Archive for the ‘Saints of 1760-1769’ Category

Feast of Richard Challoner (September 30)   1 comment

Above:  Richard Challoner

Image in the Public Domain

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RICHARD CHALLONER (SEPTEMBER 29, 1691-JANUARY 12, 1781)

English Roman Catholic Scholar, Religious Writer, Translator, Controversialist, Priest, and Titular Bishop of Doberus

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INTRODUCTION

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Bishop Richard Challoner comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via his many works, mainly his 1749-1952 revision of the Douai-Rheims Version of the Bible (1582/1609).

Challoner lived during a time of official persecution of Roman Catholicism in the United Kingdom.  Prior to the Catholic Emancipation Act (1829), Roman Catholics could not participate fully in public life.  For decades after the Catholic Emancipation Act, they still could not participate fully in public life, either.  However, the Catholic Emancipation Act did permit Roman Catholics (except clergy) to sit in the Parliament and serve as members of lay corporations.  Roman Catholics could also hold most crown offices, with a handful of exceptions.  Furthermore, no Roman Catholic cleric was to wear clerical attire outside of church, religious orders were officially under a ban (an unenforced one), and no Roman Catholic prelate was to use a title any Anglican prelate used.  Nevertheless, the Catholic Emancipation Act was a huge step forward for British and Irish Roman Catholics.  The Universities Tests Act (1871) opened universities to Roman Catholics.

Understanding the political-religious climate in which Challoner lived is crucial to grasping his works and their tone.  If one understands why he gave as good as he got, one comprehends our saint and his works in context.

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CONVERT, PRIEST, SCHOLAR, AND APOLOGIST

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Challoner, born in Lewes, England, on September 29, 1691, came from a Presbyterian family.  His father was a winecooper.  The father died when our father was a boy.  Then Challoner’s mother became the housekeeper to a Roman Catholic family at Gage, Firle, Sussex.  Our saint joined the Roman Catholic Church when he was about 13 years old, in the household of another Roman Catholic family–the Holmans, of Warkworth, Northamptonshire.  Father John Gother, the Holmans’ chaplain, was also a religious writer and a controversialist.  He taught Challoner Roman Catholic doctrine and helped him get into the English College, Douai, France.

Challoner spent 1705-1730 at the English College, Douai.  He matriculated in July 1705.  Our saint was such a good student that he completed the twelve-year-long course of study in eight years.  In 1708, the pupil committed to return to England on a mission, when required to do so.  Challoner, when twenty-five years old, began to teach the rhetoric and poetry courses.  The following year, he began an eight-year-long appointment as Professor of Philosophy.  Challoner, ordained to the priesthood on March 28, 1716, graduated with his Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1719.  The following year, our saint became the Vice President, as well as Professor of Theology and Prefect of Studies.  Challoner received his Doctor in Divinity degree in 1727.  Before our saint left the English College, he published his first book, Think Well On’t; or, Reflections on the Great Truths of the Christian Religion, for Every Day in the Month (1728).

Challoner returned to England, on a mission, in 1730.  He settled in London and began his ministry.  Our saint initially did so disguised as a layman because of the political-religious climate in England.  Challoner said Masses secretly, visited prisons, and performed his priestly duties faithfully.  In his spare time, our saint wrote and translated.  He wrote or translated the following through 1737:

  1. The Grounds of Catholic Doctrine, as Contained in the Profession of Faith (translation, 1732);
  2. Unerring Authority of the Catholic Church (1732);
  3. A Short History of the First Beginning and Progress of the Protestant Religion, Gathered Out of the Best Protestant Writers, By Way of Question and Answer(1733);
  4. A Roman Catholic’s Reasons Why He Cannot Conform (1734);
  5. The Touchstone of the New Religion (1734);
  6. The Young Gentleman Instructed in the Grounds of the Christian Religion (1735);
  7. A Specimen of the Spirit of the Dissenting Teachers (1736); and
  8. The Catholic Christian Instructed in the Sacraments, Sacrifice, Ceremonies, and Observances of the Church; By Way of Question and Answer (1737).

The latter book got Challoner into legal trouble.  Our saint had criticized Anglican divine Dr. Conyers Middleton (1683-1750), a man whose sarcastic polemics got him in trouble with various people.  Middleton had condemned the Roman Catholic Church.  Then Challoner spared no words regarding Middleton in the preface to The Catholic Christian Instructed.  Next, the querulous Middleton pressed charges against our saint, who returned to Douai.

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BISHOP AND VICAR APOSTOLIC CHALLONER

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What would Challoner’s next promotion be?  Some favored him becoming the President of the English College, Douai.  The previous President had died in 1738, and our saint was qualified for the position.

However, Benjamin Petre (1672-1758) had a different job in mind for Challoner.  Petre, the Titular Bishop of Prusa and the Vicar Apostolic of the London District (March 12, 1734-December 22, 1758), wanted Challoner to serve as the Coadjutor Vicar Apostolic of the London District instead.  (The Apostolic Vicarate of the London District existed from 1688 to 1850.)  Petre prevailed; Challoner received his appointment on September 12, 1739.  Challoner was insufficiently Roman Catholic for critics who pointed out that he was a convert from Presbyterianism.  Finally, after a long delay, our saint became the Titular Bishop of Doberus and the Coadjutor Vicar Apostolic of the London District on January 29, 1741,

Challoner kept writing in 1738-1740.  His works included:

  1. Rheims Testament (1738), edited with F. Blyth;
  2. a translation of the Confessions of Saint Augustine of Hippo (1740); and
  3. The Garden of the Soul:  A Manual of Spiritual Exercises and Instructions for Christians, Who, Living in the World; Aspire to Devotion; With an Explanation of the Mass (1740).

Challoner had a rigorous travel schedule to maintain in his new position.  He had oversight over ten English counties, the Channel Islands, British North America (mainly Maryland and Pennsylvania), and parts of the West Indies.  Going to the Western Hemisphere was impossible, for practical reasons.  Visiting the ten home counties took three years.

While traveling, Challoner had time to write.  He wrote or translated the following works, among others, from 1741 to 1758:

  1. The Ground of the Old Religion (1742);
  2. A Letter to a Friend Concerning the Infallibility of the Church (1743);
  3. Memoirs of Missionary Priests, as Well Secular as Regular and of Other Catholics of Both Sexes, That Have Suffered Death in England on Religious Accounts from the Year of Our Lord 1577 to 1684 (174_);
  4. Britannia Sancta (1745), with help from Alban Butler;
  5. the revised, modernized version of the Douai-Rheims translation (1582/1609) of the Bible (in stages, 1749-1752);
  6. A Papist Misrepresented and Represented (17__), abridged from Gother;
  7. Remarks on Two Letters Against Popery (1751);
  8. Instructions for the Jubilee (1751);
  9. Meditations for Every Day of the Year (1753);
  10. The Wonders of God in the Wilderness; or, the Lives of the Most Celebrated Saints of the Oriental Deserts (1755);
  11. The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus (1757), abridged from Abraham Woodhead; and
  12. Manual of Prayers (1758).

Challoner succeeded as the Vicar Apostolic of the London District on December 22, 1758, upon the death of Bishop Petre.  Our saint, being 67 years old, immediately applied for a Coadjutor Vicar Apostolic.  James Robert Talbot (1726-1790) received his appointment on March 10, 1759.  Talbot became the Titular Bishop of Birtha and the Coadjutor Vicar Apostolic on August 14, 1759.  Neither Challoner nor Talbot knew how long our saint had left–decades, actually.  Challoner remained in London, mostly and his health recovered.  Meanwhile, Talbot traveled.

Challoner tended to his administrative duties well.  These duties included opening two schools for boys, founding a school for poor girls, starting conferences among priests in London, and helping to found the Benevolent Society for the Relief of the Aged and Poor.  He did all of this in hiding, evading arrest for being a Roman Catholic cleric.  After the passage of the Catholic Relief Act (1778), being a priest ceased to lead to a sentence of life imprisonment.

Challoner’s final batch of writings and translations included:

  1. A Caveat Against the Methodists (1760);
  2. The City of God of the New Testament (1760);
  3. A Memorial of Ancient British Piety; or, a British Martyrology (1761);
  4. An Abstract of the Old and New Testaments (17__);
  5. The Following of  Christ, in Four Books (17__), a translation of The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis;
  6. The Lord’s Prayer and the Angelic Salutation (17__);
  7. The Morality of the Bible (1762);
  8. Devotion of Catholics to the Blessed Virgin (1764); and
  9. Rules of Life for a Christian (1766).

The final blow to Challoner came from the infamous Gordon Riots (1780).  For three days, an anti-Roman Catholic mob attacked Roman Catholic chapels and the homes of Roman Catholic families in London.  Some members of the mob sought the aged Challoner, to drag him into the street and kill him.  Our saint heard the mob from his hiding place.  He escaped, with help, during the riots.

Challoner never recovered from the shock of this violence.  He, aged 89 years, died in London on January 12, 1781.

Talbot succeeded him as the Vicar Apostolic of the London District and served until 1790.

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CONCLUSION

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Challoner’s greatest literary legacies may be his meditations, hagiographies, and the revision of the Douai-Rheims Version of the Bible.  These have achieved the status of classics.  The Douai-Rheims-Challoner Version of the Bible was the standard Roman Catholic English-language translation of the Bible well into the twentieth century.  It was also the basis of the Confraternity Version (in its stages, 1941-1969), itself the basis of The New American Bible (1970, 1986, 1991), revised into The New American Bible–Revised Edition (2011).

I am an Episcopalian.  To be precise, I am an Anglican-Lutheran-Catholic, in that order.  When I hear Roman Catholics speak of an infallible Church, I roll my eyes, at least metaphorically.  I reject the concept of an infallible Church.  I also reject the concepts of an infallible Bible and an infallible Pope.

I respect and admire Challoner while disagreeing with him much of the time.  I recognize him as a member of the Christian family.  I also condemn all those who persecuted Challoner and other Roman Catholics or consented to that persecution.  Furthermore, I deplore the bigotry and violence of those who participated in the Gordon Riots (1780).

Challoner should have been able to operate openly while in England.

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Lord God of love and justice,

thank you for the tireless efforts, faithful witness, and

devout writings of your servant, Richard Challoner.

May we, inspired by his love for you,

rededicate our lives to your service,

and remain faithful despite all obstacles.

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

Jeremiah 38:1-13

Psalm 70

2 Timothy 4:1-8

Luke 9:21-27

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 9, 2021 COMMON ERA

FRIDAY IN EASTER WEEK

THE FEAST OF DIETRICH BONHOEFFER, GERMAN LUTHERAN MARTYR, 1945

THE FEAST OF JOHANN CRUGER, GERMAN LUTHERAN ORGANIST, COMPOSER, AND HYMNAL EDITOR

THE FEAST OF JOHN SAMUEL BEWLEY MONSELL, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND POET; AND RICHARD MANT, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF DOWN, CONNOR, AND DROMORE

THE FEAST OF LYDIA EMILIE GRUCHY, FIRST FEMALE MINISTER IN THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA

THE FEAST OF MIKAEL AGRICOLA, FINNISH LUTHERAN LITURGIST, BISHOP OF TURKU, AND “FATHER OF FINNISH LITERARY LANGUAGE”

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Feast of Alban Butler (October 13)   1 comment

Above:  Father Alban Butler

Image in the Public Domain

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ALBAN BUTLER (OCTOBER 13, 1710-MAY 15, 1773)

English Roman Catholic Priest and Hagiographer

Father Alban Butler comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saint’s Days and Holy Days, via having been a hagiographer.

Butler was either the greatest hagiographer or one of the greatest hagiographers in the English-speaking Church.  He, born in Appletree, Northamptonshire, England, on October 13, 1710, was a son of Simon Butler (d. 1712).  Our young saint studied at the famous Dame Alice’s School, Fernyhalgh, Lancashire.  [Dame Alice was Dame Alice Harrison (1680-1765).]  Then Butler studied at the English College, Douai, France.  There he joined the ranks of priests in 1735.

Butler made such an impression as a student at the English College that he became a professor immediately after graduating.  He taught philosophy then theology.  While at Douai, our saint began the three decades of work required to complete his magnum opus, The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints, often abbreviated as The Lives of the Saints.  This was his only work published during his lifetime.   

Or was it?  Butler may have written A Short Account of the Life and Virtues of the Venerable and Religious Mother, Mary of the Holy Cross, Abbefs of the Englifh Poor Clares at Rouen; Who Died There in the Sweet Odour of Sanctity, March 21, Anno 1735 (1767).

Anyway, Lives has proven to be an influential work.  Subsequent writers have revised, condensed, and expanded this originally multi-volume work.  Links to one edition follow:

  1. January
  2. February
  3. March
  4. April
  5. May
  6. June
  7. July
  8. August
  9. September 
  10. October
  11. November
  12. December

Butler also assisted Richard Challoner (1691-1781) in Britannia Sancta, a hagiography of saints in British Isles.

In 1745 and 1746, Butler traveled in Europe.  He wrote about his journeys in the posthumously published Travels Through France and Italy, and Part of Austrian, French, and Dutch Netherlands During the Years 1745 and 1746 (1803).

Butler lived and worked in England, starting in the middle 1740s.  First, he was a missionary priest in the Midlands.  Later, our saint was acting chaplain to Edward Howard (1686-1777), the Duke of Norfolk.  Butler was a chaplain when he published the first edition (1756-1759) of The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints.

Butler became the President of the English College, Saint-Orme, France, in 1766.  He remained in that post until he died, on May 15, 1773.  Our saint was 62 years old.

The Moveable Feasts and Other Annual Observances of the Catholic Church (1774) debuted one year after our saint died.

Nephew and biographer Charles Butler (1750-1832) edited editions of our saint’s works, including volumes not published during the uncle’s lifetime.  One of these was Meditations and Discourses on the Sublime Truths and Important Duties of Christianity .

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God of Abraham, Elijah, Jesus, the Apostles, and all the saints,

thank you for the faithful work and enduring legacy of your servant, Alban Butler.

Whenever our faith flags, may we, emboldened by

the great cloud of witnesses that has preceded us in faith,

remember that we are not alone in our spiritual struggles,

and that many have endured far worse than we have.

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

Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9

Psalm 1

Revelation 6:9-11

Luke 24:44-49

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 1, 2021 COMMON ERA

MAUNDY THURSDAY

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK DENISON MAURICE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT GIUSEPPE GIROTTI, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1945

THE FEAST OF JOHN GRAY, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, MYTHOLOGIST, BIBLICAL SCHOLAR, AND PROFESSOR OF HEBREW AND SEMITIC LANGUAGES

THE FEAST OF SAINT LUDOVICO PAVONI, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF SAINTS SYRAGIUS OF AUTUN AND ANARCHIUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; AND SAINTS VALERY OF LEUCONE AND EUSTACE OF LUXEUIT, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOTS

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Feast of Hannah More (September 6)   Leave a comment

Above:  Portrait of Hannah More, by Henry William Pickersgill

Image in the Public Domain

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HANNAH MORE (FEBRUARY 2, 1745-SEPTEMBER 7, 1833)

Anglican Poet, Playwright, Religious Writer, and Philanthropist

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I see, by more than Fancy’s mirrow shewn,

The burning village, and the blazing town:

See the dire victim torn from social life,

The shrieking babe, the agonizing wife!

She, wretch forlorn! is dragged by hostile hands,

To distant tyrants sold, in distant lands!

Transmitted miseries, and successive chains,

The sole sad heritage her child obtains!

Ev’n this last wretched boon their foes deny,

To weep together, or together die.

By felon hands, by one relentless stroke,

See the fond links of feeling nature broke!

The fibres twisting round a parent’s heart,

Torn from their grasp, and bleeding as they part.

Hold, murderers, hold! not aggravate distress;

Respect the passions you yourselves possess.

–From “Slavery” (1788), by Hannah More

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INTRODUCTION

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Hannah More comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Episcopal Church.  Her feast day in Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018 is September 6.

More was simultaneously of her time and ahead of it.  She was simultaneously a conservative, a social reformer, and a revolutionary.

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BIOGRAPHY

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Our saint, born in Fishponds, Bristol, England, on February 2, 1745, grew up in The Church of England.  Her father, Jacob More, was the master of Fishponds Free School.  He taught his five daughters, and elder daughters taught younger daughters.  The More sisters emerged as young women well-educated in mathematics, Latin, French, and literature, among other topics.  Young Hannah, as a girl, began writing poems.  As a young adult, she taught (1758f) at the girls’ boarding school her father had founded in Bristol.

Like many other well-educated English women of the time, our saint was a literary figure.  She, engaged to William Turner of Belmont Estate, Wraxall Somerset, from 1767 to 1773, never married.  Her fiancé’s unwillingness to commit to a wedding date ended that engagement.  Immediately afterward, More suffered a nervous breakdown.  After she recovered, our saint devoted herself to literary, moral, and social causes.

More wrote plays from 1762 to 1779.  Her earliest plays, for girls at the boarding school to perform, came from her pen while she was a teacher.  Her last play written (yet not published) was The Fatal Falsehood (1779).  When our saint complimented Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) the first time, he dismissed her kind words.  He replied:

Madam, before you flatter a man so grossly to his face, you should consider whether or not your flattery is worth having.

Nevertheless, the Great Moralist eventually changed his mind regarding our saint.  He came to think of her as

the finest versafatrix in the English language.

More, an active member of the female Bluestocking Group, devoted to pursuits of the literary and intellectual variety, became a religious writer, moral activist, and social reformer in the 1780s.  She befriended General James Oglethorpe (1696-1785), the founder of Georgia.  Our saint also befriended William Wilberforce (1759-1833) and other abolitionists.  More became more active in the abolitionist movement; she wrote antislavery prose and poetry.  Our saint, a member of the Evangelical wing of The Church of England, applied her faith to the world around her.  As the decades wore on, subsequent works included Practical Piety (1811), Christian Morals (1813), and The Character of St. Paul (1815).  She also composed pamphlets.  One was Village Politics (1792), a rebuttal of Thomas Paine‘s Rights of Man (1791).  Another anti-French Revolution tract from our saint’s pen was Remarks on the Speech of M. Dumont (1793), which condemned atheism, in particular.  In 1795-1798, More composed tracts for the Association of the Discountenancing of Vice.

More’s conservative streak was decidedly anti-feminist.  Her reaction to the French revolutionary government improving the education of women was telling:

They (women) run to study philosophy, and neglect their families to be present at lectures in anatomy.

When More and her sister Martha founded schools for poor girls, the sisters also established a narrow curriculum.  It included the Bible and the catechism yet not writing.  More opposed transforming her students into

scholars and philosophers.

Yet even these schools were too liberal and revolutionary for many conservatives.  The More sisters contended with allegations that they were, by teaching basic literary, doing too much and, thereby, lifting the girls above their proper station in society.  The More sisters were also allegedly advancing Methodism, according to one conservative Anglican cleric.

Our saint affirmed the “separate spheres” theory.  More accused Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), the author of Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792), of possessing a

moral antipathy to reason.

According to our saint, women were not “fit” for government, on the grounds of being unstable.  She also refused an invitation to join the Royal Society of Literature, on the grounds that no woman should belong to it.

More, a philanthropist, donated money to help Bishop Philander Chase (1775-1852) found Kenyon College, which opened in 1825.  In her will, she bequeathed funds to various charities, mostly religious.

More, aged 88 years, died in Clifton, Bristol, on September 7, 1833.

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EVALUATION AND CONCLUSION

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My moral relativism is very limited.  I live in a moral universe with plenty of black, white, and gray.  Furthermore, I, as one trained in historical methodology, grasp the importance of interpreting people’s lives in context.  Nevertheless, I also state that wrong is wrong and right is right.  I ask:

What is wrong with educating poor girls to become scholars, philosophers, and policy-makers?  

I affirm the equality of the sexes, of course.  X chromosomes and Y chromosomes should never function as excuses for not granting social and legal equality.

Hannah More was right more often than she was wrong.  She was correct, for example, to oppose slavery.  She was right to draw attention to its immorality via her writing.  And she was correct when she donated to Kenyon College.  More was correct when she established Sunday schools, too.

Being right more often than one is wrong is good and wonderful.  At the end of your life, O reader, may an honest evaluation of you be that you were right more often than you were wrong.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 25, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE ANNUNCIATION OF OUR LORD

THE FEAST OF SAINT DISMAS, PENITENT BANDIT

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Almighty God, whose only-begotten Son led captivity captive:

Multiply among us faithful witnesses like your servant Hannah More,

who will fight for all who are oppressed or held in bondage;

and bring us all, we pray, into the glorious liberty

that you have promised to all your children;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Exodus 3:1-12

Psalm 146:4-9

John 15:5-16

Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018

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Feast of Ignaz Franz (August 19)   2 comments

Above:  Grosser Gott, Wir Loben Dich

Image in the Public Domain

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IGNAZ FRANZ (OCTOBER 12, 1719-AUGUST 19, 1790)

German Roman Catholic Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymnal Editor

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

Franz wrote at least forty-seven hymn texts.  Yet his name has survived in the Christian Church and in hymnody via just one text, Grosser Gott, Wir Loben Dich (1771).  At least three English-speaking men have translated that text into English.  I have schedule these three men for consideration for inclusion on this Ecumenical Calendar.  For those of us who do not read or speak German, but do read and speak English, Franz’s great hymn was probably most often come down to us as “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name.”  This text, composed as the German Te Deum Laudamus, debuted in Franz’s major hymnal, Katholisches Gesangbuch, auf allerhoechsten Befehl ihrer k. k. apostl Majestaet Marien Theresiens zum Druck befoerert (1774).

Franz entered the world at Protzau, Silesia (now Zwrócona, Poland), on October 12, 1719.  He began his studies at Glaz (now Klodzka, Poland), when he was nine years old.  Our saint studied theology and philosophy at Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland). He also mastered Italian and French there.  He, ordained to the priesthood in Olmütz (now Olomouc, Czech Republic) on September 22, 1742, became chaplain at Gross-Glogau (now Glogów, Poland).  After serving as the archpriest in Schlawa (now Slawa, Poland), our saint transferred to Breslau in 1766.  For the rest of his life, Franz worked as the Accessor at the office of the Apostolic Vicar.  He also edited catechisms.

Our saint published ten books, nine of them in Breslau.  Most of these ten volumes were hymnals.  His first hymnal, Allemeines und vollstaendiges katholishches Gesangbuch, debuted in 1768.  Our saint also published a prayer book for craftsmen and servants in 1776.  His book of tunes (1778) included Reformed and Lutheran chorale tunes.  The consensus among Protestant and Roman Catholic authorities in the area was that most of our saint’s hymns were light are, and that he was a better hymnal editor than hymn writer.

I cannot evaluate that last claim.  For all I know, some of Franz’s other hymns could be masterpieces, or merely good work, at least.

Ignaz Franz died, aged 70 years, in Breslau on August 19, 1790.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 12, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ABSALOM JONES, RICHARD ALLEN, AND JARENA LEE, EVANGELISTS AND SOCIAL ACTIVISTS

THE FEAST OF BENJAMIN SCHMOLCK, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF CHARLES FREER ANDREWS, ANGLICAN PRIEST

THE FEAST OF HENRY WILLIAMS BAKER, ANGLICAN PRIEST, HYMNAL EDITOR, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF MICHAEL WEISSE, GERMAN MORAVIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR; AND JAN ROH, BOHEMIAN MORAVIAN BISHOP AND HYMN WRITER

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Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those (especially Ignaz Franz)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.

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

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

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Feast of Isabella Graham (July 28)   Leave a comment

Above:  Isabella Graham

Image in the Public Domain

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ISABELLA MARSHALL GRAHAM (JULY 29, 1742-JULY 27, 1814)

Scottish-American Presbyterian Educator and Philanthropist

Isabella Graham 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).

Our saint, in the name of and for the love of Christ, became an active philanthropist.  Isabella Marshall, born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, on July 29, 1742, was the sole daughter of John Marshall and Janet Hamilton (Marshall).  Young Isabella, educated at a boarding school, came from a devout Presbyterian family.  Our saint officially joined The Church of Scotland at Paisley when she was 17 years old.  Her minister was John Witherspoon (1723-1794), with whom she was in contact on-and-off.

Our saint married Dr. John Graham, a surgeon in the Royal Army, in 1765.  She their four children (three daughters and one son) who survived infancy accompanies Dr. Graham to Canada then to Antigua.  When Dr. Graham died after a brief illness on November 22, 1774, Isabella was pregnant.  She and her children settled in Scotland, and our saint raised five children as she took care of her aging father in Paisley.  Our saint also founded two successive schools, the second one being a boarding school for girls in Edinburgh.  Furthermore, Graham founded the Penny Society, to help the destitute sick.

Meanwhile, Witherspoon, who had moved to Princeton, New Jersey, in 1768 then signed the Declaration of Independence years later, had built a new life in the United States of America.  He, visiting Graham in Scotland in 1785, encouraged her to cross the Pond for good.  Our saint waited until July 1789, when her children had finished their schooling.

Graham settled in New York, New York.  She taught for a few years before devoting herself entirely to philanthropy.  She founded the Society for the Relief of Poor Widows with Small Children in 1797.  Our saint went on to found and/or organize the Orphan Asylum Society (1806), the Society for Promoting Industry Among the Poor, and a Sunday School.  She was also crucial to the first missionary society in New York City and led (1812f) the Magdalen Society in New York City.  Furthermore, Graham visited hospital patients and female convicts, supervised the writing of tracts, and distributed Bibles and tracts.

Graham, aged 71 years, died in New York, New York, on July 27, 1814.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 8, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF GERALD FORD, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND AGENT OF NATIONAL HEALING; AND BETTY FORD, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES AND ADVOCATE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE

THE FEAST OF ALBERT RHETT STUART, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF GEORGIA AND ADVOCATE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

THE FEAST OF ALICE PAUL, U.S. QUAKER WOMEN’S RIGHTS ACTIVIST

THE FEAST OF GEORG NEUMARK, GERMAN LUTHERAN POET AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF GIOVANNI BATTISTA BONONCINI AND ANTONIO MARIA BONONCINI, ITALIAN COMPOSERS

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Lord 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 your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-14

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of Lemuel Haynes (July 19)   Leave a comment

Above:  Lemuel Haynes

Image in the Public Domain

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LEMUEL HAYNES (JULY 18, 1753-SEPTEMBER 28, 1833)

First Ordained African-American Minister

The Reverend Lemuel Haynes 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).

Haynes served God and resisted racism, slavery, the colonization movement, and Universalism.  That life started in a socially inauspicious context.  Our saint, born in West Hartford, Connecticut, on July 18, 1753, never knew his father and saw his mother only once that he recalled.  Hayne’s father was an African American.  Our saint’s mother, who was white, worked as a washer woman on a farm.  She, refusing to acknowledge her son, abandoned him when he was a few days old.  In time, she married and started a new life.  Haynes saw her from a distance, eventually, and her flight from the scene indicated that she still refused to accept him.  Our saint spent his first five months in the home of a farmer, Mr. Haynes, who named the child Lemuel, literally “Consecrated to God.”

Mostly, though, our saint grew up (until the age of 12 years) in the home of David Rose, of Granville, Massachusetts.  Young Lemuel, an indentured servant, grew up as one of the children in a white family.  The Roses of Granville were a devout Congregationalist family in an intellectual backwater.  The town had a terrible school and no public library.  Haynes, baptized in the local Congregational church, spent much of his life piecing together an education, often via tutoring and reading.  In time, for example, our saint studied Greek and Latin under tutors.

Note:  The First Congregational Church of Granville, Massachusetts, joined with the Granville Baptist Church to form the Granville Federated Church (United Church of Christ and American Baptist Churches U.S.A.) in 1937.

Haynes joined the revolutionary cause.  He became a minuteman in 1774 then joined the Continental Army the following year.  In 1776, our saint condemned the hypocrisy of slaveholding Patriots in an essay, “Liberty Further Extended.”

Above:  Granville, New York, and Environs

Image Source = Google Earth

After Haynes left the Continental Army, he became a licensed Congregationalist preacher at Middle Granville, New York, on November 29, 1780.  Our saint married Elizabeth “Bessie” Babbitt (1763-1836), a white teacher, on September 23, 1783.  The couple had nine children.  Haynes became the first ordained African-American minister on November 9, 1785, at Middle Granville Congregational Church.  The Haynes family departed for Torrington, Connecticut, the following year.

Note:  The Congregational church in Middle Granville, New York, no longer exists.  However, North Granville, South Granville, and Granville are short drives away and also in Washington County.

Haynes spent 1786-1788 as a pastor in Torrington.  The congregation, founded in 1741, was the First Church of Christ until 1787, when it became the First Congregational Church.

Note:  The First Congregational Church of Torrington, Connecticut, is an affiliate of the Evangelical Association of Reformed and Congregational Christian Churches.

Haynes was a pastor in West Rutland, Vermont, from March 28, 1788, to April 27, 1818.  During this time, in 1804, Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont, awarded our saint an honorary M.A.  He, therefore, became the first African American to receive such a degree.  Our saint’s departure from that ministry was unhappy; racism was one of the reasons for it.

Note:  That congregation is now the United Church of West Rutland, an affiliate of the United Church of Christ.

Haynes ministered at the First Congregational Church, Manchester, Vermont, from 1818 to 1822.

Note:  The First Congregational Church, Manchester, Vermont, is an affiliate of the United Church of Christ.

Haynes served as the pastor of South Granville Congregational Church, South Granville, New York, from 1822 to 1833.  There he remained until, at the age of 80 years, he died of natural causes on September 20, 1833.

Note:  As far as I can tell, based on its website, South Granville Congregational Church is independent.

Above:  Lee-Oatman Cemetery

Image Source = Google Earth

Haynes’s legacy continues.  His mortal remains rest in the Lee-Oatman Cemetery, between South Granville and Granville, New York.  His home in South Granville is a National Historic Landmark.  The current edifice of the South Granville Congregational Church slightly postdates Haynes’s lifetime.  Next to that building sits the Haynes House of Hope, where up to two terminally ill people may live.  The legacy of Lemuel Haynes also persists anywhere Christians resists racism and confront hypocrisy.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 7, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS RALPH MILNER, ROGER DICKINSON, AND LAWRENCE HUMPHREY, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS, 1591

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS FLORENTINE HAGEN, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT HEDDA OF WESSEX, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF LEO SOWERBY, EPISCOPAL COMPOSER AND “DEAN OF CHURCH MUSIC”

THE FEAST OF THOMAS HELMORE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND ARRANGER AND COMPOSER OF HYMN TUNES

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

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

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

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

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

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

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Feast of John Darwall (December 18)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Matthew’s Church, Walsall, England

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHN DARWALL (BAPTIZED JANUARY 13, 1731-DECEMBER 18, 1789)

Anglican Priest and Composer

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

Darwall was a priest, a composer, and an amateur musician.  He, baptized at Houghton, Staffordshire, England, on January 13, 1731, studied at Manchester Grammar School then at Brasenose College, Oxford (B.A., 1756).  Our saint, ordained in The Church of England, served as the Curate (1761-1769) then the Vicar (1769-1789) of St. Matthew’s Church, Walsall.  Darwall wrote a pamphlet, Political Lamentations Written in the Years 1775-1776, which he dedicated to Frederick North (1732-1792), the Prime Minister (1770-1782).  Our saint also wrote The New Universal Psalmodist (Fifth Edition, 1770), in three volumes.  In that set, he published original tunes for the Psalms.  One of those tunes, listed as both DARWALL and DARWALL’S 148TH, has remained popular with editors of hymnals.  (You, O reader, may know it as a tune for “Rejoice, the Lord is King” and/or “Ye Holy Angels Bright.”)  Furthermore, Darwall published two volumes of piano sonatas.

Darwall, aged 58 years, died in Walsall on December 18, 1789.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 30, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOAN OF ARC, ROMAN CATHOLIC VISIONARY AND MARTYR, 1430

THE FEAST OF APOLO KIVEBULAYA, APOSTLE TO THE PYGMIES

THE FEAST OF JOACHIM NEANDER, GERMAN REFORMED MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOSEPHINE BUTLER, ENGLISH FEMINIST AND SOCIAL REFORMER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS LUKE KIRBY, THOMAS COTTAM, WILLIAM FILBY, AND LAURENCE RICHARDSON, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND MARTYRS, 1582

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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 [John Darwall]

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 Elias Boudinot, IV (May 3)   Leave a comment

Above:  Elias Boudinot, IV, 1798

Image Creator = Charles Balthazar Julien Fevret de Saint-Mémin (1770-1852)

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-pga-13207

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ELIAS BOUDINOT, IV (MAY 2, 1740-OCTOBER 24, 1821)

U.S. Statesman, Philanthropist, and Witness for Social Justice

Elias Boudinot, IV, 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).

Elias Boudinot, IV, was an attorney.  He, a son of Mary Catherine Williams (Boudinot) and Elias Boudinot, III (a silversmith and a merchant), debuted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 2, 1740.  Our saint, who had eight siblings, read law under his Richard Stockton (1730-1781), husband of one of our saint’s sisters, in Princeton, New Jersey.  (Stockton went on to sign the Declaration of Independence.)  Boudinot became an attorney in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, in 1760.  He married Hannah Stockton (1736-1808), sister of Richard, in 1762.  The couple had two children.

Boudinot, a friend of George Washington, affiliated with the pro-independence cause relatively early.  He became a member of the Essex County Committee of Correspondence in 1774.  Three years later, our saint became the Commissary General of Prisoners (Continental Army) and joined the Second Continental Congress.  He resigned from Congress the following year.  Boudinot served in the Confederation Congress from 1781 to 1784, under the Articles of Confederation.  He also served a year (1782-1783) as President of the United States in Congress Assembled.  In that capacity, our saint signed the Treaty of Paris of 1783, by which the British Empire recognized that the United States (still plural) were no longer part of that empire.

Boudinot also helped to transform the United States from a confederation of thirteen countries into one country, then to build it up.  He advocated for the ratification of the proposed Constitution of the United States (1787) and helped to secure New Jersey’s ratification (1787) of that document.  Boudinot served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1789 to 1795.  National political parties formed at the end of his tenure in the U.S. Congress.  Boudinot, initially part of the pro-Administration faction, passed logically into the new Federalist Party in 1794.  He served as the Director of the U.S. Mint from 1795 to 1805.

Boudinot was a devout Presbyterian.  He served as a trustee of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) from 1772 to 1821.  Our saint, drawing from Reformed theology, wrote The Age of Revelation (1801), a rebuttal of Thomas Paine‘s The Age of Reason, Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology (1794).  Boudinot argued against Paine’s Deism.  Our saint, from a theological tradition that taught that the two books of God are the Bible and nature, accepted science and sound theology as being mutually compatible.

Boudinot, like many people of the time, wondered about the origins of the First Nations.  He thought that they descended from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.  Our saint explained this in A Star in the West (1816), years prior to Joseph Smith‘s alleged revelation in western New York.

One may suppose credibly that, given Boudinot’s acceptance of science, he would, if he were alive in 2020, accept the genetic evidence discrediting his proposal from 1816.  Contrast Boudinot’s pro-science approach, O reader, with Mormon epistomology, which boils down to ignoring evidence that contradicts a conclusion, and seeking to know that an objectively false proposition is true by having enough faith.

Boudinot’s interest in indigenous peoples combined with his faith to lead him to defend the rights of First Nations against his fellow white people and the federal government.  He sponsored some indigenous youth, students in New England.  One of these youths was a Cherokee named Galagina (circa 1803-1839).  Galagina, with permission, took the name “Elias Boudinot,” after his benefactor.

Boudinot also opposed slavery.  He wrote to defenders of the Peculiar Institution:

How will you answer, in the great day of inquisition for blood, for the share you have had in that horrid traffic in the souls of men, called the Guinea trade?  How will you account for the contradiction between your national declarations in the day of distress and humiliation, and your political conduct, under the smiles of divine Providence, since your deliverance has been effected?

Boudinot also helped to found the American Bible Society in 1816.  He served as its first president, until 1821.  The Society distributed nearly 100,000 Bibles by 1820.

Boudinot, generous in life, was generous in his will.  Our saint made bequests to various charitable causes.  For example, he gave 13,000 acres to the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to provide wood at low cost to poor people.  Another bequest was $200 (the equivalent of $4,720.40 in 2020) to buy eyeglasses for poor people with bad vision, so they could read the Bible.

Boudinot died in Burlington, New York, on October 24, 1821.  He was 81 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 17, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT PATRICK, APOSTLE OF IRELAND

THE FEAST OF EBENEZER ELLIOTT, “THE CORN LAW RHYMER”

THE FEAST OF HENRY SCOTT HOLLAND, ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER AND PRIEST

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAN SARKANDER, SILESIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND “MARTYR OF THE CONFESSIONAL,” 1620

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIA BARBARA MAIX, FOUNDRESS OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE SISTERS OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY

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Holy and righteous God, you created us in your image.

Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression.

Help us, like your servant Elias Boudinot, IV,

to work for justice among people and nations,

to the glory of your name,

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

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2016), 60

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Feast of William Law (April 10)   1 comment

Above:  Emmanuel College, Cambridge

Image in the Public Domain

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WILLIAM LAW (1686-APRIL 9, 1761)

Anglican Priest, Mystic, and Spiritual Writer

Feast Day (Anglican Church of Canada) = April 9

Feast Day (The Church of England, the Scottish Episcopal Church, The Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia) = April 10

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If we are to follow Christ, it must be in our common way of spending every day.  If we are to live unto God at any time or in any place, we are to live unto him in all times and in all places.  If we are to use anything as a gift of God, we are to use everything as his gift.

–William Law, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life (1728)

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William Law changed his mind about certain major points throughout his life. He did, of course; he was a human being.  He was consistent in obeying his conscience, however.  He was simultaneously conservative and revolutionary.  Law was sui generis.

Law became an academic and a churchman.  He, born in King’s Cliffe, Northamptonshire, England, in 1686, matriculated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1705.  He, ordained to the Anglican diaconate in 1711, became a fellow of Emmanuel College later that year.  He had to leave four years later, though.

Law affirmed the divine right of the House of Stuart.  In 1714, when Georg, the Elector of Hanover, became George I, the King of Great Britain, our saint refused to swear loyalty to the new monarch.  Law lost his position at Emmanuel College in 1715.  The state and the church were far from separate.

Law spoke and wrote his mind freely; he was a controversialist.  On March 31, 1717, Benjamin Hoadly, the Bishop of Bangor, preached before King George I on John 18:36.  Bishop Hoadly insisted that the Gospels provide no warrant for any visible ecclesiastical authority.  Law participated in the Bangorite Controversy; he wrote Three Letters to the Bishop of Bangor (1717), defending High Church principles.  Likewise, Law vigorously opposed Deistic, rationalistic influence in The Church of England.  In The Case of Reason (1732), he argued against the Latitudinarian downplaying of dogma, liturgical practice, and ecclesiastical organization.  Law also opposed wars of empire.

Law, although a High Church Anglican who affirmed the divine right of kings, became an influential figure among many Anglican Evangelicals.  Our saint, the tutor to the young Edward Gibbon (the author of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire decades later) from 1727 to 1737, had published The Absolute Unlawfulness of Stage Entertainment Fully Demonstrated (1726) and Practical Treatise Upon Christian Perfection (1726).  His screed against plays proved to be controversial.  (I refuse to defend anti-theater moralizing excesses.)  A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life (1728), a work of mysticism and moral discipline well within traditional bounds, became influential for a long time.

Law, ordained a priest in 1728, moved back to King’s Cliffe in 1740; he had inherited an estate.  Our saint spent the rest of his life praying, writing, living simply, and founding schools and almshouses.  He also moved deeper into mysticism, past the bounds many of his contemporaries considered acceptable.  Law read works by German mystic Jakob Böhme (1575-1624) then moved to the edge of the Quaker doctrine of the Inner Light.  Our saint wrote The Spirit of Prayer (1749, 1752), The Way to Divine Knowledge (1752), and The Spirit of Love (1752-1754).  All of these works were controversial.  John Wesley, once an admirer of Law, disapproved of these works.

Law, aged about 75 years, died in King’s Cliffe on April 9, 1761.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 19, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT NERSES I THE GREAT, CATHOLICOS OF THE ARMENIAN APOSTOLIC CHURCH; AND SAINT MESROP, BIBLE TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AGNES TSAO KOU YING, AGATHA LIN ZHAO, AND LUCY YI ZHENMEI, CHINESE ROMAN CATHOLIC CATECHISTS AND MARTYRS, 1856, 1858, AND 1862; SAINT AUGUSTE CHAPDELAINE, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, MISSIONARY, AND MARTYR, 1856; AND SAINT LAURENTIUS BAI XIAOMAN, CHINESE ROMAN CATHOLIC CONVERT AND MARTYR, 1856

THE FEAST OF BERNARD BARTON, ENGLISH QUAKER POET AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF ELIZABETH C. CLEPHANE, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN HUMANITARIAN AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF MASSEY H. SHEPHERD, JR., EPISCOPAL PRIEST, ECUMENIST, AND LITURGIST; DEAN OF AMERICAN LITURGISTS

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Almighty God, who called your servant William Law to a devout and holy life:

grant that by your spirit of love and through a faithfulness in prayer,

we may find the way to divine knowledge and so come to see the hidden things of God;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Common Worship:  Daily Prayer (2005), 462

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Holy and merciful God, you filled the heart of William Law

with devotion and zeal in your service;

set us afire with love and obedience, that,

encouraged by his teaching, we may grow in true holiness of life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

or 

God, you called us to hunger and thirst for what is right,

and to follow your servant William in his serious call to devout and holy living;

grant that we who preach to others may never find ourselves rejected.  Amen.

Tobit 1:16-18

Psalm 119:113-120 or 119:137-144

Romans 6:20-23

Luke 11:33-36

–The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

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O God, you kindled the flame of your love in the heart of William Law

and made him a shining light and sure guide in calling many to a devout and holy life.

Grant us so to practice the rule and discipline of faith,

that we walk in the ways of your love as children of light;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Philippians 3:7-14

Psalm 103:1-5

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

–The Anglican Church of Canada

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Almighty God, whose servant William Law taught us to hear and follow your call to a holy life,

grant that we, loving you above all things and in all things,

may seek your purpose and shape our actions to your will,

that we may grow in all virtue and be diligent in prayer all the days of our lives,

through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with you and the Holy Ghost

be all honor and glory now and forever.  Amen.

Philippians 3:7-14

Psalm 1

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, 227

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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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