Archive for the ‘Isabel Florence Hapgood’ Tag

Feast of St. Raphael of Brooklyn (February 27)   8 comments

Above:  St. Raphael of Brooklyn

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT RAPHAEL OF BROOKLYN (NOVEMBER 20, 1860-FEBRUARY 27, 1915)

Syrian-American Russian Orthodox Bishop of Brooklyn

Born Rufā īl Hawāwīnī (Raphael Hawaweeny)

St. Raphael of Brooklyn comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Orthodox Church in America (OCA).  The Holy Synod of the OCA canonized him in 2000.

Categories of saints exist.  St. Raphael of Brooklyn falls into the category of First–in this case, the first Eastern Orthodox bishop consecrated on American soil, in 1904.

St. Raphael came from Arabic Christian stock.  He, born in Beirut, Syria, on November 20, 1860, was, through his mother (Mariam), a grandson of a priest.  Our saint’s father was Michael Hawaweeny.  Persecution of Christians in Syria was underway in 1860; the family priest, St. Joseph of Damascus (Joseph George Haddad Firzli, 1793-1860), had become a martyr in July.  St. Raphael’s parents fled to Beirut shortly prior to his birth.  Eventually, the family returned to Damascus.

St. Raphael, a good student, was on track to become a priest in the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople.  He, made a monk on March 28, 1879, served as the assistant of Hierotheus, the Patriarch of Antioch.  St. Raphael went to the School of Theology at Halki, via the patronage of the Patriarch Hierotheus and at the invitation of Joachim III, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.  At Halki, on December 8, 1885, our saint became a deacon.  The following July, St. Raphael received his Certificate of Theology then went home.  Gerasimus, the new Patriarch of Antioch, favored our saint and granted him opportunities to preach and to study.  Gerasimus permitted St. Raphael to study at the Theological Academy, Kiev, with the condition that our saint return and become the Patriarch’s Russian-language secretary.

St. Raphael did well under the patronage of Patriarch Gerasimus.  Our saint, appointed to the Antiochian church in Moscow, became a priest by the hand of Sylvester, the Rector of the Academy, at the request of Gerasimus.  A month later, Ioannikii, the Metropolitan of Moscow, promoted St. Raphael to the rank of archimandrite (a senior priest one level below bishop).  Our saint also arranged for 24 Syrian students to study theology in Russia.

Then Gerasimus resigned from the See of Antioch to become the Patriarch of Jerusalem.  St. Raphael campaigned for the next Patriarch of Antioch to be a Syrian, not a foreigner, as many had been for a long time.  The next Patriarch, elected in 1891, was Spyridon, a Greek Cypriot.  Spyridon suspended St. Raphael, who also found himself on the bad sides of the Patriarch of Jerusalem (yes, Gerasimus), the Patriarch of Alexandria, and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.  Czar Alexander III granted their request that he forbid the publication of St. Raphael’s articles for Russian newspapers.  So our saint started writing books instead.

Eventually, St. Raphael reconciled with Spyridon, who lifted the suspension.  Our saint transferred to the Russian Orthodox Church.  He taught Arabic studies at the theological academy, Kazan, until 1895.  That year, St. Raphael accepted an invitation from the Syrian Orthodox Benevolent Society of New York to minister to the Arab Orthodox Christians there.  He arrived on November 2, 1895.

For the next nearly 20 years, St. Raphael was a missionary in America.  Our saint founded St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral, New York City, almost immediately, in 1895.  He, as the head of the Syro-Arab Orthodox Mission in North America, made missionary journeys in North America.  St. Raphael also wrote an Arabic-language service book, The Book of True Consolation in the Divine Prayers (1898).  Furthermore, our saint recruited educated laymen as candidates for ordination.  In 1898, St. Tikhon of Moscow (1865-1925) became the Bishop of the Aleutians and Alaska.  St. Tikhon’s title became Bishop of the Aleutians two years later.  St. Tikhon worked with St. Raphael, first as his bishop then as his fellow bishop.  Our saint, who refused an offer to become the Auxiliary Bishop of Beirut in 1901, also declined to become the Bishop of Zahleh (now in Lebanon) that year.  Work in New York and elsewhere in North America mattered more to St. Raphael.  Finally, in 1904, when St. Tikhon needed to share his episcopal burden, our saint became the first Bishop of Brooklyn.

Bishop St. Raphael was active, serving with St. Tikhon through 1907, when the latter returned to Russia.  Our saint founded Al-Kalimat (The Word), the official publication of the Syro-Arab Orthodox Mission, in late 1904.  St. Raphael encouraged the use of English in worship; he recommended Isabel Florence Hapgood‘s Service Book of the Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic (Greco-Russian) Church (1906).  He chose to remain in America in 1908, rather than become the Metropolitan of Tripoli.  St. Raphael received the diagnosis of his fatal heart condition in 1912.  The bishop traveled across North America faithfully through 1915, when he, aged 54 years, died on February 27.

Faithfulness, humility, and dedication to duty defined the life and ministry of St. Raphael of Brooklyn.

May those qualities also define our lives and work.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 3, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF GEORGE KENNEDY ALLEN BELL, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF CHICHESTER

THE FEAST OF ALBERTO RAMENTO, PRIME BISHOP OF THE PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENT CHURCH

THE FEAST OF SAINT GERARD OF BROGNE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF JOHN RALEIGH MOTT, U.S. METHODIST LAY EVANGELIST, AND ECUMENICAL PIONEER

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Saint Raphael of Brooklyn,

whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of Canada, Mexico, and the United States of America.

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

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

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

Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 96 or 96:1-7

Acts 1:1-9

Luke 10:1-9

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

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Feast of Isabel Florence Hapgood (June 26)   1 comment

Above:  Isabel Florence Hapgood

Image in the Public Domain

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ISABEL FLORENCE HAPGOOD (NOVEMBER 21, 1851-JUNE 26, 1928)

U.S. Journalist, Translator, and Ecumenist

Isabel Florence Hapgood had a gift for languages.  She used it well.  Our saint, born to a wealthy family of Boston, Massachusetts, on November 21, 1851, was an Episcopalian from cradle to grave.  From 1855 to 1881 she grew up in the family home in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Hapgood, educated at private schools in Worcester then in Farmington, Connecticut, had demonstrated her linguistic abilities before she graduated from Miss Proctor’s School, Farmington, in 1868, the year her father, Asa, died.  During the next ten years Hapgood studied Germanic languages, Romance languages, Polish, Russian, and Church Slavonic; she had already mastered French and Latin.  In 1885 she published The Epic Songs of Russia, her first book of translations from Russian.  Many more volumes, mostly of translations from Russian, Spanish, Italian, French, Polish, Dutch, and Portuguese, followed.  Hapgood made many works of literature written in foreign languages available to English-language readers.

From 1887 to 1917 Hapgood visited Russia frequently.  She, fluent in conversational Russian, befriended many important people, including luminaries of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as Leo Tolstoy, some of whose works she translated into Russian.  In 1891 and 1892 she helped him raise funds in the United States to help victims of a famine in Russia.  Our saint, who understood the value of proper liturgy and good liturgical singing, helped to organize the choir of the new St. Nicholas Cathedral, New York City, in 1903.  Her liturgical masterpiece, which she translated with the permission of Orthodox bishops in North America, was the Service Book of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Apostolic (Greco-Russian) Church (first edition, 1906), about which St. Tikhon of Moscow (1865-1925), then the Bishop of the Aleutians, was enthusiastic.  The Russian Revolutions of 1917 halted Hapgood’s visits to Russia, so she helped Russians who had fled their homeland and assisted others in getting out.

Hapgood was also a journalist.  She was a foreign correspondent for The Nation and The New York Evening Post.  Our saint also contributed to The New York Times, Harper’s Weekly, The Century, and The Atlantic Monthly.

Hapgood died in New York City on June 26, 1928.  She was 76 years old.

The Episcopal Church added Hapgood, respected in the Orthodox Church, to the denominational calendar of saints at the General Convention of 2009.  This was just, for her work of translating the Divine Liturgy into English facilitated Anglican-Eastern Orthodox dialogues.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 5, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF JAPAN, 1597-1639

THE FEAST OF SAINT AVITUS OF VIANNE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT JANE (JOAN) OF VALOIS, COFOUNDER OF THE SISTERS OF THE ANNUNCIATION

THE FEAST OF SAINTS PHILEAS AND PHILOROMUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS

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Loving God, we thank you for the work and witness of Isabel Florence Hapgood:

Guide us as we persevere in the reconciliation of all people, that we may be one in Christ;

who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, unto the ages of ages.  Amen.

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

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Loving God, we thank you for the work and witness of Isabel Florence Hapgood,

who introduced the Divine Liturgy of the Russian Orthodox Church to English-speaking Christians,

and encouraged dialogue between Anglicans and Orthodox.

Guide us as we build on the foundation that she gave us,

that all may be one in Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, to the ages of ages.  Amen.

Isaiah 6:1-5

Psalm 24

Revelation 5:8-14

John 17:17-23

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 441

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