Archive for the ‘Saints of 1610-1619’ 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

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

Spanish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1628

Alternative feast day = November 15

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

Spanish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1628

Alternative feast day = November 15

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

Spanish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1628

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Collective alternative feast day = November 17

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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

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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

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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

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Feast of John Clarke (October 4)   2 comments

Above:  United Baptist Church, John Clarke Memorial, Newport, Rhode Island

Image Source = Google Earth

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JOHN CLARKE (BAPTIZED OCTOBER 8, 1609-DIED APRIL 20, 1676)

English Baptist Minister and Champion of Religious Liberty in New England

The Reverend John Clarke comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006), as well as his association with Obadiah Holmes, Sr. (1609-1682).

Many people accept a host of falsehoods about the history of the United States of America.  One of these lies is that most Puritans came to this country (when it was still a collection of British colonies) to practice religious freedom.  Shall I point to the numerous examples that prove the existence of Puritan theocracies in New England?  How about the four executed Quakers (link and link) in the Massachusetts Bay colony?  I point also to the cases of Roger Williams (1603?-1683) and Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643) and company, exiled for dissenting.  To that list I add the case of John Clarke.

Clarke arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in November 1637 yet left soon thereafter.  The church in Boston was embroiled in the Antinomian Controversy.  Proponents of the Covenant of Grace argued against supporters of the Covenant of Works.  (I understand the three Calvinist covenants objectively and intellectually yet cannot muster enough theological interest to become either excited or offended by this dispute.)  The Antinomian Controversy did lead to expulsions from the colony and to voluntary relocation.  Many people in the Massachusetts Bay Colony cared deeply about this matter.

Clarke and his first wife, Elizabeth Harris Clarke, joined other dissidents (including Williams and the Hutchinsons) who had moved to Rhode Island.  He had left England to get away from religious restrictions.  Then he had found the Massachusetts Bay Colony to be a Puritan theocracy and not to his liking, either.  Rhode Island was not a theocracy, though.  The Clarkes settled at Pocasset, Aquidneck Island, in 1638.  By the end of the year, however, our saint had helped to establish a new settlement, Newport, and the First Baptist Church there.  This was the second Baptist congregation in America.

Clarke, who had legal training, too, helped to secure the charter for Rhode Island.  In 1641, he and Roger Williams traveled to England for this purpose in 1643.  Clarke remained in England for a few years, to function as colonial agent.  Our saint, back in Rhode Island, resumed his role as pastor of First Baptist Church.  In 1647, he was the main author of the colony’s new legal code.

Clarke’s life intersected with that of Obadiah Holmes in 1649.  Holmes and eight other members, excommunicated from the church in Reheboth, Massachusetts Bay Colony, had argued with the pastor over infant baptism.  The Reverend Samuel Newman was for it; Holmes and company were against it.  The excommunicated church members formed a house church, with Holmes as the pastor.  Clarke rebaptized the members of the house church in 1649.  With the local court declaring the house church illegal, the dissidents of Reheboth moved to Newport and joined First Baptist Church.

John Clarke and John Crandall (1618-1676) of First Baptist Church, Newport, visited William Witten, an old blind man, in Lynn, Massachusetts Bay Colony, in July 1651.  Obadiah traveled with Clarke and Crandall to visit Witten.  The three visitors conducted a church service.  They celebrated communion and baptized converts.  Authorities arrested the three visitors.  The court convicted and fined them:

  1. John Crandall–five pounds, or about $984.15 (2021);
  2. John Clarke–twenty pounds, or about $3,939.37 (2021); and
  3. Obadiah Holmes–thirty pounds, or about $4,270.15 (2021).

The alternative was a severe whipping.  Nevertheless, Governor John Endecott considered that punishment lax; he claimed that the three men deserved to die.

Allies offered to pay the fines of all three men.  Crandall and Clarke accepted and returned to Newport.  Our saint, however, refused.  Therefore, he endured 30 strokes on his back.  For weeks, he had to sleep on his knees and elbows.  For the rest of his life, he called his scars “the marks of the Lord Jesus.”

Clarke returned to England again in 1651, to serve as colonial agent.  He remained there until 1664.  While in England, our saint wrote against religious persecution in New England and ruffled the feathers of New England Puritan authorities.  He also secured a royal charter for Rhode Island in 1663.  That charter guaranteed freedom of religion except when a person’s actions

disturb the civil peace of our said colony.

The Clarkes–John and Elizabeth–returned to Newport, Rhode Island, in early 1664.  Our saint returned to First Baptist Church, as co-pastor, with Obadiah Holmes.  Clarke continued to be active in colonial governance.  From 1664 to 1672, not all at once, he did he following:

  1. Clarke represented Newport in the General Assembly.
  2. Clarke served as the Deputy Governor.
  3. Clarke made a digest of the laws of Rhode Island.
  4. Clarke returned to England briefly as colonial agent in 1670.

First Baptist Church, Newport, experienced one major and two minor schisms while Clarke was alive.

  1. Second Baptist Church (somewhat Arminian) formed in 1656.  This congregation reunited with First Baptist Church in 1946.  The merged congregation took the name United Baptist Church, John Clarke Memorial.
  2. A few members broke away and organized the first Seventh Day Baptist church in America in late 1671.  This congregation closed in the middle of the nineteenth century.
  3. Some excommunicated members and their extended family became Quakers in 1673.

Clarke married three times and buried two wives.  Elizabeth Harris Clarke having died, our saint married a widow, Jane Fletcher, on February 1, 1671.  The couple had a daughter (February 14, 1672-May 18, 1673).  Jane died on April 19, 1672.  Clarke’s third wife was another widow, Sarah David (d. circa 1692).

Clarke, aged 66 years, died in Newport on April 20, 1676.  His will established the oldest educational trust in what became the United States of America.  That will specified

relief of the poor or bringing up of children unto learning from time to time forever.

Clarke was a pioneer of religious freedom in what became the United States of America.  That part of his legacy has benefited more people than perhaps he could have imagined.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 22, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF GENE BRITTON, EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF DONALD S. ARMENTROUT, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER AND SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF HADEWIJCH OF BRABERT, ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTIC

THE FEAST OF KATHE KOLLWITZ, GERMAN LUTHERAN ARTIST AND PACIFIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT VITALIS OF GAZA, MONK, HERMIT, AND MARTYR, CIRCA 625

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O God, our light and salvation, who makes all free to worship you:

May we ever strive to be faithful to your call, following the example of John Clarke,

that we may faithfully set our hands to the Gospel plow,

confident in the truth proclaimed by your Son Jesus Christ;

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

–Adapted from A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016)

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O God our light and salvation, we thank you for John Clarke,

whose visions of the liberty of the soul illumined by the light of Christ

made him a brave prophet of religious tolerance in the American colonies;

and we pray that we may follow paths of holiness and good conscience,

guided by the radiance of Jesus Christ;

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

1 Kings 17:1-16

Psalm 133

1 Peter 1:13-16

Luke 9:51-62

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 211

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This is post #2250 of SUNDRY THOUGHTS.

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Feast of the Martyrs of North America, 1642-1649 (October 19)   Leave a comment

Above:  National Shrine of the North American Martyrs, Auriesville, New York

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT RENÉ GOUPIL (MAY 16, 1608-SEPTEMBER 29, 1642)

French Roman Catholic Missionary and Martyr in New France, 1642

First Roman Catholic Martyr in North America

Solo feast day = September 29

lay assistant to

SAINT ISAAC JOGUES (JANUARY 10, 1607-OCTOBER 18, 1646)

French Roman Catholic Priest, Missionary, and Martyr in New France, 1646

Solo feast day = October 18

colleague of

SAINT JEAN DE LA LA LANDE (DIED OCTOBER 19, 1646)

French Roman Catholic Missionary and Martyr in New France, 1646

Also known as Saint Jean Lalande

Solo feast day = October 19

colleague of

SAINT ANTOINE DANIEL (MAY 27, 1601-JULY 4, 1648)

French Roman Catholic Priest, Missionary, and Martyr in New France, 1648

Solo feast day = July 4

colleague of

SAINT JEAN DE BRÉBEUF (MARCH 25, 1593-MARCH 16, 1649)

French Roman Catholic Priest, Missionary, and Martyr in New France, 1649

Solo feast day = March 16

colleague of

SAINT GABRIEL LALEMANT (OCTOBER 10, 1610-MARCH 17, 1649)

French Roman Catholic Missionary and Martyr in New France, 1649

Solo feast day = March 17

colleague of

SAINT CHARLES GARNIER (BAPTIZED MAY 25, 1606-DIED DECEMBER 7, 1649)

French Roman Catholic Priest, Missionary, and Martyr in New France, 1649

Solo feast day = December 7

lay colleague of

SAINT NOËL CHABANEL (FEBRUARY 2, 1613-DECEMBER 8, 1649)

French Roman Catholic Missionary and Martyr in New France, 1649

Solo feast day = December 8

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Missionaries and Martyrs in New France, 1642-1649

Also known as the Canadian Martyrs

Alternative feast days = March 16 and September 26

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I.  INTRODUCTION

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The Martyrs of North America, 1642-1649, come to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church and The Anglican Church of Canada.  St. Isaac Jogues (1607-1646), by himself, is a profiled saint in Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (1997).

The label “Canadian Martyrs,” accurate in 1642-1649, is a contemporary misnomer, for not all eight martyrs died in what we now call Canada.  Some died in what is now upstate New York.

With eight saints, we–you, O reader, and I, have some proverbial bouncing balls to follow.  Telling their stories together is logical, however.

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II.  ENTER THE “BLACK ROBES”

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GOUPIL

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St. René Goupil offered himself to the service of God.  Goupil, born in Saint-Martin-du-Bois, Anjou, France, was a son of Hippliite Goupil and Luce (Provost) Goupil.  Our saint, a surgeon, became a Jesuit novice in Paris on March 16, 1639.  However, deafness forced him to leave the Society of Jesus.  Nevertheless, Goupil volunteered as a lay missionary.  He, having arrived in New France in 1640, served at the Saint-Joseph de Sillery Mission, Québec.  There he worked in the hospital though 1642.

Goupil and about 40 other people visited Huron missions in 1642.  One of the other missionaries was St. Isaac Jogues.

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JOGUES (I)

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St. Isaac Jogues was a Jesuit priest.  He, born in Orléans, France, on January 10, 1607, was the fifth of nine children of Laurent Jogues and Françoise de Sainte-Mesmin.  Jogues, educated first at his bourgeois home then at Jesuit schools, became Jesuit novice at Rouen in 1624.  He was seventeen years old at the time.  The Jesuit missions to New France started in 1625.  Those early missionaries inspired Jogues, who decided to become a missionary to New France, too.  Our saint professed his vows in 1626, studied philosophy at La Flèche for a few years, taught humanities at a boys’s school in Rouen (1629-1633), studied theology at Paris (1633-1636), and joined the ranks of priests (1636).

In 1636, Jogues, not yet a priest, met three of his heroes.  They were St. Jean de Brébeuf, Charles Lalemant, and Ènemond Massé, missionaries who had recently returned from New France.

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BRÉBEUF

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St. Jean de Brébeuf was another Jesuit missionary priest.  He, born in Condé-sur-Vire, France, on March 25, 1593, joined he Society of Jesus in 1617, at the age of twenty-four years.  Brébeuf, a teacher at Rouen (1619-1621), joined the ranks of priests in February 1622.  Then he served three years as the Steward of the College of Rouen.  In 1625, our saint became a missionary to New France.  The group of five missionaries arrived in Québec in June 1625.

Brébeuf, who had a talent for learning languages, ministered mostly among Hurons.  Due to international politics (Anglo-French) tensions, the missionaries returned to France in 1629.  They returned in 1633.  Missionary work was challenging and not always successful.  The deaths of many indigenous people from European diseases complicated the matter.  But the missionaries were faithful.

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DANIEL (I)

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St. Antoine Daniel was one of the other Jesuit missionaries with Brébeuf in New France.  Daniel, born in Dieppe, Normandy, France, on May 27, 1601, studied philosophy for two years and law for for one year before joining the Society of Jesus at Rouen on October 1, 1621,  Our saint taught at Rouen (1623-1627), studied theology at Paris (1627-1630), joined the ranks of priests (1630) and taught at the College of Eu (1630-1632).

Daniel began to minister in New France in 1632.  At first, he tended to a flock of colonists at St. Anne’s Bay, Cape Breton (-1633).  Then he joined Brébeuf’s mission.  In 1634, Brébeuf and Daniel were two of the tree missionaries who traveled to Wendake.  Daniel learned the language of the Hurons.  He translated the Lord’s Prayer and the Nicene Creed, and set them to music.  For two yeas, Daniel also ran a school for indigenous boys.  In 1638, when Brébeuf moved onto a different assignment, and Daniel relieved him.

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JOGUES (II)

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In 1636, Brébeuf and company, back in France, told the other Jesuits of the great dangers of the mission in New France.  Jogues, not discouraged, became more determined to serve as a missionary in New France.  Shortly after ordination to the priesthood (1636), he and St. Charles Garnier sailed for New France.

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GARNIER

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St. Charles Garnier was a priest.  He, baptized in Paris, France, as an infant on May 25, 1606, was a son of of a secretary to King Henry III.  Garnier became a Jesuit novice in September 1624.  In time, our saint served as the Prefect of the College of Clermont, completed his studies in philosophy and rhetoric, and taught at the College of Eu for two years.  Next, Garnier finished his studies in theology, culture, and language.  Then, in 1635, he joined the ranks of priests.

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BRÉBEUF, GARNIER, AND JOGUES

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Garnier, Jogues, and company arrived in New France in June 1636.  Immediately, he traveled to the Huron mission.  Brébeuf was a strong influence on our saint.

Jogues arrived at his assigned mission station in Québec in September 1636.  He joined Brébeuf, the Superior of that Jesuit mission, at Saint-Joseph, on Lake Huron.  Immediately, an epidemic struck the Jesuits and the Hurons.  (This happened repeatedly.)  Fearful natives accused the “Black Robes” of trying to kill them.  Jogues caught a fever, but recovered.  He ministered to the Hurons at Saint-Joseph for six years.

In the winter of 1639-1640, Jogues and Garnier visited the Petun, a tribe in what is now southern Ontario.  That mission proved fruitless.  For two months, the Jesuit missionaries traveled from village to village, to a chilly reception.

In September 1641, however, Jogues and Charles Raymbaut found a receptive population of Ojibwe.  Jogues ministered at the new Saint-Marie Mission for a while.

Garnier worked at the Saint-Joseph Mission from 1641 to 1646.

Brébeuf also wrote hymns.  Perhaps the most popular one was the Huron Carol, which Jesse Edgar Middleton (1872-1960) translated into English as “Twas the Moon of Winter Time.”

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III.  GOUPIL AND JOGUES, 1642

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Goupil and about 40 other people visited Huron missions in 1642,  Jogues was part of this team, which included Christian Hurons.  On August 3, some Mohawk warriors attacked these Christians near present-day Auriesville, New York.  The Mohawk warriors tortured their victims.  Goupil, by this time a Jesuit lay brother, taught a Mohawk boy the sign of the cross.  For this, Goupil died via tomahawk to the head.  Jogues gave him last rites on September 29, 1642.

The Mohawk warriors also slowly tortured then killed the Huron converts.  (Hurons and Mohawks were traditional enemies.)

The Anglican Church of Canada, in its brief summary of this feast, states that Brébeuf, in 1649, suffered

atrocities which defy description.

Applying this statement to Jogues (in 1642) and Brebeuf and St. Gabriel Lalemant (in 1649), that statement is objectively inaccurate.  Finding descriptions is as easy as using Google.  I choose do describe the sufferings of these saints in general terms only.

Jogues emerged his captivity a mutilated man.  He returned to France for medical treatment.  Pope Urban VIII called Jogues a “living martyr.”  That “living martyr” returned to New France voluntarily in 1644.

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IV.  TO 1646

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CHABANEL AND GARNIER (I)

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St. Noël Chabanel was a Jesuit missionary.  He, born in Saughes, France, on February 2, 1613, became a Jesuit novice when he was 17 years old.  Chabanel taught at Jesuit colleges and earned a sterling reputation.  Our saint arrived in New France in 1643.  What he lacked in Algonquin linguistic acumen for a while he made up for with piety.  Chabanel, assigned to Sainte-Marie Mission, worked with Garnier.

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LALEMANT

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St. Gabriel Lalemant was a priest.  He came from an extended family (including Charles Lalemant) deeply involved in the Society of Jesus and the mission to New France.  Our saint, born in Paris, France, on October 31, 1610, was the third of six children of an attorney.  Lalemant joined the Society of Jesus in 1630.  He tried to get sent to New France years before he succeeded; ill health stood in the way for years.  Finally, in 1646, uncle Jerome Lalemant, the Vicar-General of Québec, interceded.  In the meantime, our saint had taught at the college in Moulins (1632-1635), studied theology at Bourges (1635-1639), became a priest (1638), and taught at various schools (1639-1646).

Lalemant arrived in Québec in September 1646.  He spent months studying the languages and customs of the Hurons.

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LA LANDE

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St. Jean de la Lande (a.k.a. St. Jean Lalande) was a Jesuit lay brother.  He, a native of Dieppe, Normandy, France, was just 19 years old when he arrived in New France.

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V.  1646:  JOGUES AND LA LANDE

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St. Isaac Jogues became the French envoy to the Mohawk Nation in the Spring of 1646.  (The Huron and Mohawk Nations had forged a fragile peace the previous year.)  Jogues arrived with de la Lande and other members of the diplomatic party in September 1646.  Mohawk warriors captured the Jesuits and took them to the village of Ossermenon (the site of Auriesville, New York, today).  Jogues died of a tomahawk to the head on October 18, 1646.  The following day, la Lande attempted to recover the corpse.  He also died of a tomahawk to the head.

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VI.  TO 1649

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DANIEL (II)

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St. Antonie Daniel returned to the main Huron town, Teanaostaye, on July 4, 1648.  While the majority of Huron men were away, trading in Quêbec, Iroquois warriors attacked the town.  Daniel tended to his flock in the chapel as best he could.  Then he absolved them of their sins, baptized catechumens, and confronted the attackers.  The priest, vested, carried a cross toward the Iroquois warriors.  They killed him, placed his body in the chapel, and burned the chapel.  By then, many of the Hurons who had been in the chapel had escaped.

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BRÉBEUF, LALEMANT, AND CHABANEL

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St. Jean de Brébeuf, master of languages, had done much to help the Jesuit mission in New France.  His translated works included a catechism and a collection of Biblical prayers, proved invaluable for a long time.  Yet he met a gory end, too.

St. Gabriel Lalemant ministered in the area of the Three Rivers trading center through September 1648.  He, having been Brébeuf’s assistant at Wendake (September 1648-Feburary 1649), had gone to Saint-Louis Mission.  Lalemant replaced Chabanel.  Meanwhile, Brébeuf had transferred to Saint-Ignace Mission, near Saint-Louis Mission.

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VII. 1649

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BRÉBEUF AND LALEMANT

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In March 1649, when most of the Huron warriors were away, Iroquois warriors attacked Saint-Ignace.  Huron warriors from Saint-Louis delayed the attackers, thereby allowing women, children, and elderly people to escape Saint-Ignace.  Iroquois warriors captured Brébeuf and Lalemant.  Both saints suffered terrible tortures.  They received the crown of martyrdom–Brébeuf on March 16 and Lalemant on the following day.

The Society of Jesus closed and burned Sainte-Marie Mission, rather than permit the Iroquois to desecrate the site.

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CHABANEL AND GARNIER (II)

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St. Noël Chabanel, transferred from Saint-Louis Mission, went to Saint-Joseph Mission.

St. Charles Garnier, living in a Petun village, died during an Iroquois raid on December 7, 1649.

The following day, a “renegade Huron” killed Chabanel, apparently for being French.  According to “alternative facts”–lies–the French had betrayed the Hurons and entered into an alliance with the Iroquois.

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VIII. CONCLUSION

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Pope Pius XI declared these martyrs Beati in 1925 then full saints five years later.

Writing hagiographies can lead to a sense of spiritual inadequacy.  One may think of oneself as a good person.  Perhaps one is a good person.  But is one as good as, for example, these eight martyrs?  I am not.

Consider St. Isaac Jogues, for example, O reader.  Imagine yourself in his position.  Knowing the risks, would you have done what he did?  And having suffered as he did, would you have remained so dedicated?

The North American Martyrs acted out of the love of Christ.  Each one took up his cross and followed Jesus to his individual Golgotha.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 21, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ROMAN ADAME ROSALES, MEXICAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1927

THE FEAST OF SAINT CONRAD OF PARZHAM, CAPUCHIN FRIAR

THE FEAST OF GEORGE B. CAIRD, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST THEN UNITED REFORMED MINISTER, BIBLICAL SCHOLAR, AND HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF GEORGIA HARKNESS, U.S. METHODIST MINISTER, THEOLOGIAN, ETHICIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT SIMEON BARSABAE, BISHOP; AND HIS COMPANIONS, MARTYRS, 341

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Eternal God, you consecrated the first-fruits of faith

in the forests of North America by preaching and blood

of Jean de Brébeuf and his holy companions.

In your mercy send forth many to labour in every corner of this nation,

that your gospel may yield in our day a rich and bountiful harvest

by the increase of a true Christian people;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Romans 8:28-39

Psalm 116:10-16

Luke 12:8-12

–The Anglican Church of Canada

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Feast of Obadiah Homes (October 15)   2 comments

Above:  United Baptist Church, Newport, Rhode Island

Image Source = Google Earth

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OBADIAH HOLMES, SR. (BAPTIZED MARCH 18, 1609 OR 1610-DIED OCTOBER 15, 1682)

English Baptist Minister and Champion of Religious Liberty in New England

Born Obadiah Hulme

The Reverend Obadiah Holmes, Sr., comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006).

Many people accept a host of falsehoods about the history of the United States of America.  One of these lies is that most Puritans came to this country (when it was still a collection of British colonies) to practice religious freedom.  Shall I point to the numerous examples that prove the existence of Puritan theocracies in New England?  How about the four executed Quakers (link and link) in the Massachusetts Bay colony?  I point also to the cases of Roger Williams (1603?-1683) and Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643) and company, exiled for dissenting.  To that list I add the case of Obadiah Holmes, Sr.

Obadiah Hulme grew up in a devout Anglican family.  He, baptized on March 18, 1609 or 1610, in Didsbury, Lancashire, England, was a son of Katherine Johnson Hulme (d. 1630) and Robert Hulme (d. 1640).  Obadiah led a rebellious, wild youth.  After his spiritual awakening, his blamed himself for his mother’s death.  Our saint was, by profession, a weaver and a glass maker.  On November 20, 1630, at the Collegiate Church of St. Mary, St. Denys and St. George, Manchester (now Manchester Cathedral), he married Katherine Hyde.  The couple had nine children, starting with John, who died in 1633.  The other eight children (four sons and four daughters) were:

  1. Jonathan;
  2. Mary;
  3. Martha;
  4. Samuel;
  5. Obadiah, Jr.;
  6. Lydia;
  7. John (II); and
  8. Hopestill.

The growing Holmes family immigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1638.  They settled in Salem and joined the church there.  Obadiah worked as a glass maker.  He, finding the church in Salem too rigid, left and moved the family to Reheboth in 1645.  Reheboth proved unsatisfactory, too.  Obadiah and the eight other members of the church there split away (during a dispute over infant baptism) and formed a house church in 1649.  He became the minister of the new congregation.  According to the local court, the house church was illegal.  In 1650, Obadiah and the rest of his congregation moved to Newport, Rhode Island.  They affiliated with the First Baptist Church in that city.  This made sense; pastor John Clarke (1609-1676), of Newport, had rebaptized the members of the house church in 1649.

Rhode Island was rare in British North America; it had a policy of religious toleration.  First Baptist Church, Newport, was the second Baptist congregation in what became the United States of America.  John Clarke founded it in 1638, shortly after Roger Williams had founded the First Baptist Church, Providence.

John Clarke and John Crandall (1618-1676) of First Baptist Church, Newport, visited William Witten, an old blind man, in Lynn, Massachusetts Bay Colony, in July 1651.  Obadiah traveled with Clarke and Crandall to visit Witten.  The three visitors conducted a church service.  They celebrated communion and baptized converts.  Authorities arrested the three visitors.  The court convicted and fined them:

  1. John Crandall–five pounds, or about $984.15 (2021);
  2. John Clarke–twenty pounds, or about $3,939.37 (2021); and
  3. Obadiah Holmes–thirty pounds, or about $4,270.15 (2021).

The alternative was a severe whipping.  Nevertheless, Governor John Endecott considered that punishment lax; he claimed that the three men deserved to die.

Allies offered to pay the fines of all three men.  Crandall and Clarke accepted and returned to Newport.  Our saint, however, refused.  Therefore, he endured 30 strokes on his back.  For weeks, he had to sleep on his knees and elbows.  For the rest of his life, he called his scars “the marks of the Lord Jesus.”

Later in 1651, Clarke traveled to England, to serve as Rhode Island’s colonial agent.  Obadiah began to serve as pastor of First Baptist Church, Newport.  After Clarke returned, in 1664, the two men served as co-pastors (1664-1667, 1671-1676).  Our saint was pastor at Newport until he died, on October 15, 1682.

First Baptist Church, Newport, has become the United Baptist Church, John Clarke Memorial, Newport.

No freedoms are absolute in any society.  Mutuality requires that people be responsible to and for each other.  And it does not license trampling the rights of anyone.  Therefore, in the case of freedom of religion, some restrictions are necessary, in extreme cases.  When, for example, someone’s religion endangers public health, public health properly takes precedence.  Most circumstances are not extreme, though.  Living in a free society requires much mutual toleration, if not acceptance.  So be it.

All of the legal troubles Obadiah Holmes, Sr., endured in the Massachusetts Bay Colony were indefensible.  He was not endangering public health and safety.  He was not endangering anyone in any way.  No, he was defying a theocracy.  He refused to conform.

“Conform” and “conformity” are, by the way, the most profane words in the English language.  Mutuality embraces mutual responsibility and tolerates all dissent and individuality that does not endanger the common good.

I write in a politically divided society.  Labels such as “liberal” and “conservative” function as weapons to use against members of the other tribe.  Actually, many people who weaponize these terms strip these words of their real meanings, inherently relative to the center.  A better way (NOT original to me) is to ask whether one prioritizes order or justice.  Properly, of course, justice establishes a morally defensible order.  Likewise, order is necessary for justice, which cannot exist in the midst of anarchy.  Nevertheless, not all order is just.  In fact, much order is unjust.  And many people favor an unjust order over justice.  I favor justice every day.  Whenever a given order is unjust, I support tearing it down and replacing it with a just order.  Call me a revolutionary if you wish, O reader.

Obadiah Holmes, Sr., favored justice.  He worked for a just order.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 12, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, THEOLOGIAN, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR; AND HIS NEPHEW, WILLIAM SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND SOCIAL ACTIVIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT DAVID URIBE-VELASCO, MEXICAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1927

THE FEAST OF GODFREY DIEKMANN, U.S. ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, PRIEST, ECUMENIST, THEOLOGIAN, AND LITURGICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF SAINT JULIUS I, BISHOP OF ROME

THE FEAST OF SAINT ZENO OF VERONA, BISHOP

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O God, our light and salvation, who makes all free to worship you:

May we ever strive to be faithful to your call, following the example of Obadiah Holmes, Sr.,

that we may faithfully set our hands to the Gospel plow,

confident in the truth proclaimed by your Son Jesus Christ;

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

–Adapted from A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016)

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O God our light and salvation, we thank you for Obadiah Holmes, Sr.,

whose visions of the liberty of the soul illumined by the light of Christ

made him a brave prophet of religious tolerance in the American colonies;

and we pray that we may follow paths of holiness and good conscience,

guided by the radiance of Jesus Christ;

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

1 Kings 17:1-16

Psalm 133

1 Peter 1:13-16

Luke 9:51-62

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 211

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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

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

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

Alternative feast day = September 29

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SAINT ANTONIO GONZÁLEZ (1593-SEPTEMBER 24, 1637)

Spanish Roman Catholic Missionary Priest and Martyr and Japan, 1637

His feast transferred from September 24

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

French Roman Catholic Missionary Priest and Martyr in Japan, 1637

His feast transferred from September 29

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Feast of Lancelot Andrewes (September 26)   Leave a comment

Above:  Lancelot Andrewes

Image in the Public Domain

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LANCELOT ANDREWES (1555-SEPTEMBER 26, 1626)

Anglican Bishop of Chichester then of Ely then of Winchester

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

–Lancelot Andrewes

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

Above:  St. Jane Frances de Chantal

Image in the Public Domain

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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

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O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich:

Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that we,

inspired by the devotion of your 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

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Feast of Orlando Gibbons (June 5)   Leave a comment

Above:  Orlando Gibbons

Image in the Public Domain

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ORLANDO GIBBONS (BAPTIZED DECEMBER 25, 1583-JUNE 5, 1625)

Anglican Organist and Composer; the “English Palestrina”

Orlando Gibbons comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via sacred music and my unapologetic Western classicism.  I state without reservation that the quality of church music in the global West has, with few exceptions, declined since the 1500s and 1600s.  It peaked with Giovanni Pierluigi de Palestrina, Thomas Tallis, Gregorio Allegri, Orlando Gibbons, and company.

Gibbons, baptized in Oxford, England, on Christmas Day, 1583, was a great musician from a musical family.  His father was William Gibbons (circa 1540-1595), a vocalist in Cambridge, starting in 1567.  William Gibbons was, in English terms, a wait, a public musician.  Our saint’s siblings included:

  1. Edward (1568-circa 1650), an Anglican priest and a composer; most of his compositions have not survived the ravages of time;
  2. Ellis (1573-1603), a composer; most of his compositions have also gone the way of all flesh;
  3. Ferdinando (born 1581), a vocalist/wait in Lincoln.

Above:  The Music Lesson, by Johannes Vermeer

Image in the Public Domain

The woman is playing a virginal.

Gibbons had a fine musical education.  In 1596, at the age of 12 years, he joined the choir of King’s College, Cambridge.  He became the greatest organist and virginalist in England.  (A virginal was a rectangular harpsichord with strings stretched parallel to the keyboard.)  x  From 1605 to his death, Gibbons served as the organist at the Chapel Royal.  He received his Bachelor of Music degree from Cambridge in 1606.  Our saint became the court virginalist in 1619 then the organist of Westminster Abbey in 1623.

Gibbons composed both sacred and secular music.  His oeuvre contained motets, madrigals, and 40 sacred anthems and services.  He composed sacred music for The Church of England.  His sacred anthems included O Clap Your Hands Together and Drop, Drop, Slow Tears.

Gibbons was a favorite of the Stuart Kings of Great Britain.  He played the organ at the funeral of King James VI/I in 1625.  On the Day of Pentecost, June 5, 1625, our saint accompanied King Charles I to Dover to greet the future queen, Henrietta Maria, arriving from France.  Later that day, on the way back, Gibbons suffered a stroke in Canterbury and died.  He was 41 years old.

Gibbons had seven children.  One son, Christopher (1615-1676), composed keyboard and incidental music.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 24, 2020 COMMON ERA

GENOCIDE REMEMBRANCE

THE FEAST OF SAINT EGBERT OF LINDISFARNE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK; AND SAINT ADALBERT OF EGMONT, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF SAINT FIDELIS OF SIGMARINGEN, CAPUCHIN FRIAR AND MARTYR, 1622

THE FEAST OF JOHANN WALTER, “FIRST CANTOR OF THE LUTHERAN CHURCH”

THE FEAST OF SAINT MELLITUS, BISHOP OF LONDON, AND ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

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Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring Orlando Gibbons and all those

who with music have filled us with desire and love for you;

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit

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

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Women:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 728

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Feast of Martin Rinckart (April 23)   Leave a comment

Above:  Martin Rinckart

Image in the Public Domain

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MARTIN RINCKART (APRIL 23, 1586-DECEMBER 8, 1649)

German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer

Also known as Martin Rinckart

Martin Rinckart comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via hymnody.

Rinckart became a Lutheran minister.  He, born in Eilenburg, Saxony, on April 23, 1586, was a son of Georg Rinckart, a cooper.  Our saint studied at the Latin school in Eilenburg.  Next, he studied (on scholarship) at St. Thomas’s School, Leipzig, and sang in the church choir, starting in November 1601.  Rinckart also became a theological student at the University of Leipzig in 1602.  He remained in that city until he completed this degree.  Our saint served as the schoolmaster in Eisleben and the cantor at St. Nicholas’s Church from June 1610 to May 1611.  Then he served as the deacon of St. Anne’s Church, Eisleben, from May 1611 to December 1613.  Next, Rinckart became the pastor at Erdeborn and Lyttichendorf, near Eisleben, in December 1613.  Finally, in November 1617, he became the Archdeacon of Eilenburg.

Rinckart also composed drams and hymn texts.  He wrote plays for the centennial of the Protestant Reformation in 1617.  Some of his hymns have, via translators, become part of English-language hymnody.  The most enduring of these texts has been Nun danket alle Gott (1636), which Catherine Winkworth (1829-1878) rendered as “Now Thank We All Our God” in 1858.  Some of the less popular English translations of hymn texts by Rinckart have included “Where Shall the Weary Find,” “Let All Men Praise the Lord,” and “Grant Majesty Above, of Prayer None Else.”

Nun danket alle Gott, (Now thank we all our God,)

Mit Herzen, Mund und Händen, (With heart, and hands, and voices,)

Der grosse Dinge tut (Who wondrous things hath done,)

An uns und allen Enden; (In whom His world rejoices;)

Der uns von Mutterleib (Who from our mothers’ arms)

Und Kindesbeinen an (Hath blest us on our way)

Unzählig veil zu gut (With countless gifts of love,)

Bis hieher hat getan. (And still is ours today.)

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Der ewig reiche Gott (O may this bounteous God)

Woll’ uns bei unserm Leben (Through all our life be near us,)

Wein immer frölich Herz (With ever joyful hearts)

Und edlen Frieden geben, (And blessed peace to cheer us;)

Und uns in seiner Gnad’ (To keep us in His grace,)

Erhalten fort und fort (And guide us when perplexed,)

Und uns aus aller Not (And free us from all ills)

Erlösen hier und dort. (In this world and the next.)

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Lob, Ehr’ und Preis sei Gott, (All praise and thanks to God,)

Dem Vater und dem Sohne, (The Father, now be given,)

Und dem, der beiden gleich (The Son, and Him who reigns)

Im höchsten Himmelsthrone: (With them in highest heaven,)

Ihm, dem dreiein’ gen Gott, (The One Eternal God,)

Wie es im Anfang war, (Whom earth and heaven adore;)

Und ist und bleiben wird (For thus it was, is now,)

Jetzund und immerdar! (And shall be evermore.)

Eilenburg suffered greatly during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1848).  It was a walled city, so many wartime refugees sought shelter there.  Eilenburg became overcrowded.  Swedish forces captured the walled city and demanded a high ransom.  Rinckart negotiated with the Swedish commander.  After the first negotiation proved unsuccessful, our saint returned to his church and urged people to pray.  Then he negotiated again and saved the city.  The city’s leaders did not thank him.  The overcrowded walled city became the site of a pestilence in 1637.  About 8000 people, including our saint’s first wife, died.  Rinckart conducted 4,480 funerals.  The war broke our saint physically .

Rinckart died in Eilenburg on December 8, 1649.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 8, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF EDWARD KING, BISHOP OF LINCOLN

THE FEAST OF FRED B. CRADDOCK, U.S. DISCIPLES OF CHRIST MINISTER, BIBLICAL SCHOLAR, AND RENOWNED PREACHER

THE FEAST OF GEOFFREY STUDDERT KENNEDY, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHN HAMPDEN GURNEY, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN OF GOD, FOUNDER OF THE BROTHERS HOSPITALLERS OF SAINT JOHN OF GOD

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Heavenly Father, shepherd of your people, we thank you for your servant Martin Rinckart,

who was faithful in the care and nurture of your flock;

and we pray that, following his example and the teaching of his holy life,

we may by your grace grow into the full stature of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.

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

Psalm 84

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

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

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

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Feast of Jakob Bohme (April 24)   3 comments

Above:  Jakob Böhme

Image in the Public Domain

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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.

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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

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