Archive for the ‘Saints of 1350-1399’ Category

Feast of St. Andrei Rublev (January 28)   Leave a comment

Above:  Stamp of St. Andrei Rublev

Image in the Public Domain

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

SAINT ANDREI RUBLEV (CIRCA 1365-JANUARY 29, 1430)

Russian Orthodox Icon Writer

His feast transferred from January 29 and July 4

St. Andrei Rublev comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Russian Orthodox Church and The Episcopal Church.  His feast days in the Russian Orthodox Church are January 29 and July 4.  Rublev’s feast day in The Episcopal Church is January 29.  However, on this Ecumenical Calendar, I reserve January 29 for Sts. Lydia, Dorcas, and Phoebe, Biblical characters.  Therefore, Rublev’s feast day here is January 28.

Many Protestants misunderstand icons; they mistake icons for idols.  Homo sapiens sapiens is a visually-oriented species.  Iconography–whether in two dimensions or in three dimensions–is consistent with this fact.  Two-dimensional iconography is central to Eastern Orthodox spirituality.  An Eastern Orthodox icon is an image yet not a portrait.  It also bypasses the human imagination to seek access to the divine and the mysterious.  An icon is a window to the divine.

Above:  Icon of the Holy Trinity, by St. Andrei Rublev

Image in the Public Domain

St. Andrei Rublev, born near Moscow circa 1365, became a Russian Orthodox monk when young.  Rublev, first a monk at the Monastery of the Holy Trinity, transferred in 1405 to the Spaso-Andronikov monastery.  There he studied iconography.  Our saint wrote icons; doing so was a spiritual task.  Rublev created artistic, devotional treasures that have continued to inspire Christians to the present day.  Our saint was either the greatest Russian Orthodox icon writer or one of the greatest Russian Orthodox icon writers.  He died on January 29, 1430.

Above:  Icon of the Ascension, by St. Andrei Rublev

Image in the Public Domain

Ecclesiastical authorities have formally recognized Rublev.  The Russian Orthodox Church canonized him in 1988.  In 2009, The Episcopal Church added our saint to its new side calendar, detailed in Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010) and in its successor, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016).  The Episcopal Church, however, has not added Rublev to its main calendar of saints, detailed in Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 8, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF NIKOLAI GRUNDTVIG, DANISH LUTHERAN MINISTER, BISHOP, HISTORIAN, PHILOSOPHER, POET, EDUCATOR, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF GOTTFRIED WILHELM SACER, GERMAN LUTHERAN ATTORNEY AND HYMN WRITER; AND FRANCES ELIZABETH COX, ENGLISH HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF SHEPHERD KNAPP, U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SØREN KIERKEGAARD, DANISH PHILOSOPHER AND THEOLOGIAN, AND FATHER OF EXISTENTIALISM

THE FEAST OF SAINT WLADYSLAW BLADZINSKI, POLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1944

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

Holy God, we bless you for the gift of your monk and icon writer Andrei Rublev,

who inspired by your Holy Spirit,

provided a window into heaven for generations to come,

revealing the majesty and mystery of the holy and blessed Trinity;

who lives and reigns through ages of ages.  Amen.

Genesis 28:10-17

Psalm 62:6-9

2 Corinthians 2:14-17

Matthew 6:19-23

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 197

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

Posted September 8, 2021 by neatnik2009 in January 28, Saints of 1350-1399, Saints of 1400-1449

Tagged with

Feast of Geert Groote (August 23)   Leave a comment

Above: Part of Europe in 1360

Image in the Public Domain

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

GEERT GROOTE (1340-AUGUST 20, 1384)

Founder of the Brethren of the Common Life

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

Always put more hope in eternal glory than in fear of hell.

–Geert Groote, quoted in Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (1997), 360

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

Geert Groote comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days (1997), via Ellsberg, All Saints (1997).

Before I write about Groote’s life, I ground this post in geography and history.  Know then, O reader, the following:

  1. During Groote’s lifetime, the city of Deventer was within the frontiers of the Bishopric of Utrecht (extant 1024-1528), within the Holy Roman Empire.  The leader of the Bishopric of Utrecht.
  2. Deventer is in The Netherlands in 2021.
  3. The Black Death (1347-1351), the most notorious and historically significant outbreak of the Bubonic Plague, occurred during Groote’s lifetime.  The rebuilding of civilization after the Black Death led to the beginning of the modern world, gave rise to many oppressed people rising up, and planted many seeds of the Protestant Reformation.  (As Norman Cantor, that great historian of the Middle Ages wrote, we live in the world the Black Death made.)  After at least half of the population of Europe had died within four years, societies were ready for revolutions.  There was no turning back the clock to the way Europe had been.

Groote, born in Deventer in October 1340, came from a secure and wealthy family .  He received a fine education, by the standards of the time, although portions of the curriculum would not have met the standards of 2021.  Our saint’s father worked in the municipal government of Deventer.  Groote, educated at the Sorbonne, Paris, emerged well-versed in topics ranging from theology and philosophy to astronomy and canon law.  He graduated in 1358.

Groote became a teacher.  He taught in Deventer (1362f) then in Cologne.  Via family connections, he received some ecclesiastical benefices.  The young and wealthy scholar led a selfish life.  Our saint, convicted of this sin at the age of 34 years, in 1374, gave up everything and became a guest at a Carthusian monastery near Arnhem.

The year 1374 took place during a revolutionary age in Western Europe.  The Black Death had not discriminated; it had killed many able churchmen.  Many of the replacements were of a lesser caliber.  In England, John Wycliffe (circa 1320-1384) had become a revolutionary in his later years.  He was well on the way to becoming the “Morning Star of the Reformation.”  Men who read his works in subsequent years and agreed with him included Jan Hus (1371-1415) and Martin Luther (1483-1546).

In 1374, when Groote became a guest at a Carthusian monastery, he converted his family home in Deventer into a shelter for impoverished women.  Our saint, who took his new, religious life seriously, became a Roman Catholic deacon.

Groote started preaching in the Diocese of Utrecht in 1379.  He traveled and preached for four years, until the Bishop of Utrecht revoked our saint’s preaching license by ordering that only priests could preach.  Groote made himself extremely inconvenient to many powerful, wealthy people.  He preached interior spiritual renewal.  Our saint encouraged meditation on the life of Jesus as the model of Christian virtue.  He also denounced ecclesiastical abuses.  These included greed, simony, and sexual misconduct.  Finally, in 1383, the Bishop of Utrecht halted Groote’s preaching.  The gag order remained effective until the final year of our saint’s life.

Communities of the “Devout,” or formally, the Brethren of the Common Life, practiced their faith “in the world,” not in a monastery or a convent.  They practiced the Devotia Moderna, which entailed being silent and alone, and meditating upon the Passion of Christ, on redemption, on one’s death, on the Last Judgment, and on Heaven and Hell.  The movement spread throughout the Low Countries and Germany.  One subsequent member of the Brethren of the Common Life was the great spiritual writer Thomas à Kempis (circa 1380-1471).  Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) also drank deeply of the legacy of our saint.  Erasmus, alive when the Protestant Reformation began, remained within the Roman Catholic Church, of which he was also sharply critical.

Groote resumed preaching in the final year of his life.  He also continued to minister to the sick.  By tending to a patient suffering from the Bubonic Plague, our saint contracted that disease, which caused his death.  Groote died in Deventer on August 20, 1384.

I harbor great respect and much affection for Holy Mother Church.  I, raised a Protestant, feel drawn to her.  Yet I remain on the banks of the Tiber River, so to speak; I have chosen not to cross that river.  I acknowledge that the Roman Catholic Church has been its own worst enemy, stifling reforms that would have staved off revolutions and schisms.  

  1. The Roman Catholic Church forbade Groote from preaching.
  2. The Roman Catholic Church executed Jan Hus as a heretic.  That execution was heretical.
  3. The Roman Catholic Church exhumed and burned the corpse of John Wycliffe.
  4. The Roman Catholic Church tried to have Martin Luther killed.  The Pope excommunicated Luther, whose Plan A did not include committing schism.  Then the Church blamed Luther for committing schism.

The Roman Catholic Church is not unique in being its own worst enemy, of course.  The other Christian communions have been their own worst enemies from their inception, too.  They also have blood on their institutional hands.  Do I need to write about the people John Calvin (1509-1564) and Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) had executed, for example?  And do I need to explain the witch hunts that members of various denominations committed in the Old and New Worlds?  Do I need to explain about Protestants martyring each other as well as Roman Catholics?  Do I need to list examples of Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox attacking and killing each other? I am not picking on the Roman Catholic Church and ignoring the sins of other Christian denominations and traditions.

Institutionalization, combined with a defensive attitude, has proven detrimental to the Church fulfilling its potential.  Geert Groote understood this truth.  His life testified to that fact.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 7, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF JAMES HEWITT MCGOWN, HUMANITARIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINTS DRAUSINUS AND ANSERICUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF SOISSONS; SAINT VINDICIAN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF CAMBRAI, AND SAINT LEODEGARIUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF AUTUN

THE FEAST OF EDWARD OSLER, ENGLISH DOCTOR, EDITOR, AND POET

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIA ANTONIA DE PAZ Y FIGUEROA, FOUNDRESS OF THE DAUGHTERS OF THE DIVINE SAVIOR

THE FEAST OF SAINTS PERPETUA, FELICITY, AND THEIR COMPANIONS, MARTYRS AT CARTHAGE, 203

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

Almighty God, we praise you for the men and women you have sent

to call the Church to its tasks and renew its life [such as your servant Geert Groote].

Raise up in our own day teachers and prophets inspired by your Spirit,

whose voices will give strength to your Church and proclaim the reality of your kingdom;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

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

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

Feast of Blesseds Francisco Zanfredini and Michelina of Pesaro (August 5)   Leave a comment

Above:  Pesaro, Italy

Image Source = Google Earth

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

BLESSED FRANCISCO ZANFREDINI (1270-AUGUST 5, 1350)

Cofounder of the Confraternity of the Annunciation

His feast day = August 5

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

BLESSED MICHELINA OF PESARO (1300-JUNE 19, 1356)

Cofounder of the Confraternity of the Annunciation

Her solo feast day = June 19

Blesseds Francisco Zanfredini and Michelina of Pesaro come to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.  These two beati, having shared a feast day in the Diocese of Pesaro since 1393, share one here, too.

Blessed Francisco Zanfredini, born in Pesaro, on the Italian peninsula, in 1270, spent his life in service to Christ, present in “the least of these.”  Our saint, orphaned when quite young, entered into the religious life when he became an adult.  He gave away all his possessions, became a Franciscan tertiary, and embarked on life as a hermit.  Our saint built a convent near Pesaro.  He also built chapels in Montegranaro (about 115 kilometers–about 71.5 miles northwest of Pesaro–and Pesaro.  Zanfredini also collected alms for hospitals and for the restoration of churches.

Michelina Matelli came from a wealthy family–nobility, in fact.  At the age of 12 years, she entered into an arranged marriage to one Duke Malatesta, of Pesaro.  The couple had one child, a son.  The son died shortly after the the Duke did.  The widowed duchess gave away all her wealth and became a Franciscan tertiary.  Widows, orphans, and debt prisoners benefited from her generosity as she prepared to enter the religious life.  Blessed Michelina was certain she had chosen the proper path for her life.  Some of the relatives, however, were certain that she was out of her mind.  After a brief period of incarceration, our saint resumed the religious life.

In 1347, Blesses Francisco and Michelina founded the Confraternity of the Annunciation.  The mission of the Confraternity was to bury the dead, to help the poor, and to assist the sick–all Biblically-approved tasks.

Blessed Francisco, about 80 years old, died at his hermitage at Montegranaro, on August 5, 1350.  He had earned his reputation for wisdom, prayer, good works, and piety.

Pope Pius IX confirmed Blessed Francisco’s cultus in 1859.

Blessed Michelina lived a few more years than did Blessed Francisco.  She reported direct visions from Christ.  She also made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and received the stigmata.  Blessed Michelina died in Pesaro on June 19, 1356.  She was about 56 years old.

Pope Clement XII confirmed Blessed Michelina’s cultus in 1737.

Blessed Michelina’s patronage is for the Confraternity of the Annunciation, for Pesaro, for widows, for people with in-law problems, against the death of children, against mental illness, and for mentally-ill people.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 25, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS THE ELDER, SAINT NONNA, AND THEIR CHILDREN:  SAINTS GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS THE YOUNGER, CAESARIUS OF NAZIANZUS, AND GORGONIA OF NAZIANZUS

THE FEAST OF SAINT FELIX VARELA, CUBAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND PATRIOT

THE FEAST OF JOHN ROBERTS, EPISCOPAL MISSIONARY TO THE SHOSHONE AND ARAPAHOE

THE FEAST OF KARL FRIEDRICH LOCHNER, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF THEODOR FLIEDNER, RENEWER OF THE FEMALE DIACONATE; AND ELIZABETH FEDDE, NORWEGIAN LUTHERAN DEACONESS

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

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

Blessed Francisco Zanfredini and Blessed Michelina of Pesaro,

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 Luke 9:57-62

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 722

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

Feast of Blessed Henry Suso (March 4)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Henry Suso

Image in the Public Domain

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

BLESSED HENRY SUSO (MARCH 21, 1295-JANUARY 25, 1366)

German Roman Catholic Mystic, Preacher, and Spiritual Writer

Born Heinrich von Berg

Alternative feast days = January 25 and March 2

Also known as Amandus and the Servant of the Eternal Wisdom

+++++++++++

Ah, gentle God, if Thou art so lovely in Thy creatures, how exceedingly beautiful and ravishing Thou must be in Thyself.

–Blessed Henry Suso, quoted in Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (New York:  The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1997), 101

+++++++++++

Blessed Henry Suso comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via Robert Ellsberg, All Saints (1997), in which March 4 is his feast day.

Heinrich von Berg, born in Uberlingen, near Contance, on March 21, 1295, changed his life then preached the love of God.  Our saint, from German nobility, joined the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans) at the age of 13 years.  Young Suso was obsessed with his salvation or damnation.  He mortified his flesh and reported terrifying visions of Hell.  Then our saint sought and received spiritual counsel from another Dominican, Meister Eckhart (1260-1329).  Under Eckhart’s guidance Suso stopped being self-centered spiritually, abandoned physical mortification, and focused on the salvation of other people.

The Dominican prior became an itinerant preacher in service to Christ, whom he called “Eternal Wisdom,” “a gentle loving mistress.”  Suso sought to bring people to God and to deepen their faith by focusing on divine love, not by scaring them.  He also wrote under the pseudonym “Amandus” and worked mainly in Switzerland and the Upper Rhine valley.

Suso was a good man, objectively.  He was also gentle and kind.  Nevertheless, he had to contend with false allegations, including poisoning someone, fathering the child of a woman he was counseling, and stealing.  Our saint spent time in prison on false charges.  Authorities ultimately exonerated him with each other, however.

The self-identified “Servant of Divine Wisdom,” aged 70 years, died in Ulm on January 25, 1366.

Pope Gregory XVI beatified Suso in 1831.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 14, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCINA THE ELDER, HER FAMILY, AND SAINT GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS THE YOUNGER

THE FEAST OF SAINT CAESARIUS OF ARLES, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP; AND HIS SISTER, SAINT CAESARIA OF ARLES, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBESS

THE FEAST OF EIVIND JOSEF BERGGRAV, LUTHERAN BISHOP OF OSLO, HYMN TRANSLATOR, AND LEADER OF THE NORWEGIAN RESISTANCE DURING WORLD WAR II

THE FEAST OF KRISTEN KVAMME, NORWEGIAN-AMERICAN HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT SAVA I, FOUNDER OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH AND FIRST ARCHBISHOP OF SERBS

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

O God, by whose grace your servant Blessed Henry Suso,

kindled with the flame of your love,

became a burning and a shining light in your Church:

Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline,

and walk before you as children of light;

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.

Acts 2:42-47a

Psalm 133 or 34:1-8 or 119:161-168

2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Matthew 6:24-33

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 723

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

Feast of Margery Kempe (November 9)   3 comments

Above:  The Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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

MARGERY BRUNHAM KEMPE (CIRCA 1373-CIRCA 1440)

English Roman Catholic Mystic and Pilgrim

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

Well-behaved women seldom make history.

–Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

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

The General Convention of The Episcopal Church added Margery Kempe to the side calendar of saints in 2009.  Her feast day, shared with Richard Rolle and Walter Hilton, became September 28.  That feast day from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), carried over into the successor volume, A Great Cloud of Witnesses (2016).  The General Convention of 2018 kept the composite feast yet moved it to January 19, per Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, actually the official calendar of saints for the denomination, and successor to Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2006 (2007).  I have, however, been breaking up the composite feast while renovating this, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.  That process has brought me to this post, in which I have assigned Kempe’s feast to November 9, her feast day in The Church of England.

Margery Kempe, born in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, England, circa 1373, was devout.  She also proved perplexing to certain ecclesiastical leaders.

Kempe, born Margery Brunham, came from a wealthy family.  Her father, John Brunham, was, at different times, the mayor, a Member of Parliament, a coroner, a justice of the peace, and a chamberlain.

Circa 1393, at the age of 20 years, Margery married John Kempe (d. 1431).  For two decades she bore fourteen children, wore fine clothing, and, for a time, operated a brewery.  Our saint also desired a celibate life and reported visions.  She finally took a vow of chastity at the age of 40 years; her husband was not enthusiastic about her decision.

Kempe, eccentric and devout, violated gender norms.  She sobbed frequently, reported visions of the Passion of Jesus, pondered Heaven nearly continuously, and made pilgrimages.  Our saint confessed her sins going back to childhood.  She also visited various places–Assisi, the Holy Land, Santiago de Compostela, Rome, et cetera.  Most ecclesiastical figures Kempe consulted thought she was out of her mind, but orthodox, at least.  Blessed Julian(a) of Norwich offered encouragement and support to our saint.

Kempe endured official opposition from elements of the Church.  She even received threats of violence sometimes.  Certain bishops questioned her orthodoxy; they accused her of being a Lollard, until clearing her of that alleged offense.  Lollards, who also criticized Kempe, did not mistake her for being one of their tribe.

Kempe died circa 1440.  She was about 67 years old.

Kempe, able neither to read nor write, dictated The Book of Margery Kempe, long at the Carthusian Mount Grace Priory, near Northallerton, Yorkshire.  Later, the book became the possession of the Butler-Bowden family.  Since the book’s rediscovery in 1934, many people have read translations of it.

I remember one particular commentary on the Song of Songs.  The exegete emphasized the presence of God in the details of human lives, especially those details we do not consider holy, but perhaps merely mundane.

We spend our lives in the presence of God, made manifest in ways both mundane and extraordinary.  Much of the time we are oblivious to the presence of God in our lives.

Margery Kempe nourished the awareness of the presence of God in her life.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 3, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINTS ANSKAR AND RIMBERT, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOPS OF HAMBURG-BREMEN

THE FEAST OF ALFRED DELP, GERMAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF CHARLES SEYMOUR ROBINSON, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMNOLOGIST

THE FEAST OF NICHOLAS KASATKIN, ORTHODOX ARCHBISHOP OF ALL JAPAN

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

Gracious God, we give you thanks for the life and work of Margery Kempe,

a mystic, who, passing through the cloud of unknowing, beheld your glory.

Help us, after her example, to see you more clearly and love you more dearly,

in the Name of Jesus Christ our Savior; who with you and the

Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Job 26:1-14

Psalm 63:1-8

Romans 11:33-12:12

Matthew 5:43-48

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 611

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

Feast of St. Sergius of Radonezh (September 25)   2 comments

Above:  Icon of St. Sergius of Radonezh 

Image in the Public Domain

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

SAINT SERGIUS OF RADONEZH (CIRCA 1314-SEPTEMBER 25, 1392)

Abbot of the Monastery of the Holy Trinity, Sergiyev Posad, Russia

Born Varfolomei Kirillovich

St. Sergius of Radonezh was, by reputation, the greatest of the Russian saints.  He, revered during his lifetime, retained his illustrious name after he died.  Our saint was, however, an unassuming man.

The times during which St. Sergius of Radonezh lived shaped him, and he shaped them.  The Mongol Empire, at its height in the 1200s, spanned the distance from Ukraine to China.  The Mongol conquest of Russia (1237-1240) began a period of Mongol (Tatar) dominance under what, in Russia, was the Khanate of the Golden Horde, which fell in 1480.  The Tatars were, over all, fairly hands-off overlords.  They collected taxes and drafted soldiers, mainly.  The Tatars officially respected cultural institutions, such as the Russian Orthodox Church.  Nevertheless, the life of the Church suffered under Tatar domination, for Tatars played competing princes off against each other.  It was a time of civil wars and related economic upheavals.

Varfolomei Kirillovich, born into nobility in Rostov, near Moscow, circa 1314, came from a family impoverished by these circumstances.  He and his brother, Stephen, raised in the village of Radonezh, also near Moscow, moved into the nearby forest when our saint was 20 years old, after the brothers’ parents had died.  The brothers lived as holy hermits.  Yet, as was the case with many of other holy hermits in Christian history, a community grew up around them.  In 1337 Varfolomei took monastic orders, became a priest, assumed his duties as the first abbot of the Monastery of the Holy Trinity, and became Sergius.  The town of Sergiyev Posad (later renamed Sergiyev then Zagorsk then back to Sergiyev Posad) developed around the monastery, the center of the revival of Russian Orthodox monastic life.  Our saint, the founder of 40 monasteries, was a hard-working abbot until he died, except for a time when, in humility, he retired because Stephen opposed his monastic reforms.

St. Sergius was so respected that St. Alexius (in office 1354-1378), the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Russia, with residence in Moscow, asked our saint to succeed him.  St. Sergius was so entrenched in his ascetic lifestyle, however, that he declined the offer.

Dimitri Donskoi, the Grand Prince of Moscow from 1359 to 1389, sought and received help from St. Sergius before fighting Tatar forces in 1380.  Dimitri consulted the abbot, who blessed him and sent a message to the Muscovite soldiers.  The result of the Battle of Kulikovo, fought on the Kulikovo Plain, at the confluence of the Don and Nepravda Rivers, on September 8, 1380, was a great and historic victory for the Muscovite army.  The Tatars remained a threat, but Dimitri, elevated to the status of the Russian national leader among the competing princes, had proven that the Tatars were not invincible.

St. Sergius died at his monastery on September 25, 1392.  The Russian Orthodox Church canonized him in 1452.

The Monastery of the Holy Trinity is the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 11, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT PAPHNUTIUS THE GREAT, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF UPPER THEBAID

THE FEAST OF ANNE HOULDITCH SHEPHERD, ANGLICAN NOVELIST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHN STAINER AND WALTER GALPIN ALCOCK, ANGLICAN CHURCH ORGANISTS AND COMPOSERS

THE FEAST OF SAINT PATIENS OF LYONS, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP

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

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 servant Sergius of Moscow,

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

Proverbs 4:1-9

Psalm 87

1 John 2:15-17

Luke 8:16-21

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 601

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

Feast of John Wycliffe and Jan Hus (July 6)   4 comments

Above:  Dawn with Mountain Landscape

Image in the Public Domain

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

JOHN WYCLIFFE (CIRCA 1320-DECEMBER 31, 1384)

English Theologian and Church Reformer

“Morning Star of the Reformation”

Also known as John Wiclif, John Wickliffe, and John Wyclif

Episcopal feast day = October 30

Church of England feast day = December 31

influenced

JAN HUS (1371-JULY 6, 1415)

Czech Theologian, Church Reformer, and Martyr

Also known as John Huss and John Hus

Moravian, Episcopal, and Lutheran feast day = July 6

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

It is better to die well than to live wickedly.  One should not sin in order to avoid the punishment of death.  Truth conquers all things.

–Jan Hus, 1415, quoted in Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (New York:  The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1997), 292

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

INTRODUCTION

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

One of my purposes in renovating my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days is to emphasize relationships and influences.  Therefore I, citing the latter, merge the Feasts of John Wycliffe and Jan Hus.

The Moravian Church, founded by Hussites, has long commemorated Hus, who has been a saint in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), and their predecessors since the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978).  The Episcopal Church added Hus and Wycliffe to its calendar in 2009.  Meanwhile, Wycliffe, with separate feast days in The Church of England and The Episcopal Church, has remained absent from all Lutheran calendars I have consulted.

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

THE “MORNING STAR OF THE REFORMATION”

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

Above:  John Wycliffe

Image in the Public Domain

The fourteenth century was a difficult time for much of Europe.  During five years in the late 1340s and early 1350s the Black Death killed no less than two-fifths (and probably more) of the population of Western Europe, upending civilization there and helping to give rise to the modern world.  The tumult of that time called authorities and institutions into question as, for example, many peasants revolted, many urban workers asserted their rights, and the Church restaffed with substandard personnel.  The devastating death toll called the legitimacy of the Church into doubt in the minds of many people, some of whom favored apocalyptic understandings of recent events.

Meanwhile, the Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy (1309-1377) at Avignon, France, a great scandal, was a self-inflicted wound for Holy Mother Church.  Another great scandal and self-inflicted wound, the Great Schism of the Papacy (1378-1417), ensued promptly.

John Wycliffe lived during those times.  He, born near Richmond, Yorkshire, England, circa 1320, was a priest.  Wycliffe was also an academic at Oxford University.  He matriculated at Baillol College in 1344, became master of that college by 1360, and resigned in 1361.  He held overlapping portfolios:

  1. Rector of Fillingham (1361-1368);
  2. Prebend of Aust, Bristol (1362-1384);
  3. Warden of Canterbury Hall, Oxford (1365-1367); and
  4. Rector of Lutterworth (1374-1384).

Meanwhile, Wycliffe was also a lecturer at Oxford until his forced retirement in 1381.

Wycliffe, a popular lecturer and preacher, became a radical.  He, interested in science, theology, local history, canon law, and philosophy, earned various degrees, culminating in his Doctor of Theology degree in 1372.  His move away from affirming the status quo began in 1374, at the start of the last decade of his life.  (Not everyone grows more conservative with age.)  Wycliffe served as a royal envoy to a conference with papal representative at Bruges.  The topic was provisions, or papal appointments to posts not yet vacant.

By 1376 Wycliffe became a committed reformer of the Church.  He criticized papal taxation, fees, and appointments, perhaps more out of political considerations than theological ones.  Our saint, who affirmed the Divine Right of Kings, became convinced that in terms of both doctrine and life the Church had strayed from its apostolic roots.  He argued that the clergy should not hold secular power, so no Pope should exercise power over the English Church.  Furthermore, Wycliffe wrote, Christ is the sole Head of the Universal Church, the Bible is the Law of God, and the true Church consists solely of the predestined Elect.  Wycliffe also affirmed the priesthood of all believers, questioned the theology of purgatory and transubstantiation, opposed the veneration of relics and statues, inveighed against the invocation of saints, criticized the celibacy of the clergy, and insisted that the state (with the monarch as the head of the state church) had an obligation to seize church lands for the benefit of the poor.  Certainly the Great Schism of the Papacy (1378-1417), a time of competing Supreme Pontiffs, influenced and reinforced Wycliffe’s criticism of the Papacy.

Wycliffe alarmed Popes, bishops, and leaders of religious orders, but had protectors in the royal family and among the nobility.  Nevertheless, after he became a scapegoat for a peasant revolt and Oxford authorities declared him a heretic in 1381, forced retirement became his fate.

Wycliffe was fortunate; he got to live and to retain his church positions.  He died three days after a stroke at Lutterworth on December 31, 1384.  Wycliffe was about 64 years old.

Wycliffe’s legacy continued, however.  The translation of the Bible into English was a project in which he was deeply involved, with help from others.  Wycliffe’s theology influenced Jan Hus, Martin Luther, and John Calvin.  The man had died, but his ideas lived.

Nevertheless, the Council of Constance condemned Wycliffe as a heretic posthumously in 1415.  Thirteen years later Richard Fleming, the Bishop of Lincoln, ordered the exhumation and burning of the old priest’s remains.

Some of Wycliffe’s followers were more radical than he was.  The Lollard movement began in 1380 and continued into the 1500s, influencing the English Reformation.  “Lollard” came from the Middle Dutch word for “mumbler” or “mutterer.”  The term, already applied to Flemish heretics prior to Wycliffe’s time, stuck to his followers by 1382.  It was a persecuted minority movement, some of whose members dared to plot to overthrow the government and disendow the English Church in 1431.

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

THE CZECH REFORMER

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

Above:  Jan Hus

Image in the Public Domain

Lord Jesus Christ, it is for the sake of the gospel and the preaching of the word that I undergo, with patience and humility, this terrifying, ignominious, cruel death.

–Jan Hus, July 6, 1415; quoted in Robert Ellsberg, All Saints (1997), 291

Jan Hus, born in Husinec, Bohemia, in 1371, was 17 years old when Wycliffe died.  Hus, influenced by Wycliffe’s writings, became a reformer in Bohemia and walked the road to martyrdom.

Hus, educated at the University of Prague (starting in 1390) was a Roman Catholic priest, as Wycliffe had been.  Hus, based in Prague, was, from 1392, chaplain of the Bethlehem Chapel, where he preached in the Czech language.  Our saint, the dean of the philosophical faculty of the University of Prague from 1401, served also as the Rector of the university in 1403 and 1409.  The following year, however, Archbishop Zbynek Zajic of Hasenberg excommunicated Hus.

Hus had been reading, marking, learning, and inwardly digesting writings of Wycliffe, as well as translating some of them into Czech.  Wycliffe’s ideas had already begun to influence politics in Bohemia, where the Church owned about half of the land, and many people, including a large number of priests, were poor.  Many peasants resented the Church, for obvious reasons.  Also, simony was rife.

Although Hus was radical in his setting, he was less radical than Wycliffe.  Hus, for example, affirmed transubstantiation consistently.  Yet, like Wycliffe, Hus condemned ecclesiastical abuses and defined the true Church as the assembly of the predestined Elect.

Hus managed to survive as long as he did because of protectors.  In 1410  King Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia attained a bull from (Antipope) Alexander V (in office 1409-1410) ordering the burning of Wycliffe’s works, forbidding the preaching of their contents at Bethlehem Chapel, and allowing no appeal.  Archbishop Zajic burned those writings that year.  The following year (Antipope) John XXIII, one of three competing Popes, placed an interdict on Prague, but Wenceslaus IV ignored it and ordered others to do the same.  Meanwhile, (Antipope) John XXIII was waging a war against King Ladislaus of Naples and selling indulgences to finance that war.  After Hus, technically excommunicated yet living as though there were no excommunication order, condemned the sale of those indulgences and accused (Antipope) John XXIII of being the Antichrist.  Wenceslaus IV had been protecting Hus, but ceased to do that in 1412, after (Antipope) John XXIII threatened the Bohemian monarch with a crusade on the charge of protecting heretics and heresy.  So, from 1412 to 1414, Hus lived, wrote, and preached in southern Bohemia for two years.

Hus died as a heretic at Constance, Baden, on July 6, 1415.  He had traveled there under a promise of safe conduct, for the Council of Constance, in 1414, but found himself a prisoner instead.  Hus, after having refused to recant, burned at the stake as a heretic.  He was 43 or 44 years old.

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

CONCLUSION

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

Much of the history of ecclesiastical reactions (as opposed to responses) to heresies, alleged and actual, is an account of behavior contrary to the spirit of Christ.  What in the Gospels might give one the idea that Jesus would approve of burning accused heretics?

One might disagree with Wycliffe and Hus on certain political and/or theological points, but one should recognize and respect their courage in risking their lives by resisting authority nonviolently in the knowledge that the authorities they objected to had the power to torture and execute them.

The Church has silenced and killed prophets, unfortunately.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 26, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM COWPER, ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF ROBERT HUNT, FIRST ANGLICAN CHAPLAIN AT JAMESTOWN, VIRGINIA

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

O God, your justice continually challenges your Church to live according to its calling:

Grant us who now remember the work of John Wyclif

contrition for the wounds which our sins inflict on your Church,

and such love for Christ that we may seek to heal the divisions which afflict his Body;

through the same Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 43:26-33

Psalm 33:4-11

Hebrews 4:12-16

Mark 4:13-20

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 659

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

Faithful God, you gave John Hus the courage to confess your truth

and recall your Church to the image of Christ.

Enable us, inspired by his example, to bear witness against corruption

and never cease to pray for our enemies,

that we may prove faithful followers of our Savior Jesus Christ;

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

Job 22:21-30

Psalm 119:113-120

Revelation 3:1-6

Matthew 23:34-39

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 455

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

Feast of St. John Nepomucene (May 16)   Leave a comment

Above:  Statue of St. John Nepomucene, Prague, Between 1860 and 1890

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USZ62-109000

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

SAINT JOHN NEPOMUCENE (CIRCA 1340-MARCH 20, 1393)

Bohemian Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr

Also known as Saint John of Nepomuk and Saint John of Pomuk

Alternative feast day = March 20

St. John Nepomucene, who exercised the responsibilities of his ministry during the Great Schism of the Papacy, had to contend with the brutal and frequently intoxicated Wenceslaus IV (King of Bohemia, 1363-1419; Holy Roman Emperor, 1378-1400).  Our saint, son of Wolflin, a burger of Nepomuk/Pomuk, a town in the district of Pilsen, Bohemia (now the Czech Republic), pursued a religious vocation.  St. John studied theology and canon law at the University of Prague.  He took holy orders and became a notary public in the Archdiocese of Prague in 1373.  The following year our saint became the first secretary to John of Jenzenstein, the Archbishop of Prague.  From 1379 to 1390 St. John served at the parish of St. Gallus, Prague.  During that time our saint earned his doctorate in canon law from the University of Prague (1387) and became a cathedral canon.  In 1390 he became the Archdeacon of Sasz.  Later, after serving as the president of the ecclesiastical court, St. John became the Vicar-General of the Archdiocese of Prague.

Our saint’s tenure as the Vicar-General was brief, for he ran afoul of Wenceslaus IV.  Our saint, confessor to Queen Sophia of Bavaria, wife of the monarch, maintained the confidentiality of the confessional despite Wenceslaus IV’s wishes to the contrary.  Furthermore, Wenceslaus IV, wishing to create a new diocese and to appoint the bishop thereof, forbade the election of a new abbot of Kladrau after the abbot died.  In 1393 Abbot Rarek died.  St. John confirmed the election of Odelenus, the new abbot, without consulting the monarch.  This action angered Wenceslaus IV, who had plans to transform the abbey church into the cathedral of the planned new diocese.  He had certain ecclesiastical authorities, including St. John, arrested and tortured.  Our saint, in chains and with a block of wood in his mouth, died of drowning in the Moldau River on March 20, 1393.  He was about 53 years old.

In 1400 Wenceslaus IV lost his title of Holy Roman Empire on the grounds of drunkenness and incompetence.

The Church recognized St. John formally.  Pope Innocent XIII beatified our saint in 1721.  Pope Benedict XIII canonized him eight years later.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 24, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF HENRY CLAY SHUTTLEWORTH, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF DANIEL C. ROBERTS, EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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

Gracious God, in every age you have sent men and women

who have given their lives in witness to your love and truth.

Inspire us with the memory of Saint John Nepomucene,

whose faithfulness led to the way of the cross, and give us courage

to bear full witness with our lives to your Son’s victory over sin and death,

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

Ezekiel 20:40-42

Psalm 5

Revelation 6:9-11

Mark 8:34-38

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 59

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

Posted October 24, 2017 by neatnik2009 in May 16, Saints of 1350-1399

Tagged with ,

Feast of Blessed Gemma of Goriano Sicoli (May 13)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Gemma of Goriano Sicoli

Image in the Public Domain

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

BLESSED GEMMA OF GORIANO SICOLI (CIRCA 1375-MAY 13, 1439)

Italian Roman Catholic Anchoress

In Goriano Sicoli, Italy, is the Church of Santa Gemma, the destination of a pilgrimage from San Sebastiano dei Marsi every May 11-13.  The church is a place in a story from World War II.  That story tells us that, when a soldier was preparing to store ammunition in the building, he changed his mind after a young woman (the apparition of Blessed Gemma) appeared to him and said,

Go away; this is my house.

Regardless of the truth or fiction of that story, Blessed Gemma, born circa 1375, in San Sebastiano dei Marsi, was devout.  She raised Roman Catholic, came from an impoverished family on a farm.  That family eventually sought improved financial circumstances in the village of Goriano Sicoli, in the Diocese of Sulmona.  When Blessed Gemma was young her parents died during an epidemic.  Subsequently relatives raised our saint, who worked as a shepherdess and spent much time in prayer in the fields.

Blessed Gemma, a beauty, understood that she had a vocation to the religious life.  She attracted the attention of Count Ruggero of Celano, who eventually abandoned his pursuit of her and financed the construction of her cell next to the Church of San Giovanni, Goriano Sicoli.  The arrangement was such that our saint could see the high altar.  She, an anchoress for the remaining 42 years of her life, provided spiritual counseling to all who sought it from her.  Blessed Gemma died, aged about 64 years, died of natural causes on May 13, 1439.

Devotion to the memory of Blessed Gemma (beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1890) grew over time.  The space beneath the high altar of the Church of Santa Gemma, built on the site of the former Church of San Giovanni, became her tomb in 1613.  A similar reburial occurred in 1818, on the occasion of the construction of the second Church of Santa Gemma.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 24, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF HENRY CLAY SHUTTLEWORTH, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF DANIEL C. ROBERTS, EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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

O God, by whose grace your servant Blessed Gemma of Goriano Sicoli,

kindled with the flame of your love, became a burning and a shining light in your Church:

Grant that we may also be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline,

and walk before you as children of light;

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.

Acts 2:42-47a

Psalm 133 or 34:1-8 or 119:161-168

2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Matthew 6:24-33

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 723

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

Feast of Blessed Julian(a) of Norwich (May 8)   1 comment

Above:  Icon of Blessed Julian(a) of Norwich and Her Cat

Image in the Public Domain

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

BLESSED JULIAN OF NORWICH (LATE 1342-CIRCA 1417/1423)

Mystic and Spiritual Writer

Also known as Blessed Juliana of Norwich

Anglican, Episcopal, and Lutheran feast day = May 8

Roman Catholic feast day = May 13

We know little about Blessed Julian(a) of Norwich.  We do not even know her name.  Much of what we do know about her, however, comes from her book, Revelations of Divine Love (1393), based on twenty-year-old “showings” from God and available as a paperback book in 2017.

Blessed Julian(a) devoted much of her life to God as a recluse.  In May 1373 our saint, thirty and a half years old, was near death at her mother’s house.  A priest even administered the last rites.  Yet our saint recovered and, on May 8, received sixteen revelations–“showings,” which affected her deeply and which she pondered for two decades.  At some point she became a recluse at St. Julian’s Church, Conisford, Norwich, England; she was there by 1400.  Blessed Julian(a) lived with a cat (certainly a fine companion) in a suite at the church, part of the Benedictine Community at Carrow.  Two servants, Sarah and Alice, moved in the outside world on her behalf.  Meanwhile, people sought Blessed Julian(a) out for spiritual counsel.  Among these was the mystic Margery Kempe (d. 1440).  Our saint lived into her seventies–at least into 1416, when she became a beneficiary of a will.

Revelations of Divine Love reveals much about the character and theology of Blessed Julian(a), informally beatified in the Roman Catholic Church.  The book shows her humility, for, despite the evidence of her education and keen intellect in that text, she describes herself as

a simple and uneducated creature

in the second chapter.  The book also reveals Blessed Julian(s) focus on divine kindness and on the Passion of Jesus,

our courteous Lord.

The Holy Trinity is another major topic in the Revelations of Divine Love, as in Chapter 54:

We are to rejoice that God and the soul mutually indwell each other; there is nothing between God and our soul; it is, so to speak, all God; through the work of the Holy Spirit, faith is the foundation of all the soul’s virtues.

And because of his great and everlasting love for mankind, God makes no distinction in the love he has for the blessed soul of Christ and that which he has for the lowliest soul to be saved.  It is easy enough to believe and trust that the blessed soul of Christ is pre-eminent in the glorious Godhead, and indeed, if I understand our Lord aright, where his blessed soul there is too, in substance, are all the souls which will be saved by him.

How greatly should we rejoice that God indwells our soul!  Even more that our soul dwells in God!  Our created soul is to be God’s dwelling place:  and the soul’s dwelling place is to be God, who is uncreated.  It is a great thing to know in our heart that God, our Maker, indwells our soul.  Even greater is to know that our soul, our created soul, dwells in the substance of God.  Of that substance, God, are we what we are!

I could see no difference between God and our substance:  it was all God, so to speak.  Yet my mind understood that our substance was in God.  In other words, God is God, and our substance his creation.  For the almighty truth of the Trinity is our Father:  he makes us and preserves us in himself; the deep wisdom of the Trinity is our Mother, in whom we are enfolded; the great goodness of the Trinity is our Lord, and we are enfolded by him too, and he by us.  We are enfolded alike in the Father, in the Son, and in the Holy Spirit.  And the Father is enfolded in us, the Son too, and the Holy Spirit as well:  all mightiness, all wisdom, all goodness–one God, one Lord.

The virtue that our faith springs from our basic nature and comes into our soul through the Holy Spirit.  Through this virtue all virtues come into our soul through the Holy Spirit.  Through this virtue all virtues come to us, and without it no one can be virtuous.  Our faith is nothing, else but a right understanding, and true belief, and sure trust, that with regard to our essential being we are in God, and God in us, though we do not see him.  This virtue, and all others which spring from it, through the ordering of God, works great things in us.  For Christ in his mercy works within us, and we graciously co-operate with him through the gift and power of the Holy Spirit.  This makes us Christ’s children, and Christian in our living.

Revelations of Divine Love, translated by Clifton Wolters (1966)

We know little about Blessed Julian(a) of Norwich, but that fact might not matter very much.  We can still read her book, after all.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 3, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF GEORGE KENNEDY ALLEN BELL, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF CHICHESTER

THE FEAST OF JOHN RALEIGH MOTT, ECUMENICAL PIONEER

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

Lord God, in your compassion you granted to the Lady Julian

many revelations of your nurturing and sustaining love:

Move our hearts, like hers, to seek you above all things,

for in giving us yourself you give us all;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Isaiah 46:3-5

Psalm 27:5-11

Hebrews 10:19-24

John 4:23-26

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 363

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