Archive for the ‘Saints of the 1860s’ Category

Feast of Blesseds Giovanni Maria Boccardo and Luigi Boccardo (June 9)   Leave a comment

Above:  Turin, 1890

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-06635

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BLESSED GIOVANNI MARIA BOCCARDO (NOVEMBER 20, 1848-DECEMBER 30, 1913)

Founder of the Poor Daughters of Saint Cajetan/Gaetano

His feast transferred from December 30

brother of

BLESSED LUIGI BOCCARDO (AUGUST 9, 1861-JUNE 9, 1936)

Apostle of Merciful Love

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His charism as an educator and founder was to reveal the merciful love of Jesus, priest and king, to his brothers, especially in the education of the clergy…and in the spiritual direction of many that approached him in the confessional.

–Mother Teresa Ponsi, Superior General of the Poor Sisters of Saint Cajetan/Gaetano

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The Boccardo Brothers did much to help their fellow human beings.

Gasparo Boccardo and Giuseppina Malerba Boccardo, parents of ten children, raised a pious family.  Their eldest child was Giovanni Maria Boccardo, born in Moncalieri, Turin, on November 20, 1848.  A younger brother was Luigi Boccardo, Giovanni Maria’s godson, born on August 9, 1861.  The Barnabites educated both brothers; Giovanni Maria graduated from their high school in 1864.  Next he attended seminary.  In 1871, in Turin, Giovanni Maria became a priest.  Luigi followed suit, also in Turin, thirteen years later.

The Boccardo brothers eventually came to work together.  Giovanni Maria initially taught in seminary.  Next he served as the spiritual director of seminarians in Turin.  He, having earned his doctorate in theology in 1877, became honorary canon at the Church of Sancta Maria della Scala, Chieri, Turin.  Starting in 1882 Giovanni Maria was a parish priest in Pancalieri, Turin.  There he cared for the sick and the poor, helped at other congregations, became involved in the religious education of children and in prison ministry, ministered to victims of a cholera outbreak in 1884, and founded a hospice for the poor sick later that year.  Giovanni Maria also founded the Poor Daughters of Saint Cajetan/Gaetano, to care for the poor sick, the elderly, the neglected, ill priests, and the longterm sick.  Luigi served as his brother’s assistant priest at Pancalieri, Turin.  Luigi also served as the Vice-Rector and spiritual director at Consolata College, Turin.  He taught and provided spiritual direction to seminarians, visited prisoners, and heard many confessions.

Giovanni Maria, afflicted with paralysis in 1911, had to surrender his ministries during the next two years.  He, aged 65 years, died in Moncalieri, Turin, on December 30, 1913.  He left behind 44 volumes of writings about spiritual matters.  Pope John Paul II declared Giovanni Maria a Venerable then a Blessed in 1998.

Luigi continued in good works after his brother died.  The younger brother took over as a Superior of the Poor Sisters of Saint Cajetan/Gaetano in 1913.  Six years later he became the director of a school for the blind.  In 1932 Luigi founded the Sisters of Jesus the King, a contemplative branch of the Poor Daughters of Saint Cajetan/Gaetano.

Luigi, aged 76 years, died in Turin on June 9, 1936.  Pope John Paul II declared him a Venerable in 2003.  Pope Benedict XVI raised him to the status of Blessed in 2007.

The Boccardo brothers understood that how they cared for others–especially the vulnerable–was of the highest moral imperative.  That which they did for the least, they did for Jesus.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 18, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE CONFESSION OF SAINT PETER THE APOSTLE

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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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Feast of Gerard Manley Hopkins (June 8)   Leave a comment

Above:  Gerard Manley Hopkins

Image in the Public Domain

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GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS (JULY 28, 1844-JUNE 8, 1889)

English Roman Catholic Poet and Jesuit Priest

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The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

It will flame out, like shining from shoot foil;

It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil

Crushed.  Why do men then not reck his rod?

Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;

All is seared with trade, bleared, smeared with toil;

And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell:  the soil

Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

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And for all this, nature is never spent;

There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;

And though the last lights off the black West went

Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs–

Because the Holy Ghost over the bent

World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

–Gerard Manley Hopkins

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Gerard Manley Hopkins comes to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days via Robert Ellsberg, author of All Saints:  Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time (New York, NY:  The Crossroad Company, 1997).

Gerard Manley Hopkins, scholar and priest, was a giant of Victorian English literature, but only after his death.  He was one of those authors whose work entered the literary canon post mortem.

Hopkins grew up in a devout High Anglican family in which various art forms–visual and written–were common.  His father was Manley Hopkins, a former British consul general to the Kingdom of Hawai’i and the founder of a marine insurance company.  Manley was also a Sunday School teacher and a churchwarden at St. John’s Church, Hampstead.  The father was also a punster, fortunately.  Our saint’s mother, Kate Smith Hopkins, encouraged her children’s piety.  At her urging our young Gerard grew up reading from the New Testament daily.

Hopkins, born in Stratford, London, on July 28, 1844, was a fine student.  After studying at Cholmondley Grammar School, Highgate, he matriculated at Baillol College, Oxford University, in 1863.  According to Baillol College lecturer Benjamin Jowett, Hopkins was “the star of Baillol.”  Hopkins, influenced by the Oxford Movement, converted to Roman Catholicism in 1866; John Henry Newman received him into Holy Mother Church.

Hopkins became a Jesuit then a priest.  He entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1868.  At that point he burned the poetry he had written until then.  In 1875, in Wales, however, he resumed the composition of verse.  Unfortunately, he could never get any of it published.  Even literary friends who read Hopkins’s poetry commented that it was unreadable, due to its rhythms and odd syntax.  Hopkins, ordained a priest in 1877, served in parishes in London, Oxford, Liverpool, and Glasgow before teaching classics at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire.  From 1884 to 1889 he was Professor of Classics at University College, Dublin, Ireland.  Life in Ireland did not agree with our saint; his health failed and he worked too hard.  Hopkins died of typhoid fever in Dublin on June 8, 1889.  He was 44 years old.

Hopkins expressed himself eloquently in his poetry.  He delighted in nature, in which he recognized the presence of God.  His joys and sorrows were also evident in verse, not published until 1918.  Hopkins’s collected works have enriched the lives of many people since then, fortunately.

Hopkins, who spent much of his time in Ireland in emotional anguish and physical illness, found peace at the end.  His final words were

I am so happy!

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 18, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE CONFESSION OF SAINT PETER THE APOSTLE

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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 Gerard Manley Hopkins and all those

who with words 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), page 728

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Feast of Chief Seattle (June 7)   Leave a comment

Above:  Chief Seattle

Image in the Public Domain

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SEATTLE (CIRCA 1786-JUNE 7, 1866)

First Nations Chief, War Leader, and Diplomat

Also known as Si’al and Si’ahl

Chief Seattle comes to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days via the calendar of saints of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  In Frederick E. Hoxie’s Encyclopedia of North American Indians (1996) Jay Miller’s profile of Seattle describes him as

Duwamish, Suquamish, and Lushootseed war leader and diplomat.

The chief is a welcome addition to my project of hagiographies.

Chief Seattle commanded respect from tribesman and White settlers alike.  His birthplace was the location now known as Blake Island, in Elliott Bay, near the site of the city of Seattle.  Our saint, born circa 1786, came from tribal nobility.  His father was Shweabe, of the Suquamish, from the west side of Puget Sound.  Seattle’s mother was Sholitza, of he Duwamish, from the other side of Puget Sound.  Our saint became a chief in the early twenties.  With his first wife, Ladaila, Seattle had a daughter, Kikioblu (Angeline).  After Ladaila died the chief married Owiyal, with whom he had two sons and three daughters.

Seattle was a respected chief, war leader, and orator.  By the late 1700s the unfortunate combination of guns and epidemics had led to a series of tribal wars in the area of the Puget Sound.  The subsequent addition of White settlers made the troubles of indigenous people greater.  Over the years Chief Seattle led a number of successful raids.  He was, not, however, a warmonger.  Our saint understood matters of self-defense.

Chief Seattle became a Christian in 1838.  That year a Roman Catholic priest baptized him and gave him the baptismal name Noah.  The reason for this choice was Seattle’s enjoyment of the parallels between the flood stories of the Suquamish people and the Book of Genesis.

Chief Seattle gave up violence in 1847, when one of his sons died in a raid on another Indian village.  Our saint then turned to diplomacy full-time.  In the Treaty of Port Elliott (1855) tribes in the Puget Sound area exchanged 54,000 acres for hunting rights, fishing rights, education, health care, payments, and reservations.  Violations of the treaty by some White settlers led to the Indian War (1855-1858).  In 1856 Chief Seattle learned of a planned attack on the settlement of Seattle, named after him against his wishes.  He helped the White settlers by sharing the information with them.  He was done waging war.

In 1855 Chief Seattle wrote a profound letter to U.S. President Franklin Pierce, one of the least of the American leaders, in terms of quality:

THE GREAT CHIEF in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. The Great Chief also sends us words of friendship and good will. This is kind of him, since we know he has little need of our friendship in return. But we will consider your offer, for we know if we do not so the white man may come with guns and take our land. What Chief Seattle says you can count on as truly as our white brothers can count on the return of the seasons. My words are like the stars – they do not set.

How can you buy or sell the sky – the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. Yet we do not own the freshness of the air or the sparkle of the water. How can you buy them from us? We will decide in our time. Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing, and every humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people.

We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy, and when he has conquered it, he moves on. He leaves his father’s graves and his children’s birthright is forgotten. The sight of your cities pains the eyes of the redman. But perhaps it is because the redman is a savage and does not understand.

There is no quiet place in the white man’s cities. No place to listen to the leaves of spring or the rustle of insect wings. But perhaps because I am a savage and do not understand – the clatter only seems to insult the ears. And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lovely cry of the whippoorwill or the arguments of the frogs around a pond at night? The Indian prefers the soft sound of the wind itself cleansed by a mid-day rain, or scented by a pinõn pine: The air is precious to the redman. For all things share the same breath – the beasts, the trees, and the man. The white man does not seem to notice the air he breathes. Like a man dying for many days, he is numb to the stench.

If I decide to accept, I will make one condition. The white man must treat the beasts of this land as his brothers. I am a savage and I do not understand any other way. I have seen thousands of rotting buffaloes on the prairie left by the white man who shot them from a passing train. I am a savage and do not understand how the smoking iron horse can be more important than the buffalo that we kill only to stay alive. What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beast also happens to the man.

All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth.

Our children have seen their fathers humbled in defeat. Our warriors have felt shame. And after defeat they turn their days in idleness and contaminate their bodies with sweet food and strong drink. It matters little where we pass the rest of our days – they are not many. A few more hours, a few more winters, and none of the children of the great tribes that once lived on this earth, or that roamed in small bands in the woods will remain to mourn the graves of the people once as powerful and hopeful as yours.

One thing we know that the white man may one day discover. Our God is the same God. You may think that you own him as you wish to own our land, but you cannot. He is the Body of man, and his compassion is equal for the redman and the white. This earth is precious to him, and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its Creator. The whites, too, shall pass – perhaps sooner than other tribes. Continue to contaminate your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste. When the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses all tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of many men, and the view of the ripe hills blotted by the talking wires, where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the eagle? Gone. And what is it to say goodbye to the swift and the hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.

We might understand if we knew what it was the white man dreams, what hopes he describes to his children on long winter nights, what visions he burns into their minds, so they will wish for tomorrow. But we are savages. The white man’s dreams are hidden from us. And because they are hidden, we will go our own way. If we agree, it will be to secure your reservation you have promised.

There perhaps we may live out our brief days as we wish. When the last redman has vanished from the earth, and the memory is only the shadow of a cloud passing over the prairie, these shores and forests will still hold the spirits of my people, for they love this earth as the newborn loves its mother’s heartbeat. If we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it as we have cared for it. Hold in your memory the way the land is as you take it. And with all your strength, with all your might, and with all your heart – preserve it for your children, and love it as God loves us all. One thing we know – our God is the same. This earth is precious to him. Even the white man cannot escape the common destiny.

Chief Seattle, who frequently visited the settlement named after him and was at love and charity with his neighbors, died at the Port Madison Reservation on June 7, 1866.  He was about 80 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 18, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE CONFESSION OF SAINT PETER THE APOSTLE

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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 Chief Seattle, 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 6:20-36

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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Feast of Charles Augustus Briggs and Emilie Grace Briggs (June 14)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Last Stand:  Science Versus Superstition, by Udo J. Keppler

From Puck Magazine, July 19, 1899

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-28614

Charles Augustus Briggs is the man on the left in the clergy collar.

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CHARLES AUGUSTUS BRIGGS (JANUARY 15, 1841-JUNE 8, 1913)

U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Episcopal Priest, Biblical Scholar, and Alleged Heretic

father of

EMILIE GRACE BRIGGS (1867-JUNE 14, 1944)

Biblical Scholar and “Heretic’s Daughter”

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It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved.

Galileo Galilei

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Progress in religion, in doctrine, and in life is demanded of our age of the world more than any other age.

–Charles Augustus Briggs

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Above:  Charles Augustus Briggs

Image in the Public Domain

The tribe of alleged heretics includes luminaries.

Charles Augustus Briggs was one of the relatively liberal clergymen who became epicenters of controversy in the old Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (“Northern,” but actually national) in the late 1800s.  He, born in New York, New York, on January 15, 1841, was a son of Alanson Tuthill Briggs (Sr.), who managed the family business, the largest barrel-making company in the United States, and Sarah Mead Berrian Briggs.  Young Charles studied at the University of Virginia from 1857 to 1860; there he had a conversion experience.  For a few months our saint was a soldier in the New York Seventh Regiment during the Civil War.  Next Briggs matriculated at Union Theological Seminary (UTS), New York, New York.  He left in 1863, due to his father’s extended illness, to manage the family business.

Briggs married Julia Valentine Dobbs in 1865.  The couple had seven children, five of whom survived our saint.  These five were:

  1. Emilie Grace Briggs (1867-June 14, 1944);
  2. Agnes Briggs, who married Philip Ketteridge;
  3. Alanson Tuthill Briggs (II) (1871-January 31, 1946);
  4. Herbert Wilfrid Briggs; and
  5. Olive M. Briggs.

Briggs became a Presbyterian minister.  The First Presbytery of New York licensed our saint to preach in April 1866.  That June Charles and Julia Briggs traveled to Berlin, where he studied for his doctorate at the University of Berlin.  At that institution our saint studied under proponents of historical critical scholarship of the Bible; Isaac A. Dorner was, by Briggs’s account, an influential figure in the shaping of his theology.  Also in Berlin the Briggses welcomed their daughter Emilie Grace into the world.  Our saint, back in the United States, served as the first pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Roselle, New Jersey, from 1869 to 1874.  That year he accepted an appointment to Union Theological Seminary as Professor of Hebrew and Cognate Languages.

Briggs remained at Union Theological Seminary for the rest of his life, although not always as a Presbyterian.  He was, according to student then colleague, Presbyterian minister and UTS professor William Adams Brown (1865-1938), a

walking encyclopedia, combining an essentially conservative theology with a critical scholarship.

Most of Briggs’s critics within and beyond the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. never questioned his intellect, but they did doubt his orthodoxy.  Briggs, from 1880 to 1890 the Editor of the Presbyterian Review, was a champion of historical criticism scholarship, of Higher Criticism of the Bible.  Our saint argued for propositions that no not cause the author of this post to arch his eyebrows.  Briggs argued, for example that

  1. The Book of Isaiah is the product of two authors.  (I have read commentaries that argue for three Isaiahs.  The editors of The Jewish Study Bible argue for two Isaiahs.)
  2. The Book of Zechariah is a composite work.  (The study Bibles in my library agree with this conclusion.)
  3. The Torah is not the work of Moses, but a composite of various documents edited, cut, and pasted during the time of Ezra.  (Renowned Jewish Biblical scholar Richard Elliott Friedman supports this conclusion in his books Who Wrote the Bible? (1987), Commentary on the Torah with a New English Translation and the Hebrew Text (2001), and The Bible with Sources Revealed:  A New View Into the Five Books of Moses (2003).)
  4. The Book of Jonah is a work of fiction.  (Of course it is.  The story is a magnificent satire of the excesses of postexilic Jewish nationalism and a reminder that God’s love extends to all Gentiles, even national enemies.)
  5. The Bible is neither inerrant nor infallible.  The dogmas that it is constitute barriers to faith for many people.  (I have read the Bible too closely to affirm either inerrancy or infallibility.  To label the recognition of the obvious heretical is  to encourage one not to love God with all of one’s intellect.)

These and other views of Briggs allegedly subverted the Christian faith.

Briggs favored the reordering of American Presbyterian theology and the revision of the Westminster Confession of Faith, to moderate the rough edges of its Calvinism.  He, an ardent ecumenist and supporter of organic union among denominations, argued against “orthodoxism,” or a false orthodoxy that betrays the principles of the Protestant Reformation and of the best aspects of the Presbyterian tradition.  In Whither? A Theological Question for the Times (1889) Briggs wrote:

Orthodoxism assumes to know the truth and is unwilling to learn; it is haughty and arrogant, assuming the divine prerogatives of infallibility and inerrancy; it hates the truth that is unfamiliar to it, and prosecutes it to the uttermost.  But orthodoxy loves the truth.  It is ever anxious to learn, for it knows how greatly the truth or God transcends human knowledge….It is meek, lowly, and reverent.  It is full of charity and love.  It does not recognize an infallible pope; it does not know an infallible theologian.

Briggs did not remain either a Presbyterian or alive long enough to witness the triumph of his position in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.  He lived until 1913, a decade after the denomination revised the Westminster Confession of Faith.  The Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. did not side officially with the Modernist side in the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy until the middle and late 1920s, however.  The Presbytery of New York put Briggs, since 1891 the Edward Robinson Chair of Biblical Theology at UTS, on trial for heresy and acquitted him on that charge in 1892, but the General Assembly of 1893 suspended him from ministerial duties until he repented.  He never repented.  Briggs, after preaching as a layman for a few years, became an Episcopal priest in 1899 instead.  He, 72 years old, died of pneumonia on June 8, 1913.

Briggs, working from his secure professional home at Union Theological Seminary, continued to teach, write, and edit.  One of his greatest accomplishments was the Hebrew and English Lexicon (1905), a classic and standard work.  His fellow authors were Francis Brown and S. R. Driver, but his daughter Emilie Grace contributed to the work also.  She, assistant to her father from the 1890s to 1913, was a crucial participant in his late scholarly endeavors.

Emilie should have had a doctorate.  In 1897 she made history by becoming the first woman to receive a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary.  She pursued graduate studies and wrote her dissertation, The Deaconess in the Ancient and Medieval Church, which the UTS faculty approved.  Yet she never received her doctorate, due to the fact she could never get the dissertation published, a requirement for receiving a doctorate from UTS at the time.  She revised the dissertation for decades and various professors helped her try to get it published, to no avail.  Emilie taught Greek and the New Testament at the New York Training School for Deaconesses, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, from 1896 to 1915.  After her father’s death in 1913 her main project was his legacy.  He left some scholarly books unfinished.  She, the author of several scholarly articles, finished and got published Theological Symbolics (1914), History of the Study of Theology (two volumes, 1916), and a commentary on Lamentations.  Emilie, who studied the order of deaconesses, completed other projects her father never had time to finish; she could not get them published, however.  She also collected and organized her father’s papers, which she donated to the library at UTS in 1941.  Emilie, who never married, died, aged 77 years, on June 14, 1944.

Charles Augustus Briggs and his daughter and intellectual heir, Emilie Grace Briggs, belong on my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.  They were fearless in their embrace of both faith and reason.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 17, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTONY OF EGYPT, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND FATHER OF WESTERN MONASTICISM

THE FEAST OF SAINT BERARD AND HIS COMPANIONS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS IN MOROCCO

THE FEAST OF EDMUND HAMILTON SEARS, U.S. UNITARIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

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

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Charles Augustus Briggs, Emilie Grace Briggs, 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 Josephine Butler (May 30)   Leave a comment

Above:  One of Josephine Butler’s Political Handbills

Image in the Public Domain

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JOSEPHINE ELIZABETH GREY BUTLER (APRIL 13, 1828-DECEMBER 30, 1906)

English Feminist and Social Reformer

The feast day for Josephine Butler–suffragette, advocate for educational equality for males and females, and activist against human trafficking–in The Church of England is May 30.

Josephine Elizabeth Grey came from a politically active family.  Her mother, Hannah Annett Butler, descended from Huguenots, an oppressed population.  Our saint’s father, John Grey, was an antislavery activist.  His cousin, Charles Grey, the Second Earl Grey, was the leader of the Whig Party and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1830 to 1834 whose government abolished slavery in the British Empire.  Our saint, born on April 13, 1828, married George Butler, an academic and later the Canon of Winchester, in 1852.  The couple had four children.

Josephine became politically and socially involved after the death of her six-year-old daughter in 1863.  Our saint channeled her grief into social reform–initially regarding women’s suffrage and the fight against child prostitution.  She was partially responsible for Parliament increasing the age of consent from 13 to 16 years.  After the Butlers moved to Liverpool in 1866 Josephine began her work related to the rehabilitation of prostitutes.  The Contagious Diseases Acts (1864, 1866, and 1869) allowed for the arrest of women suspected of being prostitutes at naval stations and in garrison towns.  Those laws also mandated the medical examination of these suspects and, upon diagnosis of venereal disease, their hospitalization.  Our saint created a scandal by speaking and writing openly about this “unladylike” topic in Victorian England.  She argued that the Contagious Disease Acts were not only ineffective as public health measures but also in violation of the constitutional rights of suspects.  Parliament suspended the laws in 1883 and 1886.  Josephine also lobbied European governments no longer to license brothels, frequently hubs of human trafficking, including the sale of children, and founded the International Abolitionist Federation (in 1877) to combat human trafficking.  Supporters of her international anti-human trafficking crusade included William Lloyd Garrison and Victor Hugo.

Our saint also advocated for the educational equality of males and females.  Her lobbying of the administration of Cambridge University led to the founding of Newnham College for women in 1871.  Butler also served as the President of the North of England Council for the Higher Education of Women, starting in 1867,

Our saint, aged 78 years, died on December 30, 1906, at Wooler, Northumberland, England.  She had not lived long enough to see women gain the right to vote, but she had left the world better than she had found it.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 9, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF KARL BARTH, SWISS REFORMED MINISTER, THEOLOGIAN, AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR; FATHER OF MARKUS BARTH, SWISS LUTHERAN MINISTER AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF GEORG FRIEDRICH HELLSTROM, DUTCH-GERMAN MORAVIAN MUSICIAN, COMPOWER, AND EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER FOURIER, “THE GOOD PRIEST OF MATTAINCOURT;” AND SAINT ALIX LE CLERC, FOUNDRESS OF THE CONGREGATION OF NOTRE DAME OF CANONESSES REGULAR OF SAINT AUGUSTINE

THE FEAST OF SAINT WALTER CISZEK, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY PRIEST AND POLITICAL PRISONER

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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 Josephine Butler, 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 6:20-36

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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Feast of John H. W. Stuckenberg (May 28)   Leave a comment

Above:  Pennsylvania College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Publisher and Copyright Holder = Detroit Publishing Company

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-18248

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JOHN HENRY WILBURN STUCKENBERG (JANUARY 6, 1835-MAY 28, 1903)

German-American Lutheran Minister and Academic

Born as Johann Heinrich Wilbrand(t) Stuckenberg

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I favor a progressive Christianity based on the living teachings of Christ and his Apostles.  I am opposed to the stagnation created by religious dogmatism and traditionalism, and wish none of my possessions to be used in the interest of this stagnation.

–John H. W. Stuckenberg’s Last Will and Testament (June 6, 1898)

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The Reverend John H. W. Stuckenberg was a scholar, pastor, chaplain, sociologist, map collector, and theological liberal.  He, born as Johann Heinrich Wilbrand(t) Stuckenberg in Bramsche, Hanover, on January 6, 1835, was the fifth of six children of Hermann Rudolph Stuckenberg and Anne Marie Biest Stuckenberg.  The family emigrated to the United States in two phases.  Hermann and a daughter arrived first, in 1837.  The remainder of the family came two years later.  The Stuckenbergs lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, before leaving for Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1843.  Johann, his name Anglicized as John, was a pious and intellectual young man who grew up in a bilingual home.  Although German was the main language at home, he made English his primary language.

Above:  Wittenberg College, Springfield, Ohio, Circa 1910

Copyright Claimant = Charles F. Bowden

Image Source = Library of Congress

Stuckenberg had a lifelong interest in sociology.  He attended Wittenberg College (now University), Springfield, Ohio, from 1852 to 1857.  There he focused on sociology, philosophy, and theology.  After graduating as the valedictorian on June 28, 1857, our saint studied at Wittenberg Theological Seminary.  He graduated the following year.

Stuckenberg became a minister.  He served as the pastor of a struggling congregation in Davenport, Iowa, in 1858 and 1859.  Next he studied theology further at the University of Halle, in Germany, from 1858 to 1861.  Our saint was working toward a doctorate, but the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War and a lack of funding interfered with his plans.  In 1861-1862 and again from October 1863 to June 1865 Stuckenberg was a pastor in Erie, Pennsylvania.  From September 1862 to October 1863 Stuckenberg was the chaplain of the 145th Pennsylvania Volunteers, U.S. Army.  Our saint, an opponent of slavery and a critic of the foul language of General Winfield Scott Hancock, kept a diary, published posthumously (in 1995) as I’m Surrounded by Methodists….  This document has become the only published account of that unit of the U.S. Army.

As I had not slept any night before and had run about all day, ministering to the sick I felt very tired in the afternoon and was urged by Mrs. Wittich, and by Mrs. and Miss Coleman (at whose house I took my breakfast while at the Ferry) to remain till morning.  But I feared our regiment would move on and perhaps get into a battle, so I started the ferry at 4:20 P.M.  I got a chance to ride several miles in an ambulance.  When I got to our camp I found that the regiment had gone, so I started in pursuit and walked at a quick rate till nearly nine o’clock.  As I was very tired and still some miles from our regiment I went into a house and stayed there for the night.  The old lady and son-in-law (Mrs. Hagar) and one daughter were strong secesh.  The other daughter was Union, her husband a Un[ited] Breth[ren] preacher, being in our army.  Mrs. Hagar asked me whether I considered slavery a sin; on replying that I did, she became very much incensed and asked me whether I took the Bible for my guide?

–Stuckenberg, from the entry for November 10, 1862, at Warrenton, Virginia

In June 1865 Stuckenberg left for Germany, where he studied theology at the Universities of Göttingen, Berlin, and Tubingen (one semester each).

Stuckenberg, back in the United States in the Autumn of 1866, served as a pastor in Indianapolis, Indiana, from January 1867 to April 1868, when he left to serve at another church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, until August 1873.  He married Mary Gingrich (1849-1934), a former parishioner from Erie, Pennsylvania, on October 27, 1869.  Our saint, part of the old General Synod (1820-1918), wrote The History of the Augsburg Confession (1868) and served as Professor of Theology at Wittenberg College from August 1873 until 1880, when he resigned for health-related reasons.

The Stuckenbergs lived in Berlin, Germany, for about 14 years, starting in August 1880.  He served as an early pastor of the American Church there.  The couple returned to Berlin for a visit in November 1901, for the laying of the cornerstone of the new building.

The Stuckenbergs, back in the United States in 1894, settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Our saint was primarily an academic from 1894 until his death in 1903.  Theological developments at Wittenberg College soured Stuckenberg on his alma mater, so he transferred his favor to the progressive Pennsylvania (now Gettysburg) College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  He left his estate (including his collection of maps) and papers to that institution of higher learning.  [Aside:  Unfortunately, the author of the biography of John H. W. Stuckenberg at the webpage of the Special Collections and College Archives at Gettysburg College seems not to know consistently that “Stuckenberg’s” is a singular possessive adjective, not a plural noun.]  Stuckenberg traveled to Germany and England for occasional research.  Our saint, in London in April and May 1903, fell ill and required surgery.  At the time Mary was in Berlin.  She departed for London yet arrived too late; her husband had died during surgery.

Stuckenberg was a proto-Social Gospeler.  He, the author of Christian Sociology (1880), argued that authentic Christianity makes a concrete difference in society, influencing public policy for the better in lasting ways.  Our saint also insisted that human history is moving toward shalom, which makes no room for social class distinctions.

Stuckenberg, the author of many articles, also wrote the following books:

  1. The Life of Immanuel Kant (1882);
  2. The Final Science; or Spiritual Materialism (1885);
  3. Introduction to the Study of Philosophy (1888 and 1896);
  4. The Age and the Church (1893);
  5. The Social Problem (1897);
  6. Introduction to the Study of Sociology (1897);
  7. Sociology: The Science of Human Society (1903)–Volumes I and II.

Stuckenberg had also helped to translate K. R. Hagenbach’s German Rationalism, In Its Rise, Progress, and Decline into English (1865).

Stuckenberg was a great figure in U.S. Lutheranism.  Unfortunately, he has fallen through the cracks of scholarship with the passage of time.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 9, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF KARL BARTH, SWISS REFORMED MINISTER, THEOLOGIAN, AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR; FATHER OF MARKUS BARTH, SWISS LUTHERAN MINISTER AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF GEORG FRIEDRICH HELLSTROM, DUTCH-GERMAN MORAVIAN MUSICIAN, COMPOWER, AND EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER FOURIER, “THE GOOD PRIEST OF MATTAINCOURT;” AND SAINT ALIX LE CLERC, FOUNDRESS OF THE CONGREGATION OF NOTRE DAME OF CANONESSES REGULAR OF SAINT AUGUSTINE

THE FEAST OF SAINT WALTER CISZEK, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY PRIEST AND POLITICAL PRISONER

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

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [John H. W. Stuckenberg 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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A NOTICE REGARDING STUCKENBERG’S ANGLICIZED NAME:

As I prepared this post I read different versions of Stuckenberg’s Anglicized full name.  I read “John Henry Wilburn Stuckenberg” in the published version of his Civil War diary.  The biography at Gettysburg College listed his Anglicized name as “John Henry Wilbrand Stuckenberg.”  However, I found both “John Henry Wilbrandt Stuckenberg” and “John Henry Wilburn Stuckenberg” at archive.org.

KRT

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Feast of Amelia Bloomer (May 27)   1 comment

Above:  Amelia Bloomer

Image in the Public Domain

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AMELIA JENKS BLOOMER (MAY 27, 1818-DECEMBER 18, 1894)

U.S. Suffragette

On the calendar of saints of The Episcopal Church the feast of Amelia Bloomer is July 20.  On that calendar, however, she shares that date with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Ross Tubman.  On this, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, I am in the process of breaking up that joint commemoration.

Amelia Jenks, born in Homer, New York, on May 27, 1818, came from a devout Presbyterian family.  She, the youngest of six children, grew up to become a teacher and an activist.  She worked for temperance, the end of slavery, and the establishment of equal rights for women with men in the United States.  She married attorney Dexter Bloomer in Seneca Falls, New York, on April 13, 1840.  Our saint wrote political articles for her husband’s newspaper.  She attended the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls in 1848.  The following year our saint began to publish The Lily, a newspaper advocating for temperance, women’s suffrage, and legal and social equality for women.  She published that newspaper through 1855.  Furthermore, she began her journeys on the lecture circuit in 1851.

Above:  Title Page of the Bloomer Waltz, 1851

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USZC4-3591

In 1851 Bloomer began to wear the loose-fitting clothes (designed by Elizabeth Smith Miller) that became known as bloomers.  Bloomers came to replace corsets for many women, for corsets were not only uncomfortable but the causes of health problems.  Certain ministers, citing the Law of Moses’s injunction against women dressing like men, condemned bloomers as immoral.  Our saint replied that (1) the Law of Moses was irrelevant in this matter and (2) if these clergymen really cared about the Law of Moses, they would add fringes to their garments.

Our saint, associate editor of The Western Home Journal in the early 1850s, resided with her husband in Mount Vernon, Ohio, in 1854-1855, before they relocated to the frontier town of Council Bluffs, Iowa.  There the family remained.  There our saint, an Episcopalian, became deeply involved in civic life, helping to start schools and a library.  She also served as the first President of the Iowa Suffrage Association from 1871 to 1873.  Furthermore, Bloomer supported a variety of charities to help poor people.

Bloomer died, aged 76 years, at Council Bluffs on December 30, 1894.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 9, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF KARL BARTH, SWISS REFORMED MINISTER, THEOLOGIAN, AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR; FATHER OF MARKUS BARTH, SWISS LUTHERAN MINISTER AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF GEORG FRIEDRICH HELLSTROM, DUTCH-GERMAN MORAVIAN MUSICIAN, COMPOWER, AND EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER FOURIER, “THE GOOD PRIEST OF MATTAINCOURT;” AND SAINT ALIX LE CLERC, FOUNDRESS OF THE CONGREGATION OF NOTRE DAME OF CANONESSES REGULAR OF SAINT AUGUSTINE

THE FEAST OF SAINT WALTER CISZEK, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY PRIEST AND POLITICAL PRISONER

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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 Amelia Bloomer, 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 6:20-36

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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