Archive for the ‘Saints of the 1160s’ Category

Feast of St. Hugh of Lincoln (November 17)   1 comment

Above:  St. Hugh of Lincoln

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT HUGH OF LINCOLN (1135-NOVEMBER 16, 1200)

Roman Catholic Bishop and Abbot

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If all bishops were like my Lord of Lincoln, not a prince among us could lift up his head against them.

–King Richard I

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St. Hugh of Lincoln, a reluctant abbot then a reluctant bishop, served God, confronted his king, and left a fine legacy.

St. Hugh was noble in two senses of that word.  His father was William, Lord of Avalon.  Our saint, born in Avalon Castle, Burgundy, France, in 1135, was eight years old when his mother, Anna, died.  St. Hugh, educated at a monastery in Villard-Benoit, France, became a monk at the age of 15 years and a deacon four years later.  Our saint, a Carthusian since 1160, became a priest five years later, having already been the Prior of Saint-Maxim since 1159.

St. Hugh reluctantly became the abbot of the new monastery (the first Carthusian abbey in England) at Witham, Somerset, in 1175.  King Henry II (reigned 1154-1189), penitent over the murder of St. Thomas Becket (December 29, 1170), had ordered the construction of that monastery.  St. Hugh, renowned for his piety, actively cared for the poor and attracted many recruits to the Carthusian order.

St. Hugh was an even more reluctant Bishop of Lincoln (1186-1200).  He was no less faithful, though.  After an earthquake destroyed the cathedral, St. Hugh presided over the reconstruction of the structure.  He also helped to transform the cathedral school into one of the greatest institutions of learning in England.  St. Hugh fearlessly confronted King Richard I (reigned 1189-1199), criticizing him for mistreating subjects.  Our saint also refused to raise funds for foreign wars.  Furthermore, St. Hugh criticized the monarch for leaving certain sees vacant, for the sake of collecting income.  Our saint also risked his life to resist the persecution of Jews (1190-1191); he confronted mobs and forced the release of captives.

St. Hugh died in London on November 16, 1200.  His health had been failing since the previous year, after a diplomatic mission for King John (reigned 1199-1216) to France.

The Church recognized St. Hugh in 1220, when Pope Honorius III made him the first canonized Carthusian.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 31, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN LENT, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIA SKOBTSOVA, ORTHODOX MARTYR

THE FEAST OF ERNEST TRICE THOMPSON, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND RENEWER OF THE CHURCH

THE FEAST OF JOHN DONNE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND POET

THE FEAST OF JOHN MARRIOTT, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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Holy God, our greatest treasure, you blessed Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln,

with wise and cheerful boldness for the proclamation of your Word to rich and poor alike;

Grant that all who minister in your Name may serve with diligence, discipline, and humility,

fearing nothing but the loss of you and drawing all to you through Jesus Christ our Savior;

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

Micah 4:1-4

Psalm 61

Titus 2:7-8, 11-14

Luke 12:35-44

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 685

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Feast of Blessed Jutta of Disibodenberg and Saint Hildegard of Bingen (September 17)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Hildegard of Bingen

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED JUTTA OF DISIBODENBERG (CIRCA 1084-DECEMBER 22, 1136)

Roman Catholic Abbess

Her feast transferred from December 22

mentor of

SAINT HILDEGARD OF BINGEN (1098-SEPTEMBER 17, 1179)

Roman Catholic Abbess, Mystic, Theologian, Poet, Playwright, and Composer

One of my goals in renovating this, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, as I keep repeating, is to emphasize relationships and influences.  Therefore, I merge the feasts of St. Hildegard of Bingen (September 17) and her mentor, Blessed Jutta of Disibodenberg (December 22).

Blessed Jutta, born circa 1084 in Spanheim, was a German noblewoman.  Her brother was Meganhard, the Count of Spanheim.  She became a hermitess on November 1, 1106.  Blessed Jutta lived near the Abbey of Saint Disibod, Disibodenberg.  She taught children and became the center of a female community before beginning to serve as the first abbess of the new convent at Disibodenberg in 1116.  One member of that community then convent was St. Hildegard, born in Böckelheim, near Spanheim, in 1098, and also of German nobility.  She, raised and educated at Disibodenberg, succeeded Blessed Jutta as abbess in 1136.  St. Hildegard held that post until 1147.  That year she and eighteen nuns founded a new, independent convent near Bingen.  She served as the abbess there for the rest of her life.

St. Hildegard was a mystic; she had been one since childhood.  From 1141 to 1150 she published accounts of 26 of her visions in Scivas (Know the Ways).  Our saint’s visions were consistent with theological orthodoxy, according to the Archbishop of Mainz, a group of theologians, and Pope Eugenius III.  After 1150 St. Hildegard continued to report and write about her visions.

St. Hildegard was a remarkable person, especially by the standards of her time and place.  In 1152-1162 she made preaching tours in the Rhineland.  She corresponded with monarchs and popes, wrote at least one drama, composed religious texts and music, and wrote treatises on science and medicine.  She was, by the standards of her time and place, unusually scientifically astute.  St. Hildegard, as a theologian, belonged to the school of Creation Spirituality.  The Church has recognized her as a Doctor of the Church, a title it bestows on few saints.  The only other women so honored were St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), and St. Thérèse of Lisieux (1873-1897).

Despite St. Hildegard’s respected status in the Church during her lifetime, she ran afoul of ecclesiastical authorities toward the end of her life.  She permitted the burial of an excommunicated man in the convent’s cemetery.  Then our saint disobeyed an order to disinter the corpse; the deceased had reconciled with God before he died, she said in her defense.  St. Hildegard’s defiance led to the Archbishop of Mainz placing the convent under an interdict, a penalty she protested.  Eventually the archbishop lifted the interdict.

St. Hildegard died a few months later, on September 17, 1179.

Pope John XXII beatified St. Hildegard in 1326.  She was informally “St. Hildegard” for centuries until Pope Benedict XVI made it official in 2012.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 19, 2018 COMMON ERA

PROPER 15:  THE THIRTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINT SIXTUS III, BISHOP OF ROME

THE FEAST OF BLAISE PASCAL, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC SCIENTIST, MATHEMATICIAN, AND THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINTS MAGNUS AND AGRICOLA OF AVIGNON, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF AVIGNON

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM HAMMOND, ENGLISH MORAVIAN HYMN WRITER

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God of all times and seasons:

Give us grace that we, after the example of your servant Hildegard, a student of Jutta,

may both know and make known the joy and jubilation of being part of your creation,

and show forth your glory not only with our lips but in our lives;

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with

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

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 43:1-2, 6-7, 9-12, 27-28

Psalm 104:25-34

Colossians 3:14-17

John 3:16-21

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 589

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Feast of St. Bona of Pisa (May 29)   Leave a comment

Above:  Northwestern Spain

Scanned by Kenneth Randolph Taylor from Hammond’s World Atlas–Classics Edition (1957)

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SAINT BONA OF PISA (CIRCA 1156-CIRCA 1207)

Roman Catholic Mystic and Pilgrim

St. Bona of Pisa was a mystic, visionary, and pilgrim from her childhood.  The native of Pisa, Italy, born circa 1156, reported seeing visions of Jesus, Mary, and St. James the Greater when she was a girl.  Our saint joined the Third Order of Augustinians at the age of 10 years.  St. Bona made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where her father was a soldier between the Second and Third Crusades, when she was 14 years old.  On the way back home she became a prisoner of Muslim pirates, from whom fellow Pisans rescued her.  St. Bona, who made a pilgrimage to Rome and nine pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela, was a guide for other pilgrims to that site in Galicia, Spain.  She died at Pisa in 1207, shortly after returning from her ninth pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

St. Bona is the patron saint of flight attendants, couriers, guides, pilgrims, travelers, and the city of Pisa.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 9, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF KARL BARTH, SWISS REFORMED MINISTER, THEOLOGIAN, AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR; FATHER OF MARKUS BARTH, SWISS LUTHERAN MINISTER AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF GEORG FRIEDRICH HELLSTROM, DUTCH-GERMAN MORAVIAN MUSICIAN, COMPOWER, AND EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER FOURIER, “THE GOOD PRIEST OF MATTAINCOURT;” AND SAINT ALIX LE CLERC, FOUNDRESS OF THE CONGREGATION OF NOTRE DAME OF CANONESSES REGULAR OF SAINT AUGUSTINE

THE FEAST OF SAINT WALTER CISZEK, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY PRIEST AND POLITICAL PRISONER

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O God, you have brought us near to an innumerable company of angels,

and to the spirits of just men made perfect:

Grant us during our earthly pilgrimage to abide in their fellowship,

and in our heavenly country to become partakers of their joy;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9

Psalm 34 or 34:15-22

Philippians 4:4-9

Luke 6:17-23

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 725

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Feast of St. Ubaldo Baldassini (May 16)   2 comments

Above:  St. Ubaldo Baldassini

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT UBALDO BALDASSINI (CIRCA 1085-MAY 16, 1160)

Bishop of Gubbio

Also known as Saint Ubaldus Baldassini

St. Ubaldo Baldassini, born circa 1085 at Gubbio, near Ancona, Umbria, Italy, came from nobility.  Our saint, related to St. Sperandia (died in 1276; feast day = September 11), an abbess and a mystic, was a son of Rovaldo Baldassini.  Rovaldo died when St. Ubaldo was young.  Our saint’s mother was, unfortunately, an invalid afflicted with a neurological disorder, so an uncle raised him.

St. Ubaldo, educated at the cathedral school at Gubbio, turned to the Church.  He, a monk at the Monastery of St. Secondo, Gubbio, became a priest in 1115.  Later he became the dean of the cathedral.  Our saint began to serve as the Bishop of Gubbio in 1128.  St. Ubaldo, a friend of St. Francis of Assisi, had a reputation for being patient and kind.  Our saint also delivered the city from the wrath of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa (reigned 1152-1190), whom he bribed not to sack Gubbio.  St. Ubaldo died of natural causes at Gubbio on May 16, 1160.  He was about 75 years old.

Pope Celestine III canonized our saint in 1192.

St. Ubaldo is the patron saint of autistic people, possessed persons, sick children, obsessive compulsives, and Gubbio and Montovi, Italy.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 24, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF HENRY CLAY SHUTTLEWORTH, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF DANIEL C. ROBERTS, EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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Almighty God, you have raised up faithful bishops of your church,

including your servant Saint Ubaldo of Baldassini.

May the memory of his life be a source of joy for us and a bulwark of our faith,

so that we may serve and confess your name before the world,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

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

Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84

1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21

John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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Feast of Blessed John Cacciafronte (March 16)   Leave a comment

giovanni-de-sordi

Above:  Blessed John Cacciafronte

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED JOHN CACCIAFRONTE (CIRCA 1125-MARCH 16, 1183)

Roman Catholic Monk, Abbot, Bishop, and Martyr

Also known as Blessed John de Surdis, John Sordi, and Giovanni de Surdis Cacciafronte

Blessed John Cacciafronte, born circa 1125, was a native of Cremona, Italy.  He spent time as a monk at St. Lawrence Abbey there.  In 1155 he became the abbot.  Cacciafronte sided with Pope Alexander III (1159-1181) in the dispute with Antipope Victor IV (1159-1164).  This fact placed Cacciafronte in conflict with Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa (reigned 1155-1190), whom Alexander III had excommunicated in 1160 for supporting Victor IV.  Barbarossa exiled our saint, who became a hermit near Sordi.  In 1174 our saint became the Bishop of Mantua, replacing a man removed from office due to transgressions.  Three years later the penitent bishop sought to return to office, so Cacciafronte willingly returned to life as a hermit.  He was a hermit at Vicenza, Italy.  On March 16, 1183, Cacciafronte was rebuking a man who had embezzled church funds.  That man murdered our saint.

The Roman Catholic Church lists our saint as a martyr.

Pope Leo XII beatified him in 1824.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 20, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT FABIAN, BISHOP OF ROME AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINTS DEICOLA AND GALL, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONKS; AND OTHMAR, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AT SAINT GALLEN

THE FEAST OF SAINTS EUTHYMIUS THE GREAT AND THEOCRISTUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOTS

THE FEAST OF HARRIET AUBER, ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER

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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 Blessed John Cacciafronte,

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

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

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Feast of St. Aelred of Hexham (January 12)   1 comment

St. Aelred

Above:  St. Aelred

Image in the Public Domain

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ST. AELRED OF HEXHAM (1109/1110-JANUARY 12, 1167)

Roman Catholic Abbot of Rievaulx

St. Aelred of Hexham became a major figure in the English Roman Catholic Church.  He came from a family in which men served as treasurers of the shrine of St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne (lived circa 634-687) at Durham.  Our saint’s father was Eliaf, a priest and treasurer of the shrine.  His father, another Eliaf, was also a treasurer of the shrine.  Young St. Aelred served in the court of King St. David I of Scotland (reigned 1124-1153) for up to a decade (perhaps from ages 14 to 24 years), rising to the rank of steward.  Our saint became disillusioned with court politics, so he entered the monastery at Rievaulx at age 24, in 1133 or 1134.

The monastic life was St. Aelred’s vocation.  In 1142 and 1143 he served as the novice master at Rievaulx.  In 1143 he became the first abbot of the new daughterhouse at Revesby, Lincolnshire.  Four years later he became the abbot at Rievaulx, an office he held for the rest of his life.  St. Aelred increased the number of monks at Rievaulx (to about 600 at the time of his death) and the number of daughterhouses.  Toward the end of his life our saint suffered from arthritis and kidney stones.  He died on January 12, 1167.

St. Aelred, a spiritual writer, hagiographer, and historian, became involved in politics, such as a controversy about the appointment of the Archbishop of York, St. William of York (died in 1154), son of the treasurer to King Henry I (reigned 1100-1135).  Our saint also used some of his writings to advise King Henry II (reigned 1133-1189) on how to govern properly.  Some of St. Aelred’s sermons have survived.  His other major works were, in chronological order:

  1. The Mirror of Charity (1142), which he wrote at the request of St. Bernard of Clarivaux (1090-1153);
  2. The Life of David, King of the Scots (1153);
  3. Genealogy of the Kings of the English (1153-1154);
  4. On the Account of the Standard (1153-1154);
  5. The Life of Saint Ninian (1154-1160);
  6. On the Miracles of the Church of Hexham (1155);
  7. A Certain Wonderful Miracle (1160);
  8. Jesus at the Age of Twelve (1160-1162);
  9. The Formation of the Anchoresses (1160-1162);
  10. The Life of Saint Edward, King and Confessor (1161-1163);
  11. Pastoral Prayer (1163-1167);
  12. On the Soul (1164-1167); and
  13. Spiritual Friendship (1164-1167).

St. Aelred understood friendship as a divine gift and a human creation.  Love is a universal gift from God, he wrote, but friendship requires a human effort.  Our saint encouraged expressions of friendship among his monks.  He was correct.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 5, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MOTHER TERESA OF CALCUTTA, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN

THE FEAST OF AARON ROBARTS WOLFE, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM MORTON REYNOLDS, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER, EPISCOPAL PRIEST, EDUCATOR, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

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Almighty God, you endowed the abbot Aelred with the gift of Christian friendship

and the wisdom to lead others in the way of holiness:

Grant to your people that same spirit of mutual affection, that, in loving one another,

we may know the love of Christ and rejoice in the gift of your eternal goodness;

through the same Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns

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

Ruth 1:15-18

Psalm 36:5-10

Philippians 2:1-4

Mark 12:28-34a

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 167

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Feast of Adam of St. Victor (August 5)   Leave a comment

Abbey of St. Victor, Paris (Late 1700s)

Above:  Abbey of St. Victor, Late 1700s

Image in the Public Domain

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ADAM OF ST. VICTOR (DIED BETWEEN 1172 AND 1192)

Roman Catholic Monk and Hymn Writer

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Christians, come, in sweetest measures,

Sing of those who spread the treasures

In the holy Gospels shrined;

Blessed tidings of salvation,

Peace on earth their proclamation,

Love from God to lost mankind.

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See the rivers four that gladden

With their streams the better Eden,

Planted by our Savior dear.

Christ the Fountain, these the waters,

Drink, O Zion’s sons and daughters;

Drink and find salvation here.

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Here our souls, by Jesus sated,

More and more shall be translated

Earth’s temptations far above;

Freed from sin’s abhorred dominion,

Soaring on angelic pinion,

They shall reach the Source of love.

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Then shall thanks and praise ascending

For Thy mercies without ending

Rise to Thee, O Savior blest.

With Thy gracious aid defend us,

Let Thy guiding light attend us,

Bring us to Thy place of rest.

–In W. G. Polack, The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal, Second and Revised Edition (St. Louis, MO:  Concordia Publishing House, 1942), page 206; translation altered from Robert Campbell, Hymns and Anthems for Use in the Holy Services of the Church within the United Diocese of St. Andrews (1850)

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The original Latin text (in ten stanzas) begins

Iucundare, plebs fidelis.

The author of that text was Adam of St. Victor, of whom we lack much information.  This is a common difficulty in history, the study of the past, for documentation is frequently lacking.

We do know some facts about our saint, however.  People who knew him called him “Brito,” indicating that he was either a Briton or a Breton.  Adam, educated at Paris, entered the Abbey of St. Victor, a center of learning at Paris, in 1130, when he was a young man.  He remained there for the rest of his life.  He composed prose works, hymns, and sequences for the Mass.  At least 106 hymns and sequences he wrote he survive.  Perhaps he wrote more which remain, but without his name on them.  And who know how many have not survived the ravages of time?  We do have three volumes (I, II, and III) of Adam’s liturgical poetry (with English translations), fortunately.

Archbishop Richard Chevinix Trench (1807-1886) included some of Adam’s Latin texts, including the basis of the English translation I quoted at the beginning of this post, in Sacred Latin Poetry (first edition, 1849; second edition, 1864; third edition, 1874).  Trench included a biographical sketch of Adam on pages 53-61 of the second edition.  In the same edition one can find untranslated texts by our saint on pages 62-83, 111-113, 123-128, 153-156, 161-181, 187-194, 202-205, 212-216, 219-220, and 227-233.

Trench wrote that Adam of St. Victor was

the foremost among the sacred poets of the Middle Ages.

The great Medieval sacred poet has become the newest addition to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 8, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPHINE BAKHITA, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOHN OF MATHA AND FELIX OF VALOIS, FOUNDERS OF THE ORDER OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY

THE FEAST WINFIELD SCOTT HANCOCK, U.S. ARMY GENERAL

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Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those (especially Adam of St. Victor)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.

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

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

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