Archive for the ‘Saints of the 1730s’ Category

Feast of Isaac Watts (November 25)   6 comments

Above:  Isaac Watts

Image in the Public Domain

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ISAAC WATTS (JULY 17, 1675-NOVEMBER 25, 1748)

English Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer

Church of England, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada feast day = November 25

Episcopal Church feast day = November 26

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His dying crimson, like a Robe,

Spreads o’er His Body on the Tree;

Then I am dead to all the Globe,

And all the Globe is dead to me.

–Isaac Watts (1707); the usually omitted verse of “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross;” quoted in Armin Haeussler, The Story of Our Hymns:  The Handbook to the Hymnal of the Evangelical and Reformed Church (St. Louis, MO:  Eden Publishing House, 1952), 213

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Isaac Watts was one of the greatest hymn writers in the English-speaking world.

Watts, born in Southampton, England, on July 17, 1675, came from a family of religious dissenters.  His father, Isaac (Sr.), spent time in prison due to religious opinions.  Our saint, well-educated from an early age, mastered Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.  His religious affiliation prevented him from attending Cambridge or Oxford, however.  Watts, therefore, attended and graduated from the academy at Stoke Newington (now in London).  Starting in 1702, he spent a decade as minister at Mark Lane Chapel, London.

Watts suffered from bad health most of his life.  Failing health forced him to leave active ministry in 1712.  Our saint lived in the household of the Abney family for 36 years.  He could do little more than write, which he did.  Watts wrote books about language, theology, and logic.  He also composed more than 600 hymns and helped to facilitate the transition from metrical psalms to hymns.

Hymns by Watts include:

  1. “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross;”
  2. “Joy to the World;”
  3. “Jesus Shall Reign;” and
  4. “O God, Our Hope in Ages Past.”

Watts died at Stoke Newington, England, on November 25, 1748.  She was 73 years old.

Many of his hymns continue to nourish faith, fortunately.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 19, 2019 COMMON ERA

GOOD FRIDAY

THE FEAST OF SAINTS MURIN OF FAHAN, LASERIAN OF LEIGHLIN, GOBAN OF PICARDIE, FOILLAN OF FOSSES, AND ULTAN OF PERONNE, ABBOTS; AND FURSEY OF PERONNE AND BLITHARIUS OF SEGANNE, MONKS

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALPHEGE, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT EMMA OF LESUM, BENEFACTOR

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS PETRI SWEDISH LUTHERAN THEOLOGIAN, HISTORIAN, LITURGIST, MINISTER, HYMN WRITER, HYMN TRANSLATOR, AND “FATHER OF SWEDISH LITERATURE;” AND HIS BROTHER, LAURENTIUS PETRI, SWEDISH LUTHERAN ARCHBISHOP OF UPPSALA, BIBLE TRANSLATOR, AND “FATHER OF SWEDISH HYMNODY”

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God of truth and grace, you gave Isaac Watts singular gifts to present your praise in verse,

that he might write psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs for your Church:

Give us grace joyfully to sing your praises now and in the life to come;

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with

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

1 Chronicles 16:1-6

Psalm 108:1-6

Colossians 3:12-17

Luke 18:35-43

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 705

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Feast of Samuel Seabury (November 14)   5 comments

Above:  Samuel Seabury, by Ralph Eleaser Whiteside Earl

Image in the Public Domain

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SAMUEL SEABURY, JR. (NOVEMBER 30, 1729-FEBRUARY 25, 1796)

First Episcopal Bishop

Episcopal Bishop of Connecticut and Rhode Island

Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church

Keeping track of the calendar of the calendar of saints in The Episcopal Church used to be simple; one consulted the calendar in the front of The Book of Common Prayer.  The calendar of saints was not expansive for a very long time.  Then, in the 1960s, the Church introduced Lesser Feasts and Fasts, revised occasionally then, in the 1980s through the early 2000s, revised and expanded every three years.  For example, Lesser Feasts and Fasts 1997 (1998) gave way to Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2000 (2001), replaced by Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2003 (2004), succeeded by Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2006 (2007), the official calendar of saints for more than a decade.  The General Convention of 2009 authorized a greatly expanded side calendar of saints, Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010).  The General Convention of 2015 authorized that volume’s expanded and revised volume, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016).  Last year’s General Convention authorized Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, the new official calendar, without removing A Great Cloud of Witnesses (2016).

This feast has two names in The Episcopal Church.  It is, according to Lesser Feasts and Fasts, the Feast of “the Consecration of Samuel Seabury, 1784.”  However, in Holy Women, Holy Men and in A Great Cloud of Witnesses, this is the Feast of “Samuel Seabury, First American Bishop, 1796.”

At least four Samuel Seaburys lived.  Samuel Seabury, Sr. (1706-1764), was our saint’s father.  Samuel Seabury, Jr. (1729-1796), was the bishop.  Samuel Seabury, III, was one of the sons of Samuel, Jr.  Samuel Seabury, IV (1801-1872), an Episcopal priest, was a grandson of Samuel, Jr., a nephew of Samuel, III, and a son of Charles Seabury, also a priest.

Our saint, born in Groton, Connecticut, on November 30, 1729, was a son of Abigail Mumford (Seabury) and Samuel Seabury, Sr. (1706-1764), then a Congregationalist minister.  The father, a convert to Anglicanism in 1731, served in parishes in Connecticut.  Samuel, Jr., who graduated from Yale College in 1748, became a catechist with the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel via his father.

Our saint was a minister and a physician.  After studying medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1752-1753, he became a deacon in 1753 then a priest on December 21 of that year.  Two days later, the Bishop of London licensed Seabury to preach in New Jersey.  Our saint arrived in New Brunswick, New Jersey, on May 25, 1754.  He transferred to Jamaica, New York, in 1757, then to Westchester, New York, in 1766.  In Westchester he was also a doctor and a schoolmaster.  He served in that town until 1775.

Seabury was a Loyalist and an advocate for having Anglican bishops in North America.  Both of these opinions were politically controversial.  His allies in both causes included Thomas Bradbury Chandler (1726-1790) and Charles Inglis (1734-1816).  Chandler was a prime candidate to the first bishop of The Church in England in North America, but failing health prevented him from accepting that post.  That duty fell to Inglis, who became the Bishop of Nova Scotia, with a vast diocese encompassing British North America and Bermuda, in 1787.  In Westchester Seabury wrote his Loyalist opinions under the pen name “A.W, Farmer,” short for “A Westchester Farmer,” and conducted a written debate with Alexander Hamilton.  Seabury’s political position led to his arrest by rebels in November 1775.

Seabury, once released, served behind British lines on Long Island.  He tended to the spiritual and medical needs of British soldiers there.  Oxford University awarded our saint a Doctor of Divinity degree for his loyalty to the British Empire on December 15, 1777.  The following year, Seabury became the chaplain to the King’s American Regiment.  After the war, our saint began to collect a pension from the British government.  He continued to receive this pension until he died.  The British pension gave many Americans a reason to distrust Seabury.

The Church of England in the United States needed to reorganize itself and to separate from the mother church to survive and thrive.  Three bishops were necessary, though, and British law did not allow for bishops of The Church of England to consecrate a bishop who refused to swear loyalty to the monarch.  On March 25, 1783, ten of fourteen Anglican clergymen in Connecticut gathered to choose a bishop.  Their first choice was Jeremiah Learning, who, citing age and health concerns, declined.  Then they elected Seabury.  He arrived in England on July 5, 1783.  After no bishops of The Church of England agreed to consecrate him, Seabury traveled to Scotland, where non-juring bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church consecrated him on November 14, 1784.

Seabury, who returned to the United States in late June 1785, immediately began to exercise his office, arch eyebrows, and make allies and enemies.  Meanwhile, William White (1747-1836), the Rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the chaplain of the Confederation Congress, and before that the chaplain of the Second Continental Congress, was trying to organize the American church.  Seabury presided over the first convention of the Diocese of Connecticut on August 3-5, 1785.  He ordained four deacons, including one for Maryland.  Our saint did not attend the General Convention White called in Philadelphia the following month.  Seabury and White disagreed on polity; the former resisted a laity with what he considered too much power, and the latter sought to grant much power to the laity.  Seabury also disapproved of White’s proposed Book of Common Prayer.  Seabury published his Communion Office, based on the Scottish liturgy, in 1786.  In 1785-1786 Seabury was the only American bishop.  In that capacity he ordained men for service beyond Connecticut.  This disturbed many, some of whom questioned the legitimacy of Seabury’s consecration.  White moved to restrict our saint’s authority to his diocese.

Meanwhile, a change in British law in 1787 permitted bishops of The Church of England to consecrate bishops for the United States.  Samuel Provoost (the only non-Loyalist priest in New York) and William White became the first Bishops of New York and Pennsylvania, respectively.  Provoost did not speak to Seabury, and, for a time, neither did White.

Seabury and White were the main founders of The Episcopal Church in 1789.  They made the compromises necessary for the creation of one denomination, not two.  Seabury beat back Congregationalism (strongest in the South) and made his peace with a somewhat empowered laity.  His Communion Office also influenced the Eucharistic rites in The Book of Common Prayer (1789).  Our saint also served as the Presiding Bishop in 1789-1792.  Seabury, who also doubled as the Bishop of Rhode Island from 1790 to 1796, ruled his roost.  He styled himself,

…by Divine permission Bishop of Connecticut.

Seabury died in New London, Connecticut, on February 25, 1796.  He was 66 years old.  His wife, Mary Hicks, born in 1736, had died in 1780.

Seabury was ahead of his time sacramentally in one way.  He argued for the weekly Sunday celebration of the Holy Communion.  That did not become commonplace in The Episcopal Church until the 1960s and 1970s, a time of liturgical renewal.  Our saint would have approved of the definition of the Holy Eucharist as

the central act of Christian worship,

according to The Book of Common Prayer (1979).

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 28, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THOMAS BINNEY, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, LITURGIST, AND “ARCHBISHOP OF NONCONFORMITY”

THE FEAST OF ANDREW REED, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, HUMANITARIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF ANNA JULIA HAYWOOD COOPER AND ELIZABETH EVELYN WRIGHT, AFRICAN-AMERICAN EDUCATORS

THE FEAST OF ELIZABETH C. CLEPHANE, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN HYMN WRITER

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Eternal God, you blessed your servant Samuel Seabury with the gift

of perseverance to renew the Anglican inheritance in North America:

Grant that, joined together in unity with our bishops and nourished by your holy Sacraments,

we may proclaim the Gospel of redemption with apostolic zeal;

through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with

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

Isaiah 63:7-9

Psalm 133

Acts 20:28-32

Matthew 9:35-38

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 679

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We give you thanks, O Lord our God, for your goodness in

bestowing upon this Church the gift of the episcopate,

which we celebrate in this remembrance of the consecration of Samuel Seabury;

and we pray that, joined in unity with our bishops and nourished by your holy Sacraments,

we may proclaim the Gospel of redemption with apostolic zeal;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

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

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Feast of St. Paul of the Cross (October 20)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Paul of the Cross

Image in the Public Domain

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PAOLO FRANCESCO DANEI (JANUARY 3, 1694-OCTOBER 18, 1775

Founder of the Congregation of Discaled Clerks of the Most Holy Cross and Passion (the Passionists)

Alternative feast day = October 18

Former feast day = April 28

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He who truly loves God regards as little what he suffers for God’s sake.

–St. Paul of the Cross

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St. Paul of the Cross spent most of his life serving God.

Our saint, son of Anna Maria Massari and merchant Luca Danei, grew up in a pious family.  St. Paul, born in Ovada, Piedmont (now Italy), on January 3, 1694, had a dedication to the Blessed Sacrament, St. Mary of Nazareth, and the Passion of Jesus.  He, who spent half a century praying for the conversion of England, founded the Congregation of Discaled Clerks of the Most Holy Cross and Passion (the Passionists) in 1721, when he was still a layman.  Pope Benedict XIII ordained St. Paul to the priesthood in 1727.  Pope Benedict XIV approved the rule of the order, focused on preaching Christ crucified, in 1741.  Our saint, who founded many missions, served (against his will) as the first Superior General of the order from 1741 until his death.  He, aged 81 years, died in Rome on October 18, 1775.

Pope Pius IX beatified St. Paul in 1852 then canonized him in 1867.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 12, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE ELEVENTH DAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAINT JANE FRANCES DE CHANTAL, FOUNDRESS OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE VISITATION

THE FEAST OF ALICIA DOMON AND HER COMPANIONS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS IN ARGENTINA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS BARTHOLOMEW BUONPEDONI AND VIVALDUS, MINISTERS AMONG LEPERS

THE FEAST OF SAINT LUDWIK BARTOSIK, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR

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Almighty God, whose will it is to be glorified in your saints,

and who raise up your servant Saint Paul of the Cross to be a light in the world:

Shine, we pray, in our hearts, that we also in our generation may show forth your praise,

who called us out of darkness into your marvelous light;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 49:1-6

Psalm 98 or 98:1-4

Acts 17:22-31

Matthew 28:16-20

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 717

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Feast of Antonio Vivaldi (July 28)   Leave a comment

Above:  Antonio Vivaldi

Image in the Public Domain

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ANTONIO LUCIO VIVALDI (MARCH 4, 1679-JULY 28, 1741)

Italian Roman Catholic Priest, Composer, and Violinist

“The Red Priest”

The volume of Antonio Vivaldi‘s output as a composer is staggering, but biographical information is much less plentiful.  (The catalog of our saint, who influenced Johann Sebastian Bach, includes concerti (including The Four Seasons), various choral works (many of them sacred), and about 40 operas.

Vivaldi came from a musical family.  He, born in Venice on March 4, 1679, first studied music under his father, Giovanni Battista Vivaldi, a violinist at St. Mark’s, Venice.  Our saint, apparently a redhead, studied music under Giovanni Legrenzi.

Vivaldi, from March 1703 a priest, spent much of his time traveling in Europe.  From 1703 to 1740 he had an association with the Ospedale della Pietà, a home for abandoned girls.  The institution had one of the finest orchestras in Italy.  Vivaldi composed hundreds of works for that orchestra.  The asthmatic priest and violin virtuoso traveled, though, spending 1719-1722 in Vienna and 1737-1738 in Amsterdam, for example.  By 1735 Vivaldi was back in Venice as the maestro di concerti at the Ospedale for a second time, but he was back in Verona two years later.  Frequently over the years Vivaldi visited Venice, where he produced many operas.  He returned to Vienna in 1740 to seek employment in the imperial court.  Vivaldi, aged 64 years, died in that city on July 28, 1741.

Vivaldi’s musical legacy continues to enrich the world, fortunately.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 10, 2018 COMMON ERA

PROPER 5:  THE THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES OF NISIBIS, BISHOP; AND SAINT EPHREM OF EDESSA, “THE HARP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT”

THE FEAST OF SAINTS GETULIUS, AMANTIUS, CAERAELIS, AND PRIMITIVUS, MARTYRS AT TIVOLI, 12O; AND SAINT SYMPHOROSA OF TIVOLI, MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT LANDERICUS OF PARIS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF THOR MARTIN JOHNSON, U.S. MORAVIAN CONDUCTOR AND MUSIC DIRECTOR

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Almighty God, beautiful in majesty, majestic in holiness:

You have shown us the splendor of creation in the work of your servant Antonio Vivaldi.

Teach us to drive from the world all chaos and disorder,

that our eyes may behold your glory,

and that at last everyone may know the inexhaustible richness of your new creation in Jesus Christ our Lord,

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

Isaiah 28:5-6 or Hosea 14:5-8 or 2 Chronicles 20:20-21

Psalm 96

Philippians 4:8-9 or Ephesians 5:18b-20

Matthew 13:44-52

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 61

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Feast of the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne (July 17)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne

Image in the Public Domain

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CARMELITE MARTYRS OF COMPIÈGNE

Died in Paris, France, on July 17, 1794

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I forgive you as heartily as I wish God to forgive me.

–The last words of Blessed Marie-Anne Piedcourt at the guillotine in Paris, July 17, 1794

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For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.

–Matthew 7:2, The New American Bible–Revised Edition (2011)

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The French Revolution (1789-1799) was one of the most revolutionary revolutions.  It was certainly one of the bloodiest, especially during its middle phase, the Reign of Terror.  One of the targets of the French Revolution was the Roman Catholic Church, which had supported the absolutist monarchy of the Bourbon Dynasty.

The targeting of the Church entailed overreacting, an unfortunate human tendency.  In 1790 the French government suppressed all religious communities not involved in teaching or nursing.  Members of the suppressed religious communities were to abandon their abbeys and dress as lay people.  In 1794 authorities arrested and convicted sixteen Carmelites from the abbey at Compiègne; they had violated the law and were allegedly enemies of the people and the republic.  The sixteen Carmelites were twelve nuns, two lay women servants, a lay sister, and a novice.  In Paris, on July 17, 1794, they went to the guillotine publicly chanting the Veni Creator Spiritus and renewing their baptismal and religious vows.

The nuns were:

  1. Blessed Angelique Roussell, a.k.a. Sister Marie of the Holy Spirit,; born on August 3, 1742, in Fresne-Mazencourt, Somme; a nun since May 14, 1769;
  2. Blessed Anne Pelras, a.k.a. Sister Mary Henrietta of Providence; born on June 17, 1760, in Carjac; a nun since October 22, 1786;
  3. Blessed Anne-Marie-Madeleine Thouret, a.k.a. Sister Charlotte of the Resurrection; born on September 16, 1715, in Mouy; a nun since August 19, 1740;
  4. Blessed Élisabeth-Julitte Vérolet, a.k.a. Sister Saint Francis Xavier; born on January 13, 1764, in Lignières, Aube; a nun since January 12, 1789;
  5. Blessed Marie Henniset, a.k.a. Sister Thérèse of the Heart of Mary; born on January 18, 1742, in Rheims, Marne; a nun since 1764;
  6. Blessed Marie-Anne Piedcourt; a.k.a. Sister Mary of Jesus Crucified; born on December 9, 1715, in Paris; a nun since 1737;
  7. Blessed Marie-Anne-Françoise Brideau, a.k.a. Mother Saint Louis; Sub-Prioress; born on December 7, 1751, in Belfort;
  8. Blessed Marie-Claude-Cyprienne Brard, a.k.a. Sister Euphrasie of the Immaculate Conception; born in 1736 in Bourth; a nun since 1757;
  9. Blessed Marie-Françoise de Croissy, a.k.a. Mother Henriette of Jesus; Prioress, 1779-1785; born on June 18, 1745, in Paris; a nun since February 22, 1764;
  10. Blessed Marie-Gabrielle Trezel, a.k.a Sister Thérèse of Saint Ignatius; born on April 4, 1743, in Compiègne, Olse; a nun since December 12, 1771;
  11. Blessed Marie-Madeleine-Claudine Lidoine, a.k.a. Mother Thérèse of Saint Augustine; Prioress; born on September 22, 1752, in Paris; a nun since May 1775; and
  12. Blessed Rose-Chretien de Neuville, a.k.a. Sister Julia Louise of Jesus; born in 1741 near Evreax; a nun since 1777.

Blessed Marie-Geneviève Meunier, a.k.a. Sister Constance, born on May 28, 1765, in Saint Denis, had been a novice since December 16, 1788.  She sang the Laudate Dominum as she went to the guillotine.

Blessed Marie Dufour, a.k.a. Sister Saint Martha, born on October 2, 1741, in Bannes, Sarthe, had been a lay sister since 1772.

Two sisters (literally sisters) were lay women among the martyrs.  Blessed Catherine Soiron (born on February 2, 1742) and Blessed Thérèse Soiron (born on January 23, 1748), natives of Compiègne, had handled the cloistered nuns’ business with the outside world since 1772.

Pope St. Pius X declared these women Venerables in 1905 then Blesseds the following year.

Can anyone genuinely doubt the sincerity and holiness of these martyrs?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 18, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MALTBIE DAVENPORT BABCOCK, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, HUMANITARIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN I, BISHOP OF ROME

THE FEAST OF MARY MCLEOD BETHUNE, AFRICAN-AMERICAN EDUCATOR AND SOCIAL ACTIVIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT STANISLAW KUBSKI, POLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyrs

the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne

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 and receive with them the crown on 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 Giovanni Battista Bononcini and Antonio Maria Bononcini (July 8)   1 comment

Above:  Flag of the Duchy of Modena

Image in the Public Domain

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GIOVANNI BATTISTA BONONCINI (JULY 18, 1670-JULY 9, 1747)

Italian Composer and Musician

brother of

ANTONIO MARIA BONONCINI (JUNE 18, 1677-JULY 8, 1726)

Italian Composer and Musician

The Bononcini brothers were composers whose music–much of it sacred–has survived, fortunately.  They were sons and students of Giovanni Maria Battista, a composer and musician at Modena.  Both brothers also studied at Bologna under the renowned Giovanni Paola Colonna.  The Bononcini brothers became cellists and professional musicians.

The professional lives of the brothers overlapped.  From 1690 to 1693 Antonio was a musician in the court of the Cardinal Archbishop of Bologna.  At the same time Giovanni, the maestro di cappella of San Giovanni, Monte, had built a reputation as  a composer of operas.  Giovanni, in Rome from 1692 to 1699, moved to Vienna, where Antonio lived and worked.  Antonio was the kappelmeister in the imperial court from 1705 to 1713.  Giovanni was the court composer from 1700 to 1711.

The brothers parted ways and left Vienna.  Giovanni returned to Italy in 1711; Antonio followed suit two years later.  From 1721 to 1726 Antonio was the maestro di cappella at Modena.  He died, aged 49 years, on July 8, 1726.  Giovanni went to England in 1720; the Royal Academy of Music had invited him.  There he was an artistic rival of George Frederick Handel, whose reputation has proved more enduring.  In London Giovanni saw eight of his operas produced.  He also composed chamber music and works for the harpsichord.  Giovanni’s time in London ended in disgrace.  He left for Paris in 1733, after having submitted a madrigal by Antonio Lotti to the Academy of Ancient Music as if it were a Bononcini composition.  By the late 1740 Giovanni was in Vienna again.  There he composed a Te Deum.  Giovanni died on July 9, 1747, aged 76 years.

Of the two brothers Giovanni was (and remains) the more famous composer.  Antonio composed about 40 cantatas, plus a Stabat Mater, a Salve Regina, at least one mass, and a number of operas.  Giovanni was mainly an operatic composer, with at least 28 operas to his credit.  He also wrote choruses and oratorios, among other compositions.  One of his sacred works was La Conversione de Maddelena.

These are beautiful and inspiring works of music that ennoble those who listen to them.  These are the enduring legacies of talented composers, brothers.

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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Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring

Giovanni Battista Bononcini, Antonio Maria Bononcini,

and all those who with music have filled us with desire and love for you;

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 728

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Feast of Blessed Gennaro Maria Sarnelli (June 30)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Gennaro Maria Sarnelli

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED GENNARO MARIA SARNELLI (SEPTEMBER 12, 1702-JUNE 30, 1744)

Italian Roman Catholic Priest and Missionary to the Vulnerable and Exploited People of Naples

Also known as Blessed Januarius Maria Sarnelli

Blessed Gennaro Maria Sarnelli was a close friend and co-worker of St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787; feast day = August 1).   Their mutual activities included visiting the dying in Naples.

Sarnelli, born in Naples on September 12, 1702, was a civil and a canon lawyer before turning to the priesthood.  While ministering to terminally ill patients our saint discerned a vocation to the priesthood.  He therefore entered seminary.  He, ordained a priest on June 8, 1732, gave his money and possessions to the poor.  The following year Sarnelli joined the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (the Redemptorists), which Liguori had founded in Naples, to work among neglected people, the previous year.  Sarnelli worked with “at risk” youth, teaching them the catechism.  He also helped many women escape prostitution.  This put our saint’s life at risk, for some violent people profited from thusly exploiting women.  Furthermore, Sarnelli ministered to the elderly, the sick, prisoners, and those boys forced to labor at the docks.  Somehow our saint found the time to write more than 30 books on theological, social, and pastoral topics.  (One presumes he also ate and slept, after all.)

Sarnelli, aged 41 years, died in Naples on June 30, 1744.  He had spent his life in service to God, as manifested in the vulnerable and exploited people of Naples.

Pope Pius X declared Sarnelli a Venerable in 1906.  Pope John Paul II beatified our saint in 1996.

The poor will always be with us, Jesus reminds us from the pages of the Bible.  Furthermore, the divine commandment to care for the less fortunate is a timeless one.  How we treat the least of Christ’s brethren is a matter God seems to take seriously, if the Bible is any indication of divine priorities.  I propose that, by this standard, Sarnelli passed the test with flying colors.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 7, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF HELDER CAMARA, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF OLINDA AND RECIFE

THE FEAST OF SAINT ADALBERT NIERYCHLEWSKI, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF MITCHELL J. DAHOOD, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MOSES, APOSTLE TO THE SARACENS

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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,

peace to the troubled,

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), page 60

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