Archive for the ‘Roanoke Island’ Tag

Feast of the Baptisms of Manteo and Virginia Dare, 1587 (August 17)   2 comments

Above:  Stamp of Virginia Dare and Her Parents

Image in the Public Domain

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MANTEO (BAPTIZED AUGUST 13, 1587)

VIRGINIA DARE (BORN AUGUST 18, 1587; BAPTIZED AUGUST 20, 1587)

In The Episcopal Church we have a calendar of saints.  The current guide to that calendar is A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016), which includes saints added at the General Convention of 2015.  That volume includes this feast, which originated as a commemoration in the Diocese of East Carolina, the website of which includes an icon of Manteo and Virginia Dare.

Roanoke Island, off the coast of what is now North Carolina, was the site of the first English colony in North America.  The mapping expedition spent part of 1584 there.  That expedition met Manteo, an indigenous leader, who traveled to London, learned English, and became an intermediary.  The first colony lived on the island in 1585-1586.  Manteo helped it survive, but the colonists returned to England anyway.  He arrived with the second group of colonists (120 people) on August 3, 1587.  Ten days later, on a Sunday, Manteo became a baptized Christian in the first Anglican baptismal service in North America.  He was the first indigenous American baptized according to The Book of Common Prayer (1559).

The governor of the second colony was John White (d. 1593).  He became a grandfather on August 18, when his daughter, Eleanor White Dare, gave birth to Virginia Dare, the first child born to English settlers in North America.  Eleanor and her husband Ananias Dare presented Virginia for baptism on Sunday, August 20.  This was the second recorded Anglican baptism in North America.  A few days later White sailed for England, to seek necessary supplies.  A round trip that was to supposed to last a few months stretched into nearly three years, due mainly to King Philip II of Spain and his Grand Armada in 1588.  When the English government turned its attention to the struggling colony at Roanoke Island, time had run out.  White returned on August 18, 1590, but found no colony.  The second colony had become the “Lost Colony.”

If subsequent stories about blue-eyed Natives in the area were plausible, the fate of the “Lost Colony” has not been a mystery for a long time.

This feast’s collect, which uses language from the baptismal rites from The Book of Common Prayer (1979), challenges us to honor God’s

gift of diversity in human life.

We do not know the fates of Manteo, Virginia Dare, her parents, and the other colonists, but we can affirm, in the words of a familiar song,

Red and yellow, black and white,

they are precious in his sight.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 21, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALOYSIUS GONZAGA, JESUIT

THE FEAST OF BERNARD ADAM GRUBE, GERMAN-AMERICAN MINISTER, MISSIONARY, COMPOSER, AND MUSICIAN

THE FEAST OF CARL BERNHARD GARVE, GERMAN MORAVIAN MINISTER, LITURGIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOHN JONES AND JOHN RIGBY, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS

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O God, you have created every human being in your image, and each one precious in your sight:

Grant that, in remembering the baptisms of Manteo and Virginia Dare,

we may grow in honoring your gift of diversity in human life;

become stronger in living out our baptismal vow to respect the dignity of every human being;

and bring into the fellowship of the risen Christ those who come to him in faith,

baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 or Ezekiel 36:24-28

Psalm 16:5-11

Romans 6:3-11

Mark 10:35-45

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

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