Archive for the ‘Saints of the 950s’ Category

Feast of St. Bernard of Menthon (May 28)   Leave a comment

Above:  Part of Europe, 962 C.E.

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT BERNARD OF MENTHON (CIRCA 923-1008)

Roman Catholic Priest and Archdeacon of Aosta

Apostle of the Alps

Alternative feast day = June 15

St. Bernard, patron saint of skiers, mountaineers, mountain climbers, travelers in the mountains, dwellers in the Alps, and Campiglia Cerva (in Italy), came from nobility.  He, born in a castle in Menthon, Savoy (now France), circa 923, received a fine education.  Then he rejected the marriage his father had arranged for him.  St. Bernard prepared for the priesthood instead.  Our saint proved to be an effective evangelist in the region of Aosta for 42 years.

The mountain pass from the Valley of Aosta into Valois canton, Switzerland, was perilous.  That pass, now named for St. Bernard, was prone to avalanches and a haunt for robbers.  Our saint founded two monasteries (the first one in 962) along the pass and staffed them with Augustinian monks.  They provided shelter for religious pilgrims and religious pilgrims.  The monks, assisted by dogs, also searched for people lost in the snow.  St. Bernard also founded a patrol to rid the pass of robbers.

St. Bernard served on the diocesan level also.  He, the Archdeacon of Aosta (starting in 996), also held the position of Vicar-General of the diocese.

St. Bernard died in Novara, Italy, in 1008.  He was about 85 years old.  Starting in the 1300s he was informally a saint, until Pope Innocent XI canonized him in 1681.

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

Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servant Saint Bernard of Menthon,

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

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

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

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

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 15

Hebrews 12:1-2

Matthew 25:31-40

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

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Feast of St. Dunstan of Canterbury (May 19)   1 comment

Glastonbury Abbey, 1890

Above:  Ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, 1890

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-08401

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SAINT DUNSTAN OF CANTERBURY (909-MAY 19, 988)

Abbot of Glastonbury and Archbishop of Canterbury

St. Dunstan of Canterbury lived and worked in a political context different from that of the modern Western world.  Ideas such as constitutional government and the separation of church and state were foreign to the England of the 900s.  The Magna Carta, hardly the most democratic of documents, was centuries away, as was the concept that the monarch should not play an active role in ecclesiastical affairs.  Indeed, the United Kingdom has adopted religious toleration yet not the separation of church and state in contemporary times.

St. Dunstan, born in Baltonsborough in 909, came from a West Saxon noble family.  He studied at Glastonbury Abbey, where he learned music composition, painting, and mechanical arts, in which he was proficient.  Our saint, as a young man, entered the service of Athelstan, King of the Anglo-Saxons from 924 to 927 then King of the English from 927 to 939.  Petty jealousies in the royal court led to our saint’s exile from it.  False allegations of practicing the black arts constituted the pretext for the exile; violent intimidation enforced it.

At this point St. Dunstan’s life took a crucial turn.  He found refuge with a relative, Alphege, who served as the Bishop of Winchester from 934/935 to 951.  Our saint, recovering from an attack of brain fever, became a monk and began to live as a hermit.

In time St. Dunstan’s life intersected with royalty again.  King Edmund I (reigned 939-946) appointed him the royal treasurer.  During the reign (946-955) of Edred our saint was the de facto ruler of the kingdom, governing ably and well.  These duties overlapped with St. Dunstan’s job as the Abbot of Glastonbury (starting in 943).  In that capacity our saint made the abbey school famous and renewed monastic life.  Edred’s successor was Edwy (reigned 955-959), whose incestuous marriage St. Dunstan denounced.  Our saint spent his exile (955-957) in Flanders.  A rebellion among the Mercians and the Northumbrians made Edgar a rival monarch in 957-959 before he ruled as sole King of the English (959-975).  Edgar recalled St. Dunstan and appointed him Bishop of Worcester (957-959), Bishop of London (958-960), and Archbishop of Canterbury (960-988), as well as a royal advisor.

St. Dunstan made his mark as Archbishop of Canterbury.  He replaced married and other non-celibate priests with monks when possible.  Our saint also reformed monasticism strictly according to the Rule of St. Benedict, rebuilt churches, and promoted education.  His time as archbishop overlapped with the reign of King Edward the Martyr (reigned 975-978), the cause of death was murder.  St. Dunstan retired shortly after participating in the coronation of Ethelred II the Unready (reigned 978-1013 and 1014-1016).  England descended into political chaos despite St. Dunstan’s best efforts during the preceding decades to improve the kingdom.

St. Dunstan enjoyed a quiet and productive retirement.  He lived in Canterbury, where he taught at the cathedral school, painted, composed music, made musical instruments, founded bells, and practiced calligraphy.  He died on May 19, 988.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 15, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE NEW MARTYRS OF LIBYA, 2015

THE FEAST OF ALEXANDER VIETS GRISWOLD, PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS HAROLD ROWLEY, NORTHERN BAPTIST MINISTER, HUMANITARIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF THOMAS BRAY, ANGLICAN PRIEST

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O God of truth and beauty, you richly endowed your bishop Dunstan

with skill in music and the working of metals,

and with gifts of administration and reforming zeal:

Teach us, we pray, to see you in the source of all our talents,

and move us to offer them for the adornment of worship

and the advancement of true religion,

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns

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

Job 1:6-8

Psalm 57:6-11

Ephesians 5:15-20

Matthew 24:42-47

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 377

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Feast of Sylvester II (May 13)   3 comments

Vatican Flag

Above:  Vatican Flag

SYLVESTER II (CIRCA 945-MAY 12, 1003)

Also Known as Gerbert of Aurillac

Bishop of Rome

Today I add Pope Sylvester II (reigned April 2, 999-May 12, 1003) to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.  The Roman Catholic Church has not seen fit to canonize him; that constitutes an oversight.

I have been pondering adding Pope Sylvester II to my Ecumenical Calendar since the St. Abbo of Fleury post.  Part of the discipline inherent in working of these saints posts is staying on track and not chasing rabbits; one must return to some people later.  I have concluded that Sylvester II deserves a place on a place on my Ecumenical Calendar with one caveat:  My political theories are post-Enlightenment; he were pre-Enlightenment.  Thus I favor the separation of church and state for the benefit of the church, but Sylvester II supported theocracy.  That fact about him troubles me, but the rest of his life offsets that matter.  And he was a product of his times, just as I am a product of mine.

Gerbert of Aurillac was a great intellectual who accepted accurate knowledge wherever he found it.  For this reason many opponents within the Church accused him of being in league with Satan.  These anti-intellectuals shunned the classics of Greek and Roman philosophy and literature, calling them “vermin.”  But the works of Virgil, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Horace, etc. were not “vermin.”  No, for Gerbert, born into humble origins and educated at Aurillac monastery, they were essential works.  One needed to master the classics and to hone one’s abilities to be an excellent orator, he claimed.

Gerbert was a Renaissance man who lived before the Renaissance.  He studied the night sky with a telescope regularly and mastered mathematics.  He knew how to use an abacus well.  He built clocks and pipe organs.  And, 972 forward, as head of the Rheims Cathedral School, he built up that institution’s reputation as a center of intellectual inquiry.  For Gerbert astronomy, mathematics, Greek classics, good morals, and excellent oratory went hand-in-hand:

With my efforts to lead a good life, I have always tried to speak well, as philosophy does not separate these two things.  While to live a good life is more important than to be a good speaker, still to those of us in public affairs, both powers are necessary.  For it is of the highest advantage to be able to persuade by well-fashioned speech, and by sweet words to restrain angry souls from violence.

–quoted in James Reston, The Last Apocalypse:  Europe at the Year 1000 A.D. (New York:  Doubleday, 1998), page 211

Gerbert’s intellectual reputation in 980 threatened that of Otric, head of the Magdeburg Cathedral School and tutor of German Emperor Otto II (reigned 973-983).  Otric had heard that Gerbert had promoted physics as a branch of mathematics, not as a separate discipline.  Otto II and a rapt audience observed as the intellectuals debated.  Gerbert won the debate and Otto II’s favor.

It was good to have a royal patron, Gerbert learned.  Otto II appointed Gerbert to lead the monastery at Bobbio, which had a vast library, in 983.  Yet mutual misunderstandings led to opposition to Gerbert as abbot.  Otto II died later that year, leaving a three-year-old Otto III (reigned 983-1002), whose throne Gerbert saved from a usurper.  Then, in 984, Gerbert returned to Rheims, where he helped make Hugh Capet (reigned 987-996) then King of France.

Royal and papal politics played major roles in Gerbert’s life in the 990s.  He succeeded to the Archbishopric of Rheims in 991 yet had to vacate that post four years later in favor of one Arnoul.  This was the same Arnoul whom Gerbert had succeeded.  There had been no papal approval for Gerbert’s appointment in 991.  Gerbert argued against such a necessity yet Arnoul favored it.  In 996 Gerbert became the tutor and advisor to his friend, Otto III, who appointed him Archbishop of Ravenna in 998 and pulled strings the next year to make him the Pope.

Gerbert, now Sylvester II, took his regnal name from St. Sylvester I (reigned 314-335), an ally of Roman Emperor Constantine I “the Great.”  From this pontiff Sylvester II drew inspiration for papal-imperial cooperation.  The new Pope dreamed of uniting Europe with the full cooperation of Otto III.

Sylvester II used the powers of the office.  He opposed simony, punished priests who lapsed in their vows of chastity, called for the election of abbots by their monks, and expanded the reach of the Church into Poland, Norway, and Hungary.  He also reversed a previous position, supporting Arnoul’s claim to be Archbishop of Rheims and affirming the papal right to appoint bishops.

Sylvester II’s brief tenure and his shared dream with Otto III faced a great challenge in 1001, when a rebellion forced both of them to flee Rome.  Otto III died in 1002 and Henry II (reigned 1002-1024), son of the usurper from 983, succeeded to the throne.  Sylvester II returned to Rome that year as a purely spiritual leader.

Sylvester II, Bishop of Rome, was a fearless intellectual who challenged the anti-intellectual prejudices of his day.  For that fact I honor him.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 28, 2013 COMMON ERA

MAUNDY THURSDAY

THE FEAST OF SAINT TUTILO, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF KAROL SZYMANOWSKI, COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT GUNTRAM OF BURGUNDY, KING

THE FEAST OF HANS NIELSEN HAUGE, NORWEGIAN LUTHERAN LAY PREACHER

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

We thank you for the faithful legacy of Pope Sylvester II 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

Feast of St. Abbo of Fleury (November 13)   1 comment

Above:  The Sword of Orion

Image Source = Jet Propulsion Library

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SAINT ABBO OF FLEURY (CIRCA 945-NOVEMBER 13, 1004)

Roman Catholic Abbot

St. Abbo of Fleury was a great Christian intellectual, a scholar of philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy.  He also wrote a biography of St. Edmund , martyred King of East Anglia.

The saint, born at Orleans, studied there and at Reims before becoming a Benedictine monk at Fleury-sur-Loire.  From 986 to 987 he served as abbot at the new monastery at Ramsey, England, serving also as head of the school there.  In 988 he was elected Abbot of Fleury.  A political dispute followed, for another monk, one with royal connections, claimed the post.  Yet Gerbert (the future Pope Sylvester II, 999-1004) settled the dispute in St. Abbo’s favor.

As abbot St. Abbo became caught up in the difficult church-state politics of his time; there was no way for him to stay out of it.  In 991 he attended the Synod of Basel, which deposed Arnoul as Archbishop of Reims, a vacancy which Gerbert filled for a few years.  This deposition was political, and St. Abbo helped to reinstate Arnoul in 999.  The saint also stood with Pope Gregory V (reigned 996-999) against Antipope John XVI (reigned 997-998) and tried to make peace between the Pontiff and King Robert II of France (reigned 996-1031), who wound up being excommunicated for marrying this cousin Bertha.

End-of-the-world hysteria is not new.

There was a wave of it across Europe in 999.  St. Abbo worked to calm fears at that time.

Unfortunately, the scholar-saint died violently of wounds suffered during a violent confrontation at the monastery at LaReole, in Gascony, in November 1004. He was trying to reform the monastic life there.  The fact that two groups of monks were attacking each other indicated the need for such reform.  The saint tried to end the confrontation and got stabbed for his trouble.

The more I know about St. Abbo, the  more I like him.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 1, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ALL SAINTS

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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 Saint Abbo of Fleury.

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

Feast of Sts. Adalbero and Ulric of Augsburg (July 4)   Leave a comment

Above:  Southern Germany in 919 C.E.

SAINT ADALBERO OF AUGSBURG (DIED 909)

Roman Catholic Monk, Abbot, and Bishop

His feast transferred from April 28

uncle of 

SAINT ULRIC OF AUGSBURG (890-973)

Roman Catholic Bishop

His feast = July 4

Our story begins with his uncle, St. Adalbero of Augsburg (died 909).  St. Adalbero, who had become a Benedictine at Dillengen in 850, served as Abbot of Ellswangen then as Abbot of Lorsch; he restored the latter abbey.  Sometime after 887 St. Adalbero became Bishop of Augsburg.  Aside from his episcopal tasks, St. Adalbero functioned as an adviser to German King and Holy Roman Emperor Arnulf (reigned 887-899), as tutor to Arnulf’s son and successor, Louis III the Child (born 893; reigned 899-911), the last Carolingian ruler, and functioned as Louis III’s regent for a few years.

St. Adalbero also educated his nephew, St. Ulric of Augsburg (890-973), a native of Augsburg.  St. Ulric, as Bishop of Augsburg form 923 until his retirement, led the populace of the city in rebuilding the city and the cathedral after Magyars raided and plundered Augsburg.  He retired to St. Gall Abbey in modern-day Switzerland, having named his nephew, Henry I of Augsburg (died 982), to succeed him.  This seems to have been a bad choice, but some realities become clear only after the fact.  Pope John XV canonized St. Ulric in 993.  This was the first recorded canonization by a Bishop of Rome.

Each of us faces a unique set of challenges.  You have yours, O reader, as I have mine.  They overlap yet the sets of challenges are not identical.  And Sts. Adalbero and Ulric of Augsburg had their unique sets of challenges.  What matters is how each of us meets then.  Do we, trusting in God, do our best?  We are fallible, of course.  We will have some good intentions and undesirable consequences of actions.  Yet God knows this about us and works through us anyway.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 5, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ROBERT FRANCIS KENNEDY, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL AND SENATOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT BONIFACE OF MAINZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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Almighty God, you have raised up faithful bishops of your church,

including your servants Saints Adalbero and Ulric of Augsburg.

May the memory of their lives be a source of joy for us and a bulwark of our faith,

so that we may serve and confess your name before the world,

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

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84

1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21

John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

Feast of Sts. Olga of Kiev, Adalbert of Magdeburg, Adalbert of Prague, Benedict of Pomerania, and Gaudentius of Pomerania (April 15)   1 comment

Above:  Germany and Russia in 1000 Common Era

SAINT OLGA OF KIEV (DIED 969)

Regent of Kievan Russia, 945-964

Her feast transferred from July 11

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SAINT ADALBERT OF MAGDEBURG (DIED 981)

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Magdeburg

His feast transferred from June 20

mentored

SAINT ADALBERT OF PRAGUE (956-997)

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Prague then Gnesen

“Apostle to the Prussians”

His feast transferred from April 23

martyred with

SAINT BENEDICT OF POMERANIA AND SAINT GAUDENTIUS OF POMERANIA (DIED 997)

Fellow Evangelists with Saint Adalbert of Prague

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Serving God can lead to difficulties, ranging from failure to martyrdom.  Yet, as Mother Teresa of Calcutta commented, God calls us to be faithful, not successful.  The five saints whose overlapping stories I recount were certainly faithful, if not immediately successful.

Our saga of faithfulness begins with St. Olga of Kiev.  Of peasant stock, she married Igor, Grand Prince of Kiev (reigned 912-945).  Igor died when their son, Svyatoslav I (reigned 964-972), was a minor.  So St. Olga became regent of the first Russian state, governing ably.  She converted to Christianity in 955 or 957, depending on the source one considers trustworthy.  The regent asked Otto I, King of Germany (reigned 936-973) to send missionaries.  Otto sent a group which included St. Adalbert of Magdeburg, then a monk at the Benedictine monastery at Trier.

The mission proceeded safely as long as St. Olga was in power.  But, in 964, Svyatoslav I, a pagan, assumed full authority. History tells us that he reigned until 972, waged expansionist wars, and died at the hands of the Patzinaks, who had invaded Kievan Russia.  History also tells us that the Grand Prince had some missionaries killed; the others fled.  St. Adalbert of Magdeburg survived to evangelize another day.  Furthermore, history informs us that the death of Svyatoslav I sparked an intradynastic conflict settled by his son, Vladimir I (reigned 980-1015).  Vladimir converted to Christianity in 988, founding the Russian Orthodox Church.  His mother became the first mother the new church canonized.  The Russian Orthodox Church also declared Vladimir a saint, with a feast day of July 15.

Out of danger, St. Adalbert of Magdeburg spent four years at the imperial court at Mainz.  He also became Abbot of Weissenburg, a post he used to patronize learning.  Then, with royal support, the saint became the first Archbishop of Magdeburg.  He spent the rest of his life evangelizing the Wends, Slavonic people in Germany.

St. Adalbert of Prague, baptized as Voytiekh, came from a Bohemian noble family.  He studied under St. Adalbert of Magdeburg, who confirmed him.  So it was that Voytiekh took the confirmation name of Adalbert.  St. Adalbert of Prague became Bishop of Prague in 982 and spent the next six years attempting in vain to convert the populace.  So, in 988, he gave up and retreated to monastic life at Monte Cassino then Rome.  He returned four years later because Pope John XV (reigned 985-996) ordered him to do so.  After two more years of failure, however, the saint left Prague a second time.  Not only did people refuse to convert, but the saint locked horns with dangerous nobles.

The saint returned to Rome, but Pope Gregory V (reigned 996-999) ordered him back to Prague.  St. Adalbert disobeyed this command, given the threats of violence if he returned.  So the saint traveled instead through Hungary and Poland, becoming Archbishop of Gnesen and a missionary to the Prussians.  So it was that he and his fellow evangelists, St. Benedict and St. Gaudentius, became martyrs in Pomerania at the hands of a pagan priest.

The killing of missionaries has not ended Christianity in places; history confirms this.  That, however, is a lesson which many people have not learned.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 31, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHARLES FREDERIC MACKENZIE, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF CENTRAL AFRICA

THE FEAST OF MENNO SIMONS, MENNONITE LEADER

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

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

Saint Olga of Kiev,

Saint Adalbert of Magdeburg,

Saint Adalbert of Prague,

Saint Benedict of Pomerania, and

Saint Gaudentius of Pomerania,

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

until at last we may attain to your eternal joy;

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

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 15

Hebrews 12:1-2

Matthew 25:31-40

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

Feast of Sts. Willigis and Bernward (February 23)   1 comment

Above:  The Western Region of the Holy Roman Empire in 1000 C.E.

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT WILLIGIS (DIED 1011)

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Mainz

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SAINT BERNWARD (DIED 1022)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Hildesheim

His feast transferred from November 20

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St. Willigis, as a priest, became chaplain to Holy Roman Emperor Otto II (reigned 973-983), who appointed him Archbishop of Mainz in 975.  Archbishop Willigis crowned the three-year-old Otto III as Emperor in 983 and, along with regents, helped to govern the realm during Otto III’s minority.  And, after Otto III died in 1002, St. Willigis helped name Henry II (reigned 1002-1024) as Emperor.  The saint was more than a statesman; he also sent missionaries to Sweden and Denmark, built a cathedral at Mainz, founded many churches, and named many capable bishops.

St. Bernward became an orphan then grew up in the household of his uncle, Volkmar, Bishop of Utrecht.  Ordained a priest at Mainz, St. Bernward became imperial chaplain and tutor to the seven-year-old Emperor Otto III in 987 and Bishop of Hildesheim six years later.  As Bishop he built St. Michael’s Church and monastery at Hildesheim and earned a reputation as a capable leader.  He was also involved in a jurisdictional dispute with St. Willigis over the convent and church at Gandershiem.  Rome settled the matter in St. Bernward’s favor, and St. Willigis accepted the decision.    St. Bernward joined the Benedictine order in his later years.  He died on November 20, 1022.

I chose to pair these two saints on the same day because their lives intersected.  We who call ourselves Christians need not agree all the time; indeed, we will not.  But we can be gracious and agreeable.  Celebrating Sts. Willigis and Bernard together reinforces this point.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 8, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MARTIN RINCKART, ARCHDEACON OF EILENBURG

THE FEAST OF RICHARD BAXTER, ANGLICAN THEOLOGIAN

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Almighty God,

you raised up faithful bishops of your church,

including your servants Saint Willigis and Saint Bernward.

May the memory of his life be a source of joy for us and a bulwark of our faith,

so that we may serve and confess your name before the world,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84

1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21

John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47

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

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Revised on December 6, 2016

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