Archive for the ‘Saints of the 1050s’ Category

Feast of St. Margaret of Scotland (November 16)   2 comments

Above:  St. Margaret of Scotland

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT MARGARET OF SCOTLAND (CIRCA 1045-NOVEMBER 16, 1093)

Roman Catholic Queen, Humanitarian, and Ecclesiastical Reformer

Also known as Saint Margaret of Wessex

Alternative feast day = June 16

Former feast day = June 10

St. Margaret of Scotland, who began live as a political exile, became a prominent and historically important figure–a humanitarian, a queen, an ecclesiastical reformer, and the mother of several Kings of Alba/the Scots, as well as a great-grandmother of King Henry II of the Plantaganet Dynasty.

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

St. Margaret was a member of the royal house of Wessex–Anglo-Saxon rulers.  Her grandfather was King Ethelred the Unready (reigned 978-1016), who was actually poorly advised, not unready.  Ethelred’s successor was Edmund II Ironside (reigned April 23-November 30, 1016), who preceded the reign (1016-1035) of King Canute of Denmark in England.  St. Margaret’s father was Edward the Exile (1016-1057).  Her mother was Agatha (before 1030-1057).  Our saint, born in Hungary circa 1045, was a great-niece of King St. Stephen I of Hungary I (reigned 1000-1038).  She spent her earliest years in the court of King Andrew I of Hungary (reigned 1046-1060).  The family returned to England in 1057, during the reign (1042-1066) of Edward the Confessor.  After the Norman Conquest (1066), the family found refuge in the Kingdom of Alba (now Scotland) in 1068.

St. Margaret was Queen of Alba from 1070 to 1093.  King Malcolm III Canmore (reigned 1058-1093) was a widower with children.  He was also illiterate, impious, and uncouth.  St. Margaret was devout and persuasive, however.  She and Malcolm had eight children, including several kings (one of them St. David I), St. Edith/Matilda (the mother of Holy Roman Empress then English Queen Matilda, the mother of King Henry II of England and France), and Blessed Edmund of Scotland (circa 1071-1100, a monk from 1097).  St. Margaret convinced her husband to found schools, orphanages, and hospitals.  She used her influence to have Iona Abbey rebuilt and to cause the founding of Dumferline Abbey.  Our saint urged her husband to improve the quality of life for the people of Alba.  She was less successful in her efforts to reduce interclan warfare, though.

St. Margaret encouraged greater piety at home and in the realm.  She was the spiritual director of her household and the royal court.  Our saint, dismayed with the custom of beginning Lent on the Monday after Ash Wednesday, insisted on starting the season on Ash Wednesday.  Furthermore, Eucharistic rites were to follow the Latin Rite, she said.  Sunday was to be a true sabbath, St. Margaret insisted.  She also encouraged frequent communion.

St. Margaret died at Edinburgh Castle on November 16, 1093, a few days after Malcolm and their son Edward died during civil conflict.

Pope Innocent IV canonized St. Margaret in 1251.

St. Margaret understood that temporal power is a great responsibility, never properly a tool for enriching oneself and feeding one’s ego.  She left Alba/Scotland better than she found it.

Wherever you are, O reader, may you leave it better than you found it.  And, to the extent you have any power or influence, may you use if for good, not selfish, purposes.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 29, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHARLES VILLIERS STANFORD, COMPOSER, ORGANIST, AND CONDUCTOR

THE FEAST OF DORA GREENWELL, POET AND DEVOTIONAL WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHN KEBLE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND POET

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JONAS AND BARACHISIUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS

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O God, you called your servant Margaret to an earthly throne that she might advance your heavenly kingdom,

and gave her zeal for your Church and love for your people:

Mercifully grant that we who commemorate her this day may be fruitful in good works,

and attain to the glorious crown of your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Deuteronomy 15:7-11

Psalm 112:1-9

2 John 1-9

Luke 4:16-22a

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 683

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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. Ivo of Chartres (May 23)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Ivo of Chartres

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT IVO OF CHARTRES (CIRCA 1040-DECEMBER 23, 1115/1116)

Bishop of Chartres

Alternative feast day = December 23

St. Ivo, Bishop of Chartres, lived his faith during treacherous political times.  Our saint, born into French nobility in Beauvais circa 1040, studied in Paris then at the Abbey of Bec, Normandy.  In 1080 his Bishop appointed him to be the Prior of St. Quentin, Beauvais.  In that capacity St. Ivo became one of the best teachers in France.  He transferred to Chartres in 1090.  There our saint succeeded one Geoffrey, the previous Bishop of Chartres, deposed for committing simony.  St. Ivo, an opponent of simony, was also a consultant in the fields of theology and canon law.

Two great controversies confronted St. Ivo.  King Philip I (reigned 1059-1108) created one of these in 1092, when he married Bertrada de Montfort, wife of Fulk, the Count of Anjou.  Not only was Bertrada married, so so was Philip I.  His wife (until her death in 1094) was Queen Bertha.  Pope Urban II (in office 1088-1099) excommunicated the French monarch, lifted the order Bertha died, then reimposed it several times.  Pope Paschal II (in office 1099-1118) lifted the excommunication on the condition that Philip I have no more relations with Bertrada.  St. Ivo, like the Popes, opposed Philip I.  Our saint, unlike the Supreme Pontiffs, went to prison.

The other great controversy related to the lay investiture of bishops and abbots.  Popes and monarchs argued about this matter for a long time.  St. Ivo proposed a moderate position that presaged the Concordat of Worms (1122), concluded after his death.  In that agreement monarchs retained the right to attend consecrations and to invest bishops and abbots with symbols of temporal authority, but relinquished the right to invest bishops and abbots with symbols of spiritual authority.  Monarchs also agreed to guarantee free and canonical elections.

Pope Pius V beatified St. Ivo in 1570.

The status of St. Ivo’s canonization seems to be in doubt.  CatholicSaints.Info lists our saint as “Blessed Ivo of Chartres” and lists Pope Benedict XIV (in office 1740-1758) as having added him to the martyrology.  Omer Englebert, in The Lives of the Saints (1951), lists our saint as “St. Ivo of Chartres.”

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 22, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ROBERT SEAGRAVE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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O God, our heavenly Father, who raised up your servant Saint Ivo of Chartres,

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 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), page 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. Osmund of Salisbury (December 4)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of England

SAINT OSMUND OF SALISBURY (DIED 1099)

Roman Catholic Bishop

St. Osmund (died 1099) served as chancellor to his half-uncle, King William I “the Conqueror” (reigned 1066-1087).  He, an able chancellor, helped to compile the Domesday Book.

Then, in 1078, William I appointed St. Osmund to be the Bishop of Salisbury.  The saint completed the cathedral, where he assembled a huge library.  (I like saints who adored books.)  He also wrote a biography of St. Aldhelm and prepared liturgical books which regulated the rites of the Irish, Welsh, and English churches for over a century and a half.  As Bishop of Salisbury, the saint supported King William II (reigned 1087-1100) in the controversy with the Pope over St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury.  The monarch wanted St. Anselm out; the pontiff had a different opinion.  Later, St. Osmund apologized to the Archbishop.

William of Malmesbury (circa 1090-1143), English monk and church historian, wrote that St. Osmund was

so eminent for chastity that common fame would itself blush to speak otherwise than speak truthfully concerning his virtue.  Stern as he was to penitents, he was no more severe to them than he was to himself.  Free from ambition, he neither imprudently wasted his own substance nor sought the wealth of others.

St. Osmund died on December 4, 1099.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 13, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BRICE OF TOURS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT ABBO OF FLEURY, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH CARDINAL BERNARDIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF CHICAGO

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICHOLAS TAVELIC AND HIS COMPANIONS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS

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Almighty God, we praise you for your servant Saint Osmund of Salisbury,

through whom you have called the church to its tasks and renewed its life.

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 reign,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

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

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60