Thursday, March 5, 2015

Piran of Cornwall

Piran’s family origins are obscure; tradition says he came from Ireland. Spent his youth in south Wales where he founded a church in Cardiff. Received religious schooling at the monastery of Saint Cadog at Llancarfon, where he met Saint Finnian of Clonard. The two returned together to Ireland where Finnian founded six monasteries, including his most famous one at Clonard. Piran lived there before Saint Enda on Aran Island, and then Saint Senan on Scattery Island. He founded his own community at Clonmacnoise, “Ireland’s University”.

Cornish legend says Piran was captured in his old age by pagan Irish, jealous of his miraculous powers, especially his ability to heal. They tied a millstone around his neck, and threw him off a cliff into the sea during a storm. As Piran hit the water the storm abated and the millstone bobbed to the surface like a cork. On his stone raft, Piran sailed for Cornwall, landed at Perran Beach, built a small chapel on Penhale Sands, and made his first converts – a badger, a fox, and a bear. He lived there for years as a hermit, working miracles for the locals.

Piran founded churches at Perran-Uthno and Perran-Arworthal, a chapel at Tintagel, and a holy-well called the “Venton-Barren” at Probus. He made trips to Brittany where he worked with Saint Cai. Arthurian tradition from Geoffrey of Monmouth says he was chaplain to King Arthur, and Archbishop of York after Saint Samson was exiled by Saxon invasions, though it is doubtful he ever took up his See.

Piran’s patronage of Cornwall derives from his popularity with the Cornish tin-miners. Legend says that Piran discovered tin in Cornwall when he used a large black rock to build a fireplace, and found that the heat made a trickle of pure white metal ooze from the stone. He shared this discovery with the locals, providing the Cornish with a lucrative living. The people were so delighted that they held a sumptuous feast where the wine flowed like water. Piran was fond of the odd tipple, resulting in the Cornish phrase “As drunk as a Perraner”. The trickled of white metal upon a black background remains as the White Cross of Saint Piran on the Cornish National flag.

Piran died at his little hermitage near the beach. His relics were a great draw to pilgrims but, due to inundation by the sands, they were moved inland to the parish church of Perran-Zabulo, built to house them.

The Cross of St. Piran


Propers for Piran - Abbott and Patron of Cornwall

The Collect.

O GOD, by whose grace the blessed (abbot) Piran enkindled with the fire of thy love, became a burning and a shining light in thy Church: Grant that we may be inflamed with the same spirit of discipline and love, and ever walk before thee as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Philippians 3:7-15.


The Gospel - St. Luke 12:22-37.


Reference and Resources:

http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-piran/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Piran


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Adrian of May

Missionary bishop on the isle of May in the Firth of Forth off the western coast of Britain. May have evangelized in Ireland. May have been bishop of Saint Andrews; records are unclear. Leader of a group of missionaries killed by pagan Danes.


Propers for Adrian of May - Missionary, Bishop and Martyr


The Collect.

Almighty and Everlasting God, who didst enkindle the flame of thy love in the heart of thy holy martyr Adrian : Grant to us, thy humble servants, a like faith and power of love, that we who rejoice in his triumph may profit by his example; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


The Lesson - Jeremiah 15:15-21


The Holy Gospel - St. Mark 8:34-38.


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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

John and Charles Wesley


(Charles Wesley died 29 March 1788. John Wesley died 2 March 1791. Because Chad is remembered on 2 March, the Wesleys are remembered on 3 March.)

The Wesley brothers, born in 1703 and 1707, were leaders of the evangelical revival in the Church of England in the eighteenth century. They both attended Oxford University , and there they gathered a few friends with whom they undertook a strict adherence to the worship and discipline of the Book of Common Prayer, from which strict observance they received the nickname, "Methodists." Having been ordained, they went to the American colony of Georgia in 1735, John as a missionary and Charles as secretary to Governor Oglethorpe. They found the experience disheartening, and returned home in a few years. There, three days apart, they underwent a conversion experience. John, present with a group of Moravians who were reading Martin Luther's Preface to the Epistle to the Romans, received a strong emotional awareness of the love of Christ displayed in freely forgiving his sins and granting him eternal life.

Following this experience, John and Charles, with others, set about to stir up in others a like awareness of and response to the saving love of God. Of the two, John was the more powerful preacher, and averaged 8000 miles of travel a year, mostly on horseback. At the time of his death he was probably the best known and best loved man in England.

But, although Wesley found it natural to approach the Gospel with habits of thought formed by a classical education, he was quick to recognize the value of other approaches. The early Methodist meetings were often led by lay preachers with very limited education. On one occasion, such a preacher took as his text Luke 19:21, "Lord, I feared thee, because thou art an austere man." Not knowing the word "austere," he thought that the text spoke of "an oyster man." He spoke about the work of those who retrieve oysters from the sea-bed. The diver plunges down from the surface, cut off from his natural environment, into bone-chilling water. He gropes in the dark, cutting his hands on the sharp edges of the shells. Now he has the oyster, and kicks back up to the surface, up to the warmth and light and air, clutching in his torn and bleeding hands the object of his search. So Christ descended from the glory of heaven into the squalor of earth, into sinful human society, in order to retrieve humans and bring them back up with Him to the glory of heaven, His torn and bleeding hands a sign of the value He has placed on the object of His quest. Twelve men were converted that evening. Afterward, someone complained to Wesley about the inappropriateness of allowing preachers who were too ignorant to know the meaning of the texts they were preaching on. Wesley, simply said, "Never mind, the Lord got a dozen oysters tonight." Charles was the better hymn-writer of the two. He wrote over 6000 hymns, including about 600 for the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.

It was the intention of the Wesleys and their colleagues that their "Methodist Societies" should be a group within the existing structure of the Anglican Church, but after their deaths the Societies in America, and to a lesser extent in England, developed a separate status.

Propers for John and Charles Wesley, Renewers of the Church.

The Collect.

Lord God, who didst inspire Thy servants John and Charles Wesley with burning zeal for the sanctification of souls, and didst endow them with eloquence in speech and song: Kindle in Thy Church, we beseech Thee, such fervor, that those whose faith has cooled may be warmed, and those who have not known Thy Christ may turn to him and be saved; who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


The Epistle - Isaiah 49:5-6.

And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength. And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.


The Gospel - St. Luke 9:2-6.

And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart. And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.

Reference and Resources:

http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/03/03.html
http://anglicanmusic.blogspot.com/2009/03/honoring-wesleys.html

Monday, March 2, 2015

Chad of Litchfield

is perhaps best known for not being Archbishop of York. He was elected and duly installed, but various persons raised objections, and rather than cause division in the Church he withdrew in favor of the other candidate, Wilfrid (see 12 Oct).

The objection was that some of the bishops who had consecrated him--although not Chad himself--were holdouts who, even after the Synod of Whitby had supposedly settled the question in 663, insisted on preserving Celtic customs on the date of celebrating Easter and similar questions, instead of conforming to the customs of the remainder of Western Christendom.

He was soon after made Bishop of Litchfield in Mercia. There he traveled about as he had when Archbishop of York, always on foot (until the Archbishop of Canterbury gave him a horse and ordered him to ride it, at least on long journeys), preaching and teaching wherever he went. He served there for only two and a half years before his death, but he made a deep impression.

In the following decades, many chapels, and many wells, were constructed in Mercia and named for him. (It was an old custom to dig a well where one was needed, and to mark it with one's own name or another's, that thirsty travelers and others might drink and remember the name with gratitude.)

Propers for Chad of Litchfield - Bishop, Missionary and Teacher.

The Collect.

Almighty God, Whose servant Chad, for the peace of the Church, relinquished cheerfully the honors that had been thrust upon him, only to be rewarded with equal responsibility: Keep us, we pray Thee, from thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, and ready at all times to give place to others, (in honor preferring one another,) that the cause of Christ may be advanced; in the name of Him who washed his disciples' feet, even the same Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


The Epistle - Philippians 4:4-9.

REJOICE in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice, Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.


The Gospel - St. Matthew 25:31-40.

WHEN the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the lease of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.


Reference and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chad_of_Mercia
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/common.cfm
http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/03/02.html

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Second Sunday in Lent

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - 1 Thessalonians iv. 1.

WE beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: that no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.


The Gospel - St. Matthew xv. 21.

JESUS went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshiped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

David (Dewi) of Wales

(c. 500–589) (known in Welsh as Dewi Sant) was a church official, later regarded as a saint and as the patron saint of Wales. David contrasts with the other national patron saints of the British Isles, Saints George and Andrew and in that a relatively large amount of information is known about his life. However, his birth date is still uncertain, with suggestions ranging from 462 to 512

When the pagan Anglo-Saxons invaded Britain in the fifth and sixth centuries, many British Christians sought refuge in the hill country of Wales. There they developed a style of Christian life devoted to learning, asceticism, and missionary fervor. Since there were no cities, the centers of culture were the monasteries, and most abbots were bishops as well. Dewi (David in English) was the founder, abbot, and bishop of the monastery of Mynyw (Menevia in English) in Pembrokeshire. He was responsible for much of the spread of Christianity in Wales, and his monastery was sought out by many scholars from Ireland and elsewhere. He is commonly accounted the apostle of Wales, as Patrick is of Ireland. His tomb is in St. David's cathedral, on the site of ancient Mynyw, now called Ty-Dewi (House of David).

The ancient custom in Wales, as throughout Celtic Christendom, was to have bishops who were abbots of monasteries, and who had no clear territorial jurisdiction, simply traveling about as they were needed. Eventually, however, the bishops of Bangor, Llandaff, St. Asaph, and St. Davids became the heads of four territorial dioceses, to which the diocese of Monmouth and the diocese of Swansea and Brecon have been added in this century.

For many centuries the Church in Wales had closer ties with the Celtic Churches in Scotland, Ireland, and Brittany than with the Church in Anglo-Saxon England. However, after the Norman conquest of Britain (1066 and after), the Anglo-Norman Kings began to contemplate the conquest of Wales. William the Conqueror began with the subjugation of South Wales as far as Carmathen, but the Welsh uplands remained independent far longer, and the conquest was not complete until about 1300, under Edward I. But eventually all of Wales came under English control, and the Church in Wales was placed under the jurisdiction of Canterbury, and thus became identified in the minds of many with the English supremacy. In 1920 the Church in Wales (Eglwys yng Nghymru) became independent of outside jurisdiction (though still in communion with other Anglican Churches, in England and elsewhere) and clear of all ties with the government. It is bilingual and active in the preservation of the Welsh language and culture.


Propers for David of Wales - Bishop and Confessor

The Collect.

Almighty God, who didst call thy servant David to be a faithful and wise steward of thy mysteries for the people of Wales: Mercifully grant that, following his purity of life and zeal for the gospel of Christ, we may with him receive the crown of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and ever Amen.


The Epistle - Wisdom 7:7-14.

I CALLED upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her before sceptres and thrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison of her. Neither compared I unto her any precious stone, because all gold in respect of her is as a little sand, and silver shall be counted as clay before her. I loved her above health and beauty, and chose to have her instead of light: for the light that cometh from her never goeth out. All good things together came to me with her, and innumerable riches in her hands. And I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom goeth before them: and I knew not that she was the mother of them. I learned diligently, and do communicate her liberally: I do not hide her riches. For she is a treasure unto men that never faileth: which they that use become the friends of God, being commended for the gifts that come from learning.


The Gospel - St. John 17:18-23.

AS thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me though their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.


Reference and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_David
http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/03/01.html
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/david.cfm

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Ember Days At the Four Seasons

The Collect.

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast committed to the hands of men the ministry of reconciliation; We humbly beseech thee, by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, to put it into the hearts of many to offer themselves for this ministry; that thereby mankind may be drawn to thy blessed kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Acts xiii. 44.

THE next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.


The Gospel - St. Luke iv. 16.

JESUS came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Oswald of Worcester

(died 29 February 992) was Archbishop of York from 972 to his death in 992. He was of Danish ancestry, but brought up by his uncle, Oda who sent him to France to the abbey of Fleury to become a monk. After a number of years at Fleury, Oswald returned to England at the request of his uncle, who died before Oswald returned. With his uncle's death, Oswald needed a patron and turned to another kinsman, Oskytel, who had recently become Archbishop of York. His activity for Oskytel attracted the notice of Saint Dunstan who had Oswald consecrated as Bishop of Worcester in 961. In 972 Oswald was promoted to the see of York, although he continued to hold Worcester also.

As bishop and archbishop, Oswald was a supporter of Dunstan's reforms of the church, including monastic reforms. He was one of the leading promoters of the reforms, along with Dunstan and Aethelwold. Oswald founded a number of monasteries, including Ramsey Abbey. Oswald also switched the cathedral chapter of Worcester from secular clergy to monks. While archbishop, he brought the scholar Abbo of Fleury to York to teach for several years. Oswald died in 992, while washing the feet of the poor. A hagiographical life was written shortly after his death, and he was quickly hailed as a saint.

Propers for Oswald of Worcester - Monk, Archbishop and Reformer

The Collect.

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast called us to faith in thee, and hast compassed us about with so great a cloud of witnesses: Grant that we, encouraged by the good examples of thy Saints, and especially of thy servant Oswald of Worcester, may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at length, through thy mercy, we with them attain to thine eternal joy; through him who is the author and finisher of our
faith, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Philippians 3:7-15.

HOWBEIT what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ. Yea verily, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I suffer the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not having a righteousness of mine own, even that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death; if by any means I may attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect: but I press on, if so be that I
may apprehend that for which also I was apprehended by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself yet to have apprehended: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us
therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye are otherwise minded, even this shall God reveal unto you.


The Gospel - St. John 17:18-23.

AS thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.


Reference and Resources:

http://www.earlybritishkingdoms.com/adversaries/bios/oswaldyork.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswald_of_Worcester
http://saints.sqpn.com/sainto12.htm
http://members.cox.net/kjc402/1963_Lesser_F&F.pdf


Friday, February 27, 2015

The Ember Days At the Four Seasons

The Collect.

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast committed to the hands of men the ministry of reconciliation; We humbly beseech thee, by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, to put it into the hearts of many to offer themselves for this ministry; that thereby mankind may be drawn to thy blessed kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Acts xiii. 44.

THE next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.


The Gospel - St. Luke iv. 16.

JESUS came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

George Herbert

(3 April 1593 – 1 March 1633) was a Anglo-Welsh Priest, Poet, Orator and Churchman.

Being born into an artistic and wealthy family, he received a good education which led to his holding prominent positions at Cambridge University and Parliament. As a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, England, George Herbert excelled in languages and music. He went to college with the intention of becoming a priest, but his scholarship attracted the attention of King James I. Herbert served in parliament for two years. After the death of King James and at the urging of a friend, Herbert's interest in ordained ministry was renewed.

In 1630, in his late thirties he gave up his secular ambitions and took holy orders in the Church of England, spending the rest of his life as a rector of the little parish of St. Andrew, Bemerton, near Salisbury. He was noted for unfailing care for his parishioners, bringing the sacraments to them when they were ill, and providing food and clothing for those in need.

Throughout his life he wrote religious poems characterized by a precision of language, a metrical versatility, and an ingenious use of imagery or conceits that was favoured by the metaphysical school of poets. He is best remembered as a writer of poems and the hymn "Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life." He is commemorated on 27 February throughout the Anglican Communion as not to conflict with the Feast of St. David.


The Collect.

O ETERNAL Lord God, who boldest all souls in life: We beseech thee to shed forth upon thy whole Church in paradise and on earth the bright beams of thy light and thy peace; and grant that we, following the good examples of thy servant George Herbert, and of all those who loved and served thee here, may at the last enter with them into thine unending joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Reference and Resources:

http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/02/27.html
http://www.missionstclare.com/english/people/feb27.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Herbert
http://anglicanhistory.org/herbert/index.html

Thursday, February 26, 2015

John Kalphes

lived in a suburb of occupied Constantinople, called Galata. He was a cabinetmaker by profession, and he had acquired great skill in his craft, so that important officials made use of his services. He was entrusted with the inner adornment of the sultan's palace.

John was distinguished for his Christian charity, he provided for orphans and those locked up in prison, and many turned to him for help. One time a certain dignitary asked John to take on his nephew as an apprentice. He agreed, and the youth received an honorable position at court upon the completion of his apprenticeship.

Once, encountering his former teacher and benefactor, he asked John what it says in the Christian books about their "prophet" Mohammed. John did not want to answer his question, but because of the persistent demands of the youth, he declared that Mohammed was a mere mortal, an uneducated man who did not perform a single miracle during his lifetime. He went on to say that Mohammed was no prophet, but rather an adversary of God. The youth, devoted to Islam, reported to his fellow Moslems that the cabinetmaker had insulted Mohammed.

John was brought to trial, where they demanded that he renounce Christ, but he bravely confessed his faith in Christ. After torture, they sent the holy martyr off to penal servitude, where he spent six months. Then, for the next three months they beat him in the prison. Seeing that they could not coerce him into submitting to their will, they beheaded him in the crowded city square in Ergat-Bazara, near the Bedestan (a covered bazaar) on February 26, 1575.

The suffering of the holy Martyr John Kalphes were recorded by Father Andrew, the Chief Steward (Megas Oikonomos) of the Patriarch of Constantinople, who communed him with the Holy Mysteries in prison.


Propers for John Kalphes - Confessor and Martyr


The Collect.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who didst strengthen thy blessed martyr John Kalphes with the virtue of constancy in faith and truth: Grant us in like manner for love of thee to despise the prosperity of this world, and to fear none of its adversities; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - 2 Esdras 2:42-48.

I ESDRAS saw upon the mount Sion a great people, whom I could not number, and they all praised the Lord with songs. And in the midst of them there was a young man of a high stature, taller than all the rest, and upon every one of their heads he set crowns, and was more exalted; which I marvelled at greatly. So I asked the angel, and said, Sir, what are these? He answered and said unto me, These be they that have put off the mortal clothing, and put on the immortal, and have confessed the name of God: now are they crowned, and receive palms. Then said I unto the angel. What young person is it that crowneth them, and giveth them palms in their hands? So he answered and said unto me, It is the Son of God, whom they have confessed in the world. Then began I greatly to commend them that stood so stiffly for the name of the Lord. Then the angel said unto me, Go thy way, and tell my people what manner of things, and how great wonders of the Lord thy God, thou hast seen.


The Gospel - St. Matthew 10:16-22.

BEHOLD, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall he brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a witness to them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, be not anxious how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Ember Days At the Four Seasons

The Collect.

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast committed to the hands of men the ministry of reconciliation; We humbly beseech thee, by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, to put it into the hearts of many to offer themselves for this ministry; that thereby mankind may be drawn to thy blessed kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Acts xiii. 44.

THE next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.


The Gospel - St. Luke iv. 16.

JESUS came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Æthelberht of Kent

(also Æthelbert, Aethelberht, Aethelbert, or Ethelbert) (c. 560 – February 24, 616) was King of Kent from about 580 or 590 until his death. In his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, the monk Bede lists Aethelberht as the third king to hold imperium over other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. In the late 9th century Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Æthelberht is referred to as a bretwalda, or "Britain-ruler". He was the first English king to convert to Christianity.

He was the son of Eormenric, whom he succeeded as king, according to the Chronicle. He married Bertha, daughter of Charibert, king of the Franks, thus building an alliance with the most powerful state in Western Europe at that time; the marriage probably took place before Æthelberht came to the throne. The influence of Bertha may have led to Pope Gregory I’s decision to send Augustine as a missionary from Rome. Augustine landed on the Isle of Thanet in east Kent in 597. Shortly thereafter, Æthelberht was converted to Christianity, churches were established and wider-scale conversion to Christianity began. Æthelberht provided the new church with land in Canterbury, at what came to be known as St Augustine's Abbey, thus establishing one of the foundation-stones of what ultimately became the Anglican church.

Æthelberht’s code of laws for Kent, the earliest written code in any Germanic language, instituted a complex system of fines. Kent was rich, with strong trade ties to the continent, and it may be that Æthelberht instituted royal control of trade. Coinage began circulating in Kent during his reign for the first time since the Anglo-Saxon invasion.

Æthelberht was later canonised for his role in establishing Christianity among the Anglo-Saxons. His feast day was originally February 24, but was changed to February 25.


Propers for Æthelbert - King and Confessor

The Collect.

O ALMIGHTY God, who didst call thy servant Ethelbert of Kent to an earthly throne that he might advance Thy heavenly kingdom, and didst give him zeal for Thy Church and love for Thy people: Mercifully grant that we who commemorate him this day may be fruitful in good works, and attain to the glorious crown of Thy saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


The Epistle - Hebrews 12:1-2.

SEEING we also are compassed about with so great a of cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.


The Gospel - St. Matthew 25:31-40.

WHEN the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the lease of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.


Reference and Resources:

http://www.orthodoxengland.btinternet.co.uk/ethlbert.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethelbert_of_Kent
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/common.cfm
http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/02/25.html


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Matthias the Apostle


After the Ascension of Our Lord, His followers at Jerusalem chose a replacement for Judas. The man chosen was Matthias, "and he was numbered with the Eleven." Apart from the information given in the first chapter of Acts, nothing is known of him. It would be a mistake to conclude from this that he was a failure and a bad choice as an apostle. We know as much as we do about Peter and Paul because Luke (a traveling companion of Paul) wrote extensively about them. About most of the other apostles (those belonging to the original twelve and later ones like Matthias) we know little after Pentecost on an individual basis.


Propers for Saint Matthias the Apostle

The Collect.

O ALMIGHTY God, who into the place of the traitor Judas didst choose thy faithful servant Matthias to be of the number of the twelve Apostles; Grant that thy Church, being alway preserved from false Apostles, may be ordered and guided by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Acts i. 15.

IN those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take. Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, that he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.


The Gospel - St. Matthew xi. 25.

AT that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.


Reference and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Matthias
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/s_matthi.cfm
http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/02/24.html


Monday, February 23, 2015

Polycarp of Smyrna

(ca. 69- ca. 155) was a Christian bishop of Smyrna (now İzmir in Turkey) in the second century. He died a martyr when he was stabbed and burnt at the stake. Polycarp is recognized as a saint in most Christian churches. It is recorded that "He had been a disciple of John." The options for this John are John the son of Zebedee traditionally viewed as the author of the Fourth Gospel, or John the Presbyter. Traditional advocates follow Eusebius in insisting that the apostolic connection of Papius was with John the Evangelist, and that this John, the author of the Gospel of John, was the same as the Apostle John.

With Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp is one of three chief Apostolic Fathers, early church authors who had reportedly known the apostles personally. His sole surviving work is his Letter to the Philippians.

Propers for Polycarp - Bishop of Smyrna and Martyr

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY God, who didst give thy servant Polycarp boldness to confess the Name of our Saviour Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world, and courage to die for this faith: Grant that we likewise may ever be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us, and to suffer gladly for his sake; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Revelation 2:8-11.

UNTO the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.


The Gospel - St. Matthew 20:20-23.

THEN came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, what wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.


Reference and Resources:

http://www.ntcanon.org/Polycarp.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycarp
http://www.episcopalnet.org/Kalendars/JanSaints.html#anchor2520092
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/polycarp.cfm
http://www.synaxis.org/cf/volume01/ECF01THE_ENCYCLICAL_EPISTLE_OF_THE_CH.htm
http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/polycarp_fragments_01_text.htm
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/polycarp.html

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The First Sunday in Lent

The Collect.

O LORD, who for our sake didst fast forty days and forty nights; Give us grace to use such abstinence, that, our flesh being subdued to the Spirit we may ever obey thy godly motions in righteousness, and true holiness, to thy honour and glory, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.


The Epistle - 2 Corinthians vi. i.

WE then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain; (for he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation;) giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: but in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by knowledge, by long-suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.


The Gospel - St. Matthew iv. 1.

THEN was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.


John the Saxon

A monk in a monastery in France, he was invited to go to England by King Alfred the Great and to assist in the restoration of the Christian faith in the wake of the severe and destructive invasions by the Danes.

Appointed abbot of Athelingay by Alfred, John served with vigor and distinction until his murder one night by two French monks under his care in A.D. 895.


Propers for John the Saxon - Monastic and Martyr


The Collect.

O GOD, by whose grace the blessed abbot John enkindled with the fire of thy love, became a burning and a shining light in thy Church: Grant that we may be inflamed with the same spirit of discipline and love, and ever walk before thee as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - 2 Esdras 2:42-48.


The Gospel - St. Matthew 10:16-22.


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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Peter Damian

(Petrus Damiani, also Pietro Damiani or Pier Damiani -- c. 1007[1]– February 21/22, 1072) was one of the most celebrated, universally loved and zealous reforming monks in the circle of Hildebrand of the 11th century, made a cardinal and (in 1823) declared a Doctor of the Church. Dante placed Petrus Damiani in one of the highest circles of Paradiso as a great predecessor of Saint Francis.

Youngest child in a large family. Orphaned. Sent to live with a brother, he was mistreated and forced to work as a swine-herd. Cared for another brother, a priest in Ravenna, Italy. Well educated in Fienza and Parma. Professor. Lived a life of strict austerity.

Gave up his teaching to become a Benedictine monk. His health suffered, especially when he tried to replace sleep with prayer. Abbot. Founded hermitage. Occasionally called on by the Vatican to make peace between arguing monastic houses, clergymen, and government officials, etc. Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia. Fought simony. Tried to restore primitive discipline among priests and religious who were becoming more and more of the world. Prolific correspondent, he also wrote dozens of sermons, seven biographies (including a one of Saint Romuald), and poetry, including some of the best Latin of the time. Tried to retire to being a monk, but routinely recalled as papal legate. Declared a Doctor of the Church in 1828.

"Let us faithfully transmit to posterity the example of virtue which we have received from our forefathers." - Saint Peter Damian

Propers for Peter Damian - Bishop, Theologian and Reformer

The Collect.

O GOD, who hast endowed thy servant Peter Damian with clarity of faith and holiness of life: Grant us to keep with steadfast minds the faith which he taught, and in his fellowship to be made partakers of eternal glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Wisdom 7:7-14.

I CALLED upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her before sceptres and thrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison of her. Neither compared I unto her any precious stone, because all gold in respect of her is as a little sand, and silver shall be counted as clay before her. I loved her above health and beauty, and chose to have her instead of light: for the light that cometh from her never goeth out. All good things together came to me with her, and innumerable riches in her hands. And I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom goeth before them: and I knew not that she was the mother of them. I learned diligently, and do communicate her liberally: I do not hide her riches. For she is a treasure unto men that never faileth: which they that use become the friends of God, being commended for the gifts that come from learning.


The Gospel - St. John 17:18-23.

AS thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me though their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.



Reference and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Damian
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/com_theo.cfm
http://saints.sqpn.com/saintp25.htm


Friday, February 20, 2015

Wulfric of Somerset


was a hermit and miracle worker. Born at Compton Martin, near Bristol, England, he became a priest and was excessively materialistic and worldly. After meeting with a beggar, he underwent a personal conversion and became a hermit at Haselbury; Somerset, England. For his remaining years, he devoted himself to rigorous austerities and was known for his miracles.

Wulfric had the gift of prophecy. Counselor to King Henry I and King Stephen. Copied and bound books, and crafted items for use in the Mass. Some orders have tried to claim that Wulfric was a member, but he never joined any.

While he was never formally canonized, Wulfric was a very popular saint during the Middle Ages, and his tomb was visited by many pilgrims.


Propers for Wulfric - Priest

The Collect.

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast called us to faith in thee, and hast compassed us about with so great a cloud of witnesses: Grant that we, encouraged by the good examples of thy Saints, and especially of thy servant Wulfric, may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at length, through thy mercy, we with them attain to thine eternal joy; through him who is the author and finisher of our faith, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Hebrews 12: 1-2.

SEEING we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.


The Gospel - St. Luke 6:17-23.

JESUS came down and stood in the plain, with the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coasts of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases; and they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all. And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for your's is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall sep-arate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven.


Reference and Resources:

http://saints.sqpn.com/saintw10.htm
http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=2053
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Wulfric

Cecile Isherwood

was born in England in 1861 but went to South Africa to work in the Diocese of Grahamstown in 1883. At the request of the Bishop, she founded a sisterhood, The Community of The Resurrection of Our Lord, for work in the Church of the Province of South Africa. She led this community until her death, at the early age of forty-four, on 20 February 1906.

The Collect.

O God, by whose grace thy servant Cecile Isherwood, enkindled With the fire of thy love, became a shining light in thy Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and may ever walk before thee as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Reference and Resources:

http://www.missionstclare.com/english/people/feb20.html
http://www.geocities.com/saintsnseasons/CecileE.html

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Philothei of Athens

(from 02/19)

(Greek: Άγια Φιλοθέη) (1522-1589) was born in Athens to an illustrious and wealthy family. Against her will, she was married to a cruel man. When he died three years later, Philothei gave away her worldly belongings, took up the monastic life and established a convent, in which she became a mother to her disciples. Many women enslaved and abused by the Muslim Turks in harems also ran to her for refuge. Because of this, in 1589, the Mohammedan rulers of Ottoman Greece became enraged and came to her convent and dragged her by force out of the church. They beat her cruelly and after a few days, she died.


Propers for Philothei of Athens - Abbess and Martyr

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who didst strengthen thy blessed martyr Philothei with the virtue of constancy in faith and truth: Grant us in like manner for love of thee to despise the prosperity of this world, and to fear none of its adversities; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - 2 Esdras 2:42-48.

I ESDRAS saw upon the mount Sion a great people, whom I could not number, and they all praised the Lord with songs. And in the midst of them there was a young man of a high stature, taller than all the rest, and upon every one of their heads he set crowns, and was more exalted; which I marvelled at greatly. So I asked the angel, and said, Sir, what are these? He answered and said unto me, These be they that have put off the mortal clothing, and put on the immortal, and have confessed the name of God; now are they crowned, and receive palms. Then said I unto the angel. What young person is it that crowneth them, and giveth them palms in their hands? So he answered and said unto me, It is the Son of God, whom they have confessed in the world. Then began I greatly to commend them that stood so stiffly for the name of the Lord. Then the angel thy way, and tell my people what manner of things, and how great wonders of the Lord thy God,. thou hast seen.


The Gospel - St. Matthew 10:16-22.

BEHOLD, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless. as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before governors and kings. for my sake, for a witness to them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, be not anxious how or what ye-shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause-them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall! be saved.


Reference and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philothei

http://www.ttstm.com/2010/02/february-18-philothei-martyr-spiritual.html

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ash Wednesday (The first day of Lent)

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent; Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

** This Collect is to be said every day in Lent, after the Collect appointed for the day, until Palm Sunday.


The Epistle - Joel ii. 12.

TURN ye even to me, saith the LORD, with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat-offering and a drink-offering unto the LORD your God? Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?


The Gospel - St. Matthew vi. 16.

WHEN ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.


Reference and Resources:

http://anglicancontinuum.blogspot.com/2009/02/ash-wednesday.html


Martin of Erfurt

(November 10, 1483–February 18, 1546) was a German monk, theologian, and church reformer.

Luther's theology challenged the authority of the papacy by holding that the Bible is the sole source of religious authority. This and other ideas inspired the Protestant Reformation and changed the course of Western civilization.

His translation of the Bible into the vernacular, making it more accessible to ordinary people, had a tremendous political impact on the church and on German culture. It furthered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the translation of the English King James Bible. His hymns inspired the development of congregational singing within Christianity. His marriage to Katharina Von Bora set a model for the practice of clerical marriage within Protestantism.

On February 17, 1546. After 8:00 p.m., he experienced chest pains. When he went to his bed, he prayed, "Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God" (Ps. 31:5), the common prayer of the dying. At 1:00 a.m. he awoke with more chest pain and was warmed with hot towels. He thanked God for revealing his son to him in whom he had believed. His companions, Justus Jonas and Michael Coelius, shouted loudly, "Reverend father, are you ready to die trusting in your Lord Jesus Christ and to confess the doctrine which you have taught in his name?" A distinct "Yes" was Luther's reply. (It was believed at the time that sudden cardiac arrest or stroke was a sign that Satan had taken a man's soul; Luther's companions stressed that he had gradually weakened and commended himself into God's hands.) An apoplectic stroke deprived him of his speech, and he died shortly afterwards at 2:45 a.m., February 18, 1546, aged 62, in Eisleben, the city of his birth. He was buried in the Castle Church in Wittenberg, beneath the pulpit.


Propers for Martin Luther - Priest, Educator, Translator, Theologian and Reformer

The Collect.

Almighty God, our refuge and our strength, Who didst raise up Thy servant Martin Luther to reform and renew Thy Church in the light of Thy word: Defend and purify the Church in our own day and grant that, through faith, we may boldly proclaim the riches of Thy grace, which Thou hast made known in Jesus Christ our Savior, who, with Thee and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


The Epistle - Isaiah 55:6-11.

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.


The Gospel - St. John 15:1-11.

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Fathers commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.


Reference and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther
http://satucket.com/lectionary/Martin_Luther.htm

Colmán of Lindisfarne

(c. 605-18 February, 675) also known as Saint Colmán was Bishop of Lindisfarne from 661 until 664.

Spiritual student and disciple of Saint Columba. Monk at Iona.

He defended Celtic church practices against Saint Eilfrid and Saint Agilbert at the Synod of Whitby, a synod called by King Oswiu of Northumbria to decide on whether to use the Celtic or Latin method to calculate Easter. King Oswy insisted on the use of Latin rites, Colman refused, resigned his see, and in 664 led a group of dissident Irish and English monks first to Scotland, then to the Isle of Innishboffin, and then to Mayo.

In Ireland he founded the abbey and diocese of Mayo. One of the great heroes of the faith about whom the Venerable Bede wrote.


Propers for Colmán of Lindisfarne - Monk, Bishop and Churchman

The Collect.

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast called us to faith in thee, and hast compassed us about with so great a cloud of witnesses: Grant that we, encouraged by the good examples of thy Saints, and especially of thy servant Colmán, may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at length, through thy mercy, we with them attain to thine eternal joy; through him who is the author and finisher of our faith, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Acts 1:1-9.

THE former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: to whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them
forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: and, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.


The Gospel - St. Luke 12:22-37.

JESUS said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you. Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his span of life? If ye then be not able to do that which is least, why are ye anxious for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of anxious mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall he added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded about, and your lamps burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.


Reference and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colm%C3%A1n_of_Lindisfarne
http://www.earlybritishkingdoms.com/adversaries/bios/colman.html


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mesrob of Armenia

(also Mesrob, Mashtotz, Armenian: Մեսրոպ Մաշտոց) (361 or 362, Hatsik, in Taron - February 17, 440, Echmiadzin) was an Armenian monk, theologian and linguist. He is best known for having invented the Armenian alphabet, which was a fundamental step in strengthening the Armenian Church, the government of the Armenian Kingdom, and ultimately the bond between the Armenian Kingdom and Armenians living in the Byzantine Empire and the Persian Empire.


Propers for Mesrob - Monk, Theologian and Linguist

The Collect.

GOD, who hast endowed thy servant Mesrob with clarity of faith and holiness of life: Grant us to keep with steadfast minds the faith which he taught, and in his fellowship to be made partakers of eternal glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Philippians 3:7-15.

HOWBEIT what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ. Yea verily, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I suffer the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not having a righteousness of mine own, even that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death; if by any means I may attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect: but I press on, if so be that I
may apprehend that for which also I was apprehended by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself yet to have apprehended: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us
therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye are otherwise minded, even this shall God reveal unto you.


The Gospel. St - Matthew 25:31-40.

WHEN the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me. drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.


Reference and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Mesrob

Finan of Lindisfarne

was an Irish monk, trained at Iona in Scotland, who Succeeded Saint Aidan as governor of the Church in Northumbria and became Bishop of Lindisfarne from 651 until 661. Originally from Ireland, he founded a cathedral on Lindisfarne and the monasteries of Gilling and Whitby.

Opposed the replacement of the Celtic liturgy with the Roman one. Evangelized southern England, working with Saint Cedd. He was a friend of King Oswiu of Northumbria and Saint Cuthbert and converted the kings Sigebert of Essex and Peada of the Middle Angles to Christianity and brought Saint Ebbe the Elder into the Benedictines. Bede is the main source for Finan's life.

Propers for Finan of Lindisfarne - Monk, Missionary, Churchman and Bishop

The Collect.

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast called us to faith in thee, and hast compassed us about with so great a cloud of witnesses: Grant that we, encouraged by the good examples of thy Saints, and especially of thy servant Finan, may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at length, through thy mercy, we with them attain to thine eternal joy; through him who is the author and finisher of our faith, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Acts 1:1-9.

THE former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: to whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them
forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: and, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.


The Gospel - St. Luke 12:22-37.

JESUS said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you. Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his span of life? If ye then be not able to do that which is least, why are ye anxious for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of anxious mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall he added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded about, and your lamps burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.


Reference and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finan
http://saints.sqpn.com/saintf12.htm