Archive for the ‘St. Tikhon of Moscow’ Tag

Feast of St. Raphael of Brooklyn (February 27)   5 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 St. Alexander Hotovitzky (December 4)   2 comments

Above:  Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Moscow, Russia, Prior to Its Demolition in 1931

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT ALEXANDER HOTOVITZKY (FEBRUARY 11, 1872-AUGUST 19, 1937)

Russian Orthodox Priest and Martyr, 1937

Orthodox Church in America feast day = December 4

Russian Orthodox Church feast day = August 7

St. Alexander Hotovitzky served God, followed Jesus, and received the crown of martyrdom.  He, born in Kremenetz, Russian Empire (now Ukraine), on February 11, 1872, was a son of archpriest Alexander Hotovitzky, Rector of the Volhynia Theological Seminary.  Our saint studied at that institution then at St. Petersburg Theological Seminary, earning his M.A. degree in 1895.

Then Hotovitzky’s time as a missionary in the United States began.  After time in Alaska, our saint became reader at the new St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, New York, New York.  He married Maria Scherbuhina, became a deacon, then finally joined the ranks of priests at February 25, 1896.  Bishop Nicholas ordained him at the diocesan cathedral in San Francisco, California.  As pastor of the St. Nicolas Orthodox Church, New York City, our saint ministered to immigrants and started congregations in various towns and cities, from Yonkers, New York, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He also helped to build the new St. Nicholas Cathedral (dedicated in 1902) in New York City.

Hotovitzky returned to the Russian Empire in 1914.  He served first in mainly Lutheran Helsinki, Finland, in 1914-1917.  In August 1917 our saint became assistant pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Moscow.  He worked closely with St. Tikhon of Moscow (1865-1925), who had been the Bishop of the Aleutians and Alaska (1898-1905) then the Archbishop of the Aleutians and North America (1905-1907), prior to returning to Russia. St. Tikhon became the Patriarch of Moscow in late 1917.  Hotovitzky played an active role in administering the Diocese of Moscow.

Hotovitzky kept the faith under Bolshevik rule.  He helped to found the Christ the Saviour Cathedral, to maintain the church.  He also became a prisoner twice (in 1920 and 1921) for conducting religious education in 1922, when the state, on the pretense of helping the poor, confiscated icons and sacred vessels.  The cathedral and the Russian Orthodox Church, in fact, had been doing much to help the poor and continued to do so.  As the state executed many Russian Orthodox clergymen, our saint faced charges in 1922; he allegedly sought to regain church lands and property the state had confiscated, and had supposedly tried to overthrow the government.  Hotovitzky, sentenced to a decade of incarceration on December 13, 1922, served a term that ended in October 1923.

The persecution continued.  Hotovitzky, arrested on September 24, 1924, spent three years in exile in the Turuhan region.  After returning from exile, Hotovitzky assisted the future Patriarch Sergius I.  During the 1930s our saint served at the Church of the Deposition of the Robe, Moscow, until his final arrest, in 1937.

Hotovitzky has been an official saint since December 4, 1994.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 24, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr, Saint Alexander Hotovitzky,

triumphed over suffering and was faithful even to death:

Grant to us, who now remember him in thanksgiving, to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world,

that we may receive with him the crown of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord,

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

Sirach (Eccelesiasticus) 51:1-12

Psalm 116 or 116:1-8

Revelation 7:13-17

Luke 12:2-12

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2020), 714

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Feast of John Raleigh Mott (October 3)   1 comment

Above:  John Raleigh Mott

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ggbain-22746

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JOHN RALEIGH MOTT (MAY 25, 1865-JANUARY 31, 1955)

U.S. Methodist Lay Evangelist, and Ecumenical Pioneer

It is a startling and solemnizing fact that even as late as the twentieth century, the Great Command of Jesus Christ to carry the Gospel to all mankind is still so largely unfulfilled….The church is confronted today, as in no preceding generation, to make Christ known.

–John Raleigh Mott, at the International Missionary Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1910

John Raleigh Mott comes to this, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Episcopal Church, which has set his feast day as October 3.

The Episcopal Church added Mot to the then-new Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (published in 2010) at the General Convention of 2009.  His feast transferred to the successor volume, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016).  The General Convention of 2018 approved the addition of Mott’s feast to the Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, the first revision of Lesser Feasts and Fasts since 2006.

Mott, born in Livingston Manor, New York, on May 25, 1865, devoted most of his adult life to missions.  Our saint, the third of four children, was the only son of Elmira Dodge and John Mott.  The family moved to Pottsville, Iowa, in September 1865.  There our saint’s father, a lumber merchant, served as mayor.  At the age of 16 years Mott matriculated at Upper Iowa University, Fayette, Iowa.  He transferred from the Methodist preparatory school and college to Cornell University in 1885.  In the summer of 1886 Mott represented the Cornell chapter of the Young Men’s Christian Association (Y.M.C.A.) at the first international conference of the Y.M.C.A.  Our saint, chapter president in 1886-1888, graduated in 1888, having majored in philosophy and history.  In 1891 he married Leila Ada White of Worster, Ohio.  The couple had four children–two daughters and two sons.

Meanwhile, Mott had commenced his career with the Y.M.C.A.  In September 1888 he began to serve as the National Secretary of the Intercollegiate Y.M.C.A. of the U.S.A. and Canada; he held that post for 27 years.  Concurrent portfolios included the following:

  1. General Secretary of the World Student Christian Federation (1895f);
  2. Assistant General Secretary, Y.M.C.A. (1901f);
  3. Presiding officer, International Missionary Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland (1910);
  4. General Secretary of the International Committee, Y.M.C.A. (1915-1928); and
  5. President of the World Committee, Y.M.C.A. (1926-1937).

Mott was an ecumenical pioneer.  The International Missionary Conference, held at Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1910, began the modern ecumenical movement, in which Mott remained active.  He also attended the Faith and Order Conference (Lausanne, Switzerland, 1927), served as the Vice President of the Second World Conference on Faith and Order (Edinburgh, Scotland, 1937), and was the Chairman of the Life and Work Conference (Oxford, England, 1937).  In 1948 our saint became the honorary lifelong Honorary President (1948f) of the new World Council of Churches.

Mott also engaged in civil services.  After he declined President Woodrow Wilson’s offer to become the Ambassador to China, our saint joined the Mexican Commission in 1916 and the Special Diplomatic Mission to Russia the following year.  During World War I Mott served as the General Secretary of the National War Work Council.  After the war our saint received the Distinguished Service Medal.

Mott, author of 16 books about missions, traveled widely on missions tours.  He received honors in foreign nations as well as the United States, and earned the trust of many people, including St Tikhon of Moscow (1865-1925), the Patriarch of Moscow.

Late in life, Mott received more honors.  He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946.  He eventually became an honorary canon of Washington National Cathedral, also.

Mott, aged 89 years, died at home, in Orlando, Florida, on January 31, 1955.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 2, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF RALPH W. SOCKMAN, U.S. UNITED METHODIST MINISTER

THE FEAST OF CARL DOVING, NORWEGIAN-AMERICAN LUTHERAN MINISTER AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF JAMES ALLEN, ENGLISH INGHAMITE THEN GLASITE/SANDEMANIAN HYMN WRITER; AND HIS GREAT-NEPHEW, OSWALD ALLEN, ENGLISH GLASITE/SANDEMANIAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF PETRUS HERBERT, GERMAN MORAVIAN BISHOP AND HYMNODIST

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O God, the shepherd of all, we give you thanks for the lifelong commitment of your servant

John Raleigh Mott to the Christian nurture of students in many parts of the world;

and we pray that, after his example, we may strive for the weaving together of all peoples

in friendship, fellowship and cooperation, and while life lasts be evangelists for Jesus Christ,

in whom alone is our peace; and who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,

one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 60:1-5

Psalm 71:17-24

1 John 2:12-14

Luke 7:11-17

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 621

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Give us grace, O merciful God, to seek and serve you in all nations and peoples,

following the example of your servant John Raleigh Mott,

that all the peoples of the earth, who divided and enslaved by sin,

might be led into that glorious liberty that you desire for all your children;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit

be all honor and glory, now and forever.  Amen.

Isaiah 60:1-5

Psalm 71:17-24

Luke 7:11-17

Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018

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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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Feast of St. Tikhon of Moscow (April 7)   4 comments

St. Tikhon of Moscow

Above:  St. Tikhon of Moscow

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT TIKHON OF MOSCOW (JANUARY 19, 1865-APRIL 7, 1925)

Russian Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow

Also known as Vasily Ivanovich Belavin

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May God teach every one of us to strive for His truth, and for the good of the Holy Church, rather than something for our own sake.

–St. Tikhon of Moscow

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From the calendars of saints of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Orthodox Church in America, and The Episcopal Church St. Tikhon of Moscow, whom the website of the Orthodox Church in America describes as “Patriarch and Confessor of Moscow” and “Enlightener of North America,” comes to A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

St. Tikhon’s life began in the Russian Empire and ended in the Soviet Union.  Vasily Ivanovich Belavin entered the world at Klin, Toropets District, Pskov Province, Russia, on January 19, 1865.  His father was a Russian Orthodox priest.  Our saint grew up around peasants.  From an early age he learned humility and kindness, characteristics he exhibited throughout his life.  From 1878 to 1883 he studied at Pskov Theological Seminary, where he was an excellent student.  Belavin graduated from St. Petersburg Theological Academy in 1888 then returned to Pskov Theological Seminary to teach moral and dogmatic theology.  He was already living somewhat like a monk, only without vows, so it was natural that the 26-year-old Belavin took monastic vows in 1891.  He became Tikhon, after St. Tikhon of Zadonsk (1724-1783), Bishop of Voronezh.

Our saint’s career progressed rapidly after that.  In 1892 he transferred to Kholm Theological Seminary and became an archimandrite, a senior priest one level below bishop.  St. Tikhon became a bishop on October 19, 1897, officially serving as the Bishop of Lublin but really functioning as the Vicar Bishop of Kholm.  From 1898 to 1907 our saint served in the United States, first as the Bishop of the Aleutians and Alaska.  He renamed the see to the Diocese of the Aleutians in 1900.  That year his presence at the consecration of Reginald Heber Weller as the Episcopal Bishop of Fond du Lac contributed to a controversy and a scandal in The Episcopal Church when many Evangelical Episcopalians found the photograph of Episcopal, Orthodox, and Old Catholic bishops posing in copes and mitres disturbing.  The “Fond du Lac Circus” upset many people for a long time.  St. Tikhon reorganized his diocese, founded churches, and functioned as a kind chief pastor, and won the affection and respect of his flock.  The diocese became an archdiocese in 1905, so he became the Archbishop of the Aleutians and North America.  Among our saint’s acts as archbishop was granting permission for the founding of the Monastery of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, Waymart, Pennsylvania, in 1905.

Our saint returned to Russia in 1907.  There he remained.  From 1907 he served as the Bishop of Yaroslavl.  St. Tikhon transferred to Vilnius in 1913.  There he did much to help the poor of that city during World War I, a conflict which proved to be devastating domestically in Russia.  He was briefly (August 15-November 5, 1917) the Metropolitan of Moscow before becoming the Patriarch.  As the Patriarch of Moscow St. Tikhon had to contend with schismatics on one side and Bolsheviks on the other.  He was glad to welcome former schismatics back into the fold, which he did, but the Soviet government was a greater problem.  It confiscated much church property.  When St. Tikhon approved the sale of certain church property to finance relief efforts for famine victims during the Russian Civil War, such confiscations hampered the humanitarian efforts.  His criticisms of the Soviet government led to his house arrest at a monastery for just over a year (1923-1924).  Under pressure our saint denied being an enemy of the Soviet government.  That statement aroused much opposition to him within the Church.

St. Tikhon died at Moscow on April 7, 1925, two days after celebrating his last Divine Liturgy.  He was 60 years old.  As he died our saint crossed himself and said,

Glory be Thee, O Lord, glory be to Thee.

He did this two complete times and died during the third time.

The Russian Orthodox Church canonized him in 1989.

A recurring theme I noticed in the life of St. Tikhon of Moscow was that many people criticized him harshly and made life difficult for him.  For example, he posed for a photograph wearing his episcopal garb at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and many Evangelical Episcopalians condemned him.  He had done nothing wrong, though.  Many Russian schismatics lambasted St. Tikhon, but he welcomed many of them back into the fold.  Our saint defended the church from the Bolsheviks and sought to feed starving people, but found himself a prisoner for speaking out.  He, in a difficult situation, sought to preserve the Church, but his way of doing so outraged many churchmen.  St. Tikhon was a kind soul and a good man–a better and kinder person than many of his critics, I suppose.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 14, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS MACRINA THE ELDER, BASIL THE ELDER, EMILA, NAUCRATIUS, AND PETER OF SEBASTE, FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS OVER THREE CENTURIES

THE FEAST OF CIVIL RIGHTS MARTYRS AND ACTIVISTS

THE FEAST OF KRISTEN KVAMME, NORWEGIAN-AMERICAN HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT SAVA I, FOUNDER OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH AND FIRST ARCHBISHOP OF SERBS

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Holy God, holy and mighty, who has called us together into one communion and fellowship:

Open our eyes, we pray, as you opened the eyes of your servant Tikhon,

that we may see the faithfulness of others as we strive to be steadfast

in the faith delivered to us, that the world may see and know you;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,

be glory and praise to the ages of ages.  Amen.

Jeremiah 31:10-14

Psalm 72:1-8

2 Peter 1:3-11

Matthew 5:3-16

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 313

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Feast of Richard Meux Benson, Charles Chapman Grafton, and Charles Gore (January 16)   1 comment

Anglican Communion

Above:  The Flag of the Anglican Communion

Image in the Public Domain

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Benson

Image in the Public Domain

RICHARD MEUX BENSON (JULY 6, 1824-JANUARY 14, 1915)

Anglican Priest and Cofounder of the Society of St. John the Evangelist

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Grafton

Image in the Public Domain

CHARLES CHAPMAN GRAFTON (APRIL 12, 1830-AUGUST 30, 1912)

Episcopal Priest, Cofounder of the Society of St. John the Baptist, and Bishop of Fond du Lac

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Gore

Image in the Public Domain

CHARLES GORE (JANUARY 22, 1853-JANUARY 17, 1932)

Anglican Bishop of Worcester, Birmingham, and Oxford; Founder of the Community of the Resurrection; Theologian; and Advocate for Social Justice and World Peace

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PROLOGUE

January 16  and 17 seem to be auspicious days for celebrating founders of monastic orders.  So far the list has consisted of St. Antony of Egypt and St. Pachomius the Great.  With this post I remain within the theme yet depart antiquity for the 1800s.  Richard Meux Benson, Charles Chapman Grafton, and Charles Gore join the company of saints at this weblog.  The Church of England celebrates Gore’s life on January 17.  The Episcopal Church celebrates the lives of Gore and Benson on January 16 and the life of Grafton on August 30.  I have decided to follow the Episcopalian practice of joining Benson and Gore on January 16 and to depart from the Episcopalian practice of commemorating Grafton on August 30.  A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days is my project–one of my hobbies–so I have full authority with regard to it.

RICHARD MEUX BENSON, PART I

This composite account begins with Richard Meux Benson, born to a wealthy family in London, England, the United Kingdom, on July 6, 1824.  He, tutored privately at home for years, went on to attend Christ Church, Oxford, where he met to major influences, the Tractarians Edward Bouverie Pusey (1800-1882) and John Henry Newman (1801-1890).  Our saint graduated with his B.A. in 1847 and his M.A. two years later.  Benson took Anglican Holy Orders in 1849, served briefly as the Curate of St. Mark’s, Surbiton (1849-1850), then became the Vicar of Cowley, Oxford (1850-1886).  In 1865, at Cowley, he, along with two other priests, founded the Mission Priests of St. John the Evangelist, which became the Society of St. John the Evangelist (S.S.J.E.) the following year.  The S.S.J.E. became the first stable Anglican religious order for men founded since the English Reformation.  Members, who were active in the outside world, lived communally, recited the Divine Office together daily, meditated privately at least one hour daily when possible, and spent designated days on spiritual retreats and in silence.

CHARLES CHAPMAN GRAFTON, PART I

The two cofounders of the S.S.J.E. were Father Simeon Wilberforce O’Neill and Father Charles Chapman Grafton.  The latter, a native of the United States, had started his sojourn in England.  Grafton, born to a wealthy family in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 12, 1830, had entered the ordained life after graduating from Harvard Law School in 1853.  He, after studying with the Right Reverend William Rollinson Whittingham, the Bishop of Maryland from 1840 to 1879, entered the Sacred Order of Deacons on December 23, 1855.  Grafton served at Reisterstown, Maryland, for a few years.  He became a priest on May 30, 1858.  Next he served as the Curate of St. Paul’s Church, Baltimore, and as the Chaplain of Deaconesses in the Diocese of Maryland.  Our saint lived in England from 1865 to 1872.

RICHARD MEUX BENSON, PART II

Benson served at Cowley until 1886, when he resigned to devote his full attention to the S.S.J.E.  From 1870 to 1883 the order spread to the United States, India, and South Africa.  Our saint wrote the rule for the order, the Superior of which he remained until 1890.  Afterward he traveled the world for a few years.  Benson spent a year in India then eight years in Boston.  He spent the Lent of 1895 preaching and teaching in parishes in Baltimore, despite the fact that his high churchmanship  had prompted critical comments by William Paret, the Bishop of Maryland from 1884 to 1911.  Benson returned to England, where he remained for the last 16 years of his life.  He took communion every morning.  When he could no longer walk to take communion, someone pushed him in a wheelchair.  Benson died on January 14, 1915.

Benson wrote much.  Searches at archive.org yielded the following results:

CHARLES CHAPMAN GRAFTON, PART II

Grafton returned to the United States in 1872.  He became the Rector of the Church of the Advent, Boston, Massachusetts, an Anglo-Catholic parish.  Grafton also left the S.S.J.E. due to a jurisdictional dispute regarding Benson.  Grafton did, however, help to found the American Congregation of St. Benedict, now the Benedictine Order of St. John the Beloved.  Then, in 1888, he, with Mother Ruth Margaret, founded the Sisterhood of the Holy Nativity.

In 1888 the Diocese of Fond du Lac elected Grafton to become its bishop.  The consecration occurred on August 25, 1889.  Bishop Grafton expanded the diocese.  He did this via two financial channels–his wealth and the wealth of people in the East whom he persuaded to contribute.  Nevertheless, perhaps Grafton’s most memorable moment occurred in 1900, at the consecration of Bishop Coadjutor Reginald Heber Weller.  Grafton, an ecumenist with strong interest in ties to Old Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, invited distinguished guests to participate in the consecration of Bishop Weller.  Bishop Antoni Kazlowski of the Polish National Catholic Church and Bishop Tikhon (now St. Tikhon) of the Russian Orthodox Church joined Episcopal bishops in the conscration of Weller.  The ecumenical breadth of bishops offended many Protestant-minded Episcopalians, who also objected to the photograph of all the bishops in full episcopal regalia.  The sight of Episcopal bishops in copes and mitres was a cause of much ecclesiastical controversy.  In time the scandal of the “Fond du Lac Circus” died down.

Grafton died on August 30, 1912.  Two years later Cathedral Editions of his complete works (Volumes I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, and VIII) debuted in print.

CHARLES GORE

Charles Gore was sui generis–of his own kind.  He was a liberal–a social radical, even–yet many theological radicals considered him to be too conservative.  Gore valued tradition yet many traditionalists thought he was too liberal.  He was an Anglo-Catholic yet many Anglo-Catholics considered him to be insufficiently Anglo-Catholic.  Others expected him to fit into a round hole, but he was a gloriously square peg.

Gore, a native of Wimbledon, London, the United Kingdom, came from a privileged family.  His privilege continued as he studied at Harrow then at Baillol College, Oxford.  In 1875 he became a Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford.  He, a deacon in 1876 and a priest in 1878, served as the Vice Principal of the theological school at Cuddesdon from 1880 to 1883.  Next he was the first Principal of Pusey House, Oxford, from 1884 to 1893.

Gore was a popular preacher.  He served as the Incumbent of Radley from 1893 to 1894 before becoming the Canon of Westminster in 1894.  Sundays on which he preached were much-anticipated days for many people.

In 1887 Gore founded the Society of the Resurrection, which became the Community of the Resurrection five years later.  The new order started with six priests, and our saint served as the first Superior (1892-1901).

Gore became a bishop in 1902.  He served as the Bishop of Worcester (1902-1905), the Bishop of Birmingham (1895-1911), and the Bishop of Oxford (1911-1919).  He retired to London in 1919.  Our saint wrote and preached a great deal, lectured at King’s College, and served as the Dean of the theological faculty of London University (1924-1928).  He died of pneumonia on January 17, 1932, after returning from a trip to India.  Gore was 78 years old.

Gore’s theology included much room for ambiguity.  He embraced higher criticism of the Bible, allowing for the realities of science and history, yet he insisted on the veracity of biblical miracles and the truth of the Church’s ancient creeds.  Nevertheless, some traditionalists questioned our saint’s Christology, especially when he argued that Jesus, as God incarnate, had taken on human limitations to his knowledge.

Gore favored a reasoning faith, a synthesis of critical reason and Christian faith.  He called this synthesis liberal Catholicism.  (Note the lowercase “l” in “liberal,” O reader, for that is crucial.  There is such a thing as Liberal Catholicism, with strong Theosophical influences.  Gore was hardly a Theosophist.)  Gore’s liberal Catholicism included defenses of apostolic succession and support for tradition.  It did not, however, follow tradition blindly, for it accommodated reason, science, and history.  As Ross Mackenzie wrote of our saint in the Christian Passages section of The Episcopal Church’s Education for Ministry, Year Three (1991),

Catholicism meant for him the establishment of a visible society that is the home of salvation.  But it must be a liberal Catholicism, appealing to scripture, antiquity, and reason in its concern for liberty, equality, and fraternity, “real expressions,” he said, “of the divine wisdom for today.”

–Page 493

This Social Gospel aspect of Gore’s theology found expression regarding many issues.  Sound theology, he insisted, must translate into positive social action.  In 1889 he helped to found the Christian Social Union, an outgrowth of Tractarian social concern.  Gore criticized imperialism, including that of his own nation-state.  He also advocated for international reconciliation after World War I.  The passage of time has confirmed that Germany suffered due to the ravages of the Great War and to vengeful treaty provisions, leading to high levels of resentment.  Nazis fed off that sense of grievance as well as other factors.  The article of the article on Gore in Volume 10 of the Encyclopedia Britannica (1968) noted our saint’s concern with social issues such as housing, education, world peace, and industrial relations.  That author wrote that this concern flowed from Gore’s

fundamental theological conviction of the unity of grace and nature in the divine purpose.  From this premise he concluded that his pastoral office demanded the broadest concern for human welfare as well as watchful care for the good order of the church.

–Page 583

Many works by Gore and some about him came to my attention when I searched at archive.org, my favorite website.  I have divided these works into categories, the first of which is original works by Gore:

The second category is works to which Gore contributed:

The third category is books Gore edited:

The fourth category is works in which another person edited Gore’s words:

Finally, in its own category is a response to Gore:

EPILOGUE

The Synoptic Gospels tell a story about a wealthy young man.  In Mark 10:17-3, Matthew 19:16-30, and Luke 18:18-30, a rich young man asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life.  According to our Lord and Savior, this young man, who has kept certain commandments religiously, lacks one thing:

Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.

–Luke 18:22b, Revised Standard Version–Catholic Edition (1966)

The young man leaves a sorrowful person, for he trusts in his wealth, not in God.

Richard Meux Benson, Charles Chapman Grafton, and Charles Gore came from backgrounds of economic privilege, but did not trust in that privilege.  No, they trusted in God.  They cared about the problems of the less fortunate and of those near and far, and acted accordingly.  They built up the Church, for the glory of God.  They were trees which produced good fruit.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT PAPHNUTIUS THE GREAT, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF UPPER THEBAID

THE FEAST OF NARAYAN SESHADRI OF JALNA, INDIAN PRESBYTERIAN EVANGELIST AND “APOSTLE TO THE MANGS”

THE FEAST OF SAINT PATIENS OF LYONS, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP

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Gracious God, you have inspired a rich variety of ministries in your Church:

We give you thanks for Richard Meux Benson, Charles Chapman Grafton, and Charles Gore,

instruments in the revival of Anglican monasticism.

Grant that we, following their example,

may call for perennial renewal in your Church through conscious union with Christ,

witnessing to the social justice that is a mark of the reign of our Savior Jesus,

who is the light of the world; and who lives and reigns with you

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

1 Kings 19:9-12

Psalm 27:5-11

1 John 4:7-12

John 17:6-11

–Altered from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 171

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