Mackay (1849-1890), a missionary from the (Presbyterian) Free Church of Scotland, arrived in Buganda in 1878.  He labored for Christ in Africa until 1890, when he died of Malaria.  Among the people in whom Mackay planted the seed of faith was Waswa Munubi.  In time our saint deserted the army and fled to the region of Ankole.  While he was hiding out our saint began to read the Gospel of Matthew.  He reported that Matthew 5:13, about being the salt of the earth, proved especially influential in helping him decide to become a Christian.  In 1894 our saint began to prepare for baptism.  That sacrament occurred on January 27, 1895.  He took the name Apolo, after St. Apollos, who, according to Acts 18:24-25, was “an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures” and “fervent in the spirit.”

At first Apolo worked as a catechist after studying at Kampala.  He catechized in the Toro region in 1895 then at Nyagawi (near the Rwenzori Mountains) in 1895-1896.  In 1896 our saint became the catechist in Boga.  Apolo had to contend with major challenges.  He had to face hostility because of his opposition to certain traditional practices, such as polygamy and drinking.  Furthermore, Chief Tabaro forbade the construction of a church building.  Then, in 1898, Tabaro scapegoated Apolo.  The chief’s sister, living in Apolo’s household, had fallen accidentally on a spear and died.  Apolo faced legal charges and spent months in prison until the dismissal of those charges.  Then Tabaro welcomed Apolo back, befriended him, and converted to Christianity.

 Apolo’s next phase of ministry was as a member of the clergy.  He became an Anglican deacon on December 21, 1900, and a priest in June 1903.  He never married.  Our saint had been engaged, but his intended died.  Afterward Apolo concluded that life as a single man was most conducive to his vocation.  Our saint received the name “Kivebulaya,” meaning “European,” for he wore a suit underneath his vestments.  He worked hard for Jesus, converting many people.  Apolo was a man of the people in the borderlands of Uganda and the Belgian Congo.  He lived among them, slept in their homes, and ate the food they offered.  He traveled in western Uganda and the northeastern Belgian Congo (the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2016).  A border adjustment in 1915 meant that Boga (and therefore Apolo’s home base) became part of the Belgian Congo.  Among the groups to which our saint introduced the Gospel of Jesus Christ was the Pygmies, starting in 1921.

Our saint died in Boga on May 30, 1933.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 29, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS LYDIA, DORCAS, AND PHOEBE, COWORKERS OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Apolo Kivebulaya,

whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of Uganda and the Belgian 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 for ever.  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), page 716

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