Archive for the ‘Saints of 1780-1789’ Category

Feast of Simon Brute (March 20)   1 comment

Above:  Bishop Simon Bruté

Image in the Public Domain

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SIMON WILLIAM GABRIEL BRUTÉ DE RÉMUR (MARCH 20, 1779-JUNE 26, 1839)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Vincennes

Bishop Simon Bruté comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget (1763-1850).

Simon-Guillaume-Gabriel Bruté de Rémur (Jr.), born in Rennes, France, on March 20, 1779, came from a wealthy and large family.  His mother was his father’s second wife; the first wife had died.  Our saint grew up with seven half-siblings and a full brother in the Palace of Justice, Rennes.  Simon (Sr.) died in 1886, depriving the family of opulence.  The mother, Renée Le Saulnier de Vauhello (twice a widow), managed the family’s finances capably, if not in the condition she preferred.

Bruté, who had priests and an abbot in the family, was always a faithful Roman Catholic.  He worked in the print shop (the family business his mother operated); this job kept our saint of the revolutionary regiment of boys.  During the Reign of Terror, Bruté, disguised as a prison baker’s assistant, received and delivered letters for incarcerated priests and took the Eucharist to them.  He also studied medicine (1796-1803), but never practiced.  Instead, our saint matriculated at Saint Sulpice Seminary, Paris, in November 1803.  He, ordained to the priesthood in 1808, taught at the seminary (1808-1810).

Benedict Joseph Flaget recruited Bruté to become a missionary to the United States.  Flaget, Bruté, et al sailed in June 1810.  Our saint spent a quarter of a century living on the East Coast.  He taught philosophy at St. Mary’s College, Baltimore (1810-1812).  Then, assigned to St. Mary’s College, Emmitsburg, Maryland, Bruté taught and performed pastoral duties.  The priest, renowned for his erudition and lack of selfishness, served as the spiritual director of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821).  He retrieved his library from France in 1815 then donated those volumes to St. Mary’s College, Baltimore, whose President he had just become.  Starting in 1817, at Emmitsburg, Bruté started teaching theology and moral philosophy.

Above:  Basilica of St. Francis Xavier, Vinennes, Indiana

Image in the Public Domain

Holy Mother Church carved the Diocese of Vincennes (spanning eastern Illinois and all of the State of Indiana) out of the Diocese of Bardstown, Kentucky, in 1834.  The new diocese needed a bishop.  Bruté accepted the appointment.  The challenges were great.  The territory was vast, and there were only three priests.  One priest was on loan from another diocese.  Bruté himself was the third priest.  Our saint raised funds, recruited priests, and founded churches, schools, a library, and the seminary.  He also taught at the seminary.

Bruté, aged 60 years, died in Vincennes, Indiana, on June 26, 1839.  The good work fell to Célestine Guynemer de la Hailandière (1798-1882), briefly the Bishop Coadjutor.

Bruté is officially a Servant of God; the cause for his eventual canonization is underway.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 29, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE BEHEADING OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST

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

and who raised up your servant Simon William Gabriel Bruté de Rémur

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 Blessed Marie-Louise-Elisabeth de Lamoignon de Mole de Champlatreux (March 4)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Marie-Louise-Élisabeth de Lamoignon de Molé de Champlâtreux

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED MARIE-LOUISE-ÉLISABETH LAMOIGNON DE MOLÉ DE CHAMPLÂTREUX 

(OCTOBER 3, 1763-MARCH 4, 1825)

Founder of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Louis

Also known as the “Angel of the Garrets”

Blessed Marie-Louise-Élisabeth de Lamoignon de Molé de Champlâtreux comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.

Our saint entered the world in Paris, France, on October 3, 1763.  She was the second of six children of Chrétien François de Lamoignon (1735-1789) and Marie-Élisabeth Berryer.  Most of the men in the family were politicians.  Lamoignon grew up with Christian values, such as caring for the poor.  Strong influences during her formative years included a maternal grandfather and Father Louis Bourdaloue, a Jesuit priest and the parents’ spiritual director.

Our saint continued to practice her spiritual values of living simply and caring for the poor after she married.  Her husband (from February 9, 1779) was Édouard-François Mathieu Molé (1760-1794), also a politician and a nobleman.  Our saint, the “Angel of the Garrets,” gave birth to five children, only two of whom lived to adulthood.  She pondered joining a religious order, but her spiritual advisor, but her spiritual advisor, Father Antoine Xavier Mayneaud de Pancemont, advised waiting until after the death of her husband.  She became a widow on April 20, 1794, as a the Reign of Terror.

Napoleon Bonaparte finally put the French Revolution out of its misery.  In 1802, Mayneaud, who had become the Bishop of Vannes, encouraged our saint to found a new religious order.  So, on May 25, 1803, Lamoignon founded the Sisters of Charity of Saint Louis and became its Mother Superior.  The purpose of the new religious order was to educate poor and abandoned girls.  Pope Pius VII blessed our saint and the new religious order in person in 1804.  Pope Gregory XVI formally recognized the order in 1860.

Lamoignon, aged 61 years, died in March 4, 1825, as she grasped a crucifix.

Holy Mother Church has formally recognized Lamoignon.  Pope John Paul II declared her a Venerable in 1986.  Pope Benedict XVI made her a beatus in 2012.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 19, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT SIXTUS III, BISHOP OF ROME

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

THE FEAST OF GEERT GROOTE, FOUNDER OF THE BRETHREN OF THE COMMON LIFE

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

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

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM HAMMOND, ENGLISH MORAVIAN HYMN WRITER

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Lord God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served,

and to give his life for 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,

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 Christoph E. F. Weyse (March 4)   1 comment

Above:  The Flag of Denmark

Image in the Public Domain

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CHRISTOPH ERNST FRIEDRICH WEYSE (MARCH 5, 1774-OCTOBER 8, 1842)

Danish Lutheran Organist and Composer

Christoph Ernst Friedrich Weyse comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Great Cloud of Witnesses, via the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), Lutheran Worship (1982), and Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006).

Above:  A Map of Schleswig-Holstein (1905)

Image in the Public Domain

Altona is near Hamburg, in the south.

Weyse was a musical prodigy.  He, born in Altona, Schleswig-Holstein, Denmark (now Germany), on March 5, 1774, was a son of an herb peddler who doubled as a captain in the militia.  Our saint’s mother was a pianist.  Weyse’s father died when our saint was seven years old.  The mother eventually remarried.  Weyse received his first musical lessons from his maternal grandfather, C. B. Hauser, a violinist.  Our saint started piano lessons in 1782 and began composing two years later.

Weyse grew up.  His stepfather wanted him to choose a practical profession–being a merchant.  The young man, therefore, became an apprentice to a merchant.  After eight days, however, that merchant terminated the apprenticeship and pronounced Weyse to be useless.  OUr saint was free to pursue his vocation.  The Mayor of Altona arranged for the young man to live with and study under Johann A. P. Schulz (1747-1800) in Copenhagen (1790-1793).  Schulz gave Weyse violin and organ lessons and introduced him to the royal court.  There, the young man performed his original compositions.  Weyse also blossomed into a capable concert pianist.  Yet he chose to cease in that capacity in 1802, after suffering a stroke the previous year.  Our saint never fully recovered from that stroke, which also created a hiatus in his composing.

Above:  Christoph E. F. Weyse

A portrait by Christian Albrecht Jensen

Image in the Public Domain

Weyse earned his living as a professor, a composer, and a church organist.  he was the deputy organist (1792-1794) then the principal organist (1794-1805) at the Reformed Church in Copenhagen.  His next job was as organist at Roskilde Cathedral, Roskilde (1805-death).  Overlapping appointments included a professorship at The University of Copenhagen (1816f) and the royal court composer (1819f).  Compositions included symphonies, works for piano, cantatas, hymn tunes, and folk songs.

I refer you, O reader, to YouTube for recordings of many of these compositions.

Above:  Roskilde Cathedral

Image Source = Google Earth

Weyse was a Grundtvigian Lutheran–a “Happy Dane.”  He, of the school of Bishop Nikolai Grundtvig (1793-1872), enjoyed “worldly amusements” that Pietistic Danish Lutherans (“Sad Danes”) condemned as sinful.  These alleged occasions of sin included the theater and folk dancing. Our saint, a lifelong bachelor, was also a “foodie” and a bookworm.  He collected a large library and read widely.  Topics that interested him included theology, geography, astronomy, mathematics, history, and linguistics.  Our saint read in English, French, Latin, and German, beside Danish, of course.  Weyse’s Grundtvigian sympathies were evident in an original hymn tune, DEN SIGNEDE DAG, written in 1826 for a text Bishop Grundtvig had composed.  The hymn tune, with its Romantic style, was thoroughly Grundtvigian.

Weyse remained an excellent musician until the end of his life.  In 1841, Franz Liszt (1811-1886) visited Copenhagen.  Our saint impressed him by improvising a five-voice double fugue that lasted for half an hour.

Weyse, who received an honorary doctorate from The University of Copenhagen in 1842, died on October 8 that year.  He was 68 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 18, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ARTEMISIA BOWDEN, AFRICAN-AMERICAN EDUCATOR AND CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST

THE FEAST OF ERDMANN NEUMEISTER, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS JOHN MCCONNELL, U.S. METHODIST BISHOP AND SOCIAL REFORMER

THE FEAST OF JONATHAN FRIEDRICH BAHNMAIER, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF PETTER DASS, NORWEGIAN LUTHERAN MINISTER, POET, AND 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 Christoph Ernst Friedrich Weyse

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

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

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Feast of Johannes Daniel Falk (February 18)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of Saxe-Weimer-Eisenach

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHANNES DANIEL FALK (OCTOBER 28, 1768-FEBRUARY 14, 1826)

German Poet, Hymn Writer, and Social Worker

Also known as Johann Daniel Falk

Johannes Daniel Falk comes to this, A GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES:  AN ECUMENICAL CALENDAR OF SAINTS’ DAYS AND HOLY DAYS, via The Hymnal (1941), of the old Evangelical and Reformed Church.

Falk, born in Danzig, Kingdom of Poland, on October 28, 1768, came from an impoverished family in which education was not a priority.  His father, a wig-maker, wanted our saint to make wigs, not to attend school.  Therefore, young Johannes’s early education was inconsistent.  He, pulled out of school as a boy, wanted to study at night.  The father refused to permit this. Therefore, young Johannes stood under a street light at night–even in cold weather–and read books.  The more the father interfered with our saint’s education, the more young Johannes valued education.  Our saint, desperate, even ran away from home.

Finally, the father relented.  Falk, able to attend school consistently, starting at age sixteen, attended one school for six years.  Then he studied literature and theology at the University of Halle for three more years, through 1793.

Falk made his life in Weimar, starting in 1793.  Thirteen years later, he became the counselor to the legation at the ducal court in the capital of the Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.  These were the times of the Napoleonic Wars.  Orphaned, homeless children and youth lived on the streets in the city.  And, in 1813, four of Falk’s six children died of a typhoid fever during an epidemic.

Falk’s faith, influenced by his mother’s Moravian Church influence, renewed.  He decided upon a strategy to help street children in Weimar.  Falk convinced his friends to take street children into their homes.  The former street children gathered at Falk’s home for Sunday school each week.  He also helped the boys and girls become productive members of society, according to social conventions.  Some boys learned a trade; others attended a university.  Girls became domestic servants.  Our saint’s program developed into the Falk’sche Institute and became a model for similar work in other German cities.

Falk also wrote.  He composed satires, novels, and poems.  One of his more noteworthy works was Prometheus, a dramatic poem.  Das Vater Unser (1822) was a collection of his Sunday school talks.  Falk wrote hymns, too.  His most popular hymn was Allerdreifeier, translated into English as “O Thou Joyful, O Thou Wonderful,” a Christmas text.

Falk, aged fity-seven years, died in Weimar on February 14, 1826.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 16, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARGARET OF SCOTLAND, QUEEN, HUMANITARIAN, AND ECCLESIASTICAL REFORMER

THE FEAST OF SAINT GIUSEPPE MOSCATI, ITALIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PHYSICIAN

THE FEAST OF IGNACIO ELLACURIA AND HIS COMPANIONS, MARTYRS IN EL SALVADOR, NOVEMBER 15, 1989

THE FEAST OF THE JESUIT MARTYRS OF PARAGUAY, 1628

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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 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.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of Thomas Baldwin (December 23)   Leave a comment

Above:  Thomas Baldwin

Image in the Public Domain

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THOMAS BALDWIN (DECEMBER 23, 1753-AUGUST 29, 1825)

U.S. Baptist Minister and Hymn Writer

Thomas Baldwin 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).

Baldwin was a native and resident of New England.  He, born in Bozrah, Connecticut, on December 23, 1753, moved to Canaan, New Hampshire, when sixteen years old.  He married his first wife, Rebecca Huntington (1755-1812) in 1775.  The couple had one daughter, Rebecca Baldwin (Goble) (1778-1800), who married in 1796.  She gave birth to two children, Andrew (1799-1880) and Anna (1800-1854).  Our saint, a member of the New Hampshire legislature, was also a law student in 1881, when he had a conversion experience and joined a Baptist church.

Baldwin, ordained in 1783, spent seven years as an itinerant evangelist.  Then he spent 1790-1825 as the pastor of Second Baptist Church, Boston, Massachusetts.  He wrote at least seven hymns, helped to organize the Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Society (1802), edited The Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Magazine (1803f; available at archive.org), promoted foreign missions, wrote defenses of Baptist principles, and served as the chaplain to the General Court of Massachusetts.  Our saint also understood the importance of education.  He served as a trustee of Waterville College, Waterville, Maine (founded in 1813; now Colby College).  Furthermore, Baldwin helped to found Newton Theological Institute, Newton, Massachusetts (1825).  It was the first Baptist theological seminary in the United States of America.  The legacy of this institution has passed to Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Connecticut.

Baldwin, widowed in 1812, married Margaret Duncan (1769-1858) that year.

Our saint died in Waterville, Maine, on August 29, 1825.  He, 71 years old, was as in town, in his capacity as a trustee, for commencement at Waterville College.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 22, 2021 COMMON ERA

PROPER 16:  THE THIRTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF JACK LAYTON, CANADIAN ACTIVIST AND FEDERAL LEADER OF THE NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY

THE FEAST OF JOHN DAVID CHAMBERS, ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF SAINTS HRYHORII KHOMYSHYN, SYMEON LUKACH, AND IVAN SLEZYUK, UKRAINIAN GREEK CATHOLIC BISHOPS AND MARTYRS, 1947, 1964, AND 1973

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOHN KEMBLE AND JOHN WALL, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND MARTYRS, 1679

THE FEAST OF SAINTS THOMAS PERCY, RICHARD KIRKMAN, AND WILLIAM LACEY, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS, 1572 AND 1582

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O God, our Heavenly Father, who raised up your faithful servant Thomas Baldwin,

to be a pastor in your Church and to feed your flock:

Give abundantly to all pastors the gifts of your Holy Spirit,

that they may minister in your household as true servants of Christ

and stewards of your divine mysteries;

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

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84 or 84:7-11

Ephesians 3:14-21

Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 719

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Feast of Demetrius A. Gallitzin (December 22)   Leave a comment

Above:  Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin

Image Source = Baroness Pauline von Hügel, A Royal Son and Mother (1902)

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DEMETRIUS AUGUSTINE GALLITZIN (DECEMBER 22, 1770-MAY 6, 1840)

Russian-American Roman Catholic Priest

“The Apostle of the Alleghenies”

Born Dmitri Dmitrievich Galitzin

Also known as Augustine Smith

Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin 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).

Prince Dmitri Dmitrievich Gallitzin, born in The Hague, the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, was the son of Prussian Countess Adelheid von Schmettau (1748-1806) and Prince Dmitri Alexeivich Galitzin (1728-1803), at the time, the Russian Imperial Ambassador to the Dutch Republic.  The ambassador was a nominal member of the Russian Orthodox Church.  The Countess was a nominal Roman Catholic.  Both parents were friends of François-Marie Arouet, ak.a. Voltaire (1694-1778) and followers of Denis Diderot (1713-1784).  Our saint grew up a nominal, baptized member of the Russian Orthodox Church, with no religious training.

Our saint, a member of the aristocracy, grew up among political and intellectual elites.  As a young child, he sat on the lap of Czarina Catherine II “the Great” (reigned 1762-1796), in The Hague.  His first language–the tongue of his home–was French.  One childhood friend was the future William I, King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg (reigned 1815-1840).

The Countess returned to the Roman Catholic Church in 1786.  She and those around her influenced her son, confirmed in Holy Mother Church (as Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin) on August 28, 1787.  This development greatly displeased the ambassador, who had planned a military career in Russia for our saint.  The father nearly sent the son back to Russia.  Gallitzin remained in Western Europe and briefly served as an aide-de-camp to the commander of Austrian forces in Brabant in 1792.  Later that year, for political reasons, the Austrian Army dismissed all foreigners from its ranks.

Gallitzin’s parents sent him to the New World; they intended for him to travel in the Western Hemisphere for two years.  Our saint departed Rotterdam on August 18, 1792, and arrived in Baltimore, Maryland, on October 28.  He disappointed his father again my matriculating at the Seminary of Saint Sulpice, Baltimore, on November 5, 1792.  The ambassador arranged for the son to receive a commission as a member of the palace guard in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  Gallitzin went AWOL from the Russian Imperial Army and remained in seminary.

Gallitzin, ordained a priest on March 18, 1795, became the first Roman Catholic priest to conduct all of his theological studies in the United States of America.  He served as a missionary in Maryland, Virginia (including what is now West Virginia), and Pennsylvania–mostly in Pennsylvania.  Gallitzin founded Loretto, Pennsylvania, the first Roman Catholic community with resident clergy in that part of that state, in 1799.  The congregation he founded became the Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel.  Saint Michael’s was the only Roman Catholic church between Saint Louis, Missouri, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for a few years.  Furthermore, ministry left Gallitzin deeply in debt for much of his life.  He paid off his debts before dying, however.  Our saint, a naturalized citizen of the United States (as Augustine Smith) since 1802, damaged his health by traveling in the Allegheny Mountains for years.  In so doing, he helped to build up the Roman Catholic Church in western Pennsylvania.

Somehow, Gallitzin found time to write defenses of Roman Catholicism, in response to attacks from Protestant ministers:

  1. A Defence of Catholic Principles, in a Letter to a Protestant Minister (1816); and
  2. Letter to a Protestant Friend, on the Holy Scriptures, or the Written Word of God (1820).

Gallitzin nearly became a bishop four times:

  1. He was on the short list for Bishop Coadjutor of Bardstown, Kentucky, under Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget (1763-1850).  That job went to John Baptist Mary David (1761-1841), Bishop Coadjutor of Bardstown (1819-1832) then Bishop of Bardstown (1832-1833).
  2. Our saint declined an offer to become the first Bishop of Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1821/1822.  The Church had carved the Diocese of Cincinnati from the Diocese of Bardstown in 1821.
  3. Gallitzin was also a candidate to become the first Bishop of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1827.  The Church created the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 1843, however.
  4. The Church created the Diocese of Detroit from the Diocese of Cincinnati in 1833.  Gallitzin declined the offer to become the first Bishop of Detroit.

Gallitzin, aged 69 years, died in Loretto, Pennsylvania, on May 6, 1840.

Our saint is on the road to eventual canonization, given that the Roman Catholic Church declared him a Servant of God in 2005.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 20, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ZACCHAEUS, PENITENT TAX COLLECTOR AND ROMAN COLLABORATOR

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin,

whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of western Pennsylvania.

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 Conrad Kocher (December 16)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of the Duchy of Württemberg

Image in the Public Domain

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CONRAD KOCHER (DECEMBER 16, 1786-MARCH 12, 1872)

German Composer and Music Educator

Reformer of Church Music in Germany

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

Kocher, born in Dietzingen, Duchy of Württemberg, Holy Roman Empire, on December 16, 1786, was, according to his parents, supposed to become a teacher.  So, he did.  Our saint taught in St. Petersburg, Russian Empire.  While there, Kocher fell in love with the music of Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791).  Our saint, therefore, changed his career path.

Kocher abandoned teaching, as he had been doing it, and focused on music.  Our saint studied composition in St. Petersburg and Rome.  He began to compose.  His oeuvre ultimately included operas, sonatas, oratorios, chorales, and hymn tunes.  His most enduring composition was probably a hymn tune, DIX, as in “For the Beauty of the Earth;” “As With Gladness Men of Old” (about the Magi); “Praise to God, Immortal Praise;” “Lord, Set Fire to My Soul;” and “Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies.”  Kocher’s studies of the music of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594) convinced him to focus on sacred music.  Kocher returned to Germany in 1811.  There he founded the School of Sacred Song, Stuttgart.  In this capacity, our saint helped to reform and improve singing in Protestant churches by popularizing four-part singing.  For this reason, Kocher received an honorary doctorate from the University of Tübingen (1852).

Kocher, aged 85 years, died in Stuttgart, Kingdom of Württemberg, German Empire, on March 12, 1872.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 14, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM CROFT, ANGLICAN ORGANIST AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF JOHN BAJUS, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF JOHN HENRY HOPKINS, JR., EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND HYMNODIST; AND HIS NEPHEW, JOHN HENRY HOPKINS, III, EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND MUSICIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT MAXIMILIAN KOLBE, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1941; AND JONATHAN MYRICK DANIELS, EPISCOPAL SEMINARIAN AND MARTYR, 1965

THE FEAST OF SARAH FLOWER ADAMS, ENGLISH UNITARIAN HYMN WRITER; AND HER SISTER, ELIZA FLOWER, ENGLISH UNITARIAN COMPOSER

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

thank you for those (especially Conrad Kocher)

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 Justin Heinrich Knecht (December 2)   Leave a comment

Above:  Justin Heinrich Knecht

Image in the Public Domain

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JUSTIN HEINRICH KNECHT (SEPTEMBER 30, 1752-DECEMBER 1, 1817)

German Lutheran Organist, Music Teacher, and Composer

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

Above:  Map of the Duchy of Württemberg

Image in the Public Domain

Knecht, born in Biberach, Duchy of Württemberg, on September 30, 1752, became a capable musician and composer.  As a young man, he received a classical education at Esslingen.  Our saint also studied organ, violin, oboe, flute, and trumpet there.  Then Knecht continued his study of organ performance under one Herr Kraemer in Biberach.  Our saint became one of the greatest German organists of his time.  Knecht worked as a professor of literature in Biberach from 1771 to 1792.  In 1792, He became the municipal music director and the organist at St. Martin’s Church, Biberach, which Lutherans and Roman Catholics had shared since 1548.  For the rest of his life, our saint taught music, pioneered the writing of program notes, and wrote about musical theory.  In 1806-1808, Knecht lived and worked in Stuttgart, the royal capital.  After two years of conducting the royal court and theater orchestra, our saint returned to Biberach.  Perhaps Knecht felt unqualified for his royal appointment.  Maybe he tired of a toxic work environment.  Perhaps both reasons informed our saint’s decision.  Anyway, Knecht lived and worked in Biberach until he shuffled off his mortal coil.

Above:  St. Martin’s Church, Biberach

Image Source = Google Earth

William Gustave Polack, The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal, Second Edition (1942), 533, notes that Knecht

was one of the great organists of his time.

Fred L. Precht, Lutheran Worship Hymnal Companion (1992), 672, describes Knecht as

a brilliant organist.

Albert C. Ronander and Ethel K. Porter, Guide to the Pilgrim Hymnal (1966), 196, noted that:

Knecht’s contemporaries regarded him as one of the best musicians of the day.  As an organist he had only one rival….

Yet, according to the same source:

…his compositions lacked vitality and originality.

Armin Haeussler, The Story of Our Hymns:  The Handbook to the Hymnal of the Evangelical and Reformed Church (1952), 748, notes that Knecht

excelled as an organist but ranked much lower as a composer.

I leave any evaluation of Knecht’s skill as a composer to you, O reader.  Recordings of some of his compositions are available on YouTube.

In 1799, Knecht and Lutheran minister Johann Friedrich Christmann (1752-1817) prepared a hymnal, Wirtembergisches Land Gesangbuch, a.k.a., the Württemberger Choralbuch, published in Stuttgart.   Knecht composed 97 of the 266 hymn tunes.  Some of our saint’s hymn tunes included:

  1. AUS GNADEN SOLL ICH SELIG ERDEN;
  2. DAS WALTE GOTT, DER HELFEN KANN;
  3. DOMINE CLAMAVI;
  4. DU GOTT BIST ÜBER ALLEN HERR;
  5. HERR, DIR IST NIEMAND;
  6. ICH BIN IN DIR, UND DU IN MIR;
  7. KOCHER;
  8. MEIN ERST GEFÜHL SEI PREIS UND DANK;
  9. ST. HILDA, a.k.a. ST. EDITH;
  10. VIENNA, a.k.a. RAVENNA; and
  11. WOMIT SOLL ICH DICH WOHL LOBEN, a.k.a. GOTHA.

Knecht composed both sacred and secular music.  He set Psalms to music and composed settings of other liturgical texts.  Our saint wrote operas, operettas, chamber works, orchestral works, chamber works, piano works, and organ works, too.  These have long since fallen into obscurity.  Yet recordings of some of them have become available via YouTube:

  1. Cantabile in D Minor;
  2. Concerto for Horn in D Major;
  3. Dixit Dominus (1800);
  4. Freu Dich Sehr O Meine Seale;
  5. Fugue in C Minor;
  6. Handstück in Galanten Stil;
  7. Le Portrait Musical de la Nature, a.k.a. the Pastoral Symphony (1783);
  8. Organ Sonata in C Major;
  9. Prelude in B-Flat; and
  10. Die Aufenstehung Jesu, Ein Tongemälde.

Knecht, aged 65 years, died in his hometown on December 1, 1817.

Knecht’s legacy, at least with regard to hymn tunes, seems to survive primarily in hymnals of denominations with a strong German heritage.  In the United States of America, his means, primarily, the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum), the United Church of Christ, and The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.  Some contemporary hymnals of other denominations include at least one of Knecht’s tunes, but an institutional, Germanic heritage increases the probability of doing so.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 30, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CLARENCE JORDAN, SOUTHERN BAPTIST MINISTER AND WITNESS FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER CHRYSOLOGUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF RAVENNA, AND DEFENDER OF ORTHODOXY

THE FEAST OF SAINT VICENTA CHÁVEZ OROZCO, FOUNDRESS OF THE SERVANTS OF THE HOLY TRINITY AND THE POOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT WILLIAM PINCHON, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF SAINT-BRIEUC

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

thank you for those (especially Justin Heinrich Knecht)

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 Gabriel Richard (October 15)   Leave a comment

Above:  Detroit in 1800

Image in the Public Domain

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GABRIEL JACQUES RICHARD (OCTOBER 15, 1767-SEPTEMBER 13, 1832)

French-American Roman Catholic Missionary Priest in Michigan

Father Gabriel Richard comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget (1763-1850), under whom he served.

Gabriel Jacques Richard was French.  He, born in La Ville de Saintes on October 15, 1767, matriculated at the theological seminary in Angers in 1784.  Ordained to the priesthood on October 15, 1790, our saint sailed for the United States of America in 1792.  He arrived in Baltimore, Maryland, and began to teach mathematics at St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore.

John Carroll (1735-1815), the Bishop of Baltimore (1789-1807) then the Archbishop of Baltimore (1807-1815), appointed Richard to perform missionary work in Michigan in 1798.  The 31-year-old priest arrived in Detroit on June 16, 1798 (the Feast of Corpus Christi), to begin serving at St. Anne’s Church as assistant priest.   He served as the parish’s pastor from 1802 to 1832.

Detroit was a small town in 1798; the population was about 1,200.  About half of that population was French-born.  Forests and a lack of good roads cut Detroit off from the rest of the world, by land.  The streets were muddy, there were no schools, and the main business was trading liquor for furs from Native Americans.

Richard set about improving the community.  He started schools that taught the “three R’s,” as well as dressmaking, sewing, and weaving.  He helped to organize relief efforts after the great fire of 1805.  Our saint appointed a town crier, who announced the news from the steps of St. Anne’s Church every Sunday.  The priest also posted news for the literate people every week.  Richard founded and published The Michigan Essay, the first newspaper in Michigan, in 1809.  The town crier had a greater audience than the newspaper.  Our saint also published many books, including The Child’s Spelling Book.

Richard accumulated a private library of 240 volumes.  Topics ranged from theology to science, and included navigation, surveying, teaching methods for the deaf and the mute, and mathematics.

About half of the population consisted of Protestants, who had no pastor of their own.  In 1807, Richard accepted their invitation to fill this vacancy.  He served as their pastor (while also serving at St. Anne’s Church) until 1816, when Presbyterian John Monteith (1788-1868) arrived.  Monteith went on to serve as the pastor of the First Protestant Society of Detroit (founded in 1818) then of the First Presbyterian Church, one of its successors.  Richard and Monteith, friends, worked together to improve education in Detroit.  They were two of the founders of the Catholepistemiad (1817-1832), forerunner of the University of Michigan.

Richard, under the authority of Bishop Flaget after the latter’s consecration, functioned as a missionary to local indigenous people.  He won their respect.  During the War of 1812, our saint was a prisoner of war of the British.  The priest, who ministered to indigenous allies of the British Empire, had sworn allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America.  Chief Tecumseh (c. 1768-1813) helped to secure Richard’s release.  The chief promised not to fight for the British unless they freed the priest.

Richard served a term (1823-1825) as the non-voting delegate of the Territory of Michigan (modern-day Michigan, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota) in the United States Congress.  Our saint, despite having no vote, helped to get the funds for the Detroit-Chicago road.

Richard nearly became the first Bishop of Detroit.  He had excommunicated a parishioner.  The excommunication had damaged the man’s business, so he sued our saint.  The court sided with the businessman and fined the priest $1,117 (between $31,000 and $35,000 in 2021 currency).  The priest could not pay the fine.  Our saint was, therefore, an involuntary guest in the sheriff’s home until some parishioners arranged for Richard’s release.  Our saint, chosen to be the first Bishop of Detroit before news of the legal matter reached Rome, remained a priest.  The first Bishop of Detroit assumed office in 1833, after Richard had died.

Cholera swept through Detroit in 1832.  Our saint ministered to victims until he contracted the disease.  He, aged 64 years, died on September 13, 1832.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 29, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA, ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTIC AND RELIGIOUS

THE FEAST OF SAINTS BOSA OF YORK, JOHN OF BEVERLEY, WILFRID THE YOUNGER, AND ACCA OF HEXHAM, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS

THE FEAST OF JAMES EDWARD WALSH, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY BISHOP AND POLITICAL PRISONER IN CHINA

THE FEAST OF SIMON B. PARKER, UNITED METHODIST BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF TIMOTHY REES, WELSH ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER AND BISHOP OF LLANDAFF

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Heavenly Father, shepherd of your people,

we thank you for your servant Father Gabriel Richard,

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

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

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

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

Psalm 84

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

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

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

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Feast of Benedict Joseph Flaget (November 7)   6 comments

Above:  Benedict Joseph Flaget

Image in the Public Domain

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BENEDICT JOSEPH FLAGET (NOVEMBER 7, 1763-FEBRUARY 11, 1850)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Bardstown then of Louisville, Kentucky

Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget 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).

Flaget was French.  He, born at Contournat, near Billom, Auvergne, on November 7, 1763, became an orphan when two years old.  Our saint and his two brothers grew up in the household of an uncle (Canon Benoît Flaget) and an aunt at Billom.  At the age of seventeen years, our saint matriculated at the Sulpician seminary in Clermont.

Flaget became a priest.  He, ordained on All Saints’ Day, 1783, at Issy, taught for years.  Our saint taught theology at Nantes for two years then did the same at Angers.  The anti-clericalism of the French Revolution led to the closing of the seminary at Angers.  Flaget, after returning briefly to Billom in 1791, sailed for the United States of America in January 1792.  He sailed with Étienne (Stephen) Theodore Badin (1768-1853), then a subdeacon, but destined to become the first Roman Catholic priest ordained in the United States of America, on May 25, 1793.  Flaget also sailed with Jean-Baptiste-Marie (John Baptist Mary) David (1761-1841), whom he had recruited to the seminary.

The three future missionaries landed in Baltimore, Maryland, on March 29, 1792.  They proceeded to study English and prepare for their tasks in the New World.  John Carroll (1735-1815), the Bishop of Baltimore (1789-1808) then the Archbishop of Baltimore (1808-1815), assigned Flaget to minister to indigenous people at Fort Vincennes, Northwest Territory (now Indiana).  Our saint arrived on December 21, 1792.  Recalled after two years, he taught at Georgetown College (now University) until 1798.  Then, transferred to Havana, Cuba, in 1798, Flaget eventually returned to Baltimore, in the company of twenty-three students.

Pope Pius VII created the Diocese of Bardstown, Kentucky (out of the Archdiocese of Baltimore), and appointed Flaget the first bishop thereof on April 8, 1808.  Flaget, back in France, initially refused.  Yet he accepted the appointment.  Our saint returned to the United States of America in 1810.  He sailed with friend and colleague Father Simon William Bruté (1779-1839), later the first Bishop of Vincennes.  Another passenger on that vessel was Subdeacon Guy Ignatius Chabrat (1787-1868).  Flaget, consecrated by Archbishop John Carroll in Baltimore on November 4, 1810, arrived in Bardstown on June 9, 1811.

The Diocese of Bardstown was initially vast.  However, as time passed, the Church carved other dioceses out of it.  In 1811, the Diocese of Bardstown included the original Northwest Territory (1787), Kentucky, and Tennessee.  The new diocese was a daunting mission field.  In 1811, after a long and difficult overland journey, Flaget and his entourage arrived in Bardstown.  Shortly after arriving, the new bishop wrote in his journal:

In entering the town, I devoted myself to to all the guardian angels who reside therein, and I prayed to God, with all my heart, to make me an instrument of His glory in this new Diocese.  O my dear brother, have compassion on me, overloaded with so heavy a burden, and pray fervently to God that he would vouchsafe to lighten it.

–Quoted in Cady and Webber. A Year with American Saints (2006), 574

Above:  The Basilica of St. Joseph, Bardstown, Kentucky

Image Source = Google Earth

Flaget was an effective and energetic missionary bishop.  He founded a seminary and parishes.  Construction of his first cathedral, the Basilica of St. Joseph, Bardstown, finished in 1823.  Chabrat became one of Flaget’s missionary priests.  Flaget ordained him, the first Roman Catholic priest ordained west of the Allegheny Mountains, on Christmas Day, 1811.  Flaget also helped to select most of the Roman Catholic bishops consecrated in the United States of America in the 1810-1830s.  John Baptist Mary David (1761-1841), the Bishop Coadjutor of Bardstown (1819-1832), succeeded as the Bishop of Bardstown when Flaget retired, in 1832.  Our saint’s age and health were catching up with him.

David served as the Bishop of Bardstown for less than a year (1832-1833).  Whatever and however great his virtues were, the majority of priests and lay people wanted Flaget back.  Therefore, David resigned and Flaget returned.  Our saint’s second tenure lasted from 1833 to 1850.  His next Bishop Coadjutor was Chabrat, consecrated on July 20, 1834.  By then, the diocese spanned only Kentucky and Tennessee.  Flaget and Chabrat continued to found institutions, build up the diocese, and lay the foundations for future dioceses.  And Flaget traveled in France and Italy (1835-1839).  In his absence, the Diocese of Bardstown became the Diocese of Louisville in 1837.  Chabrat, who had taken over most of the administrative work of the diocese, was going blind.  Therefore, he resigned in 1847 and returned to France.  Flaget needed a new Bishop Coadjutor.

Flaget’s third Bishop Coadjutor was Martin John Spalding, a priest in the diocese.  Spalding was a fine choice, for he was already one of the main administrators of the Diocese of Louisville.  Spalding was the effectively the Bishop of Louisville, starting in 1848, for the aged Flaget all-but officially retired while retaining the title “Bishop of Louisville.”

Flaget, aged 86 years, died in Louisville, Kentucky, on February 11, 1850.

His tomb is in the basement of the Cathedral of the Assumption, Louisville.

Spalding served (officially) as the Bishop of Louisville from 1850 to 1864.  He, appointed the Archbishop of Baltimore (1864-1872), was an uncle of John Lancaster Spalding (1840-1816), the Bishop of Peoria (1877-1908).

Flaget, by the grace of God, functioned as an instrument of divine glory.

May you, O reader, do the same in your context.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 28, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JAROSLAV VAJDA, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER, HYMN TRANSLATOR, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOZEF CEBULA, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1941

THE FEAST OF SAINT PAMPHILIUS OF SULMONA, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF ALMSGIVER

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER CHANEL, PROTOMARTYR OF OCEANIA, 1841

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM STRINGFELLOW, EPISCOPAL ATTORNEY, THEOLOGIAN, AND SOCIAL ACTIVIST

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

and who raised up your servant Benedict Joseph Flaget 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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