Archive for the ‘St. John the Almsgiver’ Tag

Feast of St. John the Almsgiver (January 23)   Leave a comment

Above:  Saint John the Almoner, by Titian

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT JOHN THE ALMSGIVER (CIRCA 550-616/620)

Patriarch of Alexandria

Also known as Saint John the Almoner, Saint John the Merciful, and Saint John V of Alexandria

Eastern Orthodox feast day = November 12

St. John the Almsgiver served God faithfully, especially as God was present in the poor of Alexandria, Egypt.

St. John, from Roman imperial nobility, initially pursued a secular life.  His father was Epiphanus, governor of Cyprus.  Our saint, born in Amathus, Cyprus, circa 550, married and a had a family.  After St. John’s wife and children died, he entered religious life.

St. John became the Patriarch of Alexandria, succeeding Theodore I, in 610.  Our saint gave money to needy people, whom he called his

lords and masters.

He also opposed simony, as well as corruption in secular life.  For example, St. John, aware of the habitual and frequent exploitation of the poor, lobbied for uniform weights and measures.  The Patriarch also advocated for improved religious education as a means of counteracting heresies. St. John also increased the number of churches in Alexandria from seven to seventy.

After the Persian occupation of Alexandria began, St. John went into exile on Cyprus.  He died there no earlier than 616 and no later than 620.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 31, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICODEMUS, DISCIPLE OF JESUS

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O God, our heavenly Father, who raised up your faithful servant Saint John the Almsgiver,

to be a bishop in your Church and to feed your flock:

Give abundantly to all pastors the gifts of your Holy Spirit,

that they may minister in your household as true servants of your divine mysteries;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84 or 84:7-11

Ephesians 3:14-21

Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 719

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Feast of St. Sophronius of Jerusalem (March 9)   Leave a comment


Above:  Egypt and Palestine in the Roman Empire, 395 C.E.

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT SOPHRONIUS OF JERUSALEM (DIED CIRCA 638)

Roman Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem

Born at Damascus, Syria, St. Sophronius became a monk in 580.  He traversed Egypt, Syria, and Asia Minor with John Moschus, a fellow hermit, for decades.  They spent one of those decades in Alexandria, under St. John the Almsgiver, Patriarch of Alexandria.  The two also made a pilgrimage to Rome, where Moschus died in 620.  After this St. Sophronius returned to Jerusalem, where he became Patriarch in 634.  As Patriarch he condemned the heresy called Monothelitism.  According to the 1962 Encyclopedia Americana, Monothelitism

maintained that though Christ had two natures coexisting distinctly in the unity of the person, yet these natures possessed or acted by but a single will, the divine, which so predominated over or absorbed the human as to deprive it of all action or efficiency.

The Council of Constantinople of 680 condemned (wisely) this proposition as a heresy, siding with St. Sophronius and his partisans.

The saint had to flee Jerusalem in 638, due to a Saracen attack on the city.  He died shortly thereafter, in either Jerusalem or Alexandria.  (Sources contradict each other on where he died.)

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 13, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ELLA J. BAKER, WITNESS FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

THE FEAST OF SAINT LUCY OF SYRACUSE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

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Almighty God,

you raised up faithful bishops of your church,

including your servant Saint Sophronius of Jerusalem.

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 24, 2016

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