Archive for the ‘St. Brice of Tours’ Tag

Feast of St. Brice of Tours (November 13)   Leave a comment

Above:  A U-Turn

Image Source = Smurrayinchester

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SAINT BRICE OF TOURS (CIRCA 370-444)

Roman Catholic Bishop

Also known as Saint Britius of Tours

Sometimes I hear or a comment about how someone with obvious character flaws was or is “not a saint.”  Such a statement of what qualifies one as a saint indicates a major misunderstanding.  The New Testament definition of a saint is a Christian.  And those whom church authorities have recognized as saints have been among the first to acknowledge their sins.  The official saints were not as different from the rest of us who profess to follow Jesus and struggle with our sins as some think.  We sin, we confess our sins, we repent–“turn around,” literally–and we repeat the cycle.  What matters most is that we keep returning to the proper path.

The life of St. Brice (or Britius) of Tours (circa 370-444) is an excellent example of this principle.  He, the ward of St. Martin of Tours, tried his guardian’s patience.  St. Brice was a juvenile delinquent who heaped contempt upon the very patient St. Martin.  St. Brice reformed and became a priest, but he slipped back into unholy patterns of living.  Yet St. Martin refused to give up on him.  Of St. Brice the elder saint said,

If Christ could tolerate Judas, surely I can put up with Brice.

St. Martin succeeded in reforming St. Brice, who succeeded him as Bishop of Tours in 397.  But the younger saint demonstrated what one source called a “disagreeable character.”   For years many people tried to have him removed.  They succeeded after some accused him of having carried on an affair.  This may have been a false charge, but he was unfit for his office.  The initial phase of St. Brice’s episcopate had lasted for thirty-three years.  For seven years St. Brice insisted upon his innocence.  Finally, restored as Bishop of Tours, he was a changed man, one whose lived holiness was impossible not to notice.  He died in 444, beloved.

I wonder:  How might St. Brice have turned out without human and divine patience?  And how will the example of his life influence how you, O reader, treat others?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 22, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK PRATT GREEN, BRITISH METHODIST MINISTER, POET, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF BARTHOLOMEW ZOUBERBUHLER, ANGLICAN PRIEST

THE FEAST OF PAUL TILLICH, LUTHERAN THEOLOGIAN

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Good Shepherd, king of love,

accept our thanks and praise

for all the love and care we have received;

and for your servant Saint Brice of Tours.

May our care for each other grow constantly

more reverent and more discerning.  Amen.

Jeremiah 1:4-10 or Ezekiel 3:16-21 or Ezekiel 34:11-16

Psalm 15 or 99

Acts 20:28-35 or 2 Corinthians 4:1-10 or 1 Peter 5:1-4

Matthew 24:42-47 or John 10:11-16 0r John 21:15-19

–Adapted from A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989), 681-682