Archive for the ‘Saints of the 1830s’ Category

Feast of James W. C. Pennington (October 21)   Leave a comment

Above:  James William Charles Pennington

Image in the Public Domain

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JAMES WILLIAM CHARLES PENNINGTON (1807-OCTOBER 20, 1870)

African-American Congregationalist and Presbyterian Minister, Educator, and Abolitionist

Born James Pembroke

James W. C. Pennington comes to this, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (New York:  Church Publishing, 2006), the most recent addition to my library.

James Pembroke was a slave in Maryland.  Initially his father (Brazil Pembroke) and mother belonged to different masters.  Then the family became the property of just one of the two masters, until another slave owner purchased our saint’s brother.  Young James, trained as a stone mason then as a blacksmith, received many beatings as he grew up.  At the age of 20 years our saint escaped to freedom in Pennsylvania.

Quakers–namely William Wright–helped our saint for six months in Pennsylvania.  Wright took the fugitive slave into his home.  Quakers educated our saint, influenced him to convert to Christianity, and helped him to move farther north, first to the Brooklyn-Long Island area, via the Underground Railroad.

Our saint, who assumed the name “James William Charles Pennington,” taught school on Long Island before moving to New Haven, Connecticut.   He worked toward becoming a minister while auditing courses at Yale College, which, due to a racist admission policy, never admitted him as a student.  Pennington, ordained a minister, accepted a call in 1838; he became the pastor of a Congregational church in New Town, on Long Island.  That year he also presided at the wedding ceremony of Frederick Douglass and Anna Murray.

From 1840 to 1848 Pennington served as the pastor of the Talcott Street Congregational Church, Hartford, Connecticut.  It was a congregation of African Americans, most of whom were active in the community.  Our saint opened a parochial school, for local public schools did not admit African Americans.  Pennington, active in efforts to help the slaves aboard the Amistad, also worked against racism domestically.  He advocated for opportunities for African Americans to improve their economic opportunities.  Our saint also spoke out for the right of African-American men to vote in Connecticut.  Furthermore, he condemned racism within the abolitionist movement, to which he belonged.  That criticism changed the minds of some white people for, starting, in the 1840s, Pennington received and accepted invitations to preach in white churches.  Our saint also wrote the Textbook of the Origin and History, Etc., Etc. of the Colored People (1841), which countered racist claims and justifications for chattel slavery.  The friend of William Lloyd Garrison served as the President of the Connecticut Anti-Slavery Convention (1840f) and as a delegate to the global anti-slavery convention in 1843.  Our saint, who wrote for abolitionist newspapers and edited and published two such newspapers, also advocated for moral character and conduct, especially as part of the temperance movement.

Penningon continued to serve God and work for social improvement during his final years.  He, pastor of the First Colored Presbyterian Church, New York, New York (1848-1856), returned to Hartford (1856-1857) before spending years as a traveling minister.  The Civil War compelled him to abandon his pacifism and recruit African-American soldiers for the United States Army.  After the Civil War our saint ministered among former slaves in the Presbytery of Florida.  He, aged about 63 years, died in Jacksonville, Florida, on October 20, 1870.

Pennington spent most of his life serving God, challenging social injustice, and attempting (with some success) to change the minds of racists.  The main obstacle with which he had to contend was the truth of the punchline from an anachronistic joke about the number of psychiatrists necessary to change a light bulb:  only one person is necessary, but the light bulb must want to change.  Those who did not desire to abandon their racism remained entrenched in it.  Pennington, however, presented the counter-argument effectively.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 13, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE TWELFTH DAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAMUEL JOHNSON, “THE GREAT MORALIST”

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN FURCHTEGOTT GELLERT, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER, EDUCATOR, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF ELLA J. BAKER, WITNESS FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

THE FEAST OF PAUL SPERATUS, GERMAN LUTHERAN BISHOP, LITURGIST, AND HYMN WRITER

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Holy and righteous God, you created us in your image.

Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression.

Help us, like your servant James William Charles Pennington,

to work for justice among people and nations,

to the glory of your name, 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 6:20-26

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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Feast of Charles Gounod (October 17)   Leave a comment

Above:  Charles Gounod

Image in the Public Domain

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CHARLES FRANÇOIS GOUNOD (JUNE 17, 1818-OCTOBER 18, 1893)

French Roman Catholic Composer

Charles Gounod glorified God via music.

Our saint, born in Paris, France, on June 17, 1818, grew up in an artistic and devout family.  His father, François Gounod, was a painter.  Charles’s mother, Lemachois Victoire, was a pianist.  Gounod studied philosophy before matriculating at the Paris Conservatory in 1836.  He continued his musical studies in Rome and Vienna.  Early compositions included Ferdinand, an oratorio that won the Grand Prix de Rome in 1839; a Mass (1842); and the Requiem (1843).

Gounod, back in Paris, continued to work as a musician and a composer.  He served as the organist and choirmaster at the Church of Foreign Missions.  Our saint studied for the priesthood in 1846-1847, but decided to focus on music instead.  From 1852 to 1860 he was the conductor of the Orphéon Choral Society in Paris.

Gounod left the country during the Franco-Prussian War.  He, in London during 1870-1875, founded the Royal Choir Society.  Our saint, back in France, became an officer of the Legion of Honor in 1880.

Gounod, aged 75 years, died in St. Cloud, France, on October 18, 1893.

He left a fine musical legacy consisting of operas, cantatas, masses, incidental music, songs, works for pianoforte, and other secular and sacred works.  In the realm of sacred music our saint’s masterworks included the St. Cecilia Mass (1855), his setting of the Ave Maria (1859), and the Requiem in C (1893).

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, beautiful in majesty, majestic in holiness:

You have shown us the splendor of creation in the work of your servant Charles Gounod.

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 forever.  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 Cecil Frances Alexander (October 12)   Leave a comment

Above:  Cecil Frances Alexander

Image in the Public Domain

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CECIL FRANCES HUMPHREYS ALEXANDER (1818/1823-OCTOBER 12, 1895)

Irish Anglican Hymn Writer

Cecil Frances Alexander comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via hymnody, to which she contributed greatly.  She wrote more than 400 hymns and poems (mostly for children), including “There is a Green Hill Far Away,” “Jesus Calls Us,” “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” “Once in Royal David’s City,” and “I Bind Unto Myself Today,” my favorite hymn.

Cecil Frances Humphreys, born in Miltown House, County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1818 or 1823, depending on the source one believes, was daughter of Major John Humphreys, of the Royal Marines.  She demonstrated her literary abilities at a young age, and, in 1848, published her first volume of poetry.  Two years later our saint married William Alexander (1824-1911), then the Anglican Rector of Termonamongan.  He became the Bishop of Derby and Raphoe in 1867 then the Archbishop of Armagh (the primate of The Church of Ireland) in 1896, as a widower.

Our saint was a woman of her Victorian times.  She pursued a literary career, for which she won acclaim.  Her finest poem, according to reputation, was “The Burial of Moses,” which Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892), said he wished he had written.  Our saint’s hymns and other poems, volumes of which she published, graced various Anglican hymnals of her time.  She also devoted herself to the tasks of a parson’s wife.  Furthermore, she was a philanthropist, caring actively for the poor and for “fallen women,” as well as supporting a school for deaf children in Londonderry financially.

Alexander died in Londonderry on October 12, 1895.  Her legacy of hymnody has survived her, fortunately.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 10, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHANN NITSCHMANN, SR., MORAVIAN MISSIONARY AND BISHOP; DAVID NITSCHMANN, JR., THE SYNDIC, MORAVIAN MISSIONARY AND BISHOP; AND DAVID NITSCHMANN, THE MARTYR, MORAVIAN MISSIONARY AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN LUDWIG BRAU, NORWEGIAN MORAVIAN TEACHER AND POET

THE FEAST OF EDWARD BENSON WHITE, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

THE FEAST OF LOUIS FITZGERALD BENSON, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMNODIST

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Cecil Frances Alexander 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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Feast of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos (October 5)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED FRANCIS XAVIER SEELOS (JANUARY 11, 1819-OCTOBER 4, 1867)

German-American Roman Catholic Priest

Alternative feast days = October 4 and October 12

Franz Xaver Seelos, born in Füssen, Bavaria, on January 11, 1819, devoted his adult life to the service of God.  His mother was Frances Schwarzenbach.  Our saint’s father was Mang Seelos, a parish sacristan and a textile merchant.  Seelos, named after St. Francis Xavier (1505-1552), received the sacrament of baptism on the day of his birth.  Our saint, confirmed on September 3, 1828, received his First Communion on April 2, 1830.  He, having discerned his priestly vocation while a boy, graduated from the Institute of St. Stephen, Augsburg, in 1839.  He continued his education at the University of Munich, where he studied theology and philosophy.  In 1842 Seelos graduated from the University of Munich and matriculated at St. Jerome Seminary, Dillengen an der Danau.

1842 was a year of turning points in the life of our saint.  He joined the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (the Redemptorists) on November 22.  St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori had founded the order in 1732.  Seelos felt drawn to the order, due to its work with the abandoned, the poor, and immigrants.  He left the seminary on December 9, 1842, with the intention of ministering to German immigrants in the United States of America.

Seelos spent 1843-1867 in the United States.  He, having sailed on March 17, 1843, arrived in the New York City on April 29.  Seelos, ordained to the priesthood in Baltimore, Maryland, on December 22, 1844, ministered to German immigrants faithfully.  For nine years he served in St. Philomena Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  For six of those years he was the assistant to and spiritual student of St. John Nepomucene Neumann (1811-1860).  For three of those years Seelos was the local Redemptorist novice master.  At. St. Philomena Church our saint was a popular confessor in three languages (French, German, and English) and from many people from various backgrounds.

Our saint’s final thirteen years were full of faithful service, too.  Seelos served in Baltimore (1854-1857), Cumberland (1857-1862), and Annapolis (1862-1863), all in Maryland.  Along the way, in 1860, he avoided becoming the Bishop of Pittsburgh.  In 1863, Seelos, as the Superior of the Redemptorist seminary, persuaded President Abraham Lincoln to exempt seminarians from the military draft.  Later that year our saint lost his job, for alleged leniency.  Seelos spent 1863-1866 as an itinerant priest in states in the North, from New England to the Midwest.  In 1866-1867 our saint served in a German immigrant parish in New Orleans, Louisiana.  On October 4, 1867, he, aged 46 years, died of yellow fever.  Seelos had contracted the disease while ministering to people afflicted with it.

Pope John Paul II declared Seelos a Venerable then beatified him in 2000.

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, our heavenly Father, who raised up your faithful servant Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos,

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 Blessed Francisco de Paula Victor (September 23)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Francisco de Paula Victor

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED FRANCISCO DE PAULA VICTOR (APRIL 12, 1827-SEPTEMBER 23, 1905)

Brazilian Roman Catholic Priest

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Do not be mastered by evil, but master evil with good.

–Romans 12:21, The New Jerusalem Bible (1985)

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Blessed Francisco de Paula Victor, born a slave in Campanha, Minas Gerais, Brazil, on April 12, 1827, obeyed that verse and those few immediately preceding it.  He, trained as a tailor, discerned a priestly vocation at a young age.  Blessed Francisco’s racial background (African) and social status (slave) meant that he needed special permission to matriculate at a seminary.  He received that permission, and therefore began his studies for the priesthood in 1849.  The seminary was replete with racism, however; many seminarians ostracized our saint because of his background and skin color.  Blessed Francisco, ordained priest on June 14, 1851, endured open hostility at his first parish, in which he served for about a year.  He spent decades in the second parish, however.

In Três Pontas, Minas Gerais, Blessed Francisco overcame hatred (a form of evil) with goodness, humility, love, and patience.  He won over many initially hostile parishioners and became beloved.  Our saint helped to found the College of the Holy Family, open to all children, regardless of social or racial background.  Blessed Francisco also built the Church of Our Lady of Hope, now a basilica, in Aparecida, in 1888.  Once, when there was the possibility of the bishop transferring our saint away from Três Pontas, protests ensued.  Blessed Francisco remained until he died on September 23, 1905, following a stroke.  He was 78 years old.

The Church has recognized our saint formally.  Pope Benedict XVI declared him a Venerable in 2012.  Pope Francis made our saint the first beatified Black Brazilian in 2015.

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God of mercy and justice, we thank you for the holy example of your servant, Blessed Francisco de Paula Victor,

who, with goodness, love, humility, and patience fulfilled his vocation

and ministered effectively to people from various racial and socio-economic backgrounds.

May we, following his example, respect the image of God in people, in their great variety,

both near and far away, and master evil with good.

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

Genesis 41:37-43

Psalm 11

Romans 12:14-21

Luke 6:27-38

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 27, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THOMAS GALLAUDET AND HENRY WINTER SYLE, EPISCOPAL PRIESTS AND EDUCATORS OF THE DEAF

THE FEAST OF SAINT AMADEUS OF CLERMONT, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK; AND HIS SON, SAINT AMADEUS OF LAUSANNE, FRENCH-SWISS ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT DOMINIC BARBERI, ROMAN CATHOLIC APOSTLE TO ENGLAND

THE FEAST OF HENRIETTE LUISE VAN HAYN, GERMAN MORAVIAN HYMN WRITER

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Feast of Philander Chase (September 22)   Leave a comment

Above:  Philander Chase

Image in the Public Domain

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PHILANDER CHASE (DECEMBER 14, 1775-SEPTEMBER 20, 1852)

Episcopal Bishop of Ohio, and of Illinois; and Presiding Bishop

September 22 is the Feast of Philander Chase in The Episcopal Church.

Chase, in the same league as Jackson Kemper (1789-1870), was one of the great Western missionary bishops in The Episcopal Church.

Chase was a native of New England.  He, born in Cornish, New Hampshire, on December 14, 1775, grew up a Congregationalist.  In 1791 he matriculated at Dartmouth College.  There he encountered The Book of Common Prayer (1789).  Chase read, marked, learned, and inwardly digested the Prayer Book, converted, and became a lay reader.  After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1795, our saint married Mary the following year.  In 1796-1798 Chase, a father as of 1797, read theology under the direction of Thomas Ellison, the Rector of St. Peter’s Church, Albany, New York.

Chase, ordained by Samuel Provoost, the Bishop of New York, in 1798, was an active missionary from the beginning.  In a year and a half he, assigned to be a missionary in central New York state, traveled more than 4000 miles, preached 213 times, and planted congregations.  Later Chase simultaneously served in two churches in Poughkeepsie and Fishkill while teaching school, to make ends meet.  In 1805 our saint moved his family to New Orleans, where he founded Christ Church (now Christ Church Cathedral), New Orleans, the first Episcopal congregation in Louisiana.  The Chases left New Orleans in 1811 due to Mary’s tuberculosis.  Our saint served as the Rector of Christ Church, Hartford, Connecticut, from 1811 to 1817.

Missionary work in Ohio summoned, however.  In 1817 Chase moved to Ohio, where he bought a farm at Worthingham.  He ministered to people in the immediate area and became the principal of the local academy.  Then Chase sent for his family.  Mary, sadly, died of natural causes in 1817.  The following year Chase helped to organize the Diocese of Ohio, the first Episcopal diocese west of the Appalachian Mountains.  He, elected Bishop of Ohio later that year, assumed the office in 1819.  Also in 1819, our saint remarried; the second wife was Sophia Ingraham, of Poughkeepsie, New York.  Chase was, for several years, the guardian of his adolescent nephew, Salmon P. Chase, 1808-1873), who went on to become a prominent abolitionist, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (1861-1864), and the Chief Justice of the United States (1864-1873).  The future politician recalled his several years with his uncle negatively, for the bishop was allegedly too strict.

Chase, who became the President of Cincinnati College (now the University of Cincinnati) in 1821, recognized the need for a seminary in Ohio, to build up The Episcopal Church there.  He found deep pockets in England.  Kenyon College, which opened at Chase’s farm in 1825, moved to Gambier, Ohio, in 1828, and completed its first building the following year.  The name of the college came from Lord George Kenyon, the Second Baron of Gredington, a generous donor.  The name of the town came from James Gambier, the First Baron Gambier, and Admiral of the Fleet, another donor.  The name of the seminary, Bexley Hall, came from Nicholas Vansittart, the first Baron Bexley, yet another donor.

Chase made enemies, though.  He, as the President of Kenyon College, was, according to more than one person, too strict and controlling.  The revolt at the diocesan convention in 1831 prompted our saint to resign as both the President of Kenyon College and the Bishop of Ohio.

Chase moved to Michigan, where he purchased a farm.  He enjoyed farm life.  Our saint had grown up on a farm, so he knew that setting well.  In Michigan he ministered to local people, operated a successful lumber mill, and had about 100 cattle.  For about four years Chase enjoyed this stage of life, until he received an invitation from Illinois.

In 1835 the newly formed Diocese of Illinois had 39 communicants.  It could not afford to pay its first bishop, Chase, a salary at first.  Our saint accepted the challenge, raised funds, and increased the numerical strength of the diocese.  In 1845 the Diocese of Illinois had more than 500 communicants in 28 parishes.  He also founded Jubilee College, Peoria, extant from 1840 to 1862, and raised funds for it.  Chase, as the Bishop of Illinois, also traveled on church work outside the state.  In 1840 he assisted Levi S. Ives, the Bishop of North Carolina, in dedicating the new building of Christ Church, Savannah, Georgia.  (There was no Bishop of Georgia until the following year.)

Above:  Christ Church, Savannah, Georgia, 1902

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-det-4a09596

From 1843 to 1852 Chase doubled as the Presiding Bishop of the denomination.  At the time the basis of the office of Presiding Bishop was seniority.

Chase became involved in ecclesiastical controversies.  He, a member of the Evangelical wing of the Church, considered the Tractarian movement to be morally and existentially dangerous.  Our saint overstated the case greatly in that matter; he was wrong, actually.  On the other hand, Chase understated the evils of slavery.  Although he opposed slavery and made no excuses for it, our saint challenged abolitionists and was overly diplomatic vis-á-vis the Peculiar Institution of the South in public.  That was a moral failing.

Chase died in Peoria, Illinois, on September 20, 1852.  He was 76 years old.

Chase belongs on my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, along with those Tractarians and Roman Catholics he opposed.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 26, 2018 COMMON ERA

PROPER 16:  THE FOURTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK WILLIAM HERZBERGER, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER, HUMANITARIAN, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT LEVKADIA HARASYMIV, UKRAINIAN GREEK CATHOLIC NUN, AND MARTYR, 1952

THE FEAST OF SAINTS LUIGI BELTRAME QUATTROCCHI AND MARIA CORSINI BELTRAME QUATTROCCHI, ITALIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC HUMANITARIANS

THE FEAST OF SAINT TERESA OF JESUS, JORNEY Y IBARS, CATALAN ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN AND CONFOUNDRESS OF THE LITTLE SISTERS OF THE ABANDONED ELDERLY

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Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith:

We give you heartfelt thanks for the pioneering spirit of your servant Philander Chase,

and for his zeal in opening new frontiers for the ministry of your Church.

Grant us grace to minister in Christ’s name in every place,

led by bold witnesses to the Gospel of the Prince of Peace,

even Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Isaiah 44:1-6, 8

Psalm 108:1-6

Acts 18:7-11

Luke 9:1-6

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 599

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Feast of John Coleridge Patteson and His Companions (September 20)   1 comment

Above:  Map of New Zealand and Melanesia, 1958

Image Scanned and Cropped from Hammond’s World Atlas–Classics Edition (1958)

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JOHN COLERDIGE PATTESON (APRIL 1, 1827-SEPTEMBER 20, 1871)

Anglican Bishop of Melanesia, and Martyr, 1871

worked with

JOSEPH ATKIN (DIED SEPTEMBER 27, 1871)

Anglican Priest, and Martyr, 1871

worked with

STEPHEN TARONIARA (CIRCA 1845-SEPTEMBER 20, 1871)

Anglican Missionary and Martyr, 1871

John Coleridge Patteson, born into a wealthy family in London on April 1, 1827, could have led a comfortable life.  He, educated at Eton and at Oxford University, mastered the Hebrew and Arabic languages.  Our saint, ordained to the Anglican diaconate in 1853 and priesthood the following year,chose to become a missionary to Melanesia.

George Augustus Selwyn (1809-1878) was the Anglican Bishop of New Zealand (1841-1858) then Primate of New Zealand (1858-1868).  He was one of the great missionary bishops in the Anglican Communion.  Patteson arrived in New Zealand and began to work under Selwyn’s jurisdiction in 1855.  Two years later he became the leader of the Melanesian Mission.  Then, on February 24, 1861, Selwyn consecrated Patteson the first Bishop of Melanesia.

Selwyn had created a particular missionary system, which Patteson inherited.  Young men and women from Pacific islands studied at St. John’s School, the Melanesian Mission’s institution in Auckland, New Zealand, for the summer then returned home.  The hope was that they would provide Christian influence in their communities.  Experience proved that it was an ineffective strategy.  As Patteson insisted, missionary work in indigenous languages was necessary.

Above:  Map Showing the Solomon Islands

Stephen Taroniara, born circa 1845, was a native of Makira/San Cristobal, in the Solomon Islands.  In the middle 1850s Selwyn had taken him to St. John’s School, Auckland, numerous summers, encountering Patteson.  Back home on Makira/San Cristobal, Taroniara had married one Sumarua, with whom he had a child, Paraiteku.  When our saint retured to Auckland in 1864, he had to do so without his family, for his wife’s relatives refused to permit her to travel to Auckland.

Above:  Map Showing Norfolk Island

Meanwhile, Patterson was establishing new schools, to share the Gospel with Melanesians.  One of these institutions was on Norfolk Island, starting in 1867.  He sought to educate Melanesian men as priests, with the ultimate goal of having Melanesian bishops.  Taroniara, baptized on July 19, 1868, and confirmed on Easter Day 1869, became the first native of the Solomon Islands to receive the Anglican Eucharist.  He, having lost both his child and first wife, due to his in-laws giving his first wife in marriage to another man, had relocated to Norfolk Island with his second wife, Tori (from Sa’a) and her daughter, Rosa.  At Norfolk Island Taroniara studied for the priesthood, and was due for ordination in late 1871.

Missionaries have frequently defended indigenous people from those with powerful economic incentives to exploit their fellow human beings.  In the middle 1700s, for example, Jesuits in South America risked their lives to protect Indians from slavers.  Many Jesuits died while doing so.  In Melanesia, in the middle and late 1800s, many missionaries put their lives at risk to protect natives from entrepreneurs in Fiji and Australia seeking indentured servants to exploit.  Some of these unscrupulous businessmen used the names of missionaries to lure victims.

On August 25, 1871, Patterson, Taroniara, and a priest, Joseph Atkin, left for a missionary tour.  Atkin, from New Zealand, had been a member of the Melanesian Mission since 1863 and both a priest and a missionary to Makira/San Cristobal since 1869.  The traveling companions were visiting the island of Nakapu (in the Santa Cruz group in the Solomon Islands, when natives attacked them, apparently in retribution for actions of those seeking indentured servants.  Patteson and Taroniara died on September 20, 1871; Atkin died a week later.

The deaths of these missionaries led to constructive actions.  The British Government cracked down on the indentured servant trade.  Also, support for missionary work increased in England.

Also, the Melanesian Mission renamed its headquarters after Taroniara.

The Anglican Church of Melanesia became a province of the Anglican Communion in 1975.

The province, with indigenous leaders, spans Vanuatu (the former New Hebrides), the Solomon Islands, and New Caledonia.  The denomination as nine dioceses.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 21, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BRUNO ZEMBOL, POLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC FRIAR AND MARTYR, 1942

THE FEAST OF SAINTS CAMERIUS, CISELLUS, AND LUXORIUS OF SARDINIA, MARTYRS, 303

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF EDESSA, CIRCA 304

THE FEAST OF SAINT MAXIMILIAN OF ANTIOCH, CIRCA 353; AND SAINTS BONOSUS AND MAXIMIANUS THE SOLDIER, MARTYRS, 362

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God of the southern isles and seas, we remember with thanksgiving your servant John Patteson,

whose life was taken by those for whom he would freely have given it;

grant us the same courage in extending your gospel and readiness to share our life with others,

for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.  Amen.

or

God of the resurrection, blessed are you in John, first bishop to the Melanesians;

for by his willing sacrifice you revealed the people’s cruel suffering,

and their right to hear the Gospel.  Amen.

Hosea 11:1-4

Psalm 16 or 116:1-9

2 Corinthians 4:5-12

Mark 8:31-35

–The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia

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Almighty God, you called your faithful servant John Coleridge Patteson

and his companions to be witnesses and martyrs in the islands of Melanesia,

and by their labors and sufferings raised up a people for your own possession:

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon your Church in every land,

that by the service and sacrifice of many,

your holy Name may be glorified and your kingdom enlarged;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Jeremiah 22:1-4

Psalm 118:49-56

1 Peter 4:12-19

Mark 8:34-38

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 595

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