Archive for the ‘Saints of the 1180s’ 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 St. Hedwig of Andechs and Blessed Gertrude of Trzebnica (October 16)   2 comments

Above:  Family Tree of St. Hedwig of Andechs

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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SAINT HEDWIG OF ANDECHS (1174-OCTOBER 15, 1243)

Silesian Roman Catholic Princess of and Nun

Also known as Saint Hedwig of Silesia

Alternative feast day = October 15

mother of

BLESSED GERTRUDE OF TRZEBNICA (CIRCA 1200-DECEMBER 1268)

Roman Catholic Abbess

Her feast transferred from March 17

One of my goals in the continuing process of renovating my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days is to emphasize relationships.  That is my rationale for merging the feasts of St. Hedwig of Andechs and Blessed Gertrude of Trzebnica, not that I need one, given that the Ecumenical Calendar is my project.

These saints came from nobility.  St. Hedwig was a daughter of Berthold IV, Duke of Merania (reigned 1185-1204)St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231) was on her nieces.  St. Hedwig, born in Castle Andechs, Bavaria (now Germany), married Prince Henry I “the Bearded,” Duke of Silesia (r. 1201-1238) and the Duke of Greater Poland (r. 1231-1238) when she was 12 years old.  The couple had seven children, including Blessed Gertrude of Trzebnica (c. 1200-December 1268).  Blessed Gertrude, betrothed to Count Palatine Otto of Wittelsbach, who died prior to the wedding day, became a nun instead.  St. Hedwig, a widow from 1238, founded hospitals, helped orphans, and cared for the sick.  She gave away her fortune before becoming a nun in the convent at Trzebnica, where Blessed Gertrude was the abbess.

St. Hedwig died at the abbey at Trzebnica, Silesia (now Poland), on October 15, 1243.

Pope Clement IV canonized her in 1267.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 6, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FIFTH DAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C

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

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O God, by whose grace your servants Saint Hedwig of Andechs and Blessed Gertrude of Trzebnica,

kindled with the flame of your love, became burning and shining lights in your Church:

Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline,

and walk before you as children of light;

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

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

Acts 2:42-47a

Psalm 133 or 34:1-8 or 119:161-168

2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Matthew 6:24-33

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 723

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Feast of Robert Grosseteste (October 9)   1 comment

Above:  Robert Grosseteste 

Image in the Public Domain

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ROBERT GROSSETESTE (CIRCA 1168-OCTOBER 9, 1253)

English Roman Catholic Scholar, Philosopher, and Bishop of Lincoln

This project, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, is an exercise in the Great Man (and Woman) School of History.  I make no apology for this.  Social History and Cultural History have their vital roles to fill in historical analysis, but I remain a devotee of the emphasis on the great people–those who have made their marks on the world.

Grosseteste, born circa 1168, was a Christian intellectual and a bishop.  He, educated at Oxford and perhaps at Paris, also, taught at Oxford prior to 1209.  Our saint, a priest, held various ecclesiastical position through 1232.  He resigned all but one–Prebendary of Lincoln–that year.  The former Chancellor of Oxford University (circa 1215-1221) taught at the Franciscan house of studies, Oxford, from 1224 to 1235.  Then he became the Bishop of Lincoln.

Grosseteste had a fine mind.  He, an Aristotelian with Neoplatonist influences, translated works of Aristotle and some ancient saints, wrote commentaries on the Bible and works of Aristotle.  Our saint, whose life ended as the worst outbreak of the Black Death was ending and the Renaissance was about to begin, was an active encourager of the spread of knowledge–philosophy, science, mathematics, and the Bible.  He accepted truth, as he recognized it, regardless of its source or manner of transmission.

Grosseteste, author of theological and devotional works, was a pious bishop who took his spiritual responsibilities seriously.  He was a man of his time, for he affirmed the supremacy of the Church over the state.  This opinion caused some political problems for him.  Grosseteste also had political conflicts with various bishops and at least one Pope; our saint was an uncompromising critic and opponent of ecclesiastical corruption.

Grosseteste died in Buckdon, Buckinghamshire, England, on October 9, 1253.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 9, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT DENIS, BISHOP OF PARIS, AND HIS COMPANIONS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN LEONARDI, FOUNDER OF THE CLERKS REGULAR OF THE MOTHER OF GOD OF LUCCA; AND SAINT JOSEPH CALASANCTIUS, FOUNDER OF THE CLERKS REGULAR OF RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS

THE FEAST OF ROBERT GROSSETESTE, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC SCHOLAR, PHILOSOPHER, AND BISHOP OF LINCOLN

THE FEAST OF WILFRED THOMASON GRENFELL, MEDICAL MISSIONARY TO NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

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O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Robert Grosseteste and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

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

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

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Feast of St. Dominic (August 8)   1 comment

Above:  Saint Dominic, by Fra Angelico

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT DOMINIC DE GUZMÁN (CIRCA 1170-AUGUST 6, 1221)

Founder of the Order of Preachers

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Fight the good fight against our ancient foe, fight him insistently with fasting, because no one will win the crown of victory without engaging in the contest in the proper way.

–St. Dominic, quoted in Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (New York:  The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1997), 339

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St. Dominic was one of four children of Felix de Guzmán (the lord of the manor at Caleruya, Castille) and Blessed Juana de Aza (d. circa 1190; beatified in 1828).  The noble family also included holy siblings of St Dominic.  Venerable Anthony de Guzmán was a priest.  Blessed Mamés de Guzmán (c. 1170-1234; beatified in 1834; feast day = July 30), was a prior of a monstery in Paris, the founder of a convent in that city, and one of the original Dominicans.

St. Dominic, who studied at Palencia and became an Augustinian monk at Osma, became aware of the Albigensian heresy (revived Manicheanism of a sort) while traveling with Diego de Azevedo, the Bishop of Osma, on a royal mission abroad in 1203.  Pope Innocent III (in office 1198-1216) launched a campaign of preaching to combat the heresy in southern France.  This was both political and religious, for some local leaders were siding with the Cathars, and civil strife ensued.  St. Dominic was eager preach orthodoxy.  In 1206 he and the Bishop of Osma established rules for the preachers; they were to live austerely and in poverty.  The following year, at Prouille, our saint foun…ded a convent for nuns converted from heresy.

The Albigensian Crusade (1209-1218), a bloodbath and a land grab, was one of the most notorious scandals in Church history.  It began after the assassination of Peter Castelnau, the papal legate, in 1208.  St. Dominic argued against the crusade; he condemned the violence in the name of Christ and advocated for preaching instead.  From his preaching emerged the Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominicans and the Black Friars, which received papal approval in 1216.

St. Dominic spent his final years technically based in Rome, but actually walking on long journeys, and organizing the Order of Preachers.  In 1221 he set out for Hungary, to preach against heresy, but failing health forced him to turn back.  He died at Bologna on August 6, 1221.  Biographer Jordan of Saxony wrote of our saint,

…he loved everyone, so everyone loved him.

Pope Gregory IX canonized St. Dominic in 1234.

Ironically, Dominicans helped to staff the Inquisition, founded in 1232.

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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Almighty God, whose servant Dominic grew in knowledge of your truth

and formed an order of preachers to proclaim the good news of Christ:

Give to all your people a hunger for your Word and an urgent longing to share the Gospel,

that the whole world may come to know you as you are revealed in your Son Jesus Christ;

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

2 Samuel 22:22-29

Psalm 112:4-9

Romans 10:13-17

John 7:16-18

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 515

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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 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. Sava I (January 14)   Leave a comment

St. Sava I and Relatives

Above:  The Family Tree of St. Sava I

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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SAINT SAVA I (1169/1174-JANUARY 14, 1235/1236)

Founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church and First Archbishop of Serbs

A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989) lists our saint as “Sava, Founder and first Archbishop of the Serbian Church.”  I have listed him as St. Sava I, for his nephew, the third Archbishop of Serbs, was St. Sava II.

St. Sava

Above:  St. Sava I

Image in the Public Domain

St. Sava I came from Serbian royalty.  His father was Stephen I, founder of the Nemanja Dynasty (1166-1371) and Grand Prince of Serbia from 1166 to 1196.  Our saint’s mother was Anna, a noblewoman of uncertain origin.  According to one tradition her father was the Byzantine Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes (reigned 1067-1071), but chronological realities make that parentage impossible.  Our saint’s given name was Rastislav, or Rastko for short.  Prince Rastislav, the youngest of three sons, entered monastic life at Mt. Athos against his parents’ wishes at age 18 and took the name Sava.

There were excellent reasons for members of Serbian royalty to enter monastic life.  Stephen I struggled with the Byzantine Empire, to whose emperor he was a vassal during a portion of his reign.  Stephen I fought Byzantine forces and allied himself with the Second Bulgarian Empire.  He joined his son as a monk at Mt. Athos in 1196, taking the monastic name Simeon.  At the same time St. Sava I’s mother, Anna, entered convent and became Anastasia.  Father and son founded the monastery of Chilandari (or Hilandar) as the center of Serbian Orthodox theological studies.  St. Sava I’s parents died in 1200.  In time the Serbian Orthodox Church canonized both of them.  The former Grand Prince became St. Simeon the Myrrh-Streaming and his consort became St. Anastasia.

St. Sava I returned to Serbia in 1207/1208, repatriated his father’s remains in the process.  The immediate task was to make peace between his quarreling older brothers.  St. Sava I remained in his homeland until 1217, serving as archimandrite, or chief abbot.  Then he returned to Mt. Athos.

Balkans 1200 CE

Above:  The Balkans and Environs after 1204 Common Era

Map Source = Hammond’s World Atlas–Classics Edition (1957)

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

St. Sava I founded the independent Serbian Orthodox Church in 1219, after meeting with Byzantine Emperor Theodore I Laskaris (reigned 1208-1221) and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Manuel I Charitopoulos (reigned 1215-1222), then in exile at Nicaea.  Our saint became the first Archbishop of Serbs, a post he held until he retired in 1233.  He appointed bishops, all of whom were alumni of the Chilandari monastery.  He also ended the Serbian Church’s vacillation between allegiance to Rome and allegiance to Constantinople.  St. Sava I also encouraged the spread of education in Serbia and wrote the first original work of Serbian literature–a biography of his father.  Our saint also contended with the Bogomil heresy (900s-1400s), a form of Gnosticism.  Bogomils denied the Incarnation, baptism, the Eucharist, the priesthood, and the structure of the Orthodox Church.

St. Sava I, retired, made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  He died during the return trip, at Turnovo, Bulgaria, on January 14, 1235/1236 Old Style.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 18, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT EMILY DE RODAT, FOUNDER OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE HOLY FAMILY OF VILLEFRANCHE

THE FEAST OF EDWARD BOUVERIE PUSEY, ANGLICAN PRIEST

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Almighty God, you have enlightened your Church

by the teaching of your servant St. Sava I;

enrich it evermore with your heavenly grace,

and raise up faithful witnesses, who by their life and teaching

may proclaim to all people the truth of your salvation;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Nehemiah 8:1-10

Psalm 34:11-17

1 Corinthians 2:6-16

Matthew 5:13-19

–Adapted from A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989), page 684

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Revised on November 16, 2016

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