Archive for the ‘Saints of 1760-1779’ Category

Feast of Joseph Badger, Sr. (February 28)   1 comment

Above:  Joseph Badger, Sr.

Image in the Public Domain

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JOSEPH BADGER, SR. (FEBRUARY 28, 1757-APRIL 5, 1846)

U.S. Congregationalist and Presbyterian Minister

First Missionary to the Western Reserve

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There are false teachers now, who hold and preach a doctrine of falling from grace; for a final apostasy, after the renewing of the Holy Spirit; and perish in their sins.  There are many who profess to be Christians, who fall away from their profession, but not from grace.  But to return to the subject.  Let anyone read with an honest, unprejudiced mind the seventh chapter of Romans from the ninth verse to the end; he will see that St. Paul did not teach the doctrine of perfectionism.  There must be a great deal of twisting and perverting from the most obvious meaning of words and phrases to make scriptures referred to above, speak subversive to their true meaning.

–Joseph Badger, Sr., A Memoir of Joseph Badger (1853); quoted in G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006), 331

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Joseph Badger, Sr., was, obviously, a Calvinist, not an Arminian.

The Western Reserve is in northeastern Ohio.  The Reserve’s nearly 3.3 million acres are south of Lake Erie and west of Pennsylvania.  The southern border is a line south of Youngstown, Akron, and Willard.  This area occupies land one part of the land claim of Connecticut.

Joseph Badger, Sr., once a weaver, became a minister and a missionary.  He, born Wilbraham, Massachusetts, on February 28, 1757, was a son of Henry Badger and Mary Langdon.  Our saint served in the Continental Army during the U.S. War for Independence.  In 1781 he matriculated at Yale College, to prepare for ordained ministry.  Badger graduated in 1785.  While at Yale, Badger married Lois Noble, in 1784.  The couple had six children:  Lucius, Joseph Jr., Henry, Sarah, Juliana, and Lucia.  Badger taught in Waterbury, Connecticut, in 1785-1786.  Our saint, whom the (Congregationalist) New Haven Association licensed to preach in 1786, served as a pastor in Northbury (now Plymouth), Connecticut, for a few months in 1786-1787.  Badger, ordained in Blandford, Massachusetts, on October 24, 1787, was a pastor there until October 1800.

When the Badgers left New England, they went to the Western Reserve of Ohio; our saint was the first missionary to the region.  He labored for God for about 36 years.  In 1801, when the Congregationalist-Presbyterian (Presbygationalist, actually) Plan of Union to evangelize the frontier went into effect, Badger became a Presbyterian minister, despite retaining his preference for Congregationalism.  He and his family lived in frontier conditions as he founded churches, some Congregationalist and others Presbyterian.  Our saint also founded schools.  Furthermore, Badger served as a brigade chaplain and as a guide for General William Henry Harrison during the War of 1812.

Lois Noble died in 1818.  Badger remarried the following year; he wedded Abigail Ely.

Badger finally retired in 1836, at the age of 79 years; his heath was failing.  Our saint, aged 89 years, died in Perrysburg, Ohio, on April 5, 1846.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 4, 2019 COMMON ERA

 THE FEAST OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI, FOUNDER OF THE ORDER OF FRIARS MINOR

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM SCARLETT, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF MISSOURI, AND ADVOCATE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Joseph Badger, Sr.,

whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of the Western Reserve.

Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom,

that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ;

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

Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 96 or 96:1-7

Acts 1:1-9

Luke 10:1-9

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 716

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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 Samuel Seabury (November 14)   5 comments

Above:  Samuel Seabury, by Ralph Eleaser Whiteside Earl

Image in the Public Domain

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SAMUEL SEABURY, JR. (NOVEMBER 30, 1729-FEBRUARY 25, 1796)

First Episcopal Bishop

Episcopal Bishop of Connecticut and Rhode Island

Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church

Keeping track of the calendar of the calendar of saints in The Episcopal Church used to be simple; one consulted the calendar in the front of The Book of Common Prayer.  The calendar of saints was not expansive for a very long time.  Then, in the 1960s, the Church introduced Lesser Feasts and Fasts, revised occasionally then, in the 1980s through the early 2000s, revised and expanded every three years.  For example, Lesser Feasts and Fasts 1997 (1998) gave way to Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2000 (2001), replaced by Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2003 (2004), succeeded by Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2006 (2007), the official calendar of saints for more than a decade.  The General Convention of 2009 authorized a greatly expanded side calendar of saints, Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010).  The General Convention of 2015 authorized that volume’s expanded and revised volume, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016).  Last year’s General Convention authorized Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, the new official calendar, without removing A Great Cloud of Witnesses (2016).

This feast has two names in The Episcopal Church.  It is, according to Lesser Feasts and Fasts, the Feast of “the Consecration of Samuel Seabury, 1784.”  However, in Holy Women, Holy Men and in A Great Cloud of Witnesses, this is the Feast of “Samuel Seabury, First American Bishop, 1796.”

At least four Samuel Seaburys lived.  Samuel Seabury, Sr. (1706-1764), was our saint’s father.  Samuel Seabury, Jr. (1729-1796), was the bishop.  Samuel Seabury, III, was one of the sons of Samuel, Jr.  Samuel Seabury, IV (1801-1872), an Episcopal priest, was a grandson of Samuel, Jr., a nephew of Samuel, III, and a son of Charles Seabury, also a priest.

Our saint, born in Groton, Connecticut, on November 30, 1729, was a son of Abigail Mumford (Seabury) and Samuel Seabury, Sr. (1706-1764), then a Congregationalist minister.  The father, a convert to Anglicanism in 1731, served in parishes in Connecticut.  Samuel, Jr., who graduated from Yale College in 1748, became a catechist with the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel via his father.

Our saint was a minister and a physician.  After studying medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1752-1753, he became a deacon in 1753 then a priest on December 21 of that year.  Two days later, the Bishop of London licensed Seabury to preach in New Jersey.  Our saint arrived in New Brunswick, New Jersey, on May 25, 1754.  He transferred to Jamaica, New York, in 1757, then to Westchester, New York, in 1766.  In Westchester he was also a doctor and a schoolmaster.  He served in that town until 1775.

Seabury was a Loyalist and an advocate for having Anglican bishops in North America.  Both of these opinions were politically controversial.  His allies in both causes included Thomas Bradbury Chandler (1726-1790) and Charles Inglis (1734-1816).  Chandler was a prime candidate to the first bishop of The Church in England in North America, but failing health prevented him from accepting that post.  That duty fell to Inglis, who became the Bishop of Nova Scotia, with a vast diocese encompassing British North America and Bermuda, in 1787.  In Westchester Seabury wrote his Loyalist opinions under the pen name “A.W, Farmer,” short for “A Westchester Farmer,” and conducted a written debate with Alexander Hamilton.  Seabury’s political position led to his arrest by rebels in November 1775.

Seabury, once released, served behind British lines on Long Island.  He tended to the spiritual and medical needs of British soldiers there.  Oxford University awarded our saint a Doctor of Divinity degree for his loyalty to the British Empire on December 15, 1777.  The following year, Seabury became the chaplain to the King’s American Regiment.  After the war, our saint began to collect a pension from the British government.  He continued to receive this pension until he died.  The British pension gave many Americans a reason to distrust Seabury.

The Church of England in the United States needed to reorganize itself and to separate from the mother church to survive and thrive.  Three bishops were necessary, though, and British law did not allow for bishops of The Church of England to consecrate a bishop who refused to swear loyalty to the monarch.  On March 25, 1783, ten of fourteen Anglican clergymen in Connecticut gathered to choose a bishop.  Their first choice was Jeremiah Learning, who, citing age and health concerns, declined.  Then they elected Seabury.  He arrived in England on July 5, 1783.  After no bishops of The Church of England agreed to consecrate him, Seabury traveled to Scotland, where non-juring bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church consecrated him on November 14, 1784.

Seabury, who returned to the United States in late June 1785, immediately began to exercise his office, arch eyebrows, and make allies and enemies.  Meanwhile, William White (1747-1836), the Rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the chaplain of the Confederation Congress, and before that the chaplain of the Second Continental Congress, was trying to organize the American church.  Seabury presided over the first convention of the Diocese of Connecticut on August 3-5, 1785.  He ordained four deacons, including one for Maryland.  Our saint did not attend the General Convention White called in Philadelphia the following month.  Seabury and White disagreed on polity; the former resisted a laity with what he considered too much power, and the latter sought to grant much power to the laity.  Seabury also disapproved of White’s proposed Book of Common Prayer.  Seabury published his Communion Office, based on the Scottish liturgy, in 1786.  In 1785-1786 Seabury was the only American bishop.  In that capacity he ordained men for service beyond Connecticut.  This disturbed many, some of whom questioned the legitimacy of Seabury’s consecration.  White moved to restrict our saint’s authority to his diocese.

Meanwhile, a change in British law in 1787 permitted bishops of The Church of England to consecrate bishops for the United States.  Samuel Provoost (the only non-Loyalist priest in New York) and William White became the first Bishops of New York and Pennsylvania, respectively.  Provoost did not speak to Seabury, and, for a time, neither did White.

Seabury and White were the main founders of The Episcopal Church in 1789.  They made the compromises necessary for the creation of one denomination, not two.  Seabury beat back Congregationalism (strongest in the South) and made his peace with a somewhat empowered laity.  His Communion Office also influenced the Eucharistic rites in The Book of Common Prayer (1789).  Our saint also served as the Presiding Bishop in 1789-1792.  Seabury, who also doubled as the Bishop of Rhode Island from 1790 to 1796, ruled his roost.  He styled himself,

…by Divine permission Bishop of Connecticut.

Seabury died in New London, Connecticut, on February 25, 1796.  He was 66 years old.  His wife, Mary Hicks, born in 1736, had died in 1780.

Seabury was ahead of his time sacramentally in one way.  He argued for the weekly Sunday celebration of the Holy Communion.  That did not become commonplace in The Episcopal Church until the 1960s and 1970s, a time of liturgical renewal.  Our saint would have approved of the definition of the Holy Eucharist as

the central act of Christian worship,

according to The Book of Common Prayer (1979).

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 28, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THOMAS BINNEY, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, LITURGIST, AND “ARCHBISHOP OF NONCONFORMITY”

THE FEAST OF ANDREW REED, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, HUMANITARIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF ANNA JULIA HAYWOOD COOPER AND ELIZABETH EVELYN WRIGHT, AFRICAN-AMERICAN EDUCATORS

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

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Eternal God, you blessed your servant Samuel Seabury with the gift

of perseverance to renew the Anglican inheritance in North America:

Grant that, joined together in unity with our bishops and nourished by your holy Sacraments,

we may proclaim the Gospel of redemption with apostolic zeal;

through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with

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

Isaiah 63:7-9

Psalm 133

Acts 20:28-32

Matthew 9:35-38

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 679

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We give you thanks, O Lord our God, for your goodness in

bestowing upon this Church the gift of the episcopate,

which we celebrate in this remembrance of the consecration of Samuel Seabury;

and we pray that, joined in unity with our bishops and nourished by your holy Sacraments,

we may proclaim the Gospel of redemption with apostolic zeal;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016)

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Feast of Dmitry Bortniansky (October 27)   2 comments

Above:  Dmitry Bortniansky 

Image in the Public Domain

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DMITRY STEPANOVYCH BORTNIANSKY (OCTOBER 28, 1751-OCTOBER 10, 1825)

Russian Orthdox Composer

Dmitry Bortniansky was a major Russian Orthodox composer.  He, born at Hluhkiv, Cossack Hetmanate (now Ukraine), the Russian Empire, on October 28, 1751, grew up singing in his parish choir.  He studied music and composition under Baldassare Galuppi in St. Petersburg (1758-1769) and Italy (1769f).  In Italy Bortniansky composed Italian-language operas and Latin and German sacred works.  Our saint, back in St. Petersburg in 1779, composed French-language operas as well as instrumental works.  In the realm of Russian Orthodox sacred music our saint fused Western and traditional Russian styles, adding polyphony.  Starting in 1796, he served as the first native-born Director of the Imperial Chapel Choir.  Our saint died in St. Petersburg on October 10, 1825.  He was 73 years old.

Bortniansky’s works included the following:

  1. Sinfonia Concertante in B Flat Major;
  2. Let My Prayer Arise;
  3. Lord, Make Me to Know My End;
  4. I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes Unto the Hills;
  5. Cherubic Hymn;
  6. O Sing Unto the Lord a New Song;
  7. Triumph, O Ye This Day;
  8. The King Shall Joy in Thy Strength;
  9. Make a Joyful Noise Unto God;
  10. Lord Hear Thee in the Day of Trouble;
  11. Glory to God in the Highest;
  12. O Come, Let Us Sing Unto the Lord;
  13. I Will Sing of the Mercies of the Lord Forever;
  14. This is the Day Which the Lord Hath Made;
  15. Sing Praises to God;
  16. Blessed is the Lord;
  17. I Will Sing a New Song Unto Thee;
  18. Sing Aloud Unto God Our Strength;
  19. My Heart is Inditing a Good Matter;
  20. Ye People, Let Us Come and Sing of Christ’s Resurrection;
  21. I Will Extol Thee;
  22. How Amiable are Thy Tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts;
  23. It is a Good Thing to Give Thanks Unto the Lord;
  24. The Lord Said Unto My Lord;
  25. In Thee, O Lord, Do I Put My Trust;
  26. He That Dwelleth in the Secret Place;
  27. The Lord is My Light and My Salvation;
  28. Blessed is the People that Know the Joyful Sound;
  29. We, the Unworthy, Shall Not Cease;
  30. Lord God of Israel, There is No God Like Thee;
  31. I Cried to the Lord with My Voice;
  32. Blessed is the Man that Feareth the Lord;
  33. I Will Praise the Name of God with a Song;
  34. Hear My Voice, O God;
  35. O Clap Your Hands, All Ye People;
  36. Why Art Thou Cast Down, O My Soul?;
  37. Let God Arise, Let His Enemies Be Scattered; and
  38. Lord, Who Shall Abide in Thy Tabernacle.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 17, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE SIXTEENTH DAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON, ABOLITIONIST AND FEMINIST; AND MARIA STEWART, ABOLITIONIST, FEMINIST, AND EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF EGLANTYNE JEBB AND DOROTHY BUXTON, FOUNDERS OF SAVE THE CHILDREN

THE FEAST OF FRANK MASON NORTH, U.S. METHODIST MINISTER

THE FEAST OF MARY CORNELIA BISHOP GATES, U.S. DUTCH REFORMED HYMN WRITER

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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 Dmitry Bortniansky

and all those who with music have filled us with 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 St. Paul of the Cross (October 20)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Paul of the Cross

Image in the Public Domain

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PAOLO FRANCESCO DANEI (JANUARY 3, 1694-OCTOBER 18, 1775

Founder of the Congregation of Discaled Clerks of the Most Holy Cross and Passion (the Passionists)

Alternative feast day = October 18

Former feast day = April 28

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He who truly loves God regards as little what he suffers for God’s sake.

–St. Paul of the Cross

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St. Paul of the Cross spent most of his life serving God.

Our saint, son of Anna Maria Massari and merchant Luca Danei, grew up in a pious family.  St. Paul, born in Ovada, Piedmont (now Italy), on January 3, 1694, had a dedication to the Blessed Sacrament, St. Mary of Nazareth, and the Passion of Jesus.  He, who spent half a century praying for the conversion of England, founded the Congregation of Discaled Clerks of the Most Holy Cross and Passion (the Passionists) in 1721, when he was still a layman.  Pope Benedict XIII ordained St. Paul to the priesthood in 1727.  Pope Benedict XIV approved the rule of the order, focused on preaching Christ crucified, in 1741.  Our saint, who founded many missions, served (against his will) as the first Superior General of the order from 1741 until his death.  He, aged 81 years, died in Rome on October 18, 1775.

Pope Pius IX beatified St. Paul in 1852 then canonized him in 1867.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 12, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE ELEVENTH DAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINT JANE FRANCES DE CHANTAL, FOUNDRESS OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE VISITATION

THE FEAST OF ALICIA DOMON AND HER COMPANIONS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS IN ARGENTINA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS BARTHOLOMEW BUONPEDONI AND VIVALDUS, MINISTERS AMONG LEPERS

THE FEAST OF SAINT LUDWIK BARTOSIK, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR

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Almighty God, whose will it is to be glorified in your saints,

and who raise up your servant Saint Paul of the Cross to be a light in the world:

Shine, we pray, in our hearts, that we also in our generation may show forth your praise,

who called us out of darkness into your marvelous light;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 49:1-6

Psalm 98 or 98:1-4

Acts 17:22-31

Matthew 28:16-20

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 717

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Feast of St. Juvenal of Alaska (September 24)   Leave a comment

Above:  Icon of Alaskan Saints

Image Source = St. Gregory the Great Orthodox Church, Silver Spring, Maryland

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SAINT JUVENAL OF ALASKA (1761-1796)

Russian Orthodox Martyr in Alaska, and First Orthodox Martyr in the Americas, 1796

Also known as Saint Juvenaly of Alaska

Alternative feast days = July 2 and December 12

Saint Juvenal(y) of Alaska comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Orthodox Church in America.

Ivan Feodorovich Hovorukhin, born in Nerchinsk, Siberia, in 1761, went from being a mining engineer to serving as a priest-monk and missionary.  After our saint’s wife died in 1791, he entered the St. Petersburg monastery where St. Herman of Alaska (1755-1837) lived, and became Juvenal(y).  He and St. Herman belonged to the missionary team that arrived at Kodiak Island, Alaska, in 1794.  The priest-monks proved to be effective evangelists among the indigenous peoples in the region.  St. Juvenal(y) was certainly a capable missionary.  In 1795, for example, he baptized more than 700 members of the Chugatchi people at Nushak, then crossed Kenai Bay and baptized more people.  In 1796, at the village of Quinahgak, a hunting party killed our saint.  He became the first Orthodox martyr in the Americas.

Decades later, natives told St. Innocent of Alaska (1797-1879) that St. Juvenal(y) had faced those committing violence against him and asked them not to attack those whom he had baptized.  That was a credible story.  Accounts of the corpse standing up and challenging the assailants to repent were not.

The Orthodox Church in America canonized St. Juvenal(y) in 1980.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 3, 2018 COMMON ERA

LABOR DAY (U.S.A.)

THE FEAST OF JEDEDIAH WEISS, U.S. MORAVIAN CRAFTSMAN, MERCHANT, AND MUSICIAN

THE FEAST OF ARTHUR CARL LICHTENBERGER, PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH AND WITNESS FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

THE FEAST OF JAMES BOLAN LAWRENCE, EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND MISSIONARY IN SOUTHWESTERN GEORGIA, U.S.A.

THE FEAST OF SUNDAR SINGH, INDIAN CHRISTIAN EVANGELIST

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

in the heart of your holy martyr Saint Juvenal(y) of Alaska:

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

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

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Jeremiah 15:15-21

Psalm 124 or 31:1-5

1 Peter 4:12-19

Mark 8:34-38

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

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Feast of St. Herman of Alaska (August 9)   2 comments

Above:  Kodiak Island, Alaska, 1968

Scanned from Rand McNally World Atlas–Imperial Edition (1968)

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SAINT HERMAN OF ALASKA (1755-DECEMBER 25, 1837)

Russian Orthodox Monk and Missionary to the Aleut

“Herman” was our saint’s monastic name.  His birth name–even his family name–has become lost to historical records.

Our saint, born into a merchant family of Serpukhov, Russia, in 1755, was a devout boy.  In 1771, at the age of 16 years, he entered monastic life at the Monastery of St. Sergius, near St. Petersburg, and became Herman.  After five years he transferred to the Valaam Monastery on Lake Ladoga, Finland.  There, in 1793, St. Herman volunteered to join a missionary journey to Alaska.  The eight missionaries arrived at Kodiak Island on December 25, 1793 (Julian Calendar)/January 5, 1794 (Gregorian Calendar).

The mission was initially to Russian fur traders, not indigenous people.  The founding of Holy Resurrection Church, Kodiak, in 1794, was a pivotal event.  The following year the first martyrdom of a Russian Orthodox missionary in Alaska occurred when Juvenal, a priest-monk, died at Lake Iliamma.  In 1799 Archimandrite Joasaf, head of the Alaska mission, became the Bishop of Kodiak.  Not only were some fur traders mistreating Aleut people, but, in 1800, Russian officialdom forbade missionaries from having any contact with the Natives.  The missionaries, allies of the Aleuts in complaints of mistreatment, were allegedly stirring up resistance to the Russian government there.  Missionaries’ attempts to be faithful led to their house arrest in 1801 and the cessation of services for a year.  They complained to the Holy Synod.  The mission resumed in 1804.

A few years later St. Herman moved to Spruce Island, near Kodiak Island.  He lived in a cave until the Russian American Company built a cell for him.  There St. Herman spent the rest of his life.

Meanwhile, the Kodiak mission lasted until 1820, nine years after the Holy Synod closed the Diocese of Kodiak and transferred missionary work on Kodiak Island to the Bishop of Irkutsk.

On Spruce Island St. Herman ministered to the Aleuts.  From 1820 to 1831 he did this despite official Russian persecution.  Our saint established a school, converted people, fed animals by hand, counseled locals, and baked cookies and biscuits for children.  St. Herman demonstrated his love for the people, who reciprocated.

St. Herman died on December 13 (Julian Calendar)/December 25 (Gregorian Calendar), 1837.  His reputation grew posthumously, leading to his canonization by the Orthodox Church in America on August 9, 1970.  The Episcopal Church added his feast to its calendar of saints in 2009.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 14, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHARLES AUGUSTUS BRIGGS, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, EPISCOPAL PRIEST, AND ALLEGED HERETIC; AND HIS DAUGHTER, EMILIE GRACE BRIGGS, BIBLICAL SCHOLAR AND “HERETIC’S DAUGHTER”

THE FEAST OF SAINT METHODIUS I OF CONSTANTINOPLE, DEFENDER OF ICONS AND ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH OF CONSTANTINOPLE; AND SAINT JOSEPH THE HYMNOGRAPHER, DEFENDER OF ICONS AND THE “SWEET-VOICED NIGHTINGALE OF THE CHURCH”

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM HIRAM FOULKES, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

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Holy God, we bless your Name for Herman, joyful North Star of Christ’s Church,

who came from Russia to bring the Good News of Christ’s love to your native people in Alaska,

to defend them from oppressors and to proclaim the Gospel of peace;

and we pray that we may follow his example in proclaiming the Gospel:

through the same Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, throughout all ages.  Amen.

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 1:1-10

Psalm 148:7-14

2 Timothy 1:3-7

Luke 9:46-48

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 517

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