Archive for the ‘Saints of 1820-1829’ Category

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 George Job Elvey (December 9)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, 1842

Image in the Public Domain

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SIR GEORGE JOB ELVEY (MARCH 27 OR 29, 1816-DECEMBER 9, 1893)

Anglican Composer and Organist

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

Elvey came from a musical family; it had long contributed to music at Canterbury Cathedral.  Our saint, a younger son of Abigail Hardiman Elvey and John Elvey, was a younger brother of Stephen Elvey (1805-1860), an organist, a composer, and an editor of a musical psalter.  Stephen composed services, anthems, at at least one hymn tune, SANCTUS.  Our saint, born in Canterbury on March 27 or 29, 1816, followed him in the family’s legacy of music.  He, baptized a Presbyterian, sang in the choir of Canterbury Cathedral.  He also studied at the Royal Academy of Music and under the tutelage of Stephen, his brother, who was, at the time, the Master of Boys at Canterbury Cathedral.

Elvey spent most of his life as the organist and the Master of Boys at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor.  He held that position from 1835 to 1882.  Duties included composing music for state functions, such as royal weddings and funerals.  Our saint, B,M. (1838) and Mus.D. (1840) from New College, Oxford, composed oratorios, service music, and hymn tunes.  The oratorios were The Resurrection and Ascension (1840) and Mount Carmel (1886).  Elvey’s most famous hymn tunes were DIADEMATA (“Crown Him with Many Crowns“); ST. GEORGE’S, WINDSOR (“Come, Ye Thankful People, Come“); and ST. CRISPIN (“Strong Son of God, Immortal Love“).  He insisted that church music must be stately.

Elvey married four times and buried his first three wives.  He married Harriet Skeats (d. 1851) in 1839.  They had a son.  Our saint wedded Georgiana Nichols (d. 1863) in 1854.  They had three sons and one daughter.  Elvey married Eleanora Grace Jarvis (d. 1879) in 1865.  Finally, he wedded Mary Savory (d. 1923) in 1882.  She wrote The Life and Reminiscences of Sir George Elvey (1894).

Our saint, knighted in 1871, retired to Windlesham, Surrey, in 1882.  He, 77 years old, died on December 9, 1893.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 22, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK HERMANN KNUBEL, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED LUTHERAN CHURCH IN AMERICA

THE FEAST OF SAINT HUMILITY, ITALIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC HERMITESS AND ABBESS

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOHN FOREST AND THOMAS ABEL, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND MARTYRS, 1538 AND 1540

THE FEAST OF SAINT JULIA OF CORSICA, MARTYR AT CORSICA, 620

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIA RITA LÓPES PONTES DE SOUZA BRITO, BRAZILIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN

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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 [Sir George Job Elvey]

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 Maria Catalina Troiani (May 6)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Maria Catalina Troiani 

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED MARIA CATALINA TROIANI (JANUARY 19, 1813-MAY 6, 1887)

Foundress of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Also known as Blessed Maria Teresa of Saint Rose

Blessed Maria Catalina Troiani, a missionary in Egypt, educated impoverished girls.

Our saint came from an Italian Roman Catholic family.  She born in Guiliano di Roma on January 19, 1813, was one of four children of Tommaso Troiani and Teresa Panici (Troiani).  Teresa died when Blessed Maria Catalina was six years old.

Our saint, inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, became a Francican tertiary.  On December 8, 1829, she made her vows as Sister Maria Teresa of Saint Rose, after St. Rose of Viterbo (1234-1252).  Blessed Maria Catalina spent much time educating girls.  On September 14, 1859, she, four other nuns, and Father Giuseppe Moden arrived in Cairo, Egypt, on a mission that had received person Papal approval.  They established a school for poor girls in that city.

From this undertaking arose the Third Order Franciscan Sisters of Cairo, official as of July 5, 1868.  The order later became the Franciscan Sisters of Cairo then the Franciscan Missionaries of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Our saint served as its first Mother Superior, until she died.

Pope John Paul II declared our saint a Venerable in 1982 then beatified her in 1985.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 22, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN LENT, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF SAINT DEOGRATIAS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF CARTHAGE

THE FEAST OF EMMANUEL MOURNIER, PERSONALIST PHILOSOPHER

THE FEAST OF JAMES DE KOVEN, EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF THOMAS HUGHES, BRITISH SOCIAL REFORMER AND MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM EDWARD HICKSON, ENGLISH MUSIC EDUCATOR AND SOCIAL REFORMER

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

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

inspired by the example of your servant Blessed Maria Catalina Troiani,

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

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

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

Song of Songs 8:6-7

Psalm 34

Philippians 3:7-15

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

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

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Feast of 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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Feast of Elias Boudinot, IV (May 3)   Leave a comment

Above:  Elias Boudinot, IV, 1798

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

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-pga-13207

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

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

Elias Boudinot, IV, comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 17, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT PATRICK, APOSTLE OF IRELAND

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

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

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

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

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

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

Help us, like your servant Elias Boudinot, IV,

to work for justice among people and nations,

to the glory of your name,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2016), 60

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Feast of John Gloucester (April 13)   1 comment

Above:  John Gloucester

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHN GLOUCESTER, SR. (1776-MAY 2, 1822)

First African-American Presbyterian Minister

The Reverend John Gloucester comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via Samuel Eli Cornish (1795-1858), whom he mentored.  Gloucester’s feast day is April 13, the anniversary of his ordination.

Gloucester, born a slave, became the first ordained African-American Presbyterian minister.  He, born Jack in 1776, was a native of eastern Tennessee.  Jack was devout from a young age; he preached to other slaves.  He married Rhoda, with whom he had four children:  John, Jr.; Jeremiah; Stephen; and Mary.  Presbyterian minister Gideon Blackbury (1772-1838) purchased our saint then freed him in 1806.  Jack became John Gloucester.  Blackburn taught theology to Gloucester, who, in 1806-1807, became the first African-American student at Greeneville College (now Tusculum University, Tusculum, Tennessee).  Our saint, licensed to preach in 1807, traveled with Blackburn to Philadelphia that year.  Gloucester founded the First Colored (African, since 1966) Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, in 1807.  The Presbytery of Philadelphia sent our saint to Charleston, South Carolina, then recalled him in 1809.  Gloucester’s ordination occurred at Baker’s Creek Presbyterian Church, Maryville, Tennessee, on April 13, 1810.

Gloucester purchased the freedom of his wife and four children in 1810.  He brought them to Philadelphia, where he served as the pastor of the First Colored Presbyterian Church.  The couple had a fourth son, James, born in the City of Brotherly Love.

Gloucester died of pneumonia on May 2, 1822.  He was about 46 years old.

All four sons became Presbyterian ministers.  Three of them founded congregations.

Jeremiah Gloucester founded the Second Colored (later African) Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, an offshoot of First Colored Presbyterian Church., in 1824.

Stephen Gloucester (1802-1850) became a pioneer of the Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania.  The he withdrew from civil rights activism, after a white mob burned down the edifice of the Second Colored Presbyterian Church in 1842.  In 1844, he led a faction that withdrew from the Second Colored Presbyterian Church and formed the Central Colored Presbyterian Church.  This congregation changed its name to the Lombard Street Central Presbyterian Church.  It has become the Lombard Central Presbyterian Church.

James Gloucester moved to Brooklyn, New York, where he founded the Siloam Presbyterian Church in 1849.

The legacy of John Gloucester, Sr., has continued via many people, some of whom he mentored.

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O God, you raised up John Gloucester, Sr., the first ordained African-American Presbyterian minister.

Thank you for his legacy of faithful service to you in the face of systematic and ubiquitous racism.

May we, inspired by his example, resist societal, individual, and institutional bigotry

and proclaim the liberating Gospel of Jesus Christ to those you send to us and to those to whom you send us;

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

Ruth 1:9-18

Psalm 24

Galatians 3:23-29

Matthew 28:16-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 24, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MATTHIAS THE APOSTLE, MARTYR

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