Archive for the ‘Saints of 1680-1689’ Category

Feast of Johann Christian Schwedler (December 20)   1 comment

Above:  Map of Silesia, 1758

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHANN CHRISTIAN SCHWEDLER (DECEMBER 21, 1672-JANUARY 12, 1730)

German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer

Johann Christian Schwedler comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Hymnal (1941), of the old Evangelical and Reformed Church.

Schwedler was from Silesia, a region mostly in contemporary Poland, but with parts in contemporary Germany and the Czech Republic, too.  Our saint, born in Krobsdorf, Silesia (now Krobica, Poland), on December 21, 1672, was a son of farmer and magistrate Anton Schwedler.  Young Johann studied at Zittau for six years then for two years at the University of Leipzig (M.A., 1697).

Schwedler became a Lutheran minister.  Our saint began to serve as the assistant diaconus, under Diaconus Christoph Adolph, at Niederwiese (now Niederwiesa, Germany) near Greiffenberg, in 1698.  In December of that year, Adolph died; Schwedler succeeded him. Schwedler became the pastor of the parish in 1701.  Our saint drew crowds when he preached from 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 or 3:00 p.m.  Schwedler, a friend and neighbor of Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760), eventually renewer of the Moravian Church, founded a home for orphans.  Our saint also composed at least  462 hymns in his spare time.  Few of these hymns have come into English-language hymnody.

Two that that have joined English-language hymnody are:

  1. “Ask Ye What Great Thing I Know” (1741), and
  2. “Do You Ask What Most I Prize?”

Schwedler married Elizabeth Adolph, daughter of Christoph Adolph.  The couple had four children, all of whom died as minors.

Our saint, aged 57 years, died in Niederwiese, Silesia, on the night of January 12, 1730.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 19, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT SIXTUS III, BISHOP OF ROME

JTHE FEAST OF BLAISE PASCAL, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC SCIENTIST, MATHEMATICIAN, AND THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF IGNAZ FRANZ, GERMAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMNAL EDITOR

THE FEAST OF SAINTS MAGNUS AND AGRICOLA OF AVIGNON, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF AVIGNON

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM HAMMOND, ENGLISH MORAVIAN HYMN WRITER

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Johann Christian Schwedler and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

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

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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Feast of Juana Ines de la Cruz (November 12)   1 comment

Above:  Sister Juana Inés de la Cruz

Image in the Public Domain

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JUANA INÉS DE LA CRUZ (NOVEMBER 1648/1651-APRIL 17, 1694/1695)

Mexican Roman Catholic Nun, Composer, Writer, Philosopher, Feminist, and Alleged Heretic

Born Juana Inés de Asbaje y Ramirez de Santillana

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Well-behaved women seldom make history.

–Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

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You foolish men, accusing women for lacking reason when you yourselves are the reason for the lack.

–Juana Inés de la Cruz, quoted in Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (1997), 493

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Juana Inés de la Cruz comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via Ellsberg, All Saints (1997).

Juana Inés de Asbaje y Ramirez de Santillana made history and was not by the standards of her time and place, well-behaved.  She was an intellectual, a scientist, a mathematician, a philosopher, a musical composer, a poet, and a playwright.  Our saint was also a theologian.  She was the first great Latin American poet, too.  Our saint challenged the patriarchy and earned her bona fides as a feminist.  She was ahead of her time.

Juana was a Criolla, a mixed-race person mostly of Spanish ancestry.  She entered the world at San Miguel, Nepantia, near Mexico City, on November 12, 1648 or 1651.  Our saint’s father was Captain Pedro Manuel de Asbaje, a Spaniard.  Her mother was Isabel Ramirez, a Criolla.  The couple was unmarried.  Juana and Isabel lied on Isabel’s father’s hacienda.  Juana’s grandfather had a profound influence on her.  Our saint grew up devout and bookish.  She had an insatiable appetite for knowledge at a very young age.  Given that Juana’s culture forbade the formal education of girls and women, her education was entirely informal.  It began with her grandfather’s library.

Juana was an intelligent and well-educated young woman.  She read and wrote Latin when three years old.  She wrote a poem about the Eucharist when eight years old.  Our saint, who taught Latin at the tender age of thirteen years, also mastered Nahuati, the language of the Aztecs.  The sixteen-year-old Juana became a lady-in-waiting in the court of the Viceroy of New Spain.  When she was seventeen years old, she matched wits and intellects with the leading minds, theologians, and poets in New Spain, and astounded them.  Yet Juana, as a female, could not matriculate at the local university.

Juana needed to study, write, and think.  The prospect of marriage and motherhood did not appeal to her.  Therefore, the 19-year-old became a nun.  She left the Convent of Saint Joseph, of the Discaled Carmelites, after a few months.  Yet our saint found that she could maintain her library, keep her scientific instruments, and write to her content at the Convent of Saint Jerome, Mexico City.  She did, and the Viceroy and his wife ensured the publication of he writings in Spain.

Juana was not shy about expressing herself.  She confronted the patriarchy that denied women and girls access to formal education.  Neither was she reluctant to challenge male authority figures and question their orthodoxy.  In 1690. our saint critiqued a 40-year-old sermon by a famous preacher.  He was an idiot, she was certain.  So, she composed a scathing, detailed critique, probably the first theological work by a woman in the New World.  The Bishop of Puebla replied by affirming Juana’s orthodoxy yet arguing that theology was not women’s work.

Toward the end of her life, Juana went quiet in the face of the threat of the Inquisition.  In 1693, she ceased writing, sold her 4000-volume library and her scientific instruments, and gave the proceeds to the poor.  On April 17, 1694 or 1695, Juana died of plague at the convent.  She had contracted the plague while tending to other nuns, afflicted with it.

To keep a portion of the population “in its place” is to harm society.  Keeping others in “in their place” holds them back.  It also holds back those who keep them “in their place.”  Therefore, enlightened self-interest (if not the Golden Rule–imagine that!) leads to lifting up everyone and granting equality of access to formal education, et cetera.  Mutuality leads to each person having the opportunity to become the person God wants him or her to be.  This may not be the person social norms dictate him or her to become.  So be it.

Discrimination is insidious.  It harms everybody–the intended targets, these who commit it and consent to it passively, and all other members of society.  Where discrimination exists, there are only victims, some of whom double as victimizers.  Whatever one does to another, one does to oneself.

Some accused Juana Inés de la Cruz of being uppity and presumptuous.  They were wrong.  She was bold.  She was of her time and ahead of it.  And she deserved encouragement, not intimidation.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 23, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF TOYOHIKO KAGAWA, RENEWER OF SOCIETY AND PROPHETIC WITNESS IN JAPAN

THE FEAST OF JAKOB BÖHME, GERMAN LUTHERAN MYSTIC

THE FEAST OF MARTIN RINCKART, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT TERESA MARIA OF THE CROSS, FOUNDRESS OF THE CARMELITE SISTERS OF SAINT TERESA OF FLORENCE

THE FEAST OF WALTER RUSSELL BOWIE, EPISCOPAL PRIEST, SEMINARY PROFESSOR, AND HYMN WRITER

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

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Juana Inés de la Cruz and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

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

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

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Feast of 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 Petter Dass (August 18)   Leave a comment

Above:   Flag of the Kingdom of Denmark

Image in the Public Domain

(Historical Note:  By marriage, the dynasties of Norway and Sweden merged in the 1300s.  King Magnus II of Sweden (reigned 1319-1364) was also King Magnus VII of Norway (reigned 1319-1355).  His son, King Haakon VI (of Sweden, 1362-1363, and of Norway, 1355-1380), married Queen Margrethe I of Denmark and Norway (reigned 1387-1412), who reigned also as the Queen of Sweden (1389-1397).  The crowns of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden remained united until Sweden broke away in the middle 1400s.  The crowns of Denmark and Norway remained united until 1814, when Norway came under Swedish control.  Norway became independent in 1905.)

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PETTER PETTERSON DASS (CIRCA 1647-AUGUST 17, 1707)

Norwegian Lutheran Minister, Poet, and Hymn Writer

Petter Dass comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via hymns.

Our saint was of Scottish and Norwegian ancestry.  Peter Dundas (died in 1653), from Scotland, was a trader in the coastal region of northern Norway.  Maren Falch (1629-1709) came from a Norwegian family.  Petter Dass, born in Nord-Herø, in the parish of Alstahaug, Norway, was one of six children in the family.  His father died when our saint was six years old.  Maren distributed her children among relatives.  Peter lived with a maternal aunt and her husband, a Lutheran minister, at Nerøy, for a few years.  Then, in 1660, Petter moved to the home of an uncle in Bergen.  Our saint attended the cathedral school there.

Above:  The Petter Daas Museum, Next to the Medieval Alstahaug Church, Alstahaug, Norway

Image Source = Google Earth

Petter matriculated at the University of Copenhagen in 1666.  He was unhappy there.  Our saint was impoverished, lonely, and among strangers.  He left after three years.

Above:  The Medieval Alstahaug Church, Alstahaug, Norway

Image in the Public Domain

Petter made his life elsewhere.  Immediately after leaving Copenhagen, our saint became a tutor to Jacob Wirthmond, the resident chaplain in Vefson.  After a few years, Petter applied to become the house chaplain to the resident chaplain of a neighboring parish.  Our saint, ordained in 1673, married Margrethe Andersdatter that year.  In 1689, he became the senior pastor of the parish of Alstahaug.  This parish, with its coastal villages, was large.  Our saint’s duties required him to made dangerous trips in the open sea.  He found time to become a successful fish dealer, too.  In that capacity, Petter assisted the farmers of Helgeland during the difficult years of 1696-1698.  Failing health forced our saint to retire in 1704.

Above:  Alstahaug, Norway

Image Source = Google Earth

Petter composed much verse, most of it published posthumously.  His secular poetry included folklore-based ballads and verse complete with references to the daily lives of fishermen.  Our saint’s religious verse (all of it published posthumously) included hymns and poetic setting of Martin Luther’s catechism.  One of these hymns, translated into English as “Lord, Our God, with Praise We Come,” became hymn #467 in The Worshipbook:  Services and Hymns (1972), hymn #244 in the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), and hymn #730 in Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006).

Our saint, aged 60 years, died in Alstahaug, Norway, on August 17, 1707.

Petter, the first congregational Norwegian poet, made his mark in the literature and folk music of Norway.  He has also become a figure in Norwegian folklore.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MARTIN NIEMOLLER, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER AND PEACE ACTIVIST

THE FEAST OF ALEXANDER CLARK, U.S. METHODIST PROTESTANT MINISTER, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMNAL EDITOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT JORDAN OF PISA, DOMINICAN EVANGELIST

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM BRIGHT, ANGLICAN CANON, SCHOLAR, AND HYMN WRITER

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Petter Dass and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

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

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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Feast of Henry Aldrich (December 14)   Leave a comment

Above:  Henry Aldrich

Image in the Public Domain

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HENRY ALDRICH (JANUARY 15, 1648-DECEMBER 14, 1710)

Anglican Priest, Composer, Theologian, Mathematician, and Architect

Henry Aldrich comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Methodist Hymnal (1966).

Aldrich was a polymath.  He, born in Westminster, England, on January 15, 1648, was a son of navy captain Henry Aldrich (d. 1683) and Judith Francis Aldrich.  Our saint studied at Westminster then at Christ Church, Oxford (B.A., 1668; M.A., 1669).  He, a fine mathematician, published works in logic and mathematics.  Aldrich was also an architect, as in the case of All Saints’ Church, Oxford.  Our saint was also a composer of chants, including “O Be Joyful in the Lord,” a setting of Psalm 100.  He was, without doubt, an expert in punning.  (I have found a soulmate on this, my Ecumenical Calendar!)

Aldrich, a tutor at Christ Church, Oxford, sang in the cathedral choir.  He became the Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, in 1689, after the Glorious Revolution.  Aldrich would have become the Dean a few years prior, but King James II/VII (reigned 1685-1688) appointed John Massey, a Roman Catholic.  Massey fled to the continent after James II/VII did.  Our saint, the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford (1692-1695), served as the Rector of Wem, near Shropshire, starting in 1702.

Aldrich, his health failing, was in London when he died on December 14, 1710.  He was 62 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 27, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF PAUL GERHARDT, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF ALFRED ROOKER, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST PHILANTHROPIST AND HYMN WRITER; AND HIS SISTER, ELIZABETH ROOKER PARSON, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF AMELIA BLOOMER, U.S. SUFFRAGETTE

THE FEAST OF JOHN CHARLES ROPER, ANGLICAN ARCHBISHOP OF OTTAWA

THE FEAST OF SAINT LOJZE GROZDE, SLOVENIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR, 1943

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

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Henry Aldrich and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

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

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

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Feast of Michel-Richard Delalande (June 19)   Leave a comment

Above:  Michel-Richard Delalande

Image in the Public Domain

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MICHEL-RICHARD DELALANDE (DECEMBER 15, 1657-JUNE 18, 1726)

French Roman Catholic Composer

Also known as Michel-Richard de Lalande

Michel-Richard Delalande comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via my Western classicism and his sacred music.

Our saint, born on December 15, 1657, was a native of Paris.  He, the fifteenth child in his family, was a son of Michel, a master tailor.  The young man sang in the choir of the Church of St. Germain l’Auxerrois, Paris.  Our saint also studied the organ and the harpsichord.  He, organist at the Church of St. Jean-en-Grève, the Church of St. Germain l’Auxerrois, the Church of St. Louis, and Petit St. Antoine, Paris, went on to work in the court of Kings Louis XIV (reigned 1643-1715) and Louis XV (reigned 1715-1774) at the Palace of Versailles.  Delalande taught music to two princesses.  He also served as the director of the royal chapel from 1714 to 1726.

Delalande, of the Baroque school, composed both sacred and secular music.  His secular music included:

  1. Symphonies pour les Soupers du Roy, and
  2. Les Fontaines de Versailles; and
  3. Concert de Trompettes.

Our saint’s sacred music included:

  1. Miserere Mei, Deus;
  2. Dies Irae;
  3. Venite, Exultemus Domino;
  4. De Profundis;
  5. Te Deum;
  6. Confitebor tibi Domine;
  7. Exaltabo te Domine;
  8. Super Flumina Babylonis.

Delalande, aged 68 years, died in Versailles, France, on June 18, 1726.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 11, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF HENRY KNOX SHERRILL, PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

THE FEAST OF BARBARA ANDREWS, FIRST FEMALE MINISTER IN THE AMERICAN LUTHERAN CHURCH, 1970

THE FEAST OF JOHN JAMES MOMENT, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF MATTEO RICCI, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF MATTHÊÔ LÊ VAN GAM, VIETNAMESE ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR, 1847

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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 Michel-Richard Delalande

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 Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 728

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Feast of Henri Dumont (May 8)   Leave a comment

Above:  Interior of the Chapel, Versailles, Circa 1879

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-stereo-1s24269

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HENRI DUMONT (1610-MAY 8, 1684)

Roman Catholic Composer and Organist

Also known as Henri de Thier and Henri du Mont

Henri Dumont comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via my Western classicism and unapologetic musical elitism.

Dumont was a native of the Southern Netherlands (now Belgium).  He debuted in Looz (now Bargloon) in 1610.  Our saint was a son of Henri de Thier (Sr.) and Elisabeth Orban (de Thier).  The family moved to Maastricht in 1613.  Henri and his brother, Lambert, sang in the choir of Notre Dame, Maastricht.

Henri was a church organist.  From 1630 to 1632 he held a position in Maastricht.  Nevertheless, our saint spent much time in Liége, studying under Léonard de Hodémont (1575-1639), a choirmaster, organist, and composer.  Henri resigned in 1632; Lambert succeeded him.  Our saint moved on to St. Paul’s Church, Paris, France.  He began to use the surname “Dumont” (alternatively, “du Mont”).

Dumont joined the ranks of royal servants.  He became a harpsichordist in the court of the Count of Anjou in 1652.  Eleven years later, our saint became the Master of the Chapel Royal, Versailles.  Ten years after that, he became the Master of the Queen’s Music.

On the personal side, Dumont married Mecthild Loyens in 1653.  Our saint lived long enough to become a widower.  He inherited her benifice, an abbey in Normandy.

Dumont resigned all his positions in 1683.  He died in Paris on May 8, 1684.

Dumont’s compositions were almost exclusively sacred works.  His sacred music included:

  1. Royal Mass;
  2. Magnificat;
  3. O, Mysterium;
  4. Sinfonia and Grant Motet; and
  5. various motets for the Chapel Royal.

Dumont’s music retains its power to inspire spiritually.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 24, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT OSCAR ROMERO, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF SAN SALVADOR; AND THE MARTYRS OF EL SALVADOR, 1980-1992

THE FEAST OF SAINT DIDACUS JOSEPH OF CADIZ, CAPUCHIN FRIAR

THE FEAST OF PAUL COUTURIER, APOSTLE OF CHRISTIAN UNITY

THE FEAST OF THOMAS ATTWOOD, “FATHER OF MODERN CHRISTIAN MUSIC”

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM LEDDRA, BRITISH QUAKER MARTYR IN BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS BAY COLONY, 1661

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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 Henri Dumont 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 Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 728

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This is post #1950 of SUNDRY THOUGHTS.

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Feast of Johann Pachelbel (March 9)   3 comments

Above:  Signature of Johann Pachelbel

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHANN PACHELBEL (BAPTIZED SEPTEMBER 1, 1653-BURIED MARCH 9, 1706)

German Lutheran Organist and Composer

Johann Pachelbel, a devout Lutheran and a friend of the Bach family, was one of the greatest organists and composers of his time.  Our saint, born in Nuremberg in late August 1653, was a son of Johann Pachelbel (the elder, a wine merchant) and Anna Maria Mair.  Young Johann’s musical training included a stint at St. Sebaldus Church , Nuremberg.  He, as a youth, studied Italian music and developed an interest in Roman Catholic liturgical music.

Pachelbel’s musical career lasted from the early 1670s to 1706.  He spent five years as the assistant organist at St. Stephen Cathedral, Vienna, Austria.  Then, in 1677 and 1678, Pachelbel worked as the court organist for Johann Georg I, Duke of Saxe-Eisenach, in Eisenach.  Then our saint moved to Erfurt, where he remained until 1690.  He knew Johann Ambrosius Bach, patriarch of the Bach family, and, until 1682, had Johann Christian Bach (d. 1682) for a landlord.  Pachelbel lived and worked in Stuttgart (1690-1692), Gotha (1692-1695), and Nuremberg (1695-1706).  In Nuremberg (1695-1706) Pachelbel was the organist at St. Sebaldus Church.  He did in Nuremberg on March 6 or 7, 1706.

Pachelbel met the nine-year-old Johann Sebastian Bach at a Bach family wedding in Ohrdruf in 1694.

Pachelbel married twice.  His first wife was Barbara Gabler, whom he wed on October 25, 1681.  She and their young son died during a plague in October 1683.  Our saint married Judith Drommer on August 24, 1684.  The couple had five sons and two daughters.  Two sons–Wilhelm Hieronymus (1686-1764) and Charles Theodore (1690-1750)–became organists and composers.  Charles Theodore moved to British North America in the early 1730s.  After brief stints in Boston, Massachusetts Bay, then in Newport, Rhode Island, he settled down in Charleston, South Carolina.  There he became the organist at St. Philip’s Church.  One of Johann’s daughters, Amalia (1688-1723), remained in Nuremberg and became a noteworthy mathematician, painter, and engraver.

Pachelbel’s most famous composition was the Canon in D, but he wrote much more music than that.  Our saint composed both sacred and secular music, although the line separating them did not exist in his mind.  Other famous compositions included the Chaconne in F Minor, the Toccata in E Minor, and Hexachordum Apollinis.  His chorale-preludes influenced Lutheran chorales in northern Germany.

Pachelbel’s legacy continues to enrich the lives of many people, fortunately.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 18, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE CONFESSION OF SAINT PETER THE APOSTLE

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Almighty God, beautiful in majesty, majestic in holiness:

You have shown us the splendor of creation in the work of your servant Johann Pachelbel.

Teach us to drive from the world the ugliness of chaos and disorder,

that our eyes may not be blind to your glory,

and that at length everyone may know the inexhaustible richness

of your new creation in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Isaiah 28:5-6 or Hosea 14:5-8 or 2 Chronicles 20:20-21

Psalm 96

Philippians 4:8-9 or Ephesians 5:18b-20

Matthew 13:44-52

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

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Feast of Jean-Pierre de Caussade (March 6)   Leave a comment

Above:  Nancy, France, August 24, 1914

Image Creator = Bain News Service

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ggbain-16805

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JEAN-PIERRE DE CAUSSADE (MARCH 7, 1675-MARCH 6, 1751)

French Roman Catholic Priest and Spiritual Director

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The Holy Spirit writes no more Gospels except in our hearts.  All we do from moment to moment is live this new gospel of the Holy Spirit.  We, if we are holy, are the paper, our sufferings and our actions are the ink.  The workings of the Holy Spirit are his pen, and with it he writes a living gospel.

–Jean-Pierre de Caussade, quoted in Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (New York:  The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1997), 104

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Little documentation of the life of Jean-Pierre de Caussade has survived.  His now-classic work, translated into English as The Abandonment to Divine Providence or as The Sacrament of the Present Moment, was a book he wrote for the Sisters of the Visitation at Nancy, France, whom he served as their spiritual director from 1733-1740.  Father de Caussade also wrote to the Sisters after he ceased to be their spiritual director.  His book remained unpublished until 1861.

For the record, I know that at least one scholar has questioned de Caussade’s authorship of this work.  However, the assumption in this post is that our saint wrote it.

We can be certain of some biographical dates.  De Caussade, born in Cahors, France, on March 7, 1675, died in Toulouse, France, on March 6, 1751, one day prior to what would have been his seventy-sixth birthday.

Theological controversy surrounded The Abandonment to Divine Providence.  Although de Caussade was not a Quietist, some ecclesiastical officials misinterpreted his book as being a Quietist text.  Quietism, which influenced some varieties of Protestantism, was a form of mysticism that minimized the role of the Church and its sacraments.  According to Quietism, if one were sufficiently quiet, blocking out distractions both internal and external, one could hear just one voice.  The assumption of Quietism was that this voice was that of the Holy Spirit.

De Caussade was an orthodox Roman Catholic and a mystic; his counsel fit in neatly with Roman Catholic monastic spirituality and mysticism.  He wrote that God was present in the ordinary details of daily life.  Our saint wrote of the “sacrament of the present moment” and encouraged the Sisters to progress spiritually until their lives became living sacred texts, contemporary gospels the Holy Spirit was writing.

De Caussade influenced certain notable saints, including St. Thérèse of Lisieux (1873-1897) and Dorothy Day (1897-1980).

De Caussade’s counsel is consistent with advice from St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430).  The bumper sticker-length reduction of a portion of one of the sermons of the Bishop of Hippo Regius is,

Love God and do what you will.

The full germane text is longer, of course.  The core of the issue is:

Once for all, then, a short precept is given to you: Love, and do what you will: whether you hold your peace, through love hold your peace; whether you cry out, through love cry out; whether you correct, through love correct; whether you spare, through love do you spare: let the root of love be within, of this root can nothing spring but what is good.

In other words, if one is “in the zone” of divine love, one can do whatever one wants and honor God, for one will act out of love for God, by grace.  If one’s life has become a gospel the Holy Spirit is writing, one can love God and do what one will, by grace.  “If” is a crucial word in this scenario.

May you, O reader, live in such a manner as to be aware of the “sacrament of the present moment” in your daily life.  And may your life be another contemporary gospel the Holy Spirit is writing.  If your life is such a gospel, may it continue to be one.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 16, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ROBERTO DE NOBOLI, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY IN INDIA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BERARD AND HIS COMPANIONS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS IN MOROCCO, 1220

THE FEAST OF EDMUND HAMILTON SEARS, U.S. UNITARIAN MINISTER, HYMN WRITER, AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF GUSTAVE WEIGEL, U.S. ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND ECUMENIST

THE FEAST OF RICHARD MEUX BENSON, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND COFOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST; CHARLES CHAPMAN GRAFTON, EPISCOPAL PRIEST, COFOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY OF SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST, AND BISHOP OF FOND DU LAC; AND CHARLES GORE, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF WORCESTER, BIRMINGHAM, AND OXFORD; FOUNDER OF THE COMMUNITY OF THE RESURRECTION; THEOLOGIAN; AND ADVOCATE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE AND WORLD PEACE

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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 Jean-Pierre de Caussade

and all those who with words have filled us with desire and longing 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 Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 728

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Feast of Blessed Marie Poussepin (January 24)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Marie Poussepin

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED MARIE POUSSEPIN (OCTOBER 14, 1653-JANUARY 24, 1744)

Foundress of the Dominican Sisters of Charity of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin

Alternative feast day = October 14

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Do your best and pray fervently to obtain the capacities you lack.

–Blessed Marie Poussepin

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Blessed Marie Poussepin spent most of her life serving God in the less fortunate.  She, born in Dourdan, Essone, France, on October 14, 1653, grew up in a devout family.  Claude, her father, was a stocking manufacturer.  Our saint’s mother was usually ill.  The mother died when Marie was 22 years old.  Our saint, accustomed to being a caregiver, began to run the household and to care for her ailing father, rather than join a contemplative religious order.  After Claude died in 1683, our saint assumed control of the family business, which she modernized.  After a few years, Marie gave the business to a brother and focused on religious life.

Our saint became a Dominican tertiary in 1690.  She, head of the local Confraternity of Charity in 1693-1694, began to care for people in her home.  At Sainville, in 1695, Poussepin founded the first house of the Dominican Sisters of Charity of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin.  Our saint was responsible for educating many children and providing much health care in parts of rural France.

Poussepin, aged 90 years, died in Sainville on January 24, 1744.

Pope John Paul II declared Poussepin a Venerable in 1991 then beatified her in 1994.

The order continues its good works in 36 countries.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 31, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICODEMUS, DISCIPLE OF JESUS

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O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served, and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary,

through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

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

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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