Archive for the ‘Saints of the 1820s’ Category

Feast of St. Jeanne Jugan (August 30)   Leave a comment

Above:  Portrait of St. Jeanne Jugan, by Leon Brune

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT JEANNE JUGAN (OCTOBER 25, 1792-AUGUST 29, 1879)

Foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor

Also known as Sister Marie of the Cross

Her feast transferred from August 29

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Little Sisters, take good care of the aged, for in them you are caring for Christ Himself.

–Saint Jeanne Jugan

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On the Roman Catholic calendar of saints August 29 is the feast of St. Jeanne Jugan.  August 29, on my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, is the day reserved fr the Feast of the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, a Biblical figure.  I therefore transfer Jugan’s feast one day.  Incidentally, August 30 is her feast day in All Saints (1997), by Robert Ellsberg.

There is a certain kind of hagiography I like to write.  It is an account of a determined, industrious person pursuing his or her vocation from God and receiving help from influential people at critical junctures.  Thus the saint succeeds in glorifying God and bringing benefits to many people via the combination of talent, effort, and patronage.  We humans are supposed to help each other become the best people we can be in God, after all.

This is a succinct summary of the life of Michael Faraday (1791-1867), who would not have been a great scientist without help.  He was brilliant and hard-working, but he needed someone to open a proverbial door for him at a crucial moment; he needed for someone to give him his big break.

It is not a summary of the life of St. Jeanne Jugan, however.  No, the story of her life is an account of a saint whom others–one priest, in particular–held back for selfish reasons.

St. Jeanne Jugan knew poverty and menial labor well.  She, born in Cancale, Brittany, France, on October 25, 1792, grew up in a pious, poor family.  Her father, Joseph, was a fisherman who was often at sea.  He died when St. Jeanne was four years old.  Her mother was Marie, a farmer.  Our saint, at the age of 16 years, became a maid.  She accompanied her employer, a Christian woman, on regular visits to poor and sick people.  This inspired St. Jeanne to dedicate her life to God and not to marry.  She resolved to help poor, sick people also.

The 25-year-old St. Jeanne, filled with a sense of mission, gave away her possessions, such as they were, and spent six years serving Christ in the poor at the hospital in Saint Servan.  It was a pious undertaking.  It was also an exhausting commitment.  St. Jeanne returned to life as a domestic servant.  Years passed.

In 1837 the 45-year-old St. Jeanne went to work as a spinner.  She gave her disposable income to the less fortunate.  Our saint also began to go door-to-door, collecting money for the support of impoverished widows.  This led to the founding of the Little Sisters of the Poor in 1843, with St. Jeanne as the superior.  The order expanded its work and increased in membership under her leadership.

The local bishop appointed a new superior general, Father Auguste Le Pailleur.  By 1852 he had seized complete control, rewriting history to depict himself as the actual founder of the Little Sisters of the Poor.  Le Pailler sidelined St. Jeanne, known as Sister Marie of the Cross, who spent the last 27 years of her life as a marginal figure, performing menial labor, in the order she had founded.  She died, aged 88 years, in Saint-Pern, France, on August 29, 1879.  To the end St. Jeanne maintained proper perspective; the mission of the Little Sisters of the Poor was more important than she was.

The Church acknowledged St. Jeanne’s proper place in history posthumously.  Pope John Paul II declared her a Venerable in 1979 then a Blessed in 1982.  Pope Benedict XVI canonized St. Jeanne in 2009.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 5, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTHONY MARY ZACCARIA, FOUNDER OF THE BARNABITES AND THE ANGELIC SISTERS OF SAINT PAUL

THE FEAST OF GEORGE BERNANOS, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC NOVELIST

THE FEAST OF HULDA NIEBUHR, CHRISTIAN EDUCATOR; HER BROTHERS, H. RICHARD NIEBUHR AND REINHOLD NIEBUHR, UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST THEOLOGIANS; AND URSULA NIEBUHR, EPISCOPAL THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPH BOISSEL, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY PRIEST AND MARTYR IN LAOS, 1969

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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 and 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

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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Feast of Blessed Dominic Barberi (August 27)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Tomb of Blessed Dominic Barberi

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED DOMINIC BARBERI (JUNE 22, 1792-AUGUST 27, 1849)

Roman Catholic Apostle to England

Also known as Dominic of the Mother of God

Blessed Dominic Barberi was an important figure in nineteenth-century English Roman Catholic evangelism.  He, born in Viterbo, Italy, on June 22, 1792, came from a poor farming family.  Our saint, an orphan at the age of eight years, spent the rest of his youth in the household of an aunt and uncle, also farmers, in Merlano.  As a youth Barberi met and prayed with Passionist priests in exile from Napoleon Bonaparte’s regime.  In that context our saint discerned a missionary vocation.  Thus, in 1814, Barberi avoided an arranged marriage by one day when he ran away and joined the Passionists (in full the Congregation of Discaled Clerks of the Most Holy Cross and Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ), as Dominic of the Mother of God.

This was Barberi’s vocation.  He, a quick student of theology and philosophy, joined the ranks of priests in Rome on March 1, 1821.  Some of our saint’s theological writings proved controversial.  He, for example, favored melding science and philosophy in such a way as to affirm the value of science.  Barberi, who learned English, helped to found the first Passionist presence outside Italy–in Belgium–in 1833.

Barberi arrived in England in 1842.  There, in 1845, he received Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890) into the Roman Catholic Church.  Two years later Barberi received former Anglican priest George Spencer (1799-1864) into the Passionist order as Father Ignatius of Saint Paul.  In Rome, in 1832, Barberi had converted Spencer to Roman Catholicism.

Barberi died of a heart attack in Reading, Berkshire, England, on August 27, 1849.  He was 57 years old.

Pope Pius XI declared Barberi a Venerable in 1937.  Pope Paul VI beatified our saint in 1963.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 4, 2018 COMMON ERA

INDEPENDENCE DAY (U.S.A.)

THE FEAST OF SAINTS ADALBERO AND ULRIC OF AUGSBURG, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS

THE FEAST OF SAINT ELIZABETH OF PORTUGAL, QUEEN AND PEACEMAKER

THE FEAST OF SAINT PIER GIORGIO FRASSATI, ITALIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC SERVANT OF THE POOR AND OPPONENT OF FASCISM

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Blessed Dominic Barberi,

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

Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom,

that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ;

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

Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 96 or 96:1-7

Acts 1:1-9

Luke 10:1-9

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 716

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Feast of William James Early Bennett (August 17)   10 comments

Above:  William James Early Bennett

Image in the Public Domain

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WILLIAM JAMES EARLY BENNETT (NOVEMBER 15, 1804-AUGUST 17, 1886)

Anglican Priest

Sometimes, while preparing a post about a saint or saints, I read a name.  I remain focused on my task, but take a moment to write that name on a list for future addition to this, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.  That is why I know of the existence of William James Early Bennett, the most recent addition to my Ecumenical Calendar.

William James Early Bennett was an influential and controversial priest in The Church of England.  He, born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on November 15, 1804, was a child of Mary Early and of William Bennett, a major in the Royal Engineers, the Royal Army.  Our saint, a graduate of the Westminster School, London; and of Christ Church, Oxford (B.A., 1827; M.A., 1829); married Mary Concetta Franklin in 1828.

Bennett, ordained to the priesthood in 1830, transitioned from being an Evangelical, Low Churchman into becoming a Tractarian and, in the process, a center of controversy.  Anglo-Catholicism was, according to many Low Churchmen, evil it worst.  It smelled of Popery.  The sight of candles burning on an altar proved sufficient to prompt an ecclesiastical proceeding sometimes.  Bennett served various congregations in London through 1851; by 1842 he pronounced High Church tendencies.  Our saint had gone so far as to refer to sacraments as vehicles of grace.

In the early 1840s Bennett began to serve at St. Paul’s, Knightbridge.  He had already come to object publicly to the practice of renting pews, for it gave undue prominence to the wealthy and excluded the poor from churches.  He said:

How constantly we see in our churches the servant attending upon his master or mistress, carrying with him their Prayer Books and Bibles, and waiting upon them to their pew-doors; and then quietly, and in the face of God and of the congregation, retiring from the walls of the church, as if he had no part or lot in the matter of Christian worship.

St. Paul’s, Knightbridge, rented pews, but Bennett persuaded the parish to finance St. Barnabas, Pimlico, in a slum, dedicated in 1850.  Bennett served as the priest of both congregations and, in 1849, ministered to victims of a cholera epidemic in Pimlico.  When Bennett dared to pray for the deceased victims of the disease, the Bishop of London objected on theological grounds.  Bennett replied by citing Anglican precedents for praying for the dead, but the bishop did not relent.  Bennett, under pressure, resigned in 1851.

From 1852 to 1886 Bennett was the Vicar of St. John the Baptist, Frome, Somerset.  When he arrived the church was in terrible condition, numerically and physically.  He revived the congregation, and ended the practice of renting pews, rearranged pews so that the chancel was more visible.  Our saint also changed the schedule of services, adding daily communion services and enabling members of the working class to attend church before going to work.  Attendance increased.  The introduction of vestments and incense also raised some eyebrows.

Overt ritualism was one matter, but advocacy for transubstantiation was, for much of the Evangelical wing of The Church of England, a bridge too far.  Bennett’s pamphlet, A Plea for Toleration in the Church of England (1867), became historically significant.  It led to an ecclesiastical trial, which concluded with the ruling that transubstantiation is not incompatible with Anglican doctrine.  The Privy Council heard an appeal and upheld the decision.

Bennett, an attentive parish priest, died in Frome, Somerset, on August 17, 1886.  He was 81 years old.

Bennett’s published works included the following:

  1. The Eucharist:  Its History, Doctrine, and Practice, with Meditations and Prayers (1837);
  2. A Guide to the Holy Eucharist (1842);
  3. Lecture-Sermons on the Distinctive Errors of Romanism; Preached in Portman Chapel, Marylebone (1842);
  4. A Pastoral Letter to His Parishioners (1846);
  5. Crime and Education:  The Duty of the State Therein (1846);
  6. Lives of the Fathers of the Church in the Fourth Century; for the Instruction of the Young (1847), Volumes I, II, and III;
  7. The Principles of the Book of Common Prayer Considered:  A Series of Lecture Sermons (1848);
  8. A First Letter to the Right Honourable Lord John Russell, M.P.:  On the Present Persecution of a Certain Portion of the English Church; with a Sermon, Preached at S. Paul’s, Knightbridge, on Sunday Morning and Evening, November 17, 1850 (1850);
  9. A Farewell Letter to His Parishioners (1851);
  10. The Last Sermons Preached at Saint Paul’s, Knightbridge, and Saint Barnabas’, Pimlico (1851);
  11. On Anabaptism, the Independents, and Quakerism (1867);
  12. On Presbyterianism and Irvingism (1867);
  13. On Romanism (I) (1867);
  14. Lent Readings from the Fathers (1872); and
  15. Foreign Churches, in Relation to the Anglican:  An Essay Towards Re-Union (1882).

Bennett was a trail blazer.  Much of what was controversial in his time has become commonplace and accepted practice.  The Anglo-Catholic revolution made its mark on the Anglican Communion.

Now we argue about other matters.  I predict that members of subsequent generations of the Church will look back on our time much as we of 2018 regard nineteenth-century controversies about daily communion services and prayers for the dead.

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, our heavenly Father, who raised up your faithful servant William James Early Bennett

to be a pastor in your Church and to feed your flock:

Give abundantly to all pastors the gifts of your Holy Spirit,

that they may minister in your household as true servants of Christ and stewards of your divine mysteries;

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

Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84 or 84:7-11

Ephesians 3:14-21

Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 719

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Feast of George Croly (August 17)   1 comment

Above:  George Croly

Image in the Public Domain

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GEORGE CROLY (AUGUST 17, 1780-NOVEMBER 24, 1860)

Anglican Priest, Poet, Historian, Novelist, Dramatist, Theologian, and Hymn Writer

Good hymnals are wonderful sources of names of saints, most of them not canonized.  Consider, O reader, George Croly, author of “Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart.”

Croly was a native of Ireland.  He, born in Dublin on August 17, 1780, studied at Trinity College in that city.  Our saint, an excellent student of Greek, graduated with his B. A. in 1800 and his M.A. four years later.  (Trinity College awarded him a LL.D. in 1831.)  Croly, ordained an Anglican priest in 1804, served as a curate in the north for six years before moving to London.

Croly devoted most of his life to writing.  He wrote works of history, biography, theology, poetry, fiction, and drama.  His published works included the following:

  1. Paris in 1815:  A Poem (1817);
  2. The Angel of the World:  An Arabian Tale.  Sebastian:  A Spanish Tale:  With Other Poems (1820);
  3. May Fair:  In Four Cantos (1827);
  4. The Apocalypse of St. John, or Prophecy of the Rise, Progress, and Fall of the Church of Rome; the Inquisition; the Revolution of France; the Universal War; and the Final Triumph of Christianity (1827);
  5. Tales of the Great Saint Bernard (1828), Volumes I, II, and III;
  6. The Beauties of the British Poets, with a Few Introductory Observations by the Rev. George Croly (1828);
  7. Salathiel, or the Wandering Jew:  A Story of the Past, the Present, and the Future (1829);
  8. The Life and Times of His Late Majesty George the Fourth:  With Anecdotes of Distinguished Persons of the Last Fifty Years (1830);
  9. Divine Providence, or the Three Cycles of Revelation, Showing the Parallelism of the Patriarchal, Jewish, and Christian Dispensations; Being a New Evidence of the Divine Origin of Christianity (1834);
  10. A Memoir of the Political Life of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke; with Extracts from His Writings (1840), Volumes I and II;
  11. The Personal History of His Late Majesty George the Fourth (1841), Volumes I and II;
  12. Historical Sketches, Speeches, and Characters (1842);
  13. Marston; or the Soldier and Statesman (1845), Volumes I, II, and III;
  14. The Poetical Works of the Rev. George Croly (1850), Volumes I and II;
  15. The Theory of Baptism:  The Regeneration of Infants in Baptism Vindicated on the Testimony of Holy Scriptures, Christian Antiquity, and the Church of England (1850);
  16. Scenes from Scripture, with Other Poems (1851);
  17. The Book of Job (1851); read the biographical sketch of Croly by his son, Frederick W. Croly, in the reprint from 1863;
  18. Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship (1854), as editor;
  19. The Modern Orlando:  A Poem (1855);
  20. Introductory Preface in Paper & Paper Making, Ancient and Modern (1855), by Richard Herring; and
  21. The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt, and Nubia (1855), Volumes I, II, III, IV, V, and VI;.

Croly, a Tory, edited The Universal Review and contributed to Blackwood’s Magazine and Britannia, an organ of the Tory Party.  In 1819 he married Margaret Helen Begbie (d. 1851), a writer he met via his literary work.

Croly returned to parish ministry in 1832.  For several years he served at Ramford parish, Essex.  Then, in 1835, via the Whig Party, ironically, our saint transferred to the yoked congregations of St. Stephen’s, Walbrook-St. Benet Sherehog, London.  There he remained for the rest of his life.  Croly built up the small parish into a larger one, became a renowned preacher, and still found plenty of time for writing.  Croly’s appeal was to members of various social classes.  In 1847 he spent several months doubling as the afternoon preacher at the Foundlings Hospital.  However, Croly’s sermons were allegedly “too abstruse,” and he resigned.  Our saint’s Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship (1854) went to just one printing, and a fire destroyed most copies.  He did, anyway, write 10 of the 25 metrical psalms and 10 of the 50 hymns.

Croly, aged 80 years, was walking in Holborn, London, on November 24, 1860, when he dropped dead.  He had truly loved God with his mind and his creative energies, as well as been an attentive pastor.

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 endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [George Croly 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. Herman of Alaska (August 9)   Leave a comment

Above:  Kodiak Island, Alaska, 1968

Scanned from Rand McNally World Atlas–Imperial Edition (1968)

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SAINT HERMAN OF ALASKA (1755-DECEMBER 25, 1837)

Russian Orthodox Monk and Missionary to the Aleut

“Herman” was our saint’s monastic name.  His birth name–even his family name–has become lost to historical records.

Our saint, born into a merchant family of Serpukhov, Russia, in 1755, was a devout boy.  In 1771, at the age of 16 years, he entered monastic life at the Monastery of St. Sergius, near St. Petersburg, and became Herman.  After five years he transferred to the Valaam Monastery on Lake Ladoga, Finland.  There, in 1793, St. Herman volunteered to join a missionary journey to Alaska.  The eight missionaries arrived at Kodiak Island on December 25, 1793 (Julian Calendar)/January 5, 1794 (Gregorian Calendar).

The mission was initially to Russian fur traders, not indigenous people.  The founding of Holy Resurrection Church, Kodiak, in 1794, was a pivotal event.  The following year the first martyrdom of a Russian Orthodox missionary in Alaska occurred when Juvenal, a priest-monk, died at Lake Iliamma.  In 1799 Archimandrite Joasaf, head of the Alaska mission, became the Bishop of Kodiak.  Not only were some fur traders mistreating Aleut people, but, in 1800, Russian officialdom forbade missionaries from having any contact with the Natives.  The missionaries, allies of the Aleuts in complaints of mistreatment, were allegedly stirring up resistance to the Russian government there.  Missionaries’ attempts to be faithful led to their house arrest in 1801 and the cessation of services for a year.  They complained to the Holy Synod.  The mission resumed in 1804.

A few years later St. Herman moved to Spruce Island, near Kodiak Island.  He lived in a cave until the Russian American Company built a cell for him.  There St. Herman spent the rest of his life.

Meanwhile, the Kodiak mission lasted until 1820, nine years after the Holy Synod closed the Diocese of Kodiak and transferred missionary work on Kodiak Island to the Bishop of Irkutsk.

On Spruce Island St. Herman ministered to the Aleuts.  From 1820 to 1831 he did this despite official Russian persecution.  Our saint established a school, converted people, fed animals by hand, counseled locals, and baked cookies and biscuits for children.  St. Herman demonstrated his love for the people, who reciprocated.

St. Herman died on December 13 (Julian Calendar)/December 25 (Gregorian Calendar), 1837.  His reputation grew posthumously, leading to his canonization by the Orthodox Church in America on August 9, 1970.  The Episcopal Church added his feast to its calendar of saints in 2009.

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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Holy God, we bless your Name for Herman, joyful North Star of Christ’s Church,

who came from Russia to bring the Good News of Christ’s love to your native people in Alaska,

to defend them from oppressors and to proclaim the Gospel of peace;

and we pray that we may follow his example in proclaiming the Gospel:

through the same Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, throughout all ages.  Amen.

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 1:1-10

Psalm 148:7-14

2 Timothy 1:3-7

Luke 9:46-48

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 517

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Feast of Venerable Guglielmo Massaia (August 7)   1 comment

Above:  Venerable Guglielmo Massaia 

Image in the Public Domain

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VENERABLE GUGLIELMO MASSAIA (JUNE 9, 1809-AUGUST 6, 1889)

Italian Cardinal, Missionary, and Capuchin Friar

Born Lorenzo Massaia

Venerable Guglielmo Massaia was a great missionary.  Lorenzo Massaia, born in Piovà, Piedmont, on June 9, 1809, studied at the Collegio Reale, Asti; his older brother, Guglielmo, canon of the cathedral, directed his studies.  After Guglielmo died, Lorenzo matriculated at the diocesan seminary.  On September 25, 1825, at the age of 16, our saint joined the Capuchin Franciscan Order and took the name Guglielmo.

Massaia, ordained a priest in 1832, became a famous preacher, taught theology, and acquired royal connections.  He became the confessor to Prince (later King) Victor Emmanuel (II) of Sardinia (later Italy).  Our saint could have become a bishop in Sardinia via royal favor, but he declined those offers.  No, Massaia, had discerned a vocation to become a missionary.

So he became a missionary bishop as the Vicar-Apostolic of Abyssinia/Ethiopia in 1846.  Our saint ordained priests and consecrated St. Justin de Jacobis (d. 1860) in 1849.  Massaia had to flee Ethiopia in 1849, but Jacobis carried on the good work there.

Massaia, back in Europe in 1850 to generate support for foreign missions, focused on the Oromo speakers of Cush.  He also founded a school at Marseilles for Oromo boys emancipated from slavery and, in 1867, published a grammar of the Oromo language.  Failing health forced Massaia to retire in 1880.  He, from that year the Titular Archbishop of Stauropolis, became the Cardinal-Priest of Sts. Vitale, Gervasio, and Protasio in 1884.  Our saint died at the Capuchin friary in Cremano, Italy, on August 6, 1889.  He was 80 years old.

Pope Francis declared Massaia a Venerable in 2016.

I look forward to Massaia’s cause going the full distance to canonization.

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 and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant

Venerable Guglielmo Massaia, whom you called to preach the Gospel

to the people of Ethiopia and the Oromo speakers of Cush.

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 (2016), 716

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Feast of Horatius Bonar (July 31)   1 comment

Above:  Horatius Bonar

Image in the Public Domain

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HORATIUS BONAR (DECEMBER 19, 1808-JULY 31, 1889)

Scottish Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer

Horatius Bonar was the greatest Scottish hymn writer.  He wrote them quickly, with more attention to theology than to literary style.  By the time Bonar died the tally of his hymns exceeded 600.

Bonar spent much of his life in Edinburgh.  He, born there on December 19, 1808, was son of Marjory Pyott Maitland and James Bonar, the Solicitor of Excise for Scotland.  Our saint’s mentor was Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847), the great Scottish Presbyterian divine.  Chalmers educated Bonar at the University of Edinburgh.  Bonar, ordained into The Church of Scotland in 1838, became the minister of North Parish.  (He had previously been an assistant at Leith.)  Bonar did not remain at North Parish for long, though.  In 1843 the Great Disruption divided The Church of Scotland, and Bonar followed Chalmers into the new Free Church of Scotland.

1843 was also the year our saint married Jane Catherine Lundie (1821-1884).  Jane, daughter of a Presbyterian minister, sister of another Presbyterian minister, and sister of a Presbyterian missionary, was also a poet and a hymn writer.  Her most enduring hymn was “Pass, Pass, All Earthly Joy,” published most frequently as “Fade, Fade, Each Earthly Joy.”  Interestingly, Jane was related by marriage to Josephine Butler (1828-1906).  Horatius Boar and Jane Catherine Lundie wed in the manse at Kelso.  They had nine children, five of whom they buried.

Bonar was active on the denominational level of the Free Church of Scotland.  For many years he edited The Border Watch, the official organ of the Free Church.  In 1866 our saint left Kelso for Chalmers Memorial Church, Edinburgh.  He also served as the Moderator of the Free Church’s General Assembly in 1883.

Biblical prophecy was another interest Bonar pursued.  He developed it in 1855-1856, while traveling in Egypt and Palestine.  For many years he edited The Journal of Prophecy.

Bonar’s catalog of published works included the following:

  1. Songs for the Wilderness (1843);
  2. The Bible Hymn Book (1845);
  3. Hymns, Original and Selected (1846);
  4. Hymns of Faith and Hope (1857, 1861);
  5. The Song of the New Creation (1872); and
  6. Hymns of the Nativity (1879).

Ironically, the Session of Chalmers Memorial Church forbade the singing of hymns and allowed the singing only of metrical Psalms.

Bonar, aged 80 years, died in Edinburgh on July 31, 1889.

Many of his hymns have endured, fortunately.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 12, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF EDWIN PAXTON HOOD, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, PHILANTHROPIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN DAVID JAESCHKE, GERMAN MORAVIAN ORGANIST AND COMPOSER; AND HIS GRANDSON, HENRI MARC VOLDEMAR VOULLAIRE, MORAVIAN COMPOSER AND MINISTER

THE FEAST OF ENMEGAHBOWN, EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND MISSIONARY TO THE OJIBWA NATION

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH DACRE CARLYLE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Horatius Bonar and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

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

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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