Archive for the ‘Saints of the 1040s’ Category

Feast of Blessed Herman of Reichenau (September 25)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Herman of Reichenau

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED HERMAN OF REICHENAU (FEBRUARY 18, 1013-SEPTEMBER 21, 1054)

Roman Catholic Monk, Liturgist, Poet, and Scholar

Also known as Blessed Hermianus Contractus, Blessed Herman the Lame, and Blessed Herman the Cripple

Living in 2018 is, in many ways, a great blessing.  For example, many surgeries and medical therapies that did not exist in much of the past have become available.

Blessed Herman of Reichenau, who lacked access to such surgeries and therapies, accomplished much, despite his circumstances, temporal and otherwise.  He, born in Altshausen, Swabia, on February 18, 1013, had spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and a cleft palate.  His parents, farmers, provided care for him until he was seven years old, when they left their son in the care of the Benedictine monks at Reichenau Abbey, Lake Constance.  There our saint spent the rest of his life.

Blessed Herman had a brilliant intellect and a brilliant, creative capacity.  He, a monk from the age of 20 years, wrote about astronomy, mathematics, theology, and several languages.  Our saint composed a chronicle of events, starting with the birth of Jesus and ending in 1054, the year of Blessed Herman’s death.  He also had the status of being the most famous living poet of his time.  Two of Blessed Herman’s compositions, incorporated into Roman Catholic liturgies, were the Alma Redemptoris Mater and the Salve Regina.  If that were not enough, Blessed Herman also built astronomical and musical instruments.

Blessed Herman, blind late in life, died at Reichenau Abbey, on September 21, 1054.  He was 41 years old.  His cultus existed without formal recognition until 1863, when Pope Pius IX confirmed the cultus.

Blessed Herman was fortunate to live in that monastery, where he had opportunities to contribute to society.  Many generations of Christians, especially those with a Roman Catholic piety, have benefited from at least two of the compositions of our saint.

This story also reminds us of the moral imperative never to warehouse those among us with physical disabilities.  Such disabilities are frequently difficult barriers, but they need not impair one’s ability to benefit society.  The extent to which that becomes reality depends largely on the decisions and actions of others, of course.

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Holy and loving God, you became incarnate in the form of Jesus of Nazareth,

thereby identifying with we mere mortals, with all our frailties.

We thank you for your faithful servant, Blessed Herman of Reichenau,

who, despite having to cope with physical conditions and disabilities

for which there were no treatments at the time,

made his great and lasting contributions to his society and to the Church.

May we act on our responsibilities to and for each other,

helping each other accomplish our potential, for your everlasting and eternal glory.

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

2 Esdras 2:20-24

Psalm 84

1 Corinthians 12:12-26

Luke 1:46-55

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 11, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT PAPHNUTIUS THE GREAT, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF UPPER THEBAID

THE FEAST OF ANNE HOULDITCH SHEPHERD, ANGLICAN NOVELIST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHN STAINER AND WALTER GALPIN ALCOCK, ANGLICAN CHURCH ORGANISTS AND COMPOSERS

THE FEAST OF SAINT PATIENS OF LYONS, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP

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Feast of St. William of Roskilde (September 2)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Realm of King Canute the Great

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT WILLIAM OF ROSKILDE (DIED 1067/1074)

English-Danish Roman Catholic Bishop

Danish kings used to rule Norway.  For a time a few of them also governed England.  In 1013 Sweyn I Forkbeard (reigned 985-1014) conquered England.  He died six weeks later. In the political chaos that ensued, Canute the Great (reigned 1014-1035) returned to Denmark, the Anglo-Saxon king Aethelred the Unready ( really poorly advised, not unready; reigned 978-1013, 1014-1016), and returned from exile to rule again, and Edmund II Ironside (reigned 1016) rebelled against his father Aethelred.  Meanwhile, Canute returned in force in 1015, and reconquered England the following year.  He gave England stability.  After Canute the Great died two sons claimed the English throne and caused chaos for seven years.  The legal heir, was Harthacanute, and Harold Harefoot was the son conceived out-of-wedlock.  Anglo-Saxon rule in England resumed with the reign of Edward the Confessor (1042-1066), whose death preceded the Norman Conquest (1066), after the brief usurpation of the throne by Harold II Godwineson.  Normans–Vikings by another name–took over England.

The rest is history.

St. William, an Anglo-Saxon, was a priest, and chaplain to Canute the Great.  Our saint, while visiting Denmark, recognized the need for Christian missionaries in that part of the kingdom, so he volunteered.  Starting in 1044 he served as the Bishop of Roskilde.

King Sweyn II Estridsson (reigned 1047-1076) was a troublesome and contradictory man.  He, one of St. William’s friends, was also a generous patron of the Church.  Unfortunately, he was also a violent man and the father children via his wife and a host of mistresses.  St. William issued an order forbidding all who had shed blood unjustly from receiving sacraments prior to performing public penance.  One New Year’s Eve Sweyn II noticed that some guests and hired men were mocking him behind his back or had done so.  He had them killed in church the following day.  That day, when the monarch and his guards attempted to enter Roskilde Cathedral, St. William, standing alone, risked his life to keep them out.  He confronted Sweyn II, whom he excommunicated on the spot.  The guards drew their weapons to strike down the bishop, but the monarch prevented them from harming him.  St. William proceeded with the liturgy.  Later he noticed that Sweyn II was performing public penance.  The bishop rescinded the excommunication immediately.  Sweyn II was a different man after that.

Pope Honorius III canonized St. William of Roskilde in 1224.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 18, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF BARTHOLOMÉ DE LAS CASAS, “APOSTLE TO THE INDIANS”

THE FEAST OF ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY, ANGLICAN DEAN OF WESTMINSTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF EDWARD WILLIAM LEINBACH, U.S. MORAVIAN MUSICIAN AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF ELIZABETH FERARD, FIRST DEACONESS IN THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Saint William of Roskilde,

whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of Denmark.

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 St. Altman of Passau (August 8)   Leave a comment

Above:  Bavaria, 919-1125

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT ALTMAN OF PASSAU (CIRCA 1020-1091)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Passau

Also known as Saint Altmann of Passau and Saint Altmanno of Passau

St. Altman, born circa 1020 in Paderborn, Wesphalia, faced strong opposition for advocating for honesty in ecclesiastical matters.  He studied in Paris, became a priest, led the Paderborn cathedral school, and was chaplain to the Holy Roman Emperor Henry III (reigned 1039-1056), as well as a friend of Empress Agnes.  In 1064 our saint was part of a group of pilgrims to the Holy Land.  Sarencens captured the pilgrims, only about half of whom returned to their homes.

In 1065 St. Altman became the Bishop of Passau.  He advocated for aid to and education of the poor, and mentored St. Leopold the Good (1073-1136; feast day = November 15), grandson of Henry III.  St. Altman got into trouble in 1074 by trying to enforce the policies of Pope Gregory VII regarding celibacy and simony; many priests refused to obey.  Three years later our saint’s opposition to lay investiture led to his expulsion by supporters of Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV (reigned 1056-1106).  Subsequently the Pope appointed our saint the apostolic delegate to Germany.  St. Altman was briefly back in Passau in 1081 before a second exile started.  Henry IV deposed our saint as Bishop of Passau in 1085, although St. Altman remained the bishop of that diocese, according to the Church.

St. Altman, who founded monasteries, spent his final years in one of the abbeys he had started.  He died at Gottweig Abbey in 1091.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 14, 2018 COMMON ERA

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

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

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

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O God, our heavenly Father, who raised up your faithful servant Saint Altman of Passau

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

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

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

and stewards of your divine mysteries;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84 or 84:7-11

Ephesians 3:14-21

Matthew 24:42-47

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

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Feast of St. Casilda of Toledo (April 9)   Leave a comment

Above:  Saint Casilda of Toledo, by Francisco de Zurbaran

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT CASILDA OF TOLEDO (950-1050)

Roman Catholic Anchoress

St. Casilda of Toledo was a daughter of a Muslim king in Toledo, on the Iberian peninsula.  As such she grew up in a wealthy family.  Our saint, sympathetic to Christian prisoners, smuggled food for them in her clothes.  St, Casilda, when a young woman, visited the shrine of San Vicente, near Buezo. There she found healing in the spring at the shrine.  Our saint, thereafter baptized at Burgos, dedicated her life to God and became an anchoress near the shrine.  She lived to the ripe old age of 100.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 24, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF BLESSED OSCAR ROMERO AND THE MARTYRS OF EL SALVADOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT DIDACUS JOSEPH OF CADIZ, CAPUCHIN FRIAR

THE FEAST OF PAUL COUTURIER, APOSTLE OF CHRISTIAN UNITY

THE FEAST OF THOMAS ATTWOOD, FATHER OF MODERN CHURCH MUSIC

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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 devotion of your servant Saint Casilda of Toledo,

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 Luke 9:57-62

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 722

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Feast of St. Odilo of Cluny (January 2)   Leave a comment

st-odilo-of-cluny

Above:  St. Odilo of Cluny

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT ODILO OF CLUNY (CIRCA 962-JANUARY 1, 1049)

Roman Catholic Abbot

Alternative feast days = January 1, January 3, January 19, February 6, April 29, and May 11

St. Odilo of Cluny, a native of Auvergne, came from French nobility.  His father was Berald de Mercoeur.  His mother was Gerberga, who entered a convent after Berald died.  At the age of 29 years St. Odilo became a monk at the great monastery of Cluny.  Three years later, in 994, he became the abbot.  Our saint held that post for 54 years.

St. Odilo was an influential figure.  In 998 he pioneered the observance of All Souls’ Day (November 2), set aside to remember and pray for the dead.  He also sold church treasures and property to raise funds to feed the poor during famine.  Furthermore, our saint promoted the Truce of God, or the suspension of military hostilities at certain Church-defined times, for the purpose of permitting essential commerce to resume.  Another aspect of the Truce of God was respecting churches as places of refuge.  The penalty for violating the Truce of God was excommunication.  St. Odilo also increased the number of Cluniac priories from 37 to 65 and declined the opportunity to become the Archbishop of Lyon.

Part of our saint’s job entailed traveling from Cluniac priory to Cluniac priory.  He was inspecting the priory at Souvigny when he died on January 1, 1049.

If you, O reader, have attended an All Saints’ Day (or, as we call it in The Episcopal Church, Commemoration of All Faithful Departed) service, you have experienced the influence of St. Odilo of Cluny.

As for the Truce of God, it sounds like a fine idea to me.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 11, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARTIN OF TOURS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF ANNE STEELE, FIRST IMPORTANT ENGLISH HYMN WRITER

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O God, by whose grace your servant St. Odilo of Cluny, 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 113 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), page 723

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Feast of Sts. John the Georgian, Euthymius of Athos, and George of the Black Mountain (June 27)   Leave a comment

 

Above:  The Flag of the Republic of Georgia

SAINT JOHN THE GEORGIAN, A.K.A. THE IBERIAN (DIED CIRCA 1002)

Abbot

His feast transferred from July 12

father of

SAINT EUTHYMIUS OF ATHOS (DIED 1028)

Abbot and Translator

His feast transferred from May 13

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SAINT GEORGE OF THE BLACK MOUNTAIN, A.K.A. SAINT GEORGE MTASINDELI OR SAINT GEORGE THE HAGIORITE (1014-1066)

Abbot and Translator

His feast = June 27

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I like monks.  I also admire translators.  With those simple and unapologetic statements I begin.

St. John the Georgian (died circa 1002) was also known as St. John the Iberian.  I have listed him primarily as “the Georgian” because he was Georgian, not Spanish or Portuguese.  The Encyclopedia Americana (1962), Volume 14, page 615, uses “Iberia” to refer to the Iberian peninsula (Spain and Portugal) and to an

ancient region Asia.  It now forms part of the Soviet republic of Georgia.  The Iberians were defeated by Pompey and the region became part of the Roman Empire until after the time of Julian.

There was also a Georgian kingdom (extinct for over four centuries by the time St. John the Georgian was born) sometimes called Iberia.  Yet, out of a desire for clarity, I refer to Georgia, not Iberia, beginning now.

St. John the Georgian was a nobleman and a military commander.  He, with his wife’s permission, became a monk on Mt. Olympus in Bithynia.  He brought his son St. Euthymius of Athos (died 1028) from Constantinople to Mt. Olympus.  Their reputation for sanctity attracted so many followers that they had to leave just to have more solitude.  So they relocated to Mt. Athos, where, with the help of General Thornikos, St. John’s brother, they founded Iviron Monastery for Georgians circa 980.  St. John served as the first abbot, relinquishing the post circa 1002 in favor of his son.  St. Euthymius served as abbot for fourteen years.  He resigned so that he could devote himself full-time to translating the Bible and theological treatises by Church Fathers into Georgian.  That was admirable work.

There were disturbances between Greek and Georgian monks on Mt. Athos.  (Alas, even monks are not immune to the more unpleasant aspects of human nature.)  Byzantine Emperor Constantine VIII (reigned 1025-1028) summoned St. Euthymius to Constantinople to explain these disturbances.  The former abbot died en route of injuries he sustained after falling from a mule.

A monk who revised the Bible translation of St. Euthymius was St. George of the Black Mountain (1014-1066).  He had lived in Syria and traveled widely in the Holy Land before serving as Abbot of Iviron Monastery.  Later St. George became a monk on Black Mountain in Armenia, hence his surname Mtasmindeli, literally, “of the Black Mountain.”  He also followed in the footsteps of St. Euthymius by translating theological treatises into Georgian.

Such work requires solitude.  Preparing these posts (written longhand prior to typing online) requires solitude.  These posts, of course, are nothing compared to major theological treatises or the Bible.  So imagine, if you will, O reader, how much solitude those projects required.  I stand in awe of these men who sought to glorify God, with whom they desired solitary communion.  The Church would be intellectually bereft without such individuals.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 21, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN ELIOT, PURITAN MISSIONARY AMONG THE ALGONQIN

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK AUGUSTUS BENNETT, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF AOTEAROA

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O God, by whose grace your servants

Saint John the Georgian,

Saint Euthymius of Athos, and

Saint George of the Black Mountain,

kindled with the flame of your love,

became bright and shining lights in your Church:

Grant that we also 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

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 723

Feast of St. Stephen of Sweden (June 2)   Leave a comment

Above:  Northern Europe in 1000 CE

SAINT STEPHEN OF SWEDEN (DIED CIRCA 1075)

Roman Catholic Missionary Bishop and Martyr

Sometimes a post adding someone to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days becomes a rather involved affair.  Saint A leads me Saint B, et cetera.  Once I wrote a post covering sixteen people because of such connections!  It was the best way to cover the material yet the drafting of that post took some time because I had to slow down, remind myself of whom I was writing at the moment, and decide upon the best way to organize the content.  This time, however, the material is rather short and sweet.

Today I add to my calendar St. Stephen of Sweden, a.k.a. St. Stephen of Corbie and St. Stephen of Corvey.  Originally a monk at New Corbie/Corvey monastery in Saxony, he received holy orders and became a missionary bishop.  Assigned to the Danish-Swedish frontier, the saint introduced Christianity to the area.  He converted many people and worked to suppress the worship of Woden/Odin.  For his good work St. Stephen died violently in the region of Uppsala.

I stand in awe of saints such as Stephen of Sweden.  As a Christian in 2012, I stand on their shoulders.  They laid foundations and risked everything for their Savior and Lord.  St. Stephen could have lived a safe and still holy existence at the monastery, but he followed his Messiah to martyrdom.  Such sacrifice demands our great respect for the martyred and renewed dedication to obey the call of God on our lives.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 28, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE FIRST U.S. METHODIST BOOK OF WORSHIP, 1945

THE FEAST OF SAINT GUALFARDUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC HERMIT

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER CHANEL, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

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Gracious God, in every age you have sent men and women who have given their lives in witness to your love and truth.

Inspire us with the memory of Saint Stephen of Sweden, whose faithfulness led to 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,

for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 20:40-42

Psalm 5

Revelation 6:9-11

Mark 8:34-38

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 59