Archive for the ‘Saints of 29-199 C.E.’ Category

Feast of St. Dismas (March 25)   1 comment

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Above:  Statue of St. Dismas

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SAINT DISMAS

Penitent Bandit

+++++++++++++

One of the criminals hanging there taunted him:

Are you not the Messiah?  Save yourself, and us.

But the other rebuked him:

Have you no fear of God?  You are under the sentence as he is.  In our case it is plain justice; we are paying the price for our misdeeds.  But this man has done nothing wrong.

And he said,

Jesus, remember me when you come to your throne.

Jesus answered,

Truly I tell you:  today you will be with me in Paradise.

–Luke 23:39-43, The Revised English Bible (1989)

+++++++++++++

There is a fountain filled with blood

Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;

And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,

Lose all their guilty stains.

+++

The dying thief rejoiced to see

That fountain in his day;

And there may I, though vile as he,

Wash all my sins away.

–William Cowper (1731-1800), circa 1771

+++++++++++++

March 25 is the Feast of the Annunciation.  On the Roman Catholic calendar of saints that date is also the Feast of St. Dismas.

All four of the canonical Gospels mention the two bandits (a better translation than “thieves”) crucified with Jesus.  John 19:18 reads:

…there they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus in between.

The Revised English Bible (1989)

The account in the Fourth Gospel does not mention them saying anything.  Mark 15:32 and Matthew 27:44 use nearly identical wording; even the other two men crucified with Jesus “taunted” him, to quote The Revised English Bible (1989).  Luke 23:39-43, however, has one of the men rebuke the other and receive salvation from Jesus.

Why does the Gospel of Luke tell the story this way?  I respect the integrity of the Gospels of Matthew and Mark to try to make them say something they do not.  As for the Gospel of John, I conclude that the author might have simply omitted yet another detail so that he could focus on what he considered most important.  In the Gospel of Luke, however, two (at least) major aspects of the work help to explain why the text tells the story the way it does.  Doing so emphasizes the innocence of Jesus and therefore the injustice of his crucifixion.  After all, that is a theme in that Gospel.  It is also a theme in the Gospel of John, which makes it clear in 11:47-53.  Another major theme in the Gospel of Luke is reversal of fortune; there are Beatitudes and Woes, the first will be last and the last will be first, et cetera.  The case of the penitent bandit finding salvation fits nicely into that theme.

The story of the two crucified bandits has fascinated figures in Christianity since the early decades of the faith.  Tradition has provided them with various names; Dismas and Gestus seem to have had much staying power.  Thus the name on this post is Dismas.

I will not pretend to have concluded that the Lukan account is historically accurate and that the story in the Gospels of Mark and Matthew is not; biblical inerrancy and infallibility are not part of my theology anyway.  I am comfortable living with texts that occupy space in the Bible and contradict each other.  I am, however, certain of one conclusion regarding Luke 23:39-43:  we can learn a valuable spiritual lesson from it.  Many (or most) or us (including me) are too quick (at least some of the time) to write certain people off as being beyond redemption.  We ought to admit that God knows better than we do.  We should acknowledge that such matters are in the purview of God, in whom both mercy and judgment exist, and whose mercy frequently exceeds ours.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

God of grace, we thank you for saving live that beckons us pursues us all the days of our lives.

May we welcome it with joy and live, redeemed by grace,  as children of the light.

May we rejoice with others who have accepted your grace and

hold out hope for the seemingly irredeemable to come to you.

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

Joshua 6:22-25

Psalm 23

2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2

Luke 23:39-43

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 26, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS TIMOTHY, TITUS, AND SILAS, COWORKERS OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Posted January 26, 2017 by neatnik2009 in March, Saints of 29-199 C.E.

Tagged with ,

Feast of Sts. Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, and Irenaeus of Lyons (February 23)   Leave a comment

ichthys

Above:  Ichthys

Image in the Public Domain

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SAINT IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH (CIRCA 35-107/115)

Bishop of Antioch and Martyr

His feast transferred from October 17

met and wrote to

SAINT POLYCARP OF SMYRNA (69-FEBRUARY 23, 155/156)

Bishop of Smyrna and Martyr

His feast = February 23

met

SAINT IRENAEUS OF LYONS (CIRCA 130-CIRCA 202)

Bishop of Lyons and Martyr

His feast transferred from June 28

++++++++++++++++++

So gird up your loins now and serve God in fear and sincerity.  No more of the vapid discourses and sophistries of the vulgar; put your trust in Him who raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, and gave Him glory and a seat at His own right hand.  All things in heaven and earth have been made subject to Him; everything that breathes pays Him homage; He comes to judge the living and the dead, and God will require His blood at the hands of any who refuse Him allegiance.  And He that raised Him from the dead will raise us also, if we do His will and live by His commandments, and cherish the things He cherished–if, that is to say, we keep ourselves from wrongdoing, overreaching, penny-pinching, tale-telling, and prevaricating, and bear in mind the words of our Lord in His teaching, Judge not, that you be not judged; forgive, and you will be forgiven; be merciful, that you may obtain mercy; for whatever you measure out to other people will be measured back again to yourselves.  And again, Happy are the poor and they who are persecuted because they are righteous, for theirs is the kingdom of God.

–St. Polycarp, the Epistle to the Philippians, Logion 2, in Early Christian Writings:  The Apostolic Fathers, translated by Maxwell Staniforth and Andrew Louth (New York, NY:  Penguin Books, 1987), page 119-120

++++++++++++++++++

This post replaces three older posts and emphasizes the relationships and influences that bound these three saints in faithful witness.  After all, one of my goals during the ongoing renovation of my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days is to emphasize relationships and influences.

ignatius-of-antioch

Above:  St. Ignatius of Antioch

Image in the Public Domain

We know little about the life of St. Ignatius of Antioch, whose other name was Theophorus, or “Bearer of God” or “Borne of God.”  He was either the second (if one takes the word of Origen) or the third (if one believes Eusebius of Caesarea) Bishop of Antioch.  In 107 or 115 (depending on the source one consults) ten Roman soldiers escorted St. Ignatius on a long route from Antioch to Rome, to die by becoming lion food.  The purpose of the extended parading of our saint was to humiliate him.  Nevertheless, St. Ignatius conducted himself with dignity and therefore converted many people to Christianity.  Along the way St. Ignatius met St. Polycarp of Smyrna and wrote seven epistles:

  1. To the Ephesians,
  2. To the Magnesians,
  3. To the Trallians,
  4. To the Romans,
  5. To the Philadelphians,
  6. To the Smyrnaeans, and
  7. To Polycarp.

As St. Ignatius wrestled with his anxieties he encouraged others in their faith.

Since I had been impressed by the godly qualities of your mind–anchored, as it seemed, to an unshakable rock–it gave me much pleasure to set eyes on your sainted countenance (may God give me joy of it).  But let me charge you to press on even more strenuously in your course, in all the grace with which you are clothed, and to call all your people to salvation.  You must do justice to your position, by showing the greatest diligence both in its temporal and spiritual duties.  Give thought especially to unity, for there is nothing more important than this.  Make yourself the support of all and sundry, as the Lord is to you, and continue to bear lovingly with them all, as you are doing at present.  Spend your time in constant prayer, and beg for ever larger gifts of wisdom.  Be watchful and unsleeping in spirit.  Address yourself to people personally, as is the way of God Himself, and carry the infirmities of them all on your shoulders, as a good champion of Christ out to do.  The heavier the labour, the richer the reward.

–St. Ignatius of Antioch, the Epistle to Polycarp, Logion 1, in Early Christian Writings (1987), page 109

St. Ignatius, no advocate of sola scriptura, encouraged the frequent celebration of the Eucharist and considered Christian factionalism to be “the beginning of all evils” (the Epistle to the Smyrnaeans, Logion 8).

polycarp-of-smyrna

Above:  St. Polycarp of Smyrna

Image in the Public Domain

We also know little about the life and much about the death of St. Polycarp of Smyrna (69-115/156), who studied under St. John the Apostle/Divine/Evangelist.  St. Polycarp, a native and the Bishop of Smyrna, in Asia Minor, was a link between the Apostles of Jesus and St. Irenaeus of Lyons (circa 130-circa 202), the first great Catholic theologian.  St. Polycarp defended Christian orthodoxy against heresies, especially Marcionism (which sought to remove Jewish influences from the canon of scripture) and Valentinianism (a variety of Gnosticism).

In 106 or 114 our saint traveled to Rome to meet with Pope St. Anacetus (reigned circa 155-circa 166).  They agreed to disagree regarding the issue of Quartodecimanism, the position (dominant in churches in Asia Minor) that the churches ought to celebrate Easter on the date of 14 Nisan (the date of the Passover), regardless of the day of the week upon which that date falls.  St. Polycarp favored Quartodecimanism; the Pope thought that the celebration of Easter should always fall on a Sunday.

In 107 or 115, shortly after returning to Smyrna from Rome, St. Polycarp became a martyr.  Authorities arrested him at a pagan festival and burned him at a stake.

St. Polycarp’s Epistle to the Philippians, perhaps a composite of two epistles (in the style of 2 Corinthians), has survived, fortunately.  (Many ancient documents have not survived, sadly.)  One Evarestus wrote The Martyrdom of Polycarp, which has also survived.  These two documents have provided much invaluable information about St. Polycarp.

Such then is the record of Polycarp the Blessed.  Including those from Philadelphia, he was the twelfth to meet a martyr’s death in Smyrna; though he is the only one to be singled out for universal remembrance and to be talked of everywhere, even in heathen circles.  Not only was he a famous Doctor, he was a martyr without a peer; and one whose martyrdom all aspire to imitate, so fully does it accord with the Gospel of Christ.  His steadfastness proved more than a match for the Governor’s injustice, and won him his immortal crown.  Now, in the fullness of joy among the Apostles  and all the hosts of heaven, he gives glory to the Almighty God and Father, and utters the praises of our Lord Jesus Christ–who is the Saviour of our souls, the Master of our bodies, and the Shepherd of the Catholic Church the wide world over.

–Evarestus, The Martyrdom of Polycarp, Logion 19, in Early Christian Writings (1987), page 131

irenaeus

Above:  St. Irenaeus of Lyons

Image in the Public Domain

St. Polycarp met a very young St. Irenaeus of Lyons (circa 130-circa 202).  We know little about the native of Asia Minor, who studied at Rome and became a priest and Lyons.  We do know, however, that St. Irenaeus was a tolerant man.  Even as he argued against certain heresies he contended for the lenient treatment of heretics.  In the case of the Montanists, apocalyptic ascetics in Asia Minor, St. Irenaeus, who argued against their theology and practices, carried to a letter on their behalf to Pope St. Eleutherius (reigned circa 174-189) in 177/178.  Our saint favored toleration fo the Montanists.  The Pope, who did not consider them to be threats, did not countenance any actions against them.

In our saint’s absence Pothinus, the Bishop of Lyons, became a martyr.  In 178, when St. Irenaeus returned to the city, he became the next bishop.  As the Bishop of Lyons our saint wrote to Pope St. Victor I (reigned 189-198) in support of Quartodecimanism.  St. Irenaeus, the first great Catholic theologian, also wrote against Gnosticism.  Whereas St. Clement of Alexandria (circa 150-circa 210/215) refuted Gnosticism with a Christian Gnosis, St. Irenaeus argued against that heresy by citing the goodness of creation and the resurrection of the dead, quoting scripture, and affirming Apostolic Succession.

Sts. Irenaeus seems to have become a martyr in 200, give or take a few years.

Sts. Ignatius, Polycarp, and Irenaeus were foundational figures in Christianity.  They were spiritual giants to whom we who follow Christ in the twenty-first century owe a great debt of gratitude.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 6, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICETIUS OF TRIER, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ABBOT, AND BISHOP; AND SAINT AREDIUS OF LIMOGES, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF SAINT ABRAHAM OF KRATIA, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ABBOT, BISHOP, AND HERMIT

THE FEAST OF HENRY USTICK ONDERDONK, EPISCOPAL BISHOP, LITURGIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICHOLAS OF MYRA, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Grant, almighty God, that following the teaching of

Sts. Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, and Irenaeus of Lyons,

we may know you as the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent,

that we may be counted worthy ever to be numbered among the sheep who hear his voice;

through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Nehemiah 8:1-8 or Wisdom 7:7-14

Psalm 119:97-104

1 Corinthians 2:6-16

Matthew 13:51-52

–Adapted from The Church of South India, The Book of Common Worship (1963), page 67

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of St. Porfirio (February 9)   Leave a comment

porforio

Above:  St. Porfirio

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SAINT PORFIRIO (DIED IN 203)

Martyr

Among the most notable characteristics of Christian martyrs during the Roman imperial period was the manner in which they died–that is, courageously.  They therefore helped to convert many observers.  This was the case with regard to St. Porfirio, originally an executioner in the service of the Roman Empire.  Our saint came to faith knowing that doing so might cost him his life.  It did so at Magnesia, Asia Minor, in 203, during the reign of the Emperor Septimus Severus (193-211).

Those of us who are fortunate enough to live where we have the freedom to practice our religion freely, without the threat of martyrdom, especially at the hand of the state, cannot imagine the courage required for St. Porfirio to confess his Christian faith.  Unfortunately, many people can grasp that concept, due to their experiences.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 30, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANDREW THE APOSTLE, MARTYR

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Almighty God, who gave to your servant Saint Porfirio boldness

to confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world,

and courage to die to for this faith:

Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us,

and to suffer gladly for the sake our Lord Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

2 Esdras 2:42-48

Psalm 126 or 121

1 Peter 3:14-18, 22

Matthew 10:16-22

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 713

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Posted November 30, 2016 by neatnik2009 in February, Saints of 29-199 C.E., Saints of the 200s

Tagged with

Feast of St. Leonides of Alexandria, Origen, St. Demetrius of Alexandria, and St. Alexander of Jerusalem (March 18)   18 comments

Above:  Origen

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SAINT LEONIDES OF ALEXANDRIA (DIED 202)

Roman Catholic Martyr

His feast transferred from April 22

Father of 

ORIGENES ADAMANTIUS (185-254)

Roman Catholic Theologian

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SAINT DEMETRIUS OF ALEXANDRIA (126-231)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Alexandria

His feast transferred from October 9

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SAINT ALEXANDER OF JERUSALEM (DIED 251)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Jerusalem

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

St. Leonides of Alexandria (died 202) was a scholar whom Roman imperial authorities beheaded for being a Christian.  He was also the father of Origen Adamantius (185-254), Origen for short, and his son’s first teacher in Christian theology.  Origen also studied under Ammonius Saccas (circa 175-250), an Alexandrian philosopher who influenced Plotinus (204-270), founder of Neoplatonism.  Another teacher was Clement of Alexandria (circa 150-circa 210/215), the Father of Christian Scholarship, who proved so controversial that the Roman Catholic Church decanonized him in 1584.  Origen supported his mother and sister after his father’s martyrdom and became director of the Catechetical School at Alexandria in 203, when he was eighteen years old.  And he was a much sought-after catechist, teaching large groups of eager learners.

This was the Catechetical School which St. Demetrius of Alexandria (126-231), Bishop of Alexandria from 188 to 231, built up.  St. Demetrius mentored Origen, making him school director in 203 and defending him from criticisms for years before becoming a critic.  Origen taught in Alexandria for years yet had to flee to Palestine in 215.  There bishops permitted him, a layman, to preach.  This disturbed St. Demetrius, who condemned him for preaching without being ordained.  Origen returned to Alexandria in time.

St. Alexander of Jerusalem (died 251), as a young man, had been a classmate with Origen at the Catechetical School at Alexandria.  And he had gone to prison during the same persecution during which Origen’s father died.  St. Alexander became a bishop in his native Cappadocia, in modern-day Turkey, before undertaking a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 212.  There he became Bishop Coadjutor of Jerusalem.  This was the first instance of a Bishop Coadjutor in church history.  So it happened that St. Alexander, as Bishop of Jerusalem, was in a position to grant his old friend sanctuary during exile in 215 and permission to preach.  The Bishop of Jerusalem also ordained Origen to the priesthood in 227.  St. Demetrius objected to this, refused to recognized Origen as a priest, prohibited him from teaching in Alexandria, banished him, and excommunicated him.  The Pope and many other bishops confirmed this excommunication.  Yet Origen found refuge in Greece and Asia, where many bishops supported him.

This seems like a good time to reflect on what made Origen so controversial.  He was an influential theologian and Biblical scholar.  His concepts regarding the Trinity (a century prior to the First Council of Nicaea, 325) anticipated the decrees of that Council in some ways and differed from them in others.  It seems also that Origen ran afoul of those who favored a clear distinction between the laity and the clergy.  More importantly, though, he, more than others who preceded him, blended Christianity with Greek philosophy, namely Platonism.  This attracted much criticism during and after this life.

Such was blending was not without precedent.  There was the immediate example of his teacher, Clement of Alexandria.  Earlier than that, however, was the Letter to the Hebrews.  Read Chapter 9, for example.  There, O reader, you will find a blending of Christianity and Aristotelian thought.  A thousand years after Clement and Origen, St. Thomas Aquinas (circa 1225-1274) whose works defined Roman Catholic theology for centuries, reconciled Aristotelian thought with Christianity.  So the blending of philosophy and Christian theology is not a sin in Roman Catholicism.  (I wonder how Clement and Origen would have fared had they been Aristotelians instead of Platonists.)  Indeed, St. Thomas Aquinas stood on Origen’s shoulders.  Origen, denied sainthood in Roman Catholicism, established the respected status of philosophy in Christian theology.

Origen survived the persecution under Emperor Maximinus I (reigned 235-238) unscathed.  Afterward Origen refuted one Bishop Beryllus in Arabia.  The bishop claimed that Christ’s divine nature had not existed prior to his human nature.  Origen convinced Beryllus that this was a heresy.

Emperor Decius (reigned 249-251) launched another persecution of Christians.  At this time St. Alexander died in prison in Caesarea.  He had done more than aid Origen and irritate St Demetrius; he had also built a respected library and a school at Jerusalem.  Origen also went to prison during the Decian persecution.  He died at Tyre in 254, never having recovered from the sufferings of his incarceration.

Origen lived in a time when certain Christian doctrines, such as the Trinity, were developing.  Theological development of Christianity with regard to core doctrines took a few centuries.  He strove to remain faithful to the Apostolic traditions, yet subsequent theological developments defined him as too heterodox for sainthood.  For example, Origen thought that the coeternal Son was subordinate to the Father and affirmed the pre-existence of souls.  To be fair, even St. Paul the Apostle (died 64) was fuzzy in aspects of his Trinitarian theology.  In Romans 8:9-11, for example, he is unclear regarding the distinction between the Son and the Holy Spirit.  But this has not prevented him from being St. Paul.  Doctrines did not fall from Heaven fully formed; theologians debated and developed them, based on interpretations of Biblical texts.  And, for that matter, there remain major theological differences between Eastern and Western Christianity.  Does the Holy Spirit proceed from the Father or from the Father and the Son?  Is that an important point?  I think not.

Regarding Origen, the best succinct analysis comes from Ross Mackenzie, in Volume 3 of The University of the South’s Education for Ministry study materials:

Origen (who stood up when courage was needed) never achieved that recognition [canonization].  But his wide influence on later Christian thought and spirituality is his best memorial.–page 177

The Church might deny Origen a feast day (He is not even on The Episcopal Church’s calendar, but his teacher, Clement, is),  but I honor him with one–March 18.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 17, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MARIA STEWART, EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF EGLANTYNE JEBB, FOUNDER OF SAVE THE CHILDREN

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

THE FEAST OF SAINT OLYMPIAS, ORTHODOX DEACONESS

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Lord God,

you have surrounded us with so great a cloud of witnesses.

Grant that we, encouraged by the example of your servants

Saint Leonides of Alexandria,

Origen,

Saint Demetrius of Alexandria,

and Saint Alexander of Jerusalem,

may persevere in the course that is set before us and,

at the last, share in your eternal joy with all the saints in light,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 9:1-10

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Luke 6:20-23

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 59

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Revised on December 24, 2016

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of Sts. Lydia, Dorcas, and Phoebe, Holy Women (January 29)   12 comments

Above: Healing of the Cripple and Raising of Tabitha, by Masolino da Panicale, 1425

Image in the Public Domain

Giving Women Their Due

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Assigned Readings for This Feast:

Acts 15:11-15 or Acts 9:36-42

Psalm 112:1-9 or Psalm 23

John 10:1-10

The Collect:

Almighty God, who inspired your servants Lydia, Dorcas, and Phoebe to uphold and sustain your Church by their loving and generous deeds: Give us the will to love you, open our hearts to hear you, and strengthen our hands to serve you in others for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Pauline attitude toward the proper role of women in the Church is a subject of frequent misunderstanding and distortion.  The much-quoted restrictions against female ministers is actually specific to certain kinds of women and is grounded in culture, time, and space.  It is not a universal principle.

And the Apostle Paul worked with women in his ministry, affirming their ministerial worth.  I think of Prisca, a.k.a. Priscilla.  Unfortunately, misogyny has become a tradition within certain forms of Christianity, so the value of women continues to be discounted.

Yet Biblical stories contradict this tradition.

Dorcas, a.k.a. Tabitha, appears in Acts 9:36-42.  A resident of Joppa, on the Mediterranean coast, and leader in her church, she devoted herself to helping widows.  Acts tells how after Dorcas/Tabitha died, St. Peter restored her to life.

Phoebe was a deacon or deaconess at the Church in Chenchreae, near Corinth, Greece.  At some point she moved to Rome and joined that church, to which St. Paul commended her.

According to Acts 16:11-15 Lydia was a Gentile sympathetic to Judaism.  A resident of Thyatira, she earned a good living as a seller of purple cloth, a luxury item.  Converted to Christianity by St. Paul, she invited the Apostle and St. Silas to stay in her house.  They accepted the invitation.  Shortly thereafter, Sts. Paul and Silas were in prison on trumped-up charges until an earthquake occurred and they converted the jailer and baptized his family.  Then Sts. Paul and Silas returned to Lydia’s home for a brief visit.

Women were often the most faithful people who assisted Jesus and St. Paul.  They functioned as deacons/deaconesses, financiers of ministry, Christian leaders, and doers of good deeds.  Women are just as good as men.  And for denominations and congregations to deny women equal access to all levels of Holy Orders is a sin and a denial of male-female equality through the Holy Spirit.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 15, 2010

THE FEAST OF EVELYN UNDERHILL, ANGLICAN MYSTIC

Posted June 15, 2010 by neatnik2009 in January, Saints of 29-199 C.E.

Tagged with , ,

Feast of Sts. Simon and Jude, Apostles and Martyrs (October 28)   3 comments

Above: St. Jude Thaddeus, by Georges de la Tour, early 1600s

Apostles to Persia and Armenia

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Assigned Readings for This Feast:

Deuteronomy 32:1-4

Psalm 119:89-96

Ephesians 2:13-22

John 17:17-27

The Collect:

O God, we thank you for the glorious company of the apostles, and especially on this day for Simon and Jude; and we pray that, as they were faithful and zealous in their mission, so we may with ardent devotion make known the love and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The New Testament contains little information about these two Apostles.

St. Simon the Zealot/Cananean had belonged to a political movement dedicated to expelling the Romans from Judea by force.  It is interesting that he was part of the same inner circle as St. Matthew/Levi, who had collected taxes for that empire.  This juxtaposition seems to indicate that Jesus drew a large proverbial circle when beginning his ministry.

St. Jude, a.k.a. Thaddeus a.k.a. “Judas (not Iscariot)” might have been a cousin of Jesus.  Canonical information on this point is vague and traditions are confusing.

Reliable tradition indicates that Sts. Simon and Jude worked together after the Ascension, introducing Christianity to Armenia and laying the foundations of the Armenian Apostolic Church, work which came to fruition about two and a half centuries after the time of these Apostles.  And the duo seems to have preached in Persia, also.

Traditions concerning the place of St. Simon’s martyrdom vary, but he seems to have died by sawing.  Also, traditions state that St. Jude met his martyrdom with St. Simon, either in Beirut or Persia, circa 65 C.E.  The symbol of his martyrdom is an ax.

Being an Apostle was not for the faint of heart.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 13, 2010

THE THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR C

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/litany-from-a-novena-to-st-jude-the-apostle/

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Posted June 13, 2010 by neatnik2009 in October, Saints of 29-199 C.E.

Tagged with ,

Feast of St. James of Jerusalem, Bishop and Martyr (October 23)   2 comments

Brother of Our Lord

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Assigned Readings for This Feast:

Acts 15:12-22a

Psalm 1

1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Matthew 13:54-58

The Collect:

Grant, O God, that, following the example of your servant James the Just, brother of our Lord, your Church may give itself continually to prayer and to the reconciliation of all who are at variance and enmity; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

St. James of Jerusalem, a.k.a. James the Just, was a brother (of some variety) of Jesus.  He remained unconverted to the Christian faith until after the resurrection, and in time became the Bishop of Jerusalem.  St. James of Jerusalem, who saw Jesus before the Ascension, agreed with St. Paul that Gentile converts (the men anyway) should not have to undergo circumcision.  This opposition to Judaizing caused his martyrdom circa 62 C.E., when a mob cast him down from the pinnacle of the Temple and cudgeled him to death.

Who are our Gentiles today?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 13, 2010

THE THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR C

Posted June 13, 2010 by neatnik2009 in October, Saints of 29-199 C.E.

Tagged with