Archive for the ‘Saints of 1740-1759’ Category

Feast of Blessed Maria Antonia de Paz y Figueroa (March 7)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Maria Antonia de Paz y Figueroa

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED MARIA ANTONIA DE PAZ Y FIGUEROA (1730-MARCH 6 OR 7, 1797)

Foundress of the Daughters of the Divine Savior

Also known as Maria Antonia of Saint Joseph

Blessed Maria Antonia de Paz y Figueroa lived and served God in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru (now Argentina).  She, born in Silipica, Santiago del Estero, in 1730, grew up in a devout family.  Our saint, perceiving a vocation to religious life, began to live accordingly at age fifteen.  She and other women lived in an informal monastic community because of the absence of formal monastic communities for women in the area.  Father Gaspar Juarez, S.J., provided spiritual direction for the women.  Our saint cared for the sick and the poor, and taught children.  She also assisted Father Juarez at retreats, which he based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius (of) Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus.

King Charles III of Spain (reigned as the King of Spain from 1759 to 1788; previously Charles I, Duke of Parma, from 1731 to 1738, then Charles IV, King of the Two Sicilies, from 1734 to 1759) opposed the Jesuits.  He was an absolutist monarch (therefore, a control freak) who distrusted the Society of Jesus, an international organization loyal to the Bishop of Rome.  Charles III also suspected that the Jesuits had instigated riots in 1766. In 1767 he expelled the Society of Jesus from the vast Spanish Empire.  Six years later, he helped to arrange for Papal suppression of the order.

The monarch’s action of 1767 deprived our saint of her spiritual adviser.  She, therefore, led the retreats in various cities.  These retreats proved to be controversial because she grounded them in the Spiritual Exercises.  Sebastian Malivar y Pinto, O.F.M., the Archbishop of Buenos Aires (1777-1783), supported our saint, however.  The popular retreats continued.  More than 150,000 people attended over the years.

Blessed Maria Antonia founded the Daughters of the Divine Savior in 1795. She became Maria Antonia of Saint Joseph.

Our saint died in Buenos Aires on March 6 or 7, 1799.  She was 69 years old.

She became one of the more recent additions to the Roman Catholic calendar of saints.  Pope Benedict XVI declared her a Venerable in 2010.  Pope Francis, who had been one of Malivar’s successors as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, beatified her in 2016.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 17, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTONY OF EGYPT, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND FATHER OF WESTERN MONASTICISM

THE FEAST OF JAMES WOODROW, SOUTHERN PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, NATURALIST, AND ALLEGED HERETIC

THE FEAST OF SAINT PACHOMIUS THE GREAT, FOUNDER OF CHRISTIAN COMMUNAL MONASTICISM

THE FEAST OF RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

THE FEAST OF THOMAS A. DOOLEY, U.S. ROMAN CATHOLIC PHYSICIAN AND HUMANITARIAN

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

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

inspired by the devotion of your servant Blessed Maria Antonia de Paz y Figueroa,

may serve you with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come;

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

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

Song of Songs 8:6-7

Psalm 34

Philippians 3:7-15

Luke 12:33-37 or 9:57-62

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

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Feast of Jean-Pierre de Caussade (March 1)   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 Anthony Benezet (January 31)   Leave a comment

Above:  Anthony Benezet

Image in the Public Domain

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ANTOINE BÉNÉZET (JANUARY 31, 1713-MAY 3, 1784)

French-American Quaker Abolitionist

Anthony Benezet 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).

Antoine Bénézet, born in Saint-Quentin, Aisne, France, on January 31, 1713, and raised in a Huguenot family, changed the world.  He and his family, part of a persecuted minority, moved to London, England, in 1715.  Sixteen years later, they immigrated to Pennsylvania.  Benezet worked with John Woolman (1720-1772) to persuade Quakers of the evils of slavery.  Our saint, one of the rare non-racist white people of the time, taught in a Quaker school for white and black children.  He worked in various schools (both day schools and night schools) in the Philadelphia area over the years; he even started a night class for poor black children in his home in 1750.  Furthermore, Benezet opened the first public school for girls in North America in 1754.  In 1770, after operating private classes for poor black youth at night for two decades, Benezet, with official Quaker support, opened a formal school for that population in Philadelphia.

Benezet wrote of the evils of slavery, an institution he had opposed strongly since the 1750s.  He wrote tracts, corresponded with other abolitionists (including John Wesley), and wrote to Queen Charlotte (consort of King George III).  Our saint and Woolman persuaded the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends to denounce slavery.  Benezet also helped to form the Pennsylvania Abolition Society in 1775.  Furthermore, in 1780, Benezet helped to defeat a proposal in Pennsylvania to return many former slaves to servitude.

Benezet, aged 71 years, died in Philadelphia on May 3, 1784.  Others carried on his fight against chattel slavery for generations.

Slavery comes in many forms, all of them morally indefensible.  The legacy of Anthony Benezet challenges us to condemn all forms of slavery, to act, and to persuade others to create a more just society.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 2, 2019 COMMON ERA

LABOR DAY (U.S.A.)

THE FEAST OF F. CRAWFORD BURKITT, ANGLICAN SCHOLAR, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF DAVID CHARLES, WELSH CALVINISTIC METHODIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF NEW GUINEA, 1942 AND 1943

THE FEAST OF SAINT WILLIAM OF ROSKILDE, ENGLISH-DANISH ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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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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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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Feast of Francesco Antonio Bonporti (December 19)   Leave a comment

Above:  Francesco Antonio Bonporti

Image in the Public Domain

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FRANCESCO ANTONIO BONPORTI (JUNE 11, 1672-DECEMBER 19, 1749)

Italian Roman Catholic Priest and Composer

One of the delights of being a Western classicist is learning about composers who have fallen into obscurity.  Then another delight–listening to their music–ensues.

Francesco Antonio Bonporti, born in Trento, on the Italian peninsula, on June 11, 1672, was one of these composers.  He studied theology, composition, and violin at the Collegium Germanicum, Rome.  His composition teacher was Giuseppe Ottavio Pitoni (1657-1743).  Bonporti, ordained a priest in 1695, moved to Padua in 1740.  There he died on December 19, 1749.

Bonporti composed instrumental music as a hobby.  One of the composers he influenced was Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750).

I encourage you, O reader, to seek, find, and listen to music Bonporti composed.  Much of it is available at YouTube.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 4, 2019 COMMON ERA

INDEPENDENCE DAY (U.S.A.)

THE FEAST OF SAINTS ADALBERO AND ULRIC OF AUGSBURG, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS

THE FEAST OF SAINT ELIZABETH OF PORTUGAL, QUEEN AND PEACEMAKER

THE FEAST OF SAINT PIER GIORGIO FRASSATI, ITALIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC SERVANT OF THE POOR AND OPPONENT OF FASCISM

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Almighty God, beautiful in majesty, majestic in holiness:

You have shown us the splendor of your creation in the work of your servant Francesco Antonio Bonporti.

Teach us to drive from the world all chaos and disorder,

that our eyes may behold your glory, and that at last everyone may know

the inexhaustible richness of your new creation in Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  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 Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 61

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Feast of Blessed Rafal Chylinski (December 2)   2 comments

Above:  Blessed Rafal Chylinski

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED RAFAL CHYLINSKI (JANUARY 8, 1694-DECEMBER 2, 1741)

Polish Franciscan Roman Catholic Priest

Sometimes reading about the life a devout priest benefits one spiritually.

Melchior Chylinski, born in Buk, Poznan, Poland, on January 8, 1694, spent his life glorifying God.  Our saint was so pious as a child that his family called him “the little monk.”  He graduated from the Jesuit college at Poznan then joined the Polish cavalry.  Chylinski became an officer within three years yet left the military in 1775.  He joined the Conventual Friars Minor at Krakow.  The renamed saint, known as Rafal, became a priest in 1717.

The priesthood was Chylinski’s best destiny.  He served in parishes in nine cities.  Our saint spent almost two years ministering to victims of disease and flooding in Warsaw.  At Lagiewniki, where Chylinski spent the final thirteen years of his life, he helped the poor practically, distributing food, clothing, and supplies.  Our saint also accompanied hymns on the harp, mandolin, and flute.  Chylinski also faithfully tended to other priestly duties, such as hearing confessions and delivering sermons.  He died, aged 47 years, on December 2, 1741.

The Church honored Chylinski.  Pope Pius XII declared our saint a Venerable in 1949.  Pope John Paul II beatified him in 1991.

Much of the work of a pastor seems mundane.  Yet, as anyone who pays attention to life understands, that which means little to one person means much to another.  Furthermore, mundane does not mean insignificant.

Chylinski lived his vocation as a faithful priest; that was enough.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 21, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALOYSIUS GONZAGA, JESUIT

THE FEAST OF BERNARD ADAM GRUBE, GERMAN-AMERICAN MINISTER, MISSIONARY, COMPOSER, AND MUSICIAN

THE FEAST OF CARL BERNHARD GARVE, GERMAN MORAVIAN MINISTER, LITURGIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOHN JONES AND JOHN RIGBY, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS

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Heavenly Father, Shepherd of your people, we thank you for your servant Blessed Rafal Chylinski,

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 stature of the fullness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ;

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

Ezekiel 34:11-16

Psalm 23

1 Peter 5:1-4

John 21:15-17

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 718

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Feast of Isaac Watts (November 25)   6 comments

Above:  Isaac Watts

Image in the Public Domain

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ISAAC WATTS (JULY 17, 1675-NOVEMBER 25, 1748)

English Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer

Church of England, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada feast day = November 25

Episcopal Church feast day = November 26

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His dying crimson, like a Robe,

Spreads o’er His Body on the Tree;

Then I am dead to all the Globe,

And all the Globe is dead to me.

–Isaac Watts (1707); the usually omitted verse of “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross;” quoted in Armin Haeussler, The Story of Our Hymns:  The Handbook to the Hymnal of the Evangelical and Reformed Church (St. Louis, MO:  Eden Publishing House, 1952), 213

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Isaac Watts was one of the greatest hymn writers in the English-speaking world.

Watts, born in Southampton, England, on July 17, 1675, came from a family of religious dissenters.  His father, Isaac (Sr.), spent time in prison due to religious opinions.  Our saint, well-educated from an early age, mastered Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.  His religious affiliation prevented him from attending Cambridge or Oxford, however.  Watts, therefore, attended and graduated from the academy at Stoke Newington (now in London).  Starting in 1702, he spent a decade as minister at Mark Lane Chapel, London.

Watts suffered from bad health most of his life.  Failing health forced him to leave active ministry in 1712.  Our saint lived in the household of the Abney family for 36 years.  He could do little more than write, which he did.  Watts wrote books about language, theology, and logic.  He also composed more than 600 hymns and helped to facilitate the transition from metrical psalms to hymns.

Hymns by Watts include:

  1. “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross;”
  2. “Joy to the World;”
  3. “Jesus Shall Reign;” and
  4. “O God, Our Hope in Ages Past.”

Watts died at Stoke Newington, England, on November 25, 1748.  She was 73 years old.

Many of his hymns continue to nourish faith, fortunately.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 19, 2019 COMMON ERA

GOOD FRIDAY

THE FEAST OF SAINTS MURIN OF FAHAN, LASERIAN OF LEIGHLIN, GOBAN OF PICARDIE, FOILLAN OF FOSSES, AND ULTAN OF PERONNE, ABBOTS; AND FURSEY OF PERONNE AND BLITHARIUS OF SEGANNE, MONKS

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALPHEGE, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT EMMA OF LESUM, BENEFACTOR

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS PETRI SWEDISH LUTHERAN THEOLOGIAN, HISTORIAN, LITURGIST, MINISTER, HYMN WRITER, HYMN TRANSLATOR, AND “FATHER OF SWEDISH LITERATURE;” AND HIS BROTHER, LAURENTIUS PETRI, SWEDISH LUTHERAN ARCHBISHOP OF UPPSALA, BIBLE TRANSLATOR, AND “FATHER OF SWEDISH HYMNODY”

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God of truth and grace, you gave Isaac Watts singular gifts to present your praise in verse,

that he might write psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs for your Church:

Give us grace joyfully to sing your praises now and in the life to come;

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with

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

1 Chronicles 16:1-6

Psalm 108:1-6

Colossians 3:12-17

Luke 18:35-43

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 705

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