Archive for the ‘Saints of 1580-1589’ Category

Feast of the Jesuit Martyrs of Paraguay (November 16)   Leave a comment

Above:  Map of the Province of Paraguay, 1600

Image in the Public Domain

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

SAINT ROQUE GONZÂLEZ DE LA CRUZ (NOVEMBER 17, 1576-NOVEMBER 15, 1628)

Spanish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1628

Alternative feast day = November 15

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

SAINT ALPHONSUS RODRÍGUEZ OLMEDO (MARCH 10, 1595-NOVEMBER 15, 1628)

Spanish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1628

Alternative feast day = November 15

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

SAINT JUAN DE CASTILLO (SEPTEMBER 14, 1595-NOVEMBER 17, 1628)

Spanish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1628

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

Collective alternative feast day = November 17

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

God does not command the Gospel of Our Lord to be preached with the noise of arms and with pillage.  What He rather commands is the example of a good life and teaching.

–St. Roque González de la Cruz, quoted in Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (1997), 497

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

The Jesuit Martyrs of Paraguay come to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church, as well as Elllsberg, All Saints (1997).

The Jesuit missions in South American proclaimed the Gospel of Christ and shielded part of the indigenous population from slavery.  Many European colonists enjoyed exploiting the native people of South America for financial gain.  Therefore, powerful political forces in Europe in the Spanish colonies in the New World pushed back against the Jesuits’ missionary efforts.  Also, some indigenous people did not differentiate between the Jesuits shielding them from slavers and the European slavers.

These three saints lived, worked, and died in this perilous context.

St. Roque González, a son of Spanish colonists, entered the world at Asunción, Paraguay, on November 17, 1576.  His parents, Bartholomé González y de Villaverde and María de Santa Cruz, were from noble families.  Our saint grew up bilingual in Spanish and Guariní.  He, ordained a priest in 1598, became a Jesuit in 1609.  The Jesuits sent him to serve as a missionary in what is now Brazil, but was then within the borders of the Spanish Province of Paraguay.  González was the first person of European ancestry to enter what is now the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul.  He founded the missions of San Ignacio Mani (1613), Itapúa (1615). Concepción de la Siena Candelaria (1619), San Javier, San Nicolás, Asunción del Ijui, and Todos los Santos de Caaró (1628).

Above:  The Brazilian State of Rio Grande do Sul

Scanned from Hammond’s World Atlas–Classics Edition (1957)

Scanned by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

González worked with St. Juan de Castillo.  Castillo, born in Belmonte, Toledo, Spain, on September 14, 1595.  He studied law at the University of Alcalá then became a lawyer.  Yet Castillo found that career unfulfilling.  Therefore, he joined the Society of Jesus on March 21, 1614, with the intention of becoming a priest.  Castillo and St. Alphonsus Rodríguez Olmedo traveled to South America together in November 1616.

St. Alphonsus Rodríguez Olmedo, born in Zamora, Spain, on March 10, 1598, joined the Society of Jesus in Villagarcía de Campos, Valladolid.

Castillo, ordained a priest, spent the rest of his life as a missionary.  He joined González at Ijui.  González left there to found another mission while Castillo ministered at Ijui (now in Brazil).

Rodríguez served in the missions of Paraná and Itapuá in 1628.  Later that year, he helped González found Todos los Santos de Caaró.  On November 15, 1628, González was preparing to supervise the installation of the new bell at the mission church.  However, local chieftain Nheçu had ordered the deaths of the Jesuits there.  González and Rodríguez died via tomahawks.  Hostile tribesmen dragged the corpses into the church and burned it.

Two days later, at Ijui, Castillo also became a martyr, on the orders of Nheçu.

The Jesuit missions in South America continued until 1773, when Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Society of Jesus.  That shameful incident is the backdrop for The Mission (1986).

Holy Mother Church formally recognized these three martyrs.  Pope Pius XI declared them Venerables in 1933 then Beati in 1934.  Pope John Paul II canonized them in 1988.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 30, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JAMES MONTGOMERY, ANGLICAN AND MORAVIAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF DIET EMAN; HER FIANCÉ, HEIN SIETSMA, MARTYR, 1945; AND HIS BROTHER, HENDRIK “HENK” SIETSMA; RIGHTEOUS AMONG THE NATIONS

THE FEAST OF JAMES RUSSELL WOODFORD, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF ELY, HYMN TRANSLATOR, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHN ROSS MACDUFF AND GEORGE MATHESON, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN MINISTERS AND AUTHORS

THE FEAST OF SARAH JOSEPHA BUELL HALE, U.S. POET, AUTHOR, EDITOR, AND PROPHETIC WITNESS

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

Almighty and everlasting God, who kindled the flame

of your love in the hearts of your holy martyrs

Saint Roque González de la Cruz,

Saint Alphonsus Rodríguez Olmedo,

and Saint Juan de Castillo:

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

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

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Jeremiah 15:15-21

Psalm 124 or 31:1-5

1 Peter 4:12-19

Mark 8:34-38

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

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

Feast of St. Lorenzo Ruiz and His Companions (September 28)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Philippines and Japan at the end of the Seventeenth Century

Image in the Public Domain

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

SAINT LORENZO RUIZ (NOVEMBER 28, 1594-SEPTEMBER 29, 1637)

Chinese-Filipino Roman Catholic Missionary and Martyr in Japan, 1637

Alternative feast day = September 29

+++++

SAINT ANTONIO GONZÁLEZ (1593-SEPTEMBER 24, 1637)

Spanish Roman Catholic Missionary Priest and Martyr and Japan, 1637

His feast transferred from September 24

+++++

SAINT GUILLERMO COURTET (CIRCA 1590-SEPTEMBER 29, 1637)

French Roman Catholic Missionary Priest and Martyr in Japan, 1637

His feast transferred from September 29

+++++

SAINT MIGUEL GONZÁLEZ DE AOZARAZA DE LEIBAR (FEBRUARY 1598-SEPTEMBER 29, 1637)

Spanish Roman Catholic Missionary Priest and Martyr in Japan, 1637

His feast transferred from September 29

+++++

SAINT VICENTE SHIWOZUKA DE LA CRUZ (CIRCA 1576-SEPTEMBER 29, 1637)

Japanese Roman Catholic Missionary Priest and Martyr in Japan, 1637

His feast transferred from September 29

+++++

SAINT LAZARO (OR LAZARUS) OF KYOTO (DIED SEPTEMBER 29, 1637)

Japanese Roman Catholic Layman and Martyr in Japan, 1637

His feast transferred from September 29

St. Lorenzo Ruiz comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic.  You, O reader, may notice that I have transferred feasts from September 24 and September 29 to September 28.  This Ecumenical Calendar is one of my hobbies, so I get to do whatever I want here.  Also, I reserve September 29 for St. Michael and All Angels, given my policy (with very few exceptions) of reserving some days for just one post, if that post is about a Biblical character or Biblical characters.

St. Lorenzo Ruiz, born in Manila, the Philippines, on November 28, 1594, came from a Roman Catholic family.  His father was Chinese.  Our saint’s mother was Filipino.  Ruiz, bilingual in Chinese and Tagalog, served as an altar boy in the family’s parish church.  The Dominican friars taught him Spanish.  Our saint, a member of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary, married one Rosario.  The couple had two sons and one daughter.

Then, in 1636, our saint’s life took a detour.  Ruiz, falsely accused of murdering a Spaniard, fled the country.  He escaped on a ship carrying four Dominican priests and a layman.  They were:

  1. St. Antonio González, born in Léon, Spain, in 1593, became a Dominican priest and missionary. 
  2. St. Guillermo Courtet, born in Sérignan, Languedoc, France, circa 1590, became a Dominican priest and missionary.
  3. St. Miguel González de Aozaraza de Leibar, born in Oñate, Guipúzcoa, Spain, in February 1598, became a Dominican priest and missionary.
  4. St. Vicente Shiwozuka de la Cruz, born in Nagasaki circa 1576, became a Dominican and missionary.
  5. St. Lazaro (or Lazarus) of Kyoto, born in Kyoto, was a layman and a leper.

The six saints sailed for Okinawa.

The Tokugawa Shogunate, which pursued an isolationist foreign policy, persecuted Christians.  After someone at Okinawa betrayed the six saints, they spent more than a year in prison and endured tortures.  St. Antonio González died first at Nagasaki, on September 24, 1637.  St. Vincente Shiwozuka de la Cruz briefly wavered in his faith yet recovered it.  Likewise, Ruiz briefly became ready to renounce his faith in exchange for release while hanging upside-down over a pit in Nagasaki for two days.  Yet he recovered his faith in time to die as the first Filipino martyr on September 28.  Sts. Guillermo Courtet, Miguel González de Aozaraza de Leibar, Vicente Shiwozuka de la Cruz, and Lazaro (Lazarus) of Kyoto received the crown of martyrdom on September 29.

Holy Mother Church recognized these saints formally.  Pope John Paul II declared them Venerables in 1980, Beati in 1981, and full saints in 1987.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 3, 2021 COMMON ERA

HOLY SATURDAY

THE FEAST OF LUTHER D. REED, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER AND LITURGIST

THE FEAST OF SAINTS BURGENDOFARA AND SADALBERGA, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBESSES, AND THEIR RELATIVES

THE FEAST OF MARC SANGNIER, FOUNDER OF THE SILLON MOVEMENT

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARY OF EGYPT, HERMIT AND PENITENT

THE FEAST OF REGINALD HEBER, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF CALCUTTA, AND HYMN WRITER

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

Almighty and everlasting God, who kindled the

flame of your love in the heart of your holy martyrs

Saint Lorenzo Ruiz,

Saint Antonio González,

Saint Guillermo Courtet,

Saint Miguel González de Aozaraza de Leibar, 

Saint Vicente Shiwozuka de la Cruz, and

Saint Lazaro (or Lazarus) of Kyoto:

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

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

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Jeremiah 15:15-21

Psalm 124 or 31:1-5

1 Peter 4:12-19

Mark 8:34-38

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

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

Feast of Lancelot Andrewes (September 26)   Leave a comment

Above:  Lancelot Andrewes

Image in the Public Domain

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

LANCELOT ANDREWES (1555-SEPTEMBER 26, 1626)

Anglican Bishop of Chichester then of Ely then of Winchester

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

Two things I recognize, O Lord, in myself:  nature, which Thou hast made; and sin, which I have added.

–Lancelot Andrewes

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

Bishop Lancelot Andrewes comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Anglican Communion.

Lancelot Andrewes, born in London in 1555, became one of the leading Anglican divines, as well as a fine scholar and a Biblical translator.  He mastered fifteen languages.  Our saint, educated at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge (matriculated, 1571; B. A.; Fellow, 1576; M.A., 1578; Master, 1589f) joined the ranks of Anglican clergy.  He became a deacon in 1579 then a priest in 1580.  After serving as the chaplain to Henry Hastings, the Third Earl of Huntingdon, Andrewes became the Vicar of St. Giles, Cripplegate, London, in 1588.  The following year, our saint added other portfolios to that one:

  1. Chaplain to John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury;
  2. Prebendary of St. Pancras, Cathedral of St. Paul, London;
  3. Prebendary of Southwell; and
  4. Master of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge.

Andrewes, a chaplain to Queen Elizabeth I in 1570, turned down two offers of bishoprics (Ely and Salisbury) from her in 1598.  Yet our saint eventually accepted promotion.  He was:

  1. the Dean of Winchester (1601-1605),
  2. the Bishop of Chichester (1605-1609),
  3. the Lord Almoner (1605-1619),
  4. the Bishop of Ely (1609-1619),
  5. the Dean of the Chapel Royal (1618-1626), and
  6. the Bishop of Winchester (1619-1626).

Andrewes, a skilled preacher and a conscientious hearer of confessions, was also a Patristic scholar who made lasting contributions to theology and English-speaking Christianity.  Our saint, who applied the highest standards of personal behavior to himself and others, served as the head of the committee that revised the Bishop’s Bible (1568, 1572, 1602) into the Authorized (King James, as we call it on this side of the Pond) Version (1611).  Our saint was a defender of the Anglican Via Media against critics from both Roman Catholicism and Calvinism.   Andrewes, with Richard Hooker (1554-1600), was one of the architects of Anglican theology.  Our saint defended the catholicity of The Church of England, affirmed that the body of blood of Christ were present in the Eucharist, and used incense.  His aversion to Calvinism was impossible to miss.

Andrewes, who brought intellect to his piety, died at Southwark on September 26, 1626.  He was about 71 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 27, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHARLES HENRY BRENT, EPISCOPAL MISSIONARY BISHOP; BISHOP OF THE PHILIPPINES; BISHOP OF WESTERN NEW YORK; AND ECUMENIST

THE FEAST OF SAINTS NICHOLAS OWEN, THOMAS GARNET, MARK BARKWORTH, EDWARD OLDCORNE, AND RALPH ASHLEY, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS, 1601-1608

THE FEAST OF ROBERT HALL BAYNES, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF MADAGASCAR

THE FEAST OF SAINT RUPERT OF SALZBURG, APOSTLE OF BAVARIA AND AUSTRIA

THE FEAST OF STANLEY ROTHER, U.S. ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, MISSIONARY, AND MARTYR IN GUATEMALA, 1981

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

Almighty God, you gave your servant Lancelot Andrewes

the gift of your Holy Spirit and made him a man of prayer

and a faithful pastor of your people:

Perfect in us what is lacking in your gifts,

of faith, to increase it;

of hope, to kindle it;

that we may live in the life of your grace and glory:

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 11:1-5

Psalm 63:1-8

1 Timothy 2:1-7a

Luke 11:1-4

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 603

+++++

Everlasting God,

you guided your servant Lancelot Andrewes

in preaching and prayer

to bring forth ancient treasures

for renewing the English Church.

Grant us to share his conformity to Christ,

that our hearts may love you, our minds may serve you

and our lips may proclaim the greatness of your mercy;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God now and for ever.  Amen.

Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 51:13-22

Psalm 78:1-6

Matthew 13:44-52

–The Anglican Church of Canada

+++++

Holy and loving God,

from you Lancelot Andrewes received

gifts of scholarship

and a singular power in prayer;

teach us to pray

not only for ourselves

but for your struggling world,

through him who showed us how to pray,

Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

or

Blessed are you, God of beauty and order,

in Lancelot the preacher and devoted scholar;

may we too strive for wisdom to serve the church.  Amen.

Proverbs 3:1-8

Psalm 63:1-9 or 119:97-104

1 Peter 5:1-4

Matthew 13:44-46, 52

–The Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

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

Feast of St. Jane Frances de Chantal (August 12)   1 comment

Above:  St. Jane Frances de Chantal

Image in the Public Domain

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

SAINT JANE FRANCES DE CHANTAL (JANUARY 28, 1572-DECEMBER 13, 1641)

Cofoundress of the Congregation of the Visitation 

Also known as Saint Jeanne de Chantal and Saint Jane Frances Fremiot de Chantal

Alternative feast days = August 18 and December 13

Former feast days = August 21 and December 12

St. Jane Frances de Chantal comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church, as well as Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (1997).

Our saint came from a prominent and wealthy family.  She, born in Dijon, France, on January 28, 1572, was a daughter of Margaret de Berbisey and Bénigne Frémyot, president of the Burgundian parliament.  St. Jane’s brother André grew up to become the Archbishop of Bourges, serving from 1602 to 1621.  Margaret died when our saint was 18 months old.  Bénigne, as a widower and a single father, raised his daughter to become a refined young woman.

At the age of twenty years, St. Jane married Baron Christophe de Rabutin.  The happy marriage produced seven children, three of whom died in infancy.  It was a brief marriage, though; the Baron died in a hunting accident in 1601, after eight years of marriage.  St. Jane, widowed at twenty-eight years of age and raising four children, struggled.  She depended on her family, made a personal vow of chastity, and spent much time in prayer.  Life in her father-in-law’s household was miserable for our saint.

In Lent 1604, St. Jane’s father invited her to visit Dijon and hear St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622), the Bishop of Geneva, and the “Apostle of Charity,” speak.  Our saint accepted that invitation.  That address changed the course of St. Jane’s life.  She recognized him as the man in the vision she had received at her father-in-law’s house in Monthelon.  St. Francis advised St. Jane to spend less time with her father-in-law in Monthelon and more time with her father in Dijon.  Our saint obeyed that counsel and attended to both men.

The two saints and their families became close.  St. Jane considered joining a Carmelite convent in Dijon in 1605; St. Francis dissuaded her.  The two saints became part of the same extended family in 1610.  St. Jane’s daughter, Marie Aymée, married Bernard, the youngest brother of St. Francis.  After St. Jane’s youngest daughter, Charlotte, died, our saint, her son Celse-Bénigne, and her daughter Françoise relocated to Annecy, where Marie Aymée and Bernard lived.  Then St. Francis bought a house in the area.

Above:  Annecy, France

Image Source = Google Earth

Sts. Jane and Francis founded the Congregation of the Visitation on Trinity Sunday, June 6, 1610, in Annecy.  St. Jane’s 15-year-old son, Celse-Bénigne, opposed his mother’s plan to enter religious life.  He asked her not to leave, and he laid down in front of the door.  Our saint literally stepped over her son, out of the house, and into religious life.  The Congregation of the Visitation was controversial from the beginning.  The rule of the Congregation was relatively lenient.  The Congregation also accepted women whom other orders had rejected for being too ill or too old.  St. Jane, the Congregation’s first Superior, presided over its expansion to 86 convents.

St. Jane died, aged 69 years, in Moulins, France, on December 13, 1641.  

Holy Mother Church has formally recognized St. Jane.  Pope Benedict XIV beatified her in 1751.  Pope Clement XIII canonized our saint in 1767.

St. Jane’s patronage is for widows, for parents separated from children, against problems with in-laws, against the death of parents, against abandonment, and for abandoned or forgotten people.

Members of the Congregation of the Visitation continue to lead contemplative lives, run schools, and work with widows and ill women.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 4, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHARLES SIMEON, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND PROMOTER OF MISSIONS; HENRY MARTYN, ANGLICAN PRIEST, LINGUIST, TRANSLATOR, AND MISSIONARY; AND ABDUL MASIH, INDIAN CONVERT AND MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF HENRY SUSO, GERMAN ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR, PREACHER, AND SPIRITUAL WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHN EDGAR PARK, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEN CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF PAUL CUFFEE, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MISSIONARY TO THE SHINNECOCK NATION

THE FEAST OF THOMAS HORNBLOWER GILL, ENGLISH UNITARIAN THEN ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER

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

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 Saint Jane Frances de Chantal,

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, 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 Stephen Rowsham (August 11)   2 comments

Above:  The Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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

BLESSED THOMAS ROWSHAM (CIRCA 1555-APRIL 3, 1587)

English Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1587

Alternative feast day = April 3

December 1 = Feast of the Martyrs of Oxford University

November 22 = Feast of the Martyrs of England, Scotland, and Wales

October 29 = Feast of the Martyrs of Douai

Blessed Thomas Rowsham comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.  His main feast day is August 11.

Rowsham went from being an Anglican priest to a Roman Catholic priest and martyr.  Our saint, born in Oxfordshire, England, circa 1555, matriculated at Oriel College, Oxford, in 1572.  He, ordained in The Church of England, served as the Vicar of the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin about 1578.  However, he became convinced that the Roman Catholic Church was the true church .  Therefore, Rowsham matriculated at the English College, Rheims, France, in May 1582.  He, ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood on September 29, 1581.  The Church dispatched our saint to England, on a perilous mission, in late April 1582.  Rowsham, as a Roman Catholic priest, was legally an enemy of the state.  Our saint, arrested in May 1582, was a prisoner in the Tower of London (1582-1584) then at Marshalsea (1584-1585).  Rowsham, exiled to France, returned to England in February 1586.  He worked as an underground priest for about a year before authorities arrested him again, in Gloucester.  Tried and convicted of treason, Rowsham died by hanging at Gloucester on April 3, 1587.

Pope John Paul II declared Rowsham a Venerable in 1986 then beatified him the following year.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 8, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JULIANA OF NORWICH, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTIC AND SPIRITUAL WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ACACIUS OF BYZANTIUM, MARTYR, 303

THE FEAST OF HENRI DUMONT, ROMAN CATHOLIC COMPOSER AND ORGANIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT MAGDALENA OF CANOSSA, FOUNDRESS OF THE DAUGHTERS OF CHARITY AND THE SONS OF CHARITY

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER OF TARENTAISE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP

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

Almighty God, who gave to your servant Blessed Thomas Rowsham

boldness to confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world,

and courage to die for this faith:

Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us,

and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ;

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

2 Esdras 2:42-48

Psalm 126 or 121

1 Peter 3:14-18, 22

Matthew 10:16-22

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 713

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

Feast of Blesseds Humphrey Pritchard, George Nichols, Richard Yaxley, and Thomas Belson (July 5)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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

BLESSED GEORGE NICHOLS (1550-JULY 5, 1589)

BLESSED RICHARD YAXLEY (CIRCA 1560-JULY 5, 1589)

English Roman Catholic Priests and Martyrs, 1589

+++++++++++

BLESSED HUMPHREY PRITCHARD (DIED JULY 5, 1589)

Welsh Roman Catholic Martyr, 1589

+++++++++++

BLESSED THOMAS BELSON (CIRCA 1564-JULY 5, 1589)

English Roman Catholic Martyr, 1589

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

Nichols, Yaxley, Pritchard, and Belson = Martyrs of England, Scotland, and Wales (November 22)

Nichols, Yaxley, Pritchard, and Belson = Martyrs of Oxford University (December 1)

Nichols, Yaxley, and Belson = Martyrs of Douai (October 29)

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

What I cannot say in words I will seal with my blood.

–Blessed Humphrey Pritchard, July 5, 1589

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

Once upon a time, being a Roman Catholic priest in England was, by law, committing treason.  The verdict was always guilty.  Torture preceded execution.  The sentence was always hanging, drawing, and quartering.  Lay members who assisted priests risked arrest, torture, and execution via hanging.

Blessed George Nichols, born in Oxford, England, in 1550, graduated from Brasenose College, Oxford University, in 1573 then taught at St. Paul’s School, London.  After our saint converted to Roman Catholicism, he matriculated at Douai College, Rheims, France, in 1581.  Nichols joined the ranks of priests in September 1583.

Blessed Richard Yaxley also became a priest.  He, born circa 1560 in Boston, Lincolnshire, England, was a son of William Yaxley and Rose Langton (Yaxley).  Our saint studied at Oxford University and Douai College.  He received the sacrament of ordination to the priesthood on September 21, 1585.

Nichols and Yaxley returned to their homeland as underground priests.  Nichols arrived in late 1584.  Yaxley returned in 1586.  Two of their helpers were Blessed Thomas Belson and Blessed Humphrey Pritchard.  Belson, arrested for taking information to a Roman Catholic priest, spent time in the Tower of London.  He, released and banished, returned to England.

Above:  The Flag of Wales

Image in the Public Domain

The Catherine Wheel Inn, Oxford, was a meeting-place for Roman Catholics.  Pritchard was a pot-boy there for 12 years.  During that time, he helped many priests evade authorities.  A false convert betrayed our four saints in early 1589.  Authorities arrested the four saints together.  Belson, apprehended with Father Nichols, his confessor, joioned the priests and Pritchard in prison.  All four saints endured tortures.  Father Nichols, approaching his martyrdom, heard the confessions of a highwayman named Harcot and reconciled him to God and Holy Mother Church.  All five died in Oxford on July 5, 1589.  The priests were the first to receive the crown of martyrdom.

The Church has officially recognized these four saints.  Pope John Paul II declared them Venerables in 1986.  The following year, he beatified them.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

THE FEAST OF JOHANN OLAF WALLIN, ARCHBISHOP OF UPPSALA, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT GENNARO MARIA SARNELLI, ITALIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MISSIONARY TO THE VULNERABLE AND EXPLOITED PEOPLE OF NAPLES

THE FEAST OF HEINRICH LONAS, GERMAN MORAVIAN ORGANIST, COMPOSER, AND LITURGIST

THE FEAST OF PAUL HANLY FURFEY, U.S. ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, SOCIOLOGIST, AND SOCIAL RADICAL

THE FEAST OF SAINT PHILIP POWEL, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1646

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

Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyrs

Blessed Humphrey Pritchard,

Blessed George Nichols,

Blessed Richard Yaxley, and

Blessed Thomas Belson

triumphed over suffering and were faithful even to death:

Grant us, who now remember them in thanksgiving,

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

that we may receive with them the crown of life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 51:1-12

Psalm 116 or 116:1-8

Revelation 7:13-17

Luke 12:2-12

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 714

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

Feast of St. Felix of Cantalice (May 18)   Leave a comment

Above:  Saint Felix of Cantalice, by Peter Paul Rubens

Image in the Public Domain

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

SAINT FELIX OF CANTALICE (MAY 18, 1515-MAY 18, 1587)

Italian Roman Catholic Friar

Also known as Brother Deo Gratias

St. Felix of Cantalice used his spiritual gifts faithfully.

St. Felix, of peasant origin, was illiterate.  He, born in Cantalice, on the Italian peninsula, debuted on May 18, 1515.  Our saint worked as a shepherd and a farmhand at Cotta Ducale, starting from the age of nine years, for more than twenty years.  He, pious, spent much of his spare time in prayer.  St. Felix also listened to a friend read lives of Desert Fathers to him.  This audio study of the lives of Desert Fathers inculcated in our saint a desire to become a hermit.  Yet he knew that he needed the discipline that came from having a superior.

St. Felix became a Capuchin lay brother.  He did this at Anticoli (near Rome) in 1543.  He was in Rome from 1547 until his death, four decades later.  Our saint’s main job was to hear confessions and pronounce forgiveness of sins.  He earned his reputation for holiness.  St. Felix also preached against vice and political corruption.  Theologians sought his counsel.  St. Philip Neri (1515-1595), the “Apostle of Rome” and the founder of the Congregation of the Oratory, also sought St. Felix’s advice.  Neri, who worked with our saint, considered him the greatest living saint.  Children, to whom St. Felix taught simple canticles as tools of learning the catechism, adored him.  He adored them.  Then many adults asked to hear him sing the canticles, too.  St. Felix became known as Brother Deo Gratias, after his standard greeting, “Deo gratias.”  Our saint, humble and self-deprecating, referred to himself as the “Ass of the Capuchins.”

St. Felix, aged 72 years, died in Rome on May 18, 1587.  As for many people were concerned, his beatification in 1625 and canonization in 1712 were mere formalities.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 3, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF LUTHER D. REED, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER AND LITURGIST

THE FEAST OF SAINTS BURGENDOFARA AND SADALBERGA, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBESSES, AND THEIR RELATIVES

THE FEAST OF MARC SANGNIER, FOUNDER OF THE SILLON MOVEMENT

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARY OF EGYPT, HERMIT AND PENITENT

THE FEAST OF REGINALD HEBER, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF CALCUTTA, AND HYMN WRITER

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

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 Saint Felix of Cantalice,

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 Jakob Bohme (April 23)   3 comments

Above:  Jakob Böhme

Image in the Public Domain

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

JAKOB BÖHME (APRIL 24, 1575-NOVEMBER 17, 1624)

German Lutheran Mystic

Jakob Böhme comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via William Law (1686-1761), whom he influenced.

Böhme, born in Alteidenberg, near Görlitz, circa April 24, 1575, was a shoemaker-turned-mystic.  In 1600, he had a mystical experience.  He realized that

Yes and no, all things exist.

Böhme spent the rest of his life struggling with difficult questions.  He, always rooted in Christianity, wrote 29 books and tracts, some of which renamed incomplete when he died.  Our saint struggled with questions of sin, good and evil, yes and no, and darkness and light in the context of God and spiritual unity in God.  How, Böhme wondered, could the divided world become one in God?  Many of his early writings caused theological controversy.  Our saint disavowed some of the earliest writings as he matured theologically and spiritually.  Yet he never stopped wrestling with difficult matters of faith.  Some of his later works included On the Election of Grace (1623), Mysterium Magnum (1623), and The Way to Christ (1623).

Böhme died on November 17, 1624.  He was 49 years old.

His influence continued, however.  Aside from William Law, the diverse group of thinkers Böhme influenced included theologians and philosophers, such as:

  1. George Fox (1624-1691), founder of the Religious Society of Friends;
  2. Paul Tillich (1886-1965), a prominent theologian;
  3. Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), a philosopher;
  4. Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), a philosopher; and
  5. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), a philosopher.

May each of us, like Jakob Böhme, struggle with difficult questions faithfully.

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

Loving God, you have granted us intellects

and a thirst to know you as well as we can.

Thank you for these gifts.

May we, like your servant Jakob Böhme,

use them to maximum effect,

for your glory and the benefit of others.

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

1 Samuel 3:1-21

Psalm 63

Ephesians 2:11-22

John 1:1-18

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 7, 2020 COMMON ERA

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

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

Feast of St. Jan Sarkander (March 17)   1 comment

Above:  St. Jan Sarkander

Image in the Public Domain

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

SAINT JAN SARKANDER (DECEMBER 20, 1576-MARCH 17, 1620)

Silesian Roman Catholic Priest and “Martyr of the Confessional,” 1620

Protestant-Roman Catholic tensions have cooled since the lifetime of St. Jan Sarkander, but petty personal politics have remained constant.  Unfortunately, so has judicial murder.

St. Jan Sarkander, born in Skotschan, Silesia (now Skocjow, Poland), on December 20, 1576, was a son of Georg Mathias Sarkander and Helene Kornize (Sarkander).  Georg died when our saint was young.  Jan’s marriage ended with the death of his wife.  The couple had no children.  Then Sarkander turned to the Church.

Sarkander became a priest.  He studied under Jesuits in Prague, earning his master of philosophy degree in 1603.  Then he studied theology in Austria.  This led to his ordination to the priesthood in 1607, at Grozin.  Sarkander, curate at Boskowitz from 1613 to 1616, became a parish priest in Olmütz, Moravia (now Olomouc, Czech Republic).  Moravia was a strongly Protestant area.  Bitowsky von Bystritz, a wealthy landowner and a Protestant, opposed our saint.  Sarkander had a prominent supporter and parishioner, though; Baron von Labkowitz favored him.

Sarkander became a victim of Bystritz.  The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) was, in part, a war of religion (Protestant versus Roman Catholic).  Our saint, briefly forced into exile during Protestant occupation of the area, returned to tend to his flock.  In 1620, when Roman Catholic forces approached the area, Sarkander prevented combat by taking a monstrance to the would-be battlefield.  Bystritz accused the priest of treason.  Bystritz was really seeking information to use against Labkowitz.  Sarkander never violated the seal of the confessional, despite tortures.  He died (by burning alive) at Olmütz on March 17, 1620.  He was 43 years old.

The Roman Catholic Church recognized Sarkander formally.  Pope Pius IX declared our saint a Venerable in 1859 then beatified him the following year.  Pope John Paul II canonized Sarkander in 1995.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 22, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN JULIAN, ANGLICAN PRIEST, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMNOLOGIST

THE FEAST OF ALEXANDER MEN, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1990

THE FEAST OF LADISLAO BATTHÁNY-STRATTMANN, AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PHYSICIAN AND PHILANTHROPIST

THE FEAST OF LOUISE CECILIA FLEMING, AFRICAN-AMERICAN BAPTIST MISSIONARY AND PHYSICIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT VINCENT PALLOTTI, FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY FOR THE CATHOLIC APOSTOLATE, THE UNION OF CATHOLIC APOSTOLATE, AND THE SISTERS OF THE CATHOLIC APOSTOLATE

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

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

who have given their lives for the message of your love.

Inspire us with the memory of those martyrs for the Gospel

[like your servant Saint Jan Sarkander] whose faithfulness led them in the way of the cross,

and give us the courage to bear full witness with our lives

to your Son’s victory over sin and death; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Ezekiel 20:40-42

Psalm 5

Revelation 6:9-11

Mark 8:34-38

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

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

Feast of St. Robert Southwell (February 21)   Leave a comment

Above:  Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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

SAINT ROBERT SOUTHWELL (1561-FEBRUARY 21, 1595)

English Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1595

Alternative feast day (as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales) = October 25

Alternative feast day (as one of the Martyrs of Douai) = October 29

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

They loved their Lord so dear, so dear,

And his love made them strong;

And they followed the right, for Jesus’ sake,

The whole of their good lives long.

And one was a soldier, and one was a priest,

And one was slain by a fierce wild beast;

And there’s not any reason–no, not the least–

Why I shouldn’t be one too.

–Lesbia Scott (1898-1986), 1929

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

St. Robert Southwell led a pious and relatively brief life.  He, born in Horsham Saint Faith, Norfolk, England, in 1561, grew up in a Roman Catholic family.  He studied in Douai (1576f) and Paris, joined the Society of Jesus (1580), served as the Prefect of Studies at the English College in Rome, and became a priest (1584).

Southwell sealed his fate when he returned to England in 1586.  He was free for about six years–longer than the average, which was three years.  Our saint worked with Jesuit priest Henry Garnet (1555-1606) [Note:  Garnet’s opposition to violence did not prevent authorities from scapegoating him for the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, a conspiracy to assassinate King James I.  Garnet became a martyr in 1606.]  Southwell was also the chaplain to Anne Howard, wife of St. Philip Howard (1557-1595), another martyr.  Our saint, author of pamphlets about pious living, became a prisoner in 1592.  He spent three years enduring torture in the Tower of London.  Southwell’s family knew he was going to die; they preferred a swift trial and execution to a long, drawn-out torture.  Between tortures, Southwell studied the Bible and wrote religious poetry.

As I in hoary winter’s night stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat, which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty Babe, all burning bright, did in the air appear;
Who, scorched with excessive heat, such flood of tears did shed,
As though His floods should quench His flames, with which His tears were fed.
“Alas!” quoth He, “but newly born, in fiery hearts I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel My fire but I!
My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns;
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorn;
The fuel Justice layeth on, and Mercy blows the coals,
The metals in this furnace wrought are men’s defiled souls,
For which, as now on fire I am, to work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath to wash them in My Blood.”
With this He vanished out of sight and swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I called unto mind that it was Christmas Day.

Our saint, finally convicted of treason (of being a priest, and one who had administered sacraments), died via hanging, drawing, and quartering in London, on February 21, 1595.

Holy Mother Church recognized Southwell formally.  Pope Pius X declared our saint a Venerable and beatified him in 1929.  Pope Paul VI canonized Southwell in 1970.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 1, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ANTHONY ASHLEY COOPER, LORD SHAFTESBURY, BRITISH HUMANITARIAN AND SOCIAL REFORMER

THE FEAST OF MARIE-JOSEPH AUBERT, FOUNDRESS OF THE DAUGHTERS OF OUR LADY OF COMPASSION

THE FEAST OF SAINT ROMANUS THE MELODIST, DEACON AND HYMNODIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT THÉRÊSE OF LISIEUX, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN AND MYSTIC

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

Almighty and everlasting God, who kindled the flame of your love

in the heart of your holy martyr Saint Robert Southwell:

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

that we who rejoice in his triumph may profit by his example;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Jeremiah 15:15-21

Psalm 124 or 31:1-5

1 Peter 4:12-19

Mark 8:34-38

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

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