Archive for the ‘Saints of the 1580s’ Category

Feast of Blesseds Thomas Percy, Richard Kirkman, and William Lacey (August 22)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of England 

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED THOMAS PERCY (1528-AUGUST 22, 1572)

English Roman Catholic Martyr

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BLESSED RICHARD KIRKMAN

BLESSED WILLIAM LACEY

English Roman Catholic Priests, and Martyrs at York, August 22, 1582

Alternative feast day (as Martyrs of Douai) = October 29

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Living as a faithful Roman Catholic in Elizabethan England could be hazardous one’s health.

Thomas Percy, born in Northumberland, England, in 1528, was a nobleman–from April 22, 1563, Sir Thomas Percy.  The Seventh Earl of Northumberland went to his death (via beheading) at York on August 22, 1572, because he refused to recognize the religious authority of Queen Elizabeth I.  Pope Leo XIII beatified Percy in 1895.

Richard Kirkman and William Lacey, priests who had studied theology at Douai, France, died at York on August 22, 1582.  Kirkman, ordained at Rheims in 1579, served as a covert priest in England.  He was, for a time, the tutor to the family of Richard Dymake.  He, like Perry, refused to acknowledge Queen Elizabeth I as the head of the English Church.  That was a crime.  Lacey, husband of a widow and stepfather of two Jesuits, was a coroner in Yorkshire until his arrest (for being a practicing Roman Catholic) circa 1565.  Later a widower, he studied for the priesthood and returned to his homeland as a covert priest.  Authorities arrested Lacey on July 22, 1582.  He and Kirkman died in hanging, drawing, and quartering the following month.  Pope Leo XIII beatified them in 1886.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 26, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ISABEL FLORENCE HAPGOOD, U.S. JOURNALIST, TRANSLATOR, AND ECUMENIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANDREA GIACINTO LONGHIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF TREVISO

THE FEAST OF PHILIP DODDRIDGE, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINSTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF VIRGIL MICHEL, U.S. ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ACADEMIC, AND PIONEER OF LITURGICAL RENEWAL

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyrs

Blessed Thomas Percy, Blessed Richard Kirkman, and Blessed William Lacey

triumphed over suffering and were faithful even to death:

Grant us, who now remember them in thanksgiving,

to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world,

that we may receive with them the crown of life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 51:1-12

Psalm 116 or 116:1-8

Revelation 7:13-17

Luke 12:2-12

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 714

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Feast of the Baptisms of Manteo and Virginia Dare, 1587 (August 17)   2 comments

Above:  Stamp of Virginia Dare and Her Parents

Image in the Public Domain

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MANTEO (BAPTIZED AUGUST 13, 1587)

VIRGINIA DARE (BORN AUGUST 18, 1587; BAPTIZED AUGUST 20, 1587)

In The Episcopal Church we have a calendar of saints.  The current guide to that calendar is A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016), which includes saints added at the General Convention of 2015.  That volume includes this feast, which originated as a commemoration in the Diocese of East Carolina, the website of which includes an icon of Manteo and Virginia Dare.

Roanoke Island, off the coast of what is now North Carolina, was the site of the first English colony in North America.  The mapping expedition spent part of 1584 there.  That expedition met Manteo, an indigenous leader, who traveled to London, learned English, and became an intermediary.  The first colony lived on the island in 1585-1586.  Manteo helped it survive, but the colonists returned to England anyway.  He arrived with the second group of colonists (120 people) on August 3, 1587.  Ten days later, on a Sunday, Manteo became a baptized Christian in the first Anglican baptismal service in North America.  He was the first indigenous American baptized according to The Book of Common Prayer (1559).

The governor of the second colony was John White (d. 1593).  He became a grandfather on August 18, when his daughter, Eleanor White Dare, gave birth to Virginia Dare, the first child born to English settlers in North America.  Eleanor and her husband Ananias Dare presented Virginia for baptism on Sunday, August 20.  This was the second recorded Anglican baptism in North America.  A few days later White sailed for England, to seek necessary supplies.  A round trip that was to supposed to last a few months stretched into nearly three years, due mainly to King Philip II of Spain and his Grand Armada in 1588.  When the English government turned its attention to the struggling colony at Roanoke Island, time had run out.  White returned on August 18, 1590, but found no colony.  The second colony had become the “Lost Colony.”

If subsequent stories about blue-eyed Natives in the area were plausible, the fate of the “Lost Colony” has not been a mystery for a long time.

This feast’s collect, which uses language from the baptismal rites from The Book of Common Prayer (1979), challenges us to honor God’s

gift of diversity in human life.

We do not know the fates of Manteo, Virginia Dare, her parents, and the other colonists, but we can affirm, in the words of a familiar song,

Red and yellow, black and white,

they are precious in his sight.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 21, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALOYSIUS GONZAGA, JESUIT

THE FEAST OF BERNARD ADAM GRUBE, GERMAN-AMERICAN MINISTER, MISSIONARY, COMPOSER, AND MUSICIAN

THE FEAST OF CARL BERNHARD GARVE, GERMAN MORAVIAN MINISTER, LITURGIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOHN JONES AND JOHN RIGBY, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS

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O God, you have created every human being in your image, and each one precious in your sight:

Grant that, in remembering the baptisms of Manteo and Virginia Dare,

we may grow in honoring your gift of diversity in human life;

become stronger in living out our baptismal vow to respect the dignity of every human being;

and bring into the fellowship of the risen Christ those who come to him in faith,

baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 or Ezekiel 36:24-28

Psalm 16:5-11

Romans 6:3-11

Mark 10:35-45

A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016)

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Feast of St. Camillus de Lellis (July 14)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Camillus de Lellis

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT CAMILLUS DE LELLIS (MAY 25, 1550-JULY 14, 1614)

Italian Roman Catholic Priest and Founder of the Ministers of the Sick

Alternative feast day = July 18

The life of St. Camillus de Lellis was an example of repentance–turning one’s back to one’s sins.  St. Camillus had been a mercenary, a gambler, and a con man.  He, born into nobility at Bocchiavico, Abruzzi, Kingdom of Naples, on May 25, 1550, was the only child of Giovanni and Camilla de Lellis.  Giovanni, a mercenary, was usually away from home.  Young Camillus was out of control.  He was impious, he skipped school, he got into fights frequently, and he intimidated his mother so much that she was terrified of him.  Camilla died when her son was 13 years old.  Relatives who raised St. Camillus for the next four years could not control him either.  For a few years father and son were a team of mercenaries.  St. Camillus drank too much, had a foul mouth, and was promiscuous.  He and his father, gamblers, conned their fellow mercenaries.

Giovanni’s deathbed conversion made a fleeting impression on St. Camillus, who had an uncle, a Franciscan friar at Aquila.  When St. Camillus petitioned to become a friar at Aquila, the friars rejected him, citing his immaturity.  They were perceptive; immediately he resumed gambling.  After St. Camillus suffered an injury that resulted in an ulcerated ankle and leg that did not heal for a while, he could not work as a mercenary, so he became a professional gambler.  The brothers who operated the Hospital of San Giacomo, Rome, permitted St. Camillus to work in the wards and receive room and board in exchange for medical care; it was a common arrangement.  Alas, he was still gambling, so the brothers expelled him from the hospital.  St. Camillus resumed work as a mercenary and a professional gambler until he lost everything.  He, 24 years old, was begging for alms at the church door in Manfredonia.

That was a turning point.  At the church door St. Camillus accepted an offer to work as an assistant to construction workers building the new local monastery.  There, in 1575, a monk converted St. Camillus.  After the completion of that construction project our saint returned to the Hospital of San Giacomo, Rome, where the brothers gave him a second chance.

At the hospital, where St. Camillus helped poor people, he arrived at another turning point.  He met St. Philip Neri (1515-1595), the “Apostle of Rome.”  Neri, who frequently heard as many as 40 confessions before dawn, became the spiritual director of St. Camillus.  Meanwhile, St. Camillus was formulating ideas about how to operate a hospital for poor people better.  With Neri’s help St. Camillus became a priest in 1584.  The relationship between the two saints ended because St. Camillus refused to follow Neri’s advice.  St. Camillus had moved into a rented home in a seedy neighborhood of Rome and opened a hospital there.  Neri, concerned that St. Camillus would relapse into sinful habits, thought this was a bad idea.  He urged St. Camillus to return to San Giacomo.  When St. Camillus rejected the counsel, Neri severed ties to him.  St. Camillus did not relapse, contrary to Neri’s concerns.

St. Camillus founded a new order, the Ministers of the Sick, made official in 1591.  Our saint and other members of the order, not content to give patients a comfortable and clean place to die, tried to cure them.  St. Camillus recognized Christ in those to whom he tended.  One day, while our saint was helping a patient, a Cardinal visited.  St. Camillus, informed of the Cardinal’s arrival, said,

For the moment I am with Our Lord; I will see His Eminence when I have done.

St. Camillus spent more than half his life serving Christ in poor, sick people.  Nevertheless, as he lay dying, St. Camillus was concerned about his abandoned sins.  He told a confessor,

Pray for me, for I have been a great sinner, a gambler, and a man of bad life.

St. Camillus, assured of divine pardon, died with his arms stretched out, his body in the form of a cross.  He died, aged 74 years, in Genoa, on July 14, 1614.

Pope Benedict XIV beatified St. Camillus in 1742 then canonized him four years later.

St. Camillus is the patron saint of nurses, sick people, and Abruzzi, Italy.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 13, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF HENRI DOMINIQUE LACORDAIRE, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, DOMINICAN, AND ADVOCATE FOR THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE

THE FEAST OF FRANCES PERKINS, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF LABOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT GAMMA OF GORIAO SICOLI, ITALIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC ANCHORESS

THE FEAST OF SYLVESTER II, BISHOP OF ROME

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O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served, and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

and rest to the weary,

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

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

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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Feast of Blesseds Thomas Sprott and Thomas Hunt (July 11)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED THOMAS SPROTT (CIRCA 1571-EARLY JULY 1600)

English Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr

Alternative feast day (as one of the Martyrs of Douai) = October 29

Alternative feast day (as one of the Martyrs of England, Scotland, and Wales) = November 22

arrested with

BLESSED THOMAS HUNT (CIRCA 1573-JULY 11, 1600)

English Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr

Alternative feast day (as one of the Martyrs of England, Scotland, and Wales) = November 22

Being a Roman Catholic priest in England used to be dangerous, sometimes to the point of death.  The charge in court was treason, the verdict was guilty, and the form of execution was hanging, drawing, and quartering.

Blessed Thomas Sprott, born in Skelsmergh, Cumbria, England, circa 1571, studied for the priesthood at Douai, France.  He, ordained in 1596, returned to his homeland.

Blessed Thomas Hunt, born in Norfolk, England, circa 1573, studied at the Royal College of St. Alban, Vallodolid, Spain, then the English College of St. Gregory, Seville, Spain.  He, ordained in 1599, returned to his homeland.

Hunt’s priesthood was brief.  Soon after he arrived in England authorities arrested him.  Hunt, apprehended with Sprott at Lincoln, escaped, enjoying freedom briefly, until authorities arrested him again.  Both priests died at Lincoln in early July 1600.

Pope John Paul II declared the priests Venerables in 1986 then Blesseds the following year.

Theological dissent does not equal treason, regardless of the theologies of the dissenters and the authorities.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 10, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE ASCENSION

THE FEAST OF SAINT ENRICO RUBUSCHINI, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND SERVANT OF THE SICK; AND HIS MENTOR, SAINT LUIGI GUANELLA, FOUNDER OF THE DAUGHTERS OF SAINT MARY OF PROVIDENCE, THE SERVANTS OF CHARITY, AND THE CONFRATERNITY OF SAINT JOSEPH

THE FEAST OF ANNA LAETITIA WARING, HUMANITARIAN AND HYMN WRITER; AND HER UNCLE, SAMUEL MILLER WARING, HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT IVAN MERZ, CROATIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC INTELLECTUAL

THE FEAST OF JOHN GOSS, ANGLICAN CHURCH COMPOSER AND ORGANIST; AND WILLIAM MERCER, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

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Almighty God, who gave to your servants Blessed Thomas Sprott and Blessed Thomas Hunt

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

and courage to die 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 of 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), 713

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Feast of Blesseds Ralph Milner, Roger Dickinson, and Lawrence Humphrey (July 7)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED RALPH MILNER

BLESSED ROGER DICKINSON 

BLESSED LAWRENCE HUMPHREY

English Roman Catholic Martyrs, July 7, 1591

Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), that great English conservative, debater, moralist, and linguist, was correct when he asserted,

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

National security has long been a justification scoundrels have cited when appealing to a perverted variety of patriotism to justify the morally unjustifiable.  In the process, so much for freedom!

Consider the aftermath of the failed Spanish attempt to invade and conquer the British Isles in 1688, O reader.  Also consider the then-recent religious politics of the English Reformation, with some Roman Catholics becoming martyrs during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Elizabeth I, and some Anglicans and Protestants experiencing persecution (sometimes to the point of martyrdom) during the reign of “Bloody” Mary I (1553-1558).

“Live and let live” would have been an appropriate religious policy for the English government to follow.  Alas, simply being caught being a Roman Catholic priest in England was, for a time, sufficient for a charge of treason, usually punishable by hanging, drawing, and quartering.

Ralph Milner had long been a conventional Anglican.  He, born in Flacsted, Hants, was a farmer, a husband, and the father of eight children.  Lives of Roman Catholics in his region convinced Milner to convert to Roman Catholicism.  That decision changed his life, for there was no policy of religious toleration.  On the day Milner was to make his first communion as a Catholic authorities arrested him.  Milner was a prisoner for the rest of his life.  Nevertheless, he became such a trusted prisoner that the spent much time on parole and held the keys to the jail.  Milner helped other Catholic inmates and aided priests.  For a time he escorted Father Thomas Stanney (1558-1617), who, after expulsion from England, transferred to Belgium.  Then Milner escorted Father Roger Dickinson, a native of Lincoln.

Father Dickinson, who studied at Rheims, risked his life for his faith.  He, sent to England in 1583, served in Hampshire until arrest and exile.  He returned to England anyway, and served in Worcestershire.  Authorities arrested Milner and Dickinson together.  Milner even rejected the pleas of his children and an offer to spare his life if he attended Anglican services.

The third martyr on July 7, 1591, was Lawrence Humphrey, a convert to Roman Catholicism.  He, while in a fever-induced delirium, had denounced Queen Elizabeth I as a heretic.  Humphrey, when recovered, stated that he had no memory of making that statement.  Nevertheless, his offense was legally and politically sufficient to send him to a horrible death.

The fate of these three men at Winchester on July 7, 1591, was hanging, drawing, and quartering–certainly a Foucaultian form of execution, as well as excessive.  The men were innocent of treason, after all.  Besides, the form of execution was excessive, even for actual traitors.  Then there was the moral question of execution by any method.

Pope Pius XI beatified these martyrs, killed because of religious bigotry and fears related to national security, in 1929.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 9, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS STEFAN AND KAZIMIERZ GRELEWSKI, POLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND MARTYRS,  1941 AND 1942

THE FEAST OF DIETRICH BUXTEHUDE, LUTHERAN ORGANIST AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF DOROTHY DAY AND PETER LAURIN, COFOUNDERS OF THE CATHOLIC WORKER MOVEMENT

THE FEAST OF THOMAS TOKE LYNCH, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyrs

Blessed Ralph Milner,

Blessed Roger Dickinson, 

and Blessed Lawrence Humphrey,

triumphed over suffering and were faithful even to death:

Grant us, who now remember them in thanksgiving,

to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world,

that we may receive with them the crown of life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 51:1-12

Psalm 116 or 116:1-8

Revelation 7:13-17

Luke 12:2-12

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 714

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Feast of John Gerard and Mary Ward (June 28)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of England

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHN GERARD (OCTOBER 4, 1564-JULY 27, 1637)

English Jesuit Priest

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MARY WARD (JANUARY 23, 1586-JUNE 23, 1645)

Foundress of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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John Gerard and Mary Ward come to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days via Robert Ellsberg, All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (New York:  The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1997), where they have separate feast days.

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JOHN GERARD, S.J.

John Gerard was a Jesuit priest.  He, born in Derbyshire, England, on October 4, 1564, joined the Society of Jesus in August 1588, at the at the age of 23 years.  The young priest returned to his homeland later that year.  For years, due to his knowledge of hunting and falconry, Gerard passed as a country gentleman.  Meanwhile he worked as an underground priest, saying Masses for Roman Catholic members of the gentry and those who worshiped in their homes.  Our saint did this while evading priest hunters until 1594, when authorities arrested him.  Our saint, treated harshly–even tortured–then became a prisoner in the Tower of London in 1597.  Later that year he escaped from that prison and went on the lam until 1606.

The Gunpowder Plot (1605) backfired on a few guilty and a host of innocent Roman Catholics.  It was a failed conspiracy to blow up the Houses of Parliament.  Gerard was a friend and a priest to some of the conspirators, but none of them told him of the plot.  Nevertheless, there was an arrest warrant with his name on it.  Also, authorities doubled down on the persecution of Roman Catholics.  On orders of his superiors Gerard escaped in 1606.  On May 3 of that year our saint left England when he posed as a retainer of the Spanish Ambassador.

Gerard landed in Flanders, where he became the Jesuit superior.  By 1620 he had become the novice-master at Liege.  He lost that position that year due to his advocacy for Mary Ward.

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MARY WARD

Mary Ward was a woman who suffered for her faith at the hands of both the Roman Catholic Church and The Church of England.  She, born on January 23, 1586, came from Roman Catholic gentry.  Her family hosted underground priests and illegal Masses.  Ward, discerning a vocation to become a nun, rejected all opportunities to marry.  She, smuggled out of England, made her way to Belgium.  There, in 1606, she reluctantly obey a bishop’s order to become a lay sister (servant) to a Poor Clares community instead.

Conventional methods were not for Ward, however.  She discerned a vocation to found a new order of nuns–the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Before Ward could do that, however, she visited England clandestinely.  Our saint assisted priests saying illegal Masses in homes.  She also visited incarcerated priests.  Eventually authorities captured, imprisoned, and sentenced Ward to death, before exiling her instead.

Ward, back in Europe, founded her new order, with papal permission.  The free schools for girls were not controversial, but the lack of episcopal supervision was.  Were women not supposed to be under male supervision?  In 1631 the Church suppressed the order, which had yet to receive papal recognition.  Ward spent a brief term as a prisoner of Holy Mother Church; she was allegedly a heretic and a schismatic.

Ward, her health broken and her vocation destroyed, returned to England, despite the great risks (such as incarceration, torture, and death) of doing so.  She died, aged 59 years, at York on June 23, 1645.

Pope Clement XI confirmed the rule of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1703.

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JOHN GERARD, S.J.

Gerard, a confessor at the Jesuit college in Rome, died in the Eternal City on July 27, 1637.  He was 72 years old.

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John Gerard and Mary Ward deserve recognition on multiple calendars of saints.  Robert Ellsberg has done a fine job by adding them to his calendar in All Saints.  I follow his example (except by merging the feasts) gladly here.  Hopefully ecclesiastical organizations will formally recognize Gerard and Ward in years to come.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 6, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCUS AURELIUS CLEMENS PRUDENTIUS, POET AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS MATEO CORREA-MAGALLANES AND MIGUEL AGUSTIN PRO, MEXICAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND MARTYRS

THE FEAST OF SAINT VEDAST (VAAST), ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF ARRAS AND CAMBRAI

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM BOYCE AND JOHN ALCOCK, ANGLICAN COMPOSERS

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Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses:

Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servants

John Gerard and Mary Ward,

may persevere in running the race that is set before us,

until at last we may with them attain to your eternal joy;

through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,

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

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 15

Hebrews 12:1-2

Matthew 25:31-40

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 724

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Feast of St. Jose de Anchieta (June 9)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. José de Anchieta

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT JOSÉ DE ANCHIETA Y DIAZ DE CHAVIGO (MARCH 19, 1534-JUNE 9, 1597)

Apostle of Brazil and Father of Brazilian National Literature

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You must come with a bag-full of virtues.

–St. José de Anchieta’s advice to missionary priests

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I like the Great Man (and Woman) School of History, for people who did not do anything noteworthy do not interest me.  Those who made a mark, however, deserve attention.

St. José de Anchieta was such a man.  He, born in San Cristobal de la Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands, on March 19, 1534, came from a prominent and wealthy family.  He, educated in Portugal, joined the Society of Jesus at the age of 17 years, in 1551.  The order dispatched our saint to Brazil; he arrived on July 13, 1553.  In that Portuguese colony our saint made many marks.

St. José’s legacy in Brazil has survived.  He cofounded the city of São Paulo as a mission on the Feast of St. Paul the Apostle in 1554.  Eleven years later he helped to found Rio de Janeiro, in full, São Sebastiãno de Rio de Janeiro, named in honor of St. Sebastian.  The Apostle of Brazil, a man in constant pain for 44 years due to a dislocated Spain, mastered the language of the Tupi people, who lived near São Paulo, and spent 20 years writing a grammar and a dictionary of that tongue.  He became the Father of Brazilian National Literature due to his plays, which he wrote in Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, and Tupi; these were the first Brazilian plays.

Our saint had a fine memory.  For five months he was a hostage of the Tamoyo people.  He, with plenty of time on his hands yet lacking writing tools, wrote a Latin poem in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the sand and memorized all 4,172 lines of the text.  After his captivity ended Anchieta wrote the poem on paper.

Anchieta, from 1577 the Jesuit provincial, was a man of zeal, intellect, and many virtues.  He applied all of these in Brazil from 1553 to 1597, when he died, aged 63 years, in Reritgba, now renamed Anchieta.

The Roman Catholic Church has recognized our saint.  Pope Pius VI declared Anchieta a Venerable in 1786.  Pope John Paul II made him a Blessed in 1980.  Finally, in 2014, Pope Francis canonized our saint.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 18, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE CONFESSION OF SAINT PETER THE APOSTLE

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Saint José de Anchieta,

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

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), page 716

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