Archive for the ‘Saints of 1810-1819’ Category

Feast of Stephen Theodore Badin (July 21)   Leave a comment

Above:  Stephen Theodore Badin

Image in the Public Domain

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ÉTIENNE THÉODORE BADIN (JULY 17, 1768-APRIL 21, 1853)

First Roman Catholic Priest Ordained in the United States of America

Roman Catholic Missionary in Kentucky, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan

Étienne Théodore Badin/Stephen Theodore Badin 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).

Badin was French.  He, born in Orléans on July 17, 1768, studied at Montaigu College, Paris, then, starting in 1789, at the Sulpician seminary, Orléans.  Our saint, subdeacon when the revolutionary government closed the seminary in 1791, departed France before the end of the year.  In November, he sailed from Bordeaux in the company of Benedict Joseph Flaget (1763-1850) and John Baptist Mary David (1761-1841).  The three Frenchmen arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on March 26, 1792.  John Carroll (1735-1815), the Bishop (1789-1808) then Archbishop (1808-1815) of Baltimore, welcomed them in Baltimore two days later.  Badin had slightly more than a year of theological education left to complete.  After he did, Carroll ordained him to the priesthood on May 25, 1793.  This was the first ordination of a Roman Catholic priest in the United States of America.

Father Badin embarked on a long ministry.  His first appointment was to Georgetown.  During those few months, our saint improved his command of English.  Then he and one Father Barrières walked from western Pennsylvania and across Kentucky.  They found Roman Catholics, heard confessions, reconciled penitents, and said Masses.  Father Barrières left for New Orleans in April 1794.  Until the spring of 1819, Badin tended to his mission field (Kentucky) faithfully.  He did much to build what became the Diocese of Bardstown, Kentucky, in 1808.  Starting in July 1806, Father Charles Nerinckx joined the Kentucky mission.  Benedict Joseph Flaget, on Badin’s recommendation, served as the Bishop of Bardstown, Kentucky, in 1808-1832 and 1833-1841, then as the Bishop of Louisville, Kentucky, in 1841-1850.  David was the Bishop Coadjutor of Bardstown in 1819-1832 then the Bishop of Bardstown in 1832-1833.  Badin frequently accompanied Bishop Flaget on journeys within the diocese.

Badin returned to France in the spring of 1819.  He served as a parish priest in Millaney and Marreilly-en-Gault, about 40 miles from Orléans, starting in 1820.  Badin helped to provide funding and furniture for the Kentucky missions.

Badin, back in the United States of America in 1828, returned to the mission field.  He spent a year in Michigan, followed by a year in Kentucky.  Our saint ministered among the Pottawattomie Indians at the St. Joseph River, Indiana, until 1836.  After spending 1836-1837 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Badin served as the Vicar-General of the Diocese of Bardstown (1837f).  Our saint also continued to visit missions.  When the see transferred to Louisville in 1841, so did Badin.  Our saint celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of this ordination to the priesthood in Lexington, Kentucky, on May 25, 1843.  From September 1846 to the winter of 1848, Badin ministered at Bourbonnais Grove, Illinois, in the Diocese of Chicago.  Then our saint retired.

Badin spent his retirement in episcopal households.  Until 1850, he was part of the household of Martin John Spalding (1810-1872), the Bishop of Louisville, Kentucky (1848-1850).  Spalding’s famous and illustrious nephew was John Lancaster Spalding (1840-1916), the Bishop of Peoria (1877-1908) and one of the founders of the Catholic University of America.  In 1850, Badin joined the household of John Baptist Purcell (1800-1883), the Bishop (1833-1850) then Archbishop (1850-1883) of Cincinnati.

Badin died in Cincinnati, Ohio, on April 21, 1853.  He was 84 years old.

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 and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Stephen Theodore Badin,

whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of

Kentucky, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan.

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 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 Henry Williams, Marianne Williams, Jane Williams, and William Williams (July 16)   Leave a comment

Above:  New Zealand

Image Source = Google Earth

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HENRY WILLIAMS (FEBRUARY 11, 1792-JULY 16, 1867)

husband of

MARIANNE COLDHAM WILLIAMS (DECEMBER 12, 1793-DECEMBER 16, 1879)

sister-in-law of

JANE NELSON WILLIAMS (1801?-OCTOBER 6, 1896)

wife of

WILLIAM WILLIAMS (JULY 18, 1800-FEBRUARY 9, 1878)

Anglican Bishop of Waiapu

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ANGLICAN MISSIONARIES IN NEW ZEALAND

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INTRODUCTION

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For the sake of clarity, I have restricted the number of specified saints in this post to four.  The extended Williams family included a large number of missionaries and other ecclesiastical figures generation after generation.  Furthermore, my context is North American.  I admit freely that most details of the history of New Zealand are outside my expertise.  I have read, however.  I have also chosen not to clutter this post with too many geographical and historical details, so that one not from New Zealand can understand the Williamses’ context fairly well.

Henry and Marianne Williams are officially saints, according to The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.  Henry’s feast day in that denomination is July 16.  Marianne’s feast day is December 16.  I add William (Henry’s brother) and Jane (William’s wife and Marianne’s sister-in-law) Williams via their relationships to Henry and Marianne.  These four saints and many others were full partners in ministry, each in his or her unique way.

Christian missionaries from a range of denominations and in various places at different times have frequently been politically unpopular for defending the rights and dignity of indigenous people.  Obeying the Golden Rule leads to confronting social injustice.  In the case of the Williamses, they opposed the exploitation of the Maori by settlers and the government.  Greed, racism, ethnocentrism, and indifference to human suffering were evils the Williamses named and resisted.

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A TAPESTRY OF WILLIAMSES

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Thomas Williams (1724/1725-1770) was a Congregationalist (nonconformist) minister in Gosport, Hampshire, England.  He married Rebecca Isgar on August 6, 1750.  The couple had three children:  Rebecca (b. 1751), Thomas (1753-1804), and Lydia (b. 1757).

Thomas Williams (1753-1804) married Mary Marsh on April 17, 1783.  He eventually served as a Sheriff of Nottingham.  From this devout family, successful in the textiles industry, came six children.  Three of them were Lydia (1788-1859), Henry (1792-1867), and William (1800-1878).  Lydia Williams (1788-1859) married Edward Garrard Marsh (1783-1862), a poet and a priest in The Church of England, as well as a member of the Church Missionary Society.

Henry Williams, born in Gosport, England, on February 11, 1792, joined the Royal Navy in 1806.  He served through 1818.  During his military service, Henry experienced the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812.  Our saint, having had more than his fill of warfare, decided to spend the rest of his life making peace.  He, still a lieutenant, married Marianne Coldham on January 20, 1818.  Edward Garrard Marsh conducted the ceremony.  Shortly thereafter, Henry left the Royal Navy, converted to The Church of England, and commenced preparation to become a missionary.

Marianne Coldham, born in Norwich, England, on December 12, 1793, was a daughter of businessman (and later Sheriff of Nottingham) Wright Coldham (d. 1815) and Anne Coldham (d. 1810).  Our saint had to help raise her siblings and manage the household after her mother died.  The family was Presbyterian.  She was about to become an Anglican, though.  Both Henry and Marianne converted to Anglicanism on February 20, 1818, under the theological influence of Lydia Williams Marsh and Edward Garrard Marsh.

William Williams, born in Nottingham, England, on July 18, 1800, also converted to Anglicanism via Lydia Williams Marsh and Edward Garrard Marsh on February 20, 1818.  William had studied at a Moravian school in Fairfield, Manchester, then at Southwell Grammar School, Southwell, Nottinghamshire.  Next, our saint studied surgery.  In 1822, he matriculated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford.  Two years later, William joined the ranks of Anglican clergymen.  Our saint joined the Church Missionary Society in 1825.  On July 11, 1825, he married Jane Nelson (1801?-1896).

After Thomas Williams, father of Lydia, Henry, and William, died in 1804, Mary Marsh Williams, his widow, moved the family to Southwell, Nottinghamshire.  There she founded a school for girls.  Jane Nelson had been a teacher at that school since 1817 when she married William in 1825.  Jane, born in Nottingham circa 1801, was a daughter of James Nelson and Anna Maria Dale (Nelson).  When Jane married William Williams, she prepared to leave her homeland for all but a few years of the rest of her life.

Henry Williams, ordained a deacon then a priest in 1822, sailed with Marianne and their children for New Zealand that year.  Both husband and wife were officially missionaries from the Church Missionary Society.  They entered a mission field Samuel Marsden (1765-1838), also a member of the Church Missionary Society, had pioneered in 1813-1814.

Above:  Paihia, New Zealand

Image Source = Google Earth

William and Jane Williams joined Henry and Marianne Williams at Paihia, the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, on March 25, 1826.  Henry had begun to experience success as a missionary and the leader of a team of missionaries.  William made a fine addition to that team, which produced Maori translations of the Bible (1827-1857; complete in 1857) and The Book of Common Prayer (1845).  The Dictionary of the New England Language and a Concise Grammar (1844).  Over decades, members of the missionary team spread out across the islands, founded and restaffed mission stations and schools, and defended the rights of the Maori.

Marianne and Jane were invaluable members of the team of missionaries.  Henry acknowledged Marianne as his full partner in missionary work. The sisters-in-law collaborated.  They raised their children together.  Marianne had eleven children, and Jane had nine.  Marianne and Henry had opened a school for the children of missionaries.  Both of them taught in that school, as did Jane.  Marianne and Jane also founded a boarding school for Maori girls at Paihia.  Furthermore, the sisters-in-law provided first aid, health care, and midwifery services.  Henry also tended to the sick as other duties permitted.

The Wiliamses and company were effective missionaries in large part because they respected the Maori.  The missionaries honored all parts of Maori culture that did not contradict the Gospel.  They defended Maori rights and opposed injustices.  Henry and William, alarmed by the government taking of Maori lands, purchased land to hold in trust for the Maori.  This proved controversial.  Missionaries’ efforts to defend Maori rights during the Maori Wars also scandalized political enemies.  Henry Williams, dedicated to being a peacemaker in the name of Christ, learned that reconciliation could be divisive.  Yet the Maori respect for him remained.  Henry was Te Wiremu, literally “The Williams.”  That respect extended to Marianne, Mata Wiremu, or “Mother Williams.”

Above:  Pakaraka, New Zealand

Image Source = Google Earth

Henry Williams, dismissed from the Church Missionary Society in 1849, returned to its fold five years later.  He and Marianne then worked out of Pakaraka, near the the Bay of Islands.  He, 75 years old, died there on July 16, 1767.

At least two sons–Edward (1818-1909) and Samuel (1822-1907)–served as missionaries in New Zealand.  Samuel helped his uncle William found a school for Maori boys at Waerenga-a-hika, seven miles away from Turanga, Poverty Bay, in the 1850s.  Then, in 1875, Samuel helped his aunt Jane found a school for Maori girls at Napier.

Above:  Napier, New Zealand

Image Source = Google Earth

William Williams, based at different places in New Zealand over time, spent all but a few years from 1826 to 1878 in that country.  He, the archdeacon of the Diocese of East Cape (November 27, 1842f), spent 1850-1853 with his family in England.  The reason for that sojourn was Henry’s political difficulty with the Church Missionary Society.  William, back in New Zealand, served as the first Bishop of Waiapu (1859-1876).  He resigned after suffering a stroke in 1876.  Bishop William Williams died in Napier, New Zealand, on February 9, 1878.  He was 77 years old.

Two descendants held that office, too.  Son Leonard (1829-1916) served as the third Bishop of Waiapu (1895-1909).  Leonard’s son Herbert (1860-1937) was the sixth Bishop of Waiapu (1930-1937).

Marianne, 86 years old, died in Pakaraka on December 16, 1879.

Jane died in Napier on October 6, 1896.

The legacies of these Williamses continue, fortunately and to the glory of God.

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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Ever-loving God, you called your servants Henry, William, Jane, and Marianne Williams

to advance the early New Zealand mission by their determination and ability;

give us patience and unwavering courage to put all our talents at your service and to make your love known;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Isaiah 40:9-11

Psalm 119:129-136

2 Corinthians 1:12-14

Matthew 5:1-12

–Adapted from The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia

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Feast of St. Joseph of Damascus (July 10)   1 comment

Above:  Christian Quarter, Damascus, Syria, Ottoman Empire, July 1860

Image in the Public Domain

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YOUSSEF IBN JIRJIS MOUSA IBN MOUHANA AL-HADDAD (MAY 15, 1793-JULY 10, 1860)

Syrian Orthodox Priest and Martyr, 1860

Also known as Joseph George Hadad Firzli

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I planted the seed in the true vineyard of Christ, and I am waiting for the harvest.

–St. Joseph of Damascus

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St. Joseph of Damascus comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, and his connection to the family of St. Raphael of Brooklyn (1860-1915).

St. Joseph, born in Beirut on May 15, 1793, came from a poor and devout Orthodox family.  He was intelligent and intellectual, but poverty interrupted his formal education.  Nevertheless, our saint read deeply and widely.  He mastered Arabic, Hebrew, and Greek, for example.  St. Joseph translated parts of the Bible into Arabic.  Our saint, a weaver from his youth and a married man at age 19, fathered three sons–Moses, Abraham, and Joseph.

St. Joseph, ordained to the priesthood in 1817, when 24 years old, ministered at the old Patriarchal Cathedral of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, located in the Old City, Damascus, Syria.  Starting in 1836, he was the Director of the Patriarchal School, Damascus.  St. Joseph built the school into the leading institution of Orthodox higher education in the Middle East.  He trained many church leaders.

St. Joseph contended against a variety of obstacles during his ministry.  Protestant missionaries vexed him.  Roman Catholic missionaries did, too.  Any outside Christian who did not understand the context of the Arab culture became a problem for St. Joseph.  At the end, though, Muslim violence against Christians created many martyrs, including our saint.

The Mount Lebanon Civil War (May 23-July 11, 1860) was a brief and bloody conflict.  It began as a struggle between Druze and Maronite Catholics in Lebanon, then part of Syria, itself part of the Ottoman Empire.  In July, the conflict spread to Damascus.  Muslim mobs killed Christians and burned churches while other Muslims risked their lives to protect their Christian neighbors.  Thousands of Christians died in Damascus during two days.  During and after the conflict, many Christians fled Damascus.  The parents of St. Raphael of Brooklyn (1860-1915) fled to Beirut after the events of July 1860.  Many other Christians sought shelter elsewhere during and after the conflict.  Some, being infirm, had to stay home in Damascus.

Many Orthodox Christians of Damascus had gathered at the Patriarchal Cathedral on July 9, 1860.  St. Joseph left his home and carried the Reserved Sacrament with him, as he traveled through the Old City of Damascus.  His journey was hazardous; he had to walk across rooftops and jump above narrow streets.  Along the way, he visited home-bound parishioners, hearing confessions, reconciling them, and giving communion.  On the morning of July 10, 1860, a mob burned the Patriarchal Cathedral.  Few people got out alive.  The mob shot or forced most who fled to return to the interior of the burning building.

St. Joseph got out alive.  He spent most of his little remaining time hearing confessions, reconciling people, and giving communion.  Soon, of course, hostiles with axes surrounding our saint.  He consumed the hosts and the consecrated wine of the Reserved Sacrament before he received the crown of martyrdom.  His murderers dragged his mutilated corpse through the streets, for further indignities.  St. Joseph was 67 years old.

St. Joseph and the other martyrs of Damascus in 1860 have been official saints since 1993.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 3, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS FLAVIAN AND ANATOLIUS OF CONSTANTINOPLE, PATRIARCHS; AND SAINTS AGATHO, LEO II, AND BENEDICT II, BISHOPS OF ROME; DEFENDERS OF CHRISTOLOGICAL ORTHODOXY

THE FEAST OF SAINT DIONYSIUS OF ALEXANDRIA, PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA, AND CHURCH FATHER; SAINT EUSEBIUS OF LAODICEA, BISHOP OF LAODICEA; AND SAINT ANATOLIUS OF ALEXANDRIA, BISHOP OF LAODICEA

THE FEAST OF SAINT HELIODORUS OF ALTINUM, ASSOCIATE OF SAINT JEROME, AND BISHOP OF ALTINUM

THE FEAST OF IMMANUEL NITSCHMANN, GERMAN-AMERICAN MORAVIAN MINISTER AND MUSICIAN; HIS BROTHER-IN-LAW, JACOB VAN VLECK, U.S. MORAVIAN BISHOP, MUSICIAN, COMPOSER, AND EDUCATOR; HIS SON, WILLIAM HENRY VAN VLECK, U.S. MORAVIAN BISHOP; HIS BROTHER, CARL ANTON VAN VLECK, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER, MUSICIAN, COMPOSER, AND EDUCATOR; HIS DAUGHTER, LISETTE (LIZETTA) MARIA VAN VLECK MEINUNG; AND HER SISTER, AMELIA ADELAIDE VAN VLECK, U.S. MORAVIAN COMPOSER AND EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF JOHN CENNICK, BRITISH MORAVIAN EVANGELIST AND HYMN WRITER

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Gracious Lord, in every age you have sent men and women

who have given their lives for the message of your love.

Inspire us with the memory of those martyrs for the Gospel

[like your servants Saint Joseph of Damascus and the other martyrs of Damascus in 1860]

whose faithfulness led them in the way of the cross,

and give us courage to bear full witness with our lives to your Son’s victory over sin and death;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Ezekiel 20:40-42

Psalm 5

Revelation 6:9-11

Mark 8:34-38

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

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Feast of Blessed Antonio Rosmini (July 1)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Antonio Rosmini

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED ANTONIO FRANCESCO DAVIDE AMBROGIO ROSMINI-SERBATI (MARCH 25, 1797-JULY 1, 1855)

Founder of the Institute of Charity

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Pray that God in his mercy may give me patience to carry my cross though it be to the end of my life, and that I may never think hardly of those have brought it on me.

–Blessed Antonio Rosmini, quoted in Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (1997), 284

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Blessed Antonio Rosmini, a priest, a scholar, a philosopher, and an Italian patriot, was usually embroiled in ecclesiastical controversies.

Our saint, born in Rovereto, Italy, Holy Roman Empire (when it was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire, to quote Voltaire), on March 25, 1797, came from wealth and lower aristocracy.  His family’s money came from silk manufacturing.  Rosmini, a graduate of the University of Padua, joined the ranks of priests in 1821.  Then he wrote and studied at Rovereto (1821-1826) and Milan (1826-1828).

Rosmini started getting into trouble immediately.  He opposed state interference, such as the nomination of bishops, in ecclesiastical matters.  The Church, our saint insisted, must be independent of all states and an arm of none.  That position offended many powerful people.

Nevertheless, Rosmini had powerful allies, too.  One of these was Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari (1765-1846), also known as Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846).  Gregory XVI approved Rosmini’s new order of priests, the Institute of Charity, founded on February 20, 1828.  St. Magdalena of Canossa (1774-1835), foundress of the Daughters of Charity, had, in 1820, invited our saint to found a similar order for men.  He accepted, eight years later.  The founding of the Institute of Charity was a response to one of the church’s problems–the inadequate education of priests.

Rosmini, a capable philosopher, countered John Locke.  In particular, our saint wrote in response to Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding.  Rosmini’s rebuttal was A New Essay Concerning the Origin of Ideas (1830).  Another major work that proved to be more controversial was Treatise on Moral Conscience (1839).  Rosmini was in trouble with elements of Holy Mother Church for that work from 1839 to 1854, when the Church exonerated him.

[NOTE:  I choose not to paraphrase Rosmini’s philosophy.  Instead, I refer you, O reader, to the article about our saint at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy for those details.]

Two other controversial works were Five Wounds of the Church (1832) and A Constitution Based on Social Justice (1848).  The latter work anticipated Catholic social teaching that Pope Leo XIII (reigned 1878-1903) established.  The five self-inflicted wounds of the church were:

  1. The separation of the priests and the people at Mass.  Rosmini favored liturgical renewal that entailed the transition to vernacular language in the Mass.
  2. The Inadequate education of priests.  Rosmini addressed this problem in the Institute of Charity.
  3. The disunity of bishops.
  4. The nomination of bishops by secular authorities.
  5. The enthrallment of the Church to wealth.

Rosmini’s reputation in the Church was improving until 1848.  Pope Pius IX (reigned 1846-1878) was initially a liberal and a reformer.  During the first two years of his pontificate, our saint’s support for Italian unification was not a liability either.  In 1848, however, Pio Nono became a reactionary.  The following year, the Church listed Five Wounds of the Church (1832) and A Constitution Based on Social Justice (1848) on the Index.

Rosmini, 58 years old, died in Stressa, Piedmont, Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, on July 1, 1855.

Rosmini’s official ecclesiastical reputation has varied postmortem.  He was officially exonerated from 1854 to 1888-1889.  Then Pope Leo XIII condemned some of our saint’s propositions.  The Vatican exonerated our saint again in 2001, during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II.  Then Pope Benedict XVI declared Rosmini a Venerable in 2006 and beatified him the following year.

Rosmini was ahead of his time.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 29, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL, APOSTLES AND MARTYRS

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

to call the Church and renew its life [such as Blessed Antonio Rosmini].

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 Benjamin Carr (May 23)   Leave a comment

Above:  Benjamin Carr 

Image in the Public Domain

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BENJAMIN CARR (SEPTEMBER 12, 1768-MAY 24, 1831)

Anglo-American Composer and Organist

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

Music was the family business.  Our saint, born in London, England, on September 12, 1768, was a son of Joseph Carr, a music publisher.  Benjamin studied music in London.  He also performed as a soloist in Ancient Concerts in that city.  The family immigrated to the United States and settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1793.  Our saint joined the family business, Carr’s Musical Repository, the first music store in the United States.  The original and main location was Philadelphia.  Benjamin opened the satellite store in New York City.  Brother Thomas opened the satellite store in Baltimore, Maryland.  Carr’s Musical Repository published patriotic music, including the Federal Overture, one of our saint’s compositions.

Carr was an organist, a pianist, a conductor, and a composer.  In 1800, he founded the Musical Journal to bring European music to the United States.  After 1800, he focused mainly on teaching and church music.  He, he briefly the organist at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Philadelphia, spent three decades as the organist and the director of music at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Philadelphia.  Carr also arranged the hymn tune SPANISH HYMN/MADRID/SPANISH CHANT (“Come, Christians, Join to Sing“) in 1825.  His arrangement was for solo, quartet, and a full choir.

Carr, aged 62 years, died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 24, 1831.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 23, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT IVO OF CHARTRES, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF BENJAMIN CARR, ANGLO-AMERICAN COMPOSER AND ORGANIST

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK AUGUSTUS BENNETT, FIRST MAORI BISHOP IN AOTEAROA/NEW ZEALAND

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JÓZEF KURGAWA AND WINCENTY MATSUZEWSKI, POLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND MARTYRS, 1940

THE FEAST OF SAINT WILLIAM OF PERTH, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC BAKER AND MARTYR, 1201

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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 [Benjamin Carr]

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 Mark Hopkins (June 14)   Leave a comment

Above:  Mark Hopkins Stamp

Image in the Public Domain

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MARK HOPKINS (FEBRUARY 4, 1802-JUNE 17, 1887)

U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Theologian, Educator, and Physician

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The ideal college is Mark Hopkins on one end of a log and a student on the other.

–James Abram Garfield (November 19, 1831-September 19, 1881), President of the United States of America (March 4-September 19, 1881)

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Mark Hopkins 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).

Hopkins came from a devout Congregationalist family, which shaped his destiny.  He, a son of Archibald Hopkins (1766-1839) and Mary Curtis Hopkins (1772-1868), debuted in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, on February 4, 1802.  A great-uncle was Samuel Hopkins (1721-1803), a prominent Congregationalist minister, theologian, and abolitionist.  Our saint, who graduated from Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, in 1824, worked as a tutor at Williams College (1825-1827) prior to matriculating at Berkshire Medical College, Pittsfield, Massachusetts (Class of 1830).  The our saint returned to Williams College as Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy (1830-1887).  He also served as the president of the college (1836-1872).  Hopkins, a skilled practitioner of the Socratic Method, became an ordained minister in 1833.  He chose to remain at Williams College; our saint declined a host of offers from churches, universities, colleges, and seminaries elsewhere.  Hopkins also found time to serve as the President of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions from 1857 to 1887.

Hopkins married Mary Hubbell (1813-1898).  The couple had ten children.

Hopkins produced a range of published works of theology.  His theology anticipated Charles Darwin‘s On the Origin of Species (1859), which was unoriginal.  (Ask Alfred Russel Wallace.)  Our saint’s On the Argument from Nature for the Divine Existence (1833), rooted in Aristolelian philosophy and the theology of Jonathan Edwards (1703-1768), argued that evolution is a driving force within nature and is consistent with the existence of God.

Hopkins, Renaissance man and Christian apologist, died in Williamstown, Massachusetts, on June 17, 1887.  He was 85 years old.

Hopkins, as an educator, intrigues me.  I have much experience in postsecondary education.  I have been around long enough to witness changes in the student body.  Nothing is new under the sun, of course.  However, I recognize that some negative patterns have become more prominent lately.  Increasingly, students do not know how to take notes and/or do not want to take their own notes.  No, more pupils expect their professors and instructors to give them notes, preferably in the form of overly verbose and poorly-designed PowerPoint slides.  Attention spans have become shorter.  Socrates did not need billboards and PowerPoint slides.  Neither did Mark Hopkins.  He had what he needed.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 6, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANNA ROSA GATTORNO, FOUNDRESS OF THE INSTITUTE OF THE DAUGHTERS OF SAINT ANNE, MOTHER OF MARY IMMACULATE

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALEXIS TOTH, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX PRIEST AND DEFENDER OF ORTHODOXY IN AMERICA

THE FEAST OF CLARENCE DICKINSON, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN ORGANIST AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIA CATALINA TROIANI, FOUNDRESS OF THE FRANCISCAN MISSIONARIES OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY

THE FEAST OF SAINTS WILLIBALD OF EICHSTATT AND LULLUS OF MAINZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT WALBURGA OF HEIDENHELM, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBESS; SAINTS PETRONAX OF MONTE CASSINO, WINNEBALD OF HEIDENHELM, WIGBERT OF FRITZLAR, AND STURMIUS OF FULDA, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOTS; AND SAINT SEBALDUS OF VINCENZA, ROMAN CATHOLIC HERMIT AND MISSIONARY

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

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Mark Hopkins and all others]

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

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

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

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

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Feast of David Low Dodge (June 14)   Leave a comment

Above:  Flag of New York, 1778-1901

Image in the Public Domain

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DAVID LOW DODGE, III (JUNE 14, 1774-APRIL 23, 1852)

U.S. Presbyterian Businessman and Pacifist

David Low Dodge, III, 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).

Dodge, a businessman, retired so he could devote himself to good works full-time.  He, a son of David Low Dodge, Jr. (1742-1807), and Mary Stuart Dodge (1735-1816), debuted in Pomfret (now Brooklyn), Connecticut, on June 14, 1774.  He grew up on a farm.  Our saint married Sarah Cleveland (1780-1862), daughter of a minister, on June 7, 1798.  The couple had seven children.  Dodge was briefly a teacher before he became a merchant of dry goods in Hartford, Connecticut.  Eventually, he moved to New York, New York, in 1807.  For the next two decades, Dodge made much money.  He owned the first textile factory in Connecticut.  He also had a hand in the insurance, timber, land management, iron mining, and coal mining businesses, as well as the Erie Railroad.  Our saint retired in 1827.

Dodge had begun his religious-societal work long prior to retirement.  He had written and published a tract, The Mediator’s Kingdom Not of This World; But Spiritual, Heavenly, and Divine, in 1809.  According to our saint, all was was contrary to Christianity.  He had his reasons for making this argument:

The death of his half-brothers William and Jesse during the U.S. War for Independence had been devastating to the family.

Dodge affirmed the Biblical commandment not to repay evil with evil.

He took proper offense at the negative economic consequences of war on the poorest members of society.  Dodge had helped to found the New York Peace Society in 1815; he had also served as its president.  In 1828, when that organization merged into the American Peace Society, Dodge became the president of the new body.  He vacated the presidency in 1836 yet remained active in the society for the rest of his life.

Dodge, a founder of the New York Bible Society (1809; later the International Bible Society, now Biblica) and the New York Tract Society (1825), died in New York City on April 23, 1852.  He was 77 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 3, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF CAROLINE CHISHOLM, ENGLISH HUMANITARIAN AND SOCIAL REFORMER

THE FEAST OF ELIAS BOUDINOT, IV, U.S. STATESMAN, PHILANTHROPIST, AND WITNESS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIE-LÉONIE PARADIS, FOUNDRESS OF THE LITTLE SISTERS OF THE HOLY FAMILY

THE FEAST OF SAINTS MAURA AND TIMOTHY OF ANTINOE, MARTYRS, 286

THE FEAST OF SAINT TOMASSO ACERBIS, CAPUCHIN FRIAR

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Almighty God, whose prophets taught us righteousness in the care of your poor:

By the guidance of your Holy Spirit,

grant that we may do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in your sight;

through Jesus Christ, our Judge and Redeemer, who lives and reigns

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

Isaiah 55:11-56:1

Psalm 2:1-2, 10-12

Acts 14:14-17, 21-23

Mark 4:21-29

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 736

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Feast of David Abeel (June 13)   Leave a comment

Above:  David Abeel, Jr.

Image in the Public Domain

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DAVID ABEEL, JR. (JUNE 2, 1804-SEPTEMBER 4, 1846)

U.S. Dutch Reformed Minister and Missionary to China

David Abeel, Jr., 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).

Abeel served God.  He would have served God longer than he did, except for fragile health.  Our saint, born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, on June 12, 1804, was a son of David Abeel (Sr.) and Jane Hassert Abeel.  David, Jr., a medical student at Rutgers University, had a religious epiphany.  Afterward, he studied theology.  Abeel graduated from New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1826.  He, ordained a minister in the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church (now the Reformed Church in America) in 1826, served as a pastor in Athens, New York, until the winter of 1828.  Our saint, his health failing, recovered in Antigua and Barbuda.  He returned to the United States in 1829.  Abeel became a chaplain in the Seaman’s Friend Society that year.

Asia beckoned.  Abeel spent 1830-1834 in Asia.  He arrived in Canton, Chinma, in 1830.  Our saint mastered Chinese, worked as a missionary for his denomination, and visited other areas (Java, Siam, and Singapore) to evaluate them for missionary potential.  Abeel, his health failing again, returned to the United States via Europe.  On the way home, he recruited European women to teach Asian women.  Abeel, in the United States again from 1835 to 1839, wrote several books and encouraged missionary work.  He served in various parts of Asia in 1839-1845.  Finally, our saint’s health broken, he returned to the United States.

Abeel, aged 42 years, died in Albany, New York, on September 4, 1846.

One may legitimately wonder how much more Abeel could and would have done had he lived longer and been healthier.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 30, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JAMES MONTGOMERY, ANGLICAN AND MORAVIAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF DIET EMAN; HER FIANCÉ, HEIN SIETSMA, MARTYR, 1945; AND HIS BROTHER, HENDRIK “HENK” SIETSMA; RIGHTEOUS AMONG THE NATIONS

THE FEAST OF JAMES RUSSELL MACDUFF AND GEORGE MATHESON, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN MINISTERS AND AUTHORS

THE FEAST OF SARAH JOSEPHA BUELL HALE, POET, AUTHOR, EDITOR, AND PROPHETIC WITNESS

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant David Abeel,

whom you called to preach the Gospel in Asia.

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 52:1-10

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 Blessed Caterina Cittadini (May 5)   Leave a comment

Above:  Sanctuary of St. Jerome Emiliani, Somasca, Italy

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED CATERINA CITTADINI (SEPTEMBER 28, 1801-MAY 5, 1857)

Foundress of the Ursuline Sisters of Somasca

Blessed Caterina Cittadini devoted her adult life to the service of God in girls and young women, especially orphans.

Blessed Caterina came from a devout family.  She, born in Bergamo, Kingdom of Italy, on September 28, 1801, was a daughter of Giovanni Battista Cittadini and Magherita Lanzani (Cittadini).  Magherita died when our saint was seven years old.  Then Giovanni left our saint and her younger sister, Giuditta (1803-1840), in the care of nuns at Bergamo.  The nuns taught young Caterina devotion to St. Mary of Nazareth and St. Jerome Emiliani (1481-1537).  The Cittadini Sisters left the care of the nuns in 1823; they went to live with their cousins, Antonio (d. 1841) and Giovanni Cittadini, priests.

Blessed Caterina began her teaching career in 1824.  That year she became a teacher at a public school for girls.  Our saint earned her reputation as a fine educator.  Blessed Caterina and Giuditta opened three private boarding schools, one each in 1826, 1832, and 1836.  Our saint directed the first school; Giuditta directed the other two.  A few female helpers worked with the Cittadini sisters, to keep the schools operational.  These women were the core of what became the Ursuline Sisters of Somasca.  A series of deaths (sister Giuditta, cousin Antonio, et cetera) caused stress that damaged Blessed Caterina’s health.  She credited the intercession of St. Jerome Emiliani for her recovery.  Our saint also assumed the management of all three schools in 1845.

The Ursuline Sisters of Somasca became an official religious order, with the approval of Pietro Luigi Speranza, Bishop of Bergamo, on December 14, 1857.  Our saint had applied for ecclesiastical recognition of her nascent order in 1851.  Three years later, Speranza, the new bishop, had encouraged Blessed Caterina to write a rule then had approved her second draft.  Then our saint had died in Somasca on May 5, 1857.

Pope Pius XI approved the order on July 8, 1927.

The Ursuline Sisters of Somasca have continued the good work in Italy and beyond.

Pope John Paul II declared our saint a Venerable in 1996 then beatified her in 2001.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 21, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH, CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH, AND JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH, COMPOSERS

THE FEAST OF JOHN S. STAMM, BISHOP OF THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH THEN THE EVANGELICAL UNITED BRETHREN CHURCH

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICHOLAS OF FLÜE AND HIS GRANDSON, SAINT CONRAD SCHEUBER, SWISS HERMITS

THE FEAST OF SAINT SERAPION OF THMUIS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF UMPHREY LEE, U.S. METHODIST MINISTER AND MINISTER OF SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY

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O God, by whose grace your servant Blessed Caterina Cittadini,

kindled with the flame of your love, became a burning and a shining light in your Church:

Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline,

and walk before you as children of light;

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.

Acts 2:42-47a

Psalm 133 or 34:1-8 or 119:161-168

2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Matthew 6:24-33

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 723

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