Sunday, July 5, 2015

Anthony of Cremona

Born to a patrician family. His father Lazzaro died when Anthony was two, and his mother, Antonia Pescorali, widowed at age 18, devoted herself to her son. He studied medicine at Padua, receiving his doctorate at age 22. Work as a physicians to the poor in Cremona, Italy, he felt called to the religious life. He bequeathed his inheritance to his mother, worked as a catechist, and was ordained at age 26.

Noted preacher and an excellent administrator. In Milan he established the congregations, the Society of Clerics of Saint Paul (the Barnabites) for men religious, and the Angelics of Saint Paul for uncloistered nuns. Helped introduce the Forty Hours' Devotion. These groups helped reform the morals of the faithful, encouraged laymen to work together with the apostolate, and frequent reception of Communion. While on a peace mission, Anthony became ill and died at his mother's house on 5 July 1539.


Propers for Anthony of Cremona - Confessor

The Collect

O GOD, who hast brought us near to an innumerable company of Angels, and to the spirits of just men made perfect: Grant us during our pilgrimage to abide in their fellowship, and in our Country to become partakers of their joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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. 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 Judea 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 yours 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 separate 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://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/common.cfm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Maria_Zaccaria
http://saints.sqpn.com/sainta48.htm


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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Independence Day

The Collect.

O ETERNAL God, through whose mighty power our fathers won their liberties of old; Grant, we beseech thee, that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain these liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Deuteronomy 10:17-21.

THE LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: he doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name. He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.


The Gospel - St. Matthew 5:43-48.

JESUS said, Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Anatolius of Constantinople

Patriarch of Constantinople from 449 to 458. Known for his simple, austere life, his charity to the poor, his zeal for the faith, and his opposition to heresy.

He opposed the heretic Dioscurus at the Council of Chalcedon, and supported the doctrinal authority of Pope Saint Leo the Great, which put him in the midst of both theological and political turmoil. He fought against the Nestorian heresy at the Council of Ephesus.

Miraculously healed from a serious illness by Saint Daniel the Stylite. May have been murdered by local heretics for his support of the Pope. Some of his writings, correspondence and hymns have survived the centuries.



Propers for Anatolius of Constantinople - Confessor and Patriarch

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 Anatolius, 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 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. 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 Judea 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 yours 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 separate 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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarch_Anatolius_of_Constantinople
http://oca.org/FSLivesAllSaints.asp?SID=4&M=7&D=3
http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-anatolius-of-constantinople/

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Visitation of The Blessed Virgin Mary

The Visitation is the visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary with Saint Elizabeth as recorded in the Gospel of St. Luke 1:39-56. It is also the term for a Christian feast day commemorating this visit.

Mary, having heard at the Annunciation that Elizabeth was six months pregnant, left her home to visit her. Elizabeth and John the Baptist were inspired by the Holy Spirit at her arrival, and Elizabeth prophesied. Mary pronounced the "Magnificat" and remained with Elizabeth for about three months.


Propers for The Visitation of The Blessed Virgin Mary

The Collect.

Father in heaven, by whose grace the virgin mother of thine incarnate Son was blessed in bearing him, but still more blessed in keeping thy word: Grant us who honor the exaltation of her lowliness to follow the example of her devotion to thy will; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


The Epistle - Colossians 3:12-17.

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.


The Gospel - Luke 1:39-49.

And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Most Precious Blood of Our Lord

Litany of the Most Precious Blood:

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father, save us.
Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God, save us.
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, save us.
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the Agony, save us.
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging, save us.
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns, save us.
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross, save us.
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation, save us.
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness, save us.
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls, save us.
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy, save us.
Blood of Christ, victor over demons, save us.
Blood of Christ, courage of Martyrs, save us.
Blood of Christ, strength of Confessors, save us.
Blood of Christ, bringing forth Virgins, save us.
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril, save us.
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened, save us.
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow, save us.
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent, save us.
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying, save us.
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts, save us.
Blood of Christ, pledge of eternal life, save us.
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor, save us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord!.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord!.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

V/. Thou hast redeemed us, O Lord, in Thy Blood.
R/. And made us, for our God, a kingdom.


The Collect.

Almighty and everlasting God, Who didst appoint Thine only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world, and hast willed to be appeased by His Blood; grant unto us, we beseech Thee, so to venerate (with solemn worship) the price of our redemption, and by its power be so defended against the evils of this life, that we may enjoy the fruit thereof forevermore in Heaven. Through the same Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.


The Epistle - Hebrews 9: 11-15.

BRETHREN: Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.


The Gospel - St John 19:30-35a

At that time: When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Olde Anglican Quote for the Day

 If you do not take the distinction between good and bad very seriously, then it is easy to say that anything you find in this world is a part of God. But, of course, if you think some things really bad, and God really good, then you cannot talk like that. You must believe that God is separate from the world and that some of the things we see in it are contrary to His will. Confronted with a cancer or a slum the Pantheist can say, ‘If you could only see it from the divine point of view, you would realise that this also is God.’ The Christian replies, ‘Don’t talk damned nonsense.’ For Christianity is a fighting religion. It thinks God made the world—that space and time, heat and cold, and all the colours and tastes, and all the animals and vegetables, are things that God ‘made up out of His head’ as a man makes up a story. But it also thinks that a great many things have gone wrong with the world that God made and that God insists, and insists very loudly, on our putting them right again.

** Lewis, C. S. - Mere Christianity

The First Martyrs of Rome

Ancient Roman historians (non-Christian) relate the first wholesale massacres of Christians by the Roman government as follows: In the year 64, much of the city of Rome burned. It was widely speculated that the Emperor Nero had ordered the fire in order that he might rebuild to his fancy. In order to divert suspicion from himself, Nero accused the Christians of setting the fires, and had many of them put to death in various cruel ways: eaten in the arena by wild beasts, covered with pitch and burned as torches to light the Emperor's nightly revels, and so on. The persecution appears to have been confined to Rome.


Propers for the First Martyrs of Rome

The Collect.

O Almighty God, by whose grace and power thy holy martyrs at Rome in the days of the Emperor Nero triumphed over suffering and were faithful even unto death: Grant us, who now remember them with thanksgiving, to be so faithful in our witness to thee in this world, that we may receive with them the crown of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lesson - Wisdom 3:1–8

The Gospel - St. Luke 21:9–19


Reference and Resources:

http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/06/30.html
http://societies.anglican.org/anglocatholic/anglicanmissal/s_mass06.htm

Monday, June 29, 2015

SS Peter and Paul the Apostles

Tradition affirms that both Saints Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome under the Roman Emperor Nero in the year 67. However, their martyrdoms probably did not occur on the same day, and this feast puts them together possibly for the translation of their relics, rather than for the feast of the martrydom.

It is believed Peter was crucified and Paul was beheaded. According to the accounts of Ignatius of Antioch, Clement of Rome, and Irenaeus, Peter most likely set up his apostolate in Rome following his governing of the Church in Jerusalem. Paul also preached in Rome, although this was toward the end of his ministry. In the Early Church, their martyrdoms were celebrated in the basilicas which had been built over their tombs


Propers for The Martyrdom of the Apostles Peter and Paul

The Collect.

Almighty God, whose blessed apostles Peter and Paul glorified thee by their martyrdom: Grant that thy Church, instructed by their teaching and example, and knit together in unity by thy Spirit, may ever stand firm upon the one foundation, which is Jesus Christ our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


The Epistle - 2 Timothy 4:1-8.

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.


The Gospel - St. John 21:15-19.

So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.


Reference and Resources:

http://www.episcopalnet.org/1928bcp/propers/Missal/June30.html
http://www.episcopalnet.org/1928bcp/propers/stpeter.html
http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/06/29.html


Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Fourth Sunday after Trinity

The Collect.

O GOD, the protector of all that trust in thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy; Increase and multiply upon us thy mercy; that, thou being our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we finally lose not the things eternal. Grant this, O heavenly Father, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Romans 8:18-23.

I RECKON that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.


The Gospel - St. Luke 6:36-42.

BE ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.

Irenaeus of Lyons

(pronounced ear-a-NAY-us) was probably born around 125. As a young man in Smyrna (near Ephesus, in what is now western Turkey) he heard the preaching of Polycarp, who as a young man had heard the preaching of the Apostle John. Afterward, probably while still a young man, Polycarp moved west to Lyons in southern France. In 177, Pothinus, the bishop of Lyons, sent him on a mission to Rome. During his absence a severe persecution broke out in Lyons, claiming the lives of the bishop and others. When Irenaeus returned to Lyons, he was made bishop. He died around 202. He is thus an important link between the apostolic church and later times, and also an important link between Eastern and Western Christianity.

During the persecution of Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor from 161-180, Irenaeus was a priest of the Church of Lyon. The clergy of that city, many of whom were suffering imprisonment for the faith, sent him (in 177 or 178) to Rome with a letter to Pope Eleuterus concerning the heresy Montanism, and that occasion bore emphatic testimony to his merits. Returning to Gaul, Irenaeus succeeded the martyr Saint Pothinus and became the second Bishop of Lyon.

During the religious peace which followed the persecution of Marcus Aurelius, the new bishop divided his activities between the duties of a pastor and of a missionary (as to which we have but brief data, late and not very certain). Almost all his writings were directed against Gnosticism. The most famous of these writings is Adversus haereses (Against Heresies). In 190 or 191, he interceded with Pope Victor I to lift the sentence of excommunication laid by that pontiff upon the Christian communities of Asia Minor which persevered in the practice of the Quartodeciman celebration of Easter.

Nothing is known of the date of his death, which must have occurred at the end of the second or the beginning of the third century. In spite of some isolated and later testimony to that effect, it is not very probable that he ended his career with martyrdom. He was buried under the Church of Saint John in Lyons, which was later renamed St Irenaeus in his honour.


Propers for Irenaeus - Bishop of Lyons, Theologian & Church Father

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY God, who didst uphold thy servant Irenaeus with strength to maintain the truth against every wind of vain doctrine: We beseech thee to keep us steadfast in thy true religion, that we may walk in constancy and in peace the way that leadeth to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Malachi 2:5-7.

MY covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.


The Gospel - St. Luke 11:33-36.

NO man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.


References and Resources:

http://comeandseeicons.com/papas.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irenaeus
http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/06/28.html
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/irenaeus.cfm
http://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/library_article/149/Man_Fully_Alive_is_the_Glory_of_God___St._Irenaeus.html http://www.synaxis.org/cf/volume01/ECF01FRAGMENTS_FROM_THE_LOST_WRITINGS.htm
http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/irenaeus_02_proof.htm
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/irenaeus.html


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Cyril of Alexandria

(ca. 378 - 444) was the Patriarch of Alexandria when the city was at its height of influence and power within the Roman Empire. Cyril wrote extensively and was a leading protagonist in the Christological controversies of the later 4th, and 5th centuries. Saint Cyril is known for countering the heresy by Nestorius, which claimed that the Incarnate Christ was not fully and simultaneously God and man. He was a central figure in the First Council of Ephesus in 431, which led to the deposition of Nestorius as Archbishop of Constantinople. Cyril is counted among the Church Fathers and the Doctors of the Church, and his reputation within the Christian world has resulted in his titles "Pillar of Faith" and "Seal of all the Fathers".


Propers for Cyril of Alexandria - Bishop, Theologian, Doctor and Father of the Church

The Collect.

O GOD, who hast endowed thy servant Cyril of Alexandria 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 - Ecclesiasticus 39:5-10.

The righteous will give his heart to resort early to the LORD that made him, and will pray before the Most High, and will open his mouth in prayer, and make supplication for his sins. When the great Lord will, he shall be filled with the spirit of understanding: he shall pour out wise sentences, and give thanks unto the Lord in his prayer. He shall direct his counsel and knowledge, and in his secrets shall he meditate. He shall shew forth that which he hath learned, and shall glory in the law of the covenant of the Lord. Many shall commend his understanding; and so long as the world endureth, it shall not be blotted out: his memorial shall not depart away, and his Name shall live from generation to generation. Nations shall shew forth his wisdom, and the congregation shall declare his praise.


The Gospel - St Matthew 5:13-20.

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.


Reference and Resources:

http://www.episcopalnet.org/1928bcp/propers/Missal/Feb9.html
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/com_theo.cfm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyril_of_Alexandria

Friday, June 26, 2015

John of the Goths

Saint John, Bishop of the Goths, lived during the eighth century. The future saint was born in answer to the fervent prayer of his parents. From an early age, he lived a life of asceticism.

The saint made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and spent three years visiting all the holy places. Then he returned to his native country. At that time the emperor Constantine Copronymos the Iconoclast (741-775) banished the Gothic bishop, and the Goths fervently entreated St John to become their bishop.

St John went to Georgia, which was isolated from the Iconoclast heresy. There he was ordained. Upon his return to the Goths he was soon compelled to depart from them. Hidden away from the pursuing Khazars, he settled at Amastridia, where he dwelt for four years.

Hearing about the death of the Khazar kagan (ruler), the saint said, "After forty days I shall go to be judged with him before Christ the Savior." Indeed, the saint died forty days later. This took place when he returned to his people, in the year 790.

The saint's body was conveyed to the Parthenit monastery in the Crimea, at the foot of Mount Ayu-Dag, where the saint once lived in the large church he built in honor of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul.


Propers for John of the Goths

The Collect.

O GOD, who hast brought us near to an innumerable company of Angels, and to the spirits of just men made perfect: Grant us during our pilgrimage to abide in their fellowship, and in our Country to become partakers of their joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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. 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 Judea 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 yours 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 separate 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/saintj7g.htm
http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=4000
http://oca.org/FSLivesAllSaints.asp?SID=4&M=6&D=26

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Adalbert of Egmond

(also called Adelbert of Egmond) (d first half of the 8th century in Egmond) was a Northumbrian Anglo-Saxon missionary. He was one of Willibrord's companions in preaching the gospel in Holland and Frisia.

The Life of Adalbert is not rich in fact. He is said to have been born in Northumbria and, according to some sources, to have been first a monk at the Abbey of Rathmelsigi (possibly on the site of the later Mellifont Abbey, Co. Louth) and to have assisted in Ireland with the missionary work of Egbert. He then went in c 690 to assist Willibrord (who had also been at Rathmelsigi) in the mission field of Frisia, where he became associated particularly with Egmond. He was buried there, and miracles were reported at his tomb, over which a church was built.

His continued remembrance rests largely on the foundation of the Benedictine monastery at Abbey of Egmond, the first in the country, some two hundred years later by Count Dirk I of West Frisia (or Holland), of which Adalbert was made the patron. The Vita was not commissioned until the 990's, which presumably accounts for its lack of facts. Adalbert's relics were translated to the newly built abbey (initially, a convent). After the Reformation and the destruction of the abbey, they were preserved in Haarlem. The abbey was re-founded in 1923, and the relics were returned there in 1984.


Propers for Adalbert of Egmond - Monk and Missionary

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, we thank thee for thy servant Adalbert, whom thou didst call to preach the Gospel to the people of Holland and Frisia: Raise up, we pray thee, in this and every land, heralds and evangelists of thy kingdom, that thy Church may make known the unsearchable riches of Christ, and may increase with the increase of God; through the same 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. 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 Judea 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 yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye still be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate 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.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

This feast day is a commemoration of the birth of Saint John the Baptist. Throughout the history of the Church, this feast day has been regarded as a "Summer Christmas". When dispute arose as to the name of the child, his father Zacharias, still without speech caused by God for his unbelief, wrote on a tablet that the child's name would be John. Immediately Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost and prophesied saying: Blessed be the Lord of God of Israel: for he hath visited and redeemed his people. And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David. . . (St. Luke I: 68-69)


Propers for The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY God, by whose providence thy servant John Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of thy Son our Saviour by preaching repentance; Make us so to follow his doctrine and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and after his example constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth's sake; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Isaiah xl. 1.

COMFORT ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: and the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: the grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.


The Gospel - St. Luke i. 57.

ELISABETH'S full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her. And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him. And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; the oath which he swore to our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; to give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.


Reference and Resources:

http://www.episcopalnet.org/Kalendars/JuneSaints.html#anchor3956226
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nativity_of_Saint_John_the_Baptist
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/s_john_b.cfm



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Vigil of Saint John the Baptist

The Collect.

GRANT, we beseech thee, O Lord, that we thy family may ever walk in the way of salvation: that following the teachings of thy holy forerunner, Saint John; we may attain in safety unto him whom he foretold, even Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord. Who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God now and forever. Amen.


the Epistle. Jeremiah 1:4-10.

Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.


The Gospel. St Luke 1:5-17.

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.


Audrey of Ely

Ætheldreda, Æthelthryth, or Æðelþryð, (c. 636-June 23, 679)

Queen of Northumbria; born (probably) about 636; died at Ely, 23 June, 679. While still very young she was given in marriage by her father, Anna, King of East Anglia, to a certain Tonbert, a subordinate prince, from whom she received as morning gift a tract of land locally known as the Isle of Ely. She never lived in wedlock with Tonbert, however, and for five years after his early death was left to foster her vocation to religion.

Her father then arranged for her a marriage of political convenience with Egfrid, son and heir to Oswy, King of Northumbria. From this second bridegroom, who is said to have been only fourteen years of age, she received certain lands at Hexham; through St. Wilfrid of York she gave these lands to found the minster of St. Andrew. St. Wilfrid was her friend and spiritual guide, but it was to him that Egfrid, on succeeding his father, appealed for the enforcement of his marital rights as against Etheldreda's religious vocation. The bishop succeeded at first in persuading Egfrid to consent that Etheldreda should live for some time in peace as a sister of the Coldingham nunnery, founded by her aunt, St. Ebba, in what is now Berwickshire. But at last the imminent danger of being forcibly carried off by the king drove her to wander south-wards, with only two women in attendance. They made their way to Etheldreda's own estate of Ely, not, tradition said, without the interposition of miracles, and, on a spot hemmed in by morasses and the waters of the Ouse, the foundation of Ely Minster was begun.

This region was Etheldreda's native home, and her royal East Anglian relatives gave her the material means necessary for the execution of her holy design. St. Wilfrid had not yet returned from Rome, where he had obtained extraordinary privileges for her foundation from Benedict II, when she died of a plague which she herself, it is said, had circumstantially foretold.


Propers for Ætheldreda - Queen, Virgin and Monastic

The Collect.

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast called us to faith in thee, and bast 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 Ætheldreda, 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.


The Gospel - St. Matthew 25:1-13.


Reference and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etheldreda
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05554b.htm
http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-etheldreda/


Monday, June 22, 2015

Alban the Protomartyr of Britain

St. Alban was born in the third century in Roman Britain, and was martyred around 304. According to the English Christian historian, the Venerable Bede, Alban was a pagan, and a soldier in the Roman Army.

Alban offered refuge to a Christian priest named Amphibalus during a persecution. The priest ended up converting him, and when soldiers arrived at his home, Alban dressed in the priest's clothes to protect him. Alban was taken prisoner allowing the priest to flee. When compelled to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods, Alban refused to renounce his new faith, and was beheaded as a consequence. He thus became the first Christian martyr in Britain. The second was the executioner who was to kill him, but who heard his testimony and was so impressed that he became a Christian on the spot, and refused to kill Alban. The third was the priest, who when he learned that Alban had been arrested in his place, hurried to the court in the hope of saving Alban by turning himself in. The place of their deaths is near the site of St. Alban's Cathedral today.

The Cross of St. Alban

Propers for Alban - First Martyr of Britain

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY God, by whose grace and power thy holy martyr Alban triumphed over suffering, and despised death: Grant, we beseech thee, that enduring hardness, and waxing valiant in fight, we may with the noble army of martyrs receive the crown of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - 1 John 3:13-16.


The Gospel - St. Matthew 10:34-42.


Reference and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Alban
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/alban.cfm
http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/06/22.html


Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Third Sunday after Trinity

The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee mercifully to hear us; and grant that we, to whom thou hast given an hearty desire to pray, may, by thy mighty aid, be defended and comforted in all dangers and adversities; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - 1 St. Peter v. 5.

ALL of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.


The Gospel - St. Luke 15: 1-10.

THEN drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And he spake this parable unto them saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

Onesimos Nesib

(in Oromo orthography, Onesimoos Nasiib; about 1856 – 21 June 1931), was a native Oromo who converted to Lutheran Christianity and translated the Christian Bible into the Oromo language. His name at birth was Hika; he took the name "Onesimus", after the Biblical character, upon converting to Christianity.

The Mekane Yesus Church honored him by naming their seminary in Addis Ababa for him.


Propers for Onesimos Nesib - Translator and Missionary

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, we thank thee for thy servant Onesimos Nesib, whom thou didst call to preach the Gospel to the Oromo people of Africa: Raise up, we pray thee, in this and every land, heralds and evangelists of thy kingdom, that thy Church may make known the unsearchable riches of Christ, and may increase with the increase of God; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Acts 1:1-9.


The Gospel - St. Luke 10:1-9.


Reference and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onesimos_Nesib
http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/06/21.html
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/com_miss.cfm

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Macarius of Petra

Bishop of Petra. Attended the Council of Sardica. When the Arian heresy began to spread, he changed his name from Arius to Macarius to show his opposition. The Arians, gaining power in the area, exiled Macarius to Africa where he lived the rest of his days.



Propers for Macarius of Petra - Confessor 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 Macarius, 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 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 least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.


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Friday, June 19, 2015

Sadhu Sundar Singh

was born into a Sikh family in the village of Rampur (Punjab state) in northern India. Sikhism, founded about 1500 AD, is a religion that teaches belief in one God and rejects the caste system; it had become one of the established religions in the area, standing apart from both Hinduism and Islam. Sundar Singh's mother took him to sit at the feet of a sadhu, an ascetic holy man, who lived in the jungle some miles away, while also sending him to Ewing Christian High School, Ludhiana, in order to learn English.

Singh was raised a member of the Sikh religion. Prior to his conversion, Sundar attended a primary school run by the American Presbyterian Mission where the New Testament was read daily as a "textbook." Sundar "refused to read the Bible at the daily lessons...To some extent the teaching of the Gospel on the love of God attracted me, but I still thought it was false."

In the midst of such confusion and while only fourteen years old, his mother died, and Sundar underwent a crisis of faith. His mother was a loving saintly woman and they were very close. In his anger, Sundar burned a copy of one of the Gospels in public.

"Although I believed that I had done a very good deed by burning the Bible, I felt unhappy," he said. Within three days Sundar Singh could bear his misery no longer. Late one night in December 1903, he rose from bed and prayed that God reveal himself to him if he really existed. Otherwise -- "I planned to throw myself in front of the train which passed by our house." For seven hours Sundar Singh prayed. "O God, if there is a God, reveal thyself to me tonight." The next train was due at five o'clock in the morning. The hours passed.

Sundar felt that his religious pursuits in Sikhism and the questioning of Christian and Hindu priests left him without ultimate meaning. Sundar resolved to kill himself by throwing himself upon a railroad track. That very night he had a vision of Jesus who opened Sundar's soul to the truth. Sundar announced to his father, Sher Singh, that henceforth he would follow Christ. His father denounced him, and his brother Rajender Singh attempted to poison him. Sundar's life was saved by the help of a nearby Christian community.

On his sixteenth birthday, he was publicly baptised as a Christian in the parish church in Simla, in the Himalayan foothills. Prior to this he had been staying at the Christian Leprosy Home at Sabathu, near Simla, serving the leprosy patients there.

In October 1906, he set out on his journey as a new Christian, wearing a turban and the yellow robe of a Hindu sadhu, an ascetic devoted to spiritual practice. Singh viewed himself as a sadhu, albeit one within Christianity rather than Hinduism, because he realized Christianity could not penetrate India unless it was in an Indian way.

"I am not worthy to follow in the steps of my Lord," he said, "but, like Him, I want no home, no possessions. Like Him I will belong to the road, sharing the suffering of my people, eating with those who will give me shelter, and telling all men of the love of God."

After returning to his home village, where he was given an unexpectedly warm welcome, Sundar Singh travelled northward through the Punjab, over the Bannihal Pass into Kashmir, and then back through Muslim Afghanistan and into the brigand-infested North-West Frontier and Baluchistan. He was referred to as "the apostle with the bleeding feet" by the Christian communities of the north. He suffered arrest and stoning for his beliefs, and experienced mystical encounters. In 1908, he crossed the frontier of Tibet, where he was appalled by the living conditions. He was stoned as he bathed in cold water because it was believed that "holy men never washed."

In 1908 he went to Bombay, hoping to board a ship to visit Palestine but was refused a permit, and had to return to the north. On this trip he recognised a basic dilemma of the Christian mission to India. A brahmin had collapsed in a hot, crowded railway carriage and was offered water by the Anglo-Indian stationmaster. The brahmin could only accept it in his own drinking vessel. Sundar Singh realised that India would not readily convert to Western-style Christianity, although people had responded to his sadhu's robe.

In December 1909 Singh began training for the Christian ministry at the Anglican college in Lahore. According to his biographers, he did not form close relationships with fellow students, meeting them only at meal times and designated prayer sessions. He was ostracised for being "different".

Although Singh had been baptized by an Anglican priest, he was ignorant of the ecclesiastical culture and conventions of Anglicanism. His inability to adapt hindered him from fitting in with the routines of academic study. Much in the college course seemed irrelevant to the gospel as India needed to hear it. After eight months in the college, Singh left in July 1910.

It has been claimed by his biographers that Singh's withdrawal was due to stipulations laid down by Bishop Lefroy. As an ordained Anglican priest, Singh was told to discard his sadhu's robe and wear "respectable" European clerical dress, use formal Anglican worship, sing English hymns; and not preach outside his parish without permission. To not visit Tibet, however, seemed to him an unthinkable rejection of God's call.

According to Singh, in a town called Rasar he had been thrown into a dry well full of bones and rotting flesh and left to die, but three days later he was rescued. At these and at other times Singh was said to have been rescued by members of the "Sannyasi Mission"—secret disciples of Jesus wearing Hindu markings, whom he claimed to have found all over India.

The secret Sannyasi Mission is reputed to have numbered around 24,000 members across India. The origins of this brotherhood were reputed to be linked to one of the Magi at Christ's nativity and then the second century AD disciples of the apostle Thomas circulating in India. Nothing was heard of this evangelistic fellowship until William Carey began his missionary work in Serampore. The Maharishi of Kailas experienced ecstatic visions about the secret fellowship that he retold to Sundar Singh, and Singh himself built his spiritual life around visions.

Whether he won many continuing disciples on these hazardous Tibetan treks is not known. Singh did not keep written records and he was unaccompanied by any other Christian disciples who might have witnessed the events.

During his twenties, Sundar Singh's ministry widened greatly, and long before he was thirty, his name and picture were familiar all over the Christian world. He described a struggle with Satan to retain his humility, but people described him as always human, approachable and humble, with a sense of fun and a love of nature. This character, with his illustrations from ordinary life, gave his addresses great impact. Many people said, "He not only looks like Jesus, he talks like Jesus must have talked." His talks and his personal speech were informed by his habitual early morning meditation, especially on the gospels. In 1918 he made a long tour of South India and Ceylon, and the following year he was invited to Burma, Malaya, China and Japan.

Some of the stories from these tours were as strange as any of his Tibetan adventures. He claimed power over wild things. He claimed even to have power over disease and illness, though he never allowed his presumed healing gifts to be publicized.

For a long time Sundar Singh had wanted to visit Britain, and the opportunity came when his father, Sher Singh, came to tell him that he too had become a Christian and wished to give him the money for his fare to Britain. He visited the West twice, travelling to Britain, the United States and Australia in 1920, and to Europe again in 1922. He was welcomed by Christians of many traditions, and his words searched the hearts of people who now faced the aftermath of World War I and who seemed to evidence a shallow attitude to life. Singh was appalled by what he saw as the materialism, emptiness and irreligion he found everywhere, contrasting it with Asia's awareness of God, no matter how limited that might be. Once back in India he continued his ministry, though it was clear that he was getting more physically frail.

In 1923 Sundar Singh made the last of his regular summer visits to Tibet and came back exhausted. His preaching days were obviously over and, in the next years, in his own home or those of his friends in the Simla hills he gave himself to meditation, fellowship, and writing some of the things he had lived to preach.

In 1929, against all his friends' advice, Singh determined to make one last journey to Tibet. He was last seen on the 18th of April 1929 setting off on this journey. In April he reached Kalka, a small town below Simla, a prematurely aged figure in his yellow robe among pilgrims and holy men who were beginning their own trek to one of Hinduism's holy places some miles away. Where he went after that is unknown. Whether he died of exhaustion or reached the mountains remains a mystery. Some said that Singh was murdered and his body thrown into the river; another account says he was caught up into heaven with the angels.

In the early 1940s Bishop Dr. Augustine Peters, a native missionary of South India, sought out Sundar's brother Rajender Singh, led him to the Christian faith and baptized him in Punjab. Rajender referred to many miracles performed by Sundar Singh and people converted to Christ under his ministry.

Sadhu Sundar Singh is treasured by many as a formative figure in the development of the Christian church in India.


Propers for Sadhu Sundar Singh - Evangelist, Missionary and Mystic

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, we thank thee for thy servant Sadhu Sundar Singh, whom thou didst call to preach the Gospel to the people of India: Raise up, we pray thee, in this and every land, heralds and evangelists of thy kingdom, that thy Church may make known the unsearchable riches of Christ, and may increase with the increase of God; through the same 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. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things. while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.


The Gospel - St. Luke 10:1-9.

AFTER these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor pack, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: and heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.


Reference and Resources:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/singh
http://www.tentmaker.org/biographies/singh.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadhu_Sundar_Singh
http://reluctant-messenger.com/sadhu-sundar-singh.htm

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bernard Mizeki

Bernard Mizeki was born in Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique) in about 1861. When he was twelve or a little older, he left his home and went to Capetown, South Africa, where for the next ten years he worked as a laborer, living in the slums of Capetown, but (perceiving the disastrous effects of drunkenness on many workers in the slums) firmly refusing to drink alcohol, and remaining largely uncorrupted by his surroundings. After his day's work, he attended night classes at an Anglican school. Under the influence of his teachers, from the Society of Saint John the Evangelist (SSJE, an Anglican religious order for men, popularly called the Cowley Fathers), he became a Christian and was baptized on 9 March 1886. Besides the fundamentals of European schooling, he mastered English, French, high Dutch, and at least eight local African languages. In time he would be an invaluable assistant when the Anglican church began translating its sacred texts into African languages.

After graduating from the school, he accompanied Bishop Knight-Bruce to Mashonaland, a tribal area in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), to work there as a lay catechist. In 1891 the bishop assigned him to Nhowe, the village of paramount-chief Mangwende, and there he built a mission-complex. He prayed the Anglican hours each day, tended his subsistence garden, studied the local language (which he mastered better than any other foreigner in his day), and cultivated friendships with the villagers. He eventually opened a school, and won the hearts of many of the Mashona through his love for their children.

He moved his mission complex up onto a nearby plateau, next to a grove of trees sacred to the ancestral spirits of the Mashona. Although he had the chief's permission, he angered the local religious leaders when he cut some of the trees down and carved crosses into others. Although he opposed some local traditional religious customs, Bernard was very attentive to the nuances of the Shona Spirit religion. He developed an approach that built on people's already monotheistic faith in one God, Mwari, and on their sensitivity to spirit life, while at the same time he forthrightly proclaimed the Christ. Over the next five years (1891-1896), the mission at Nhowe produced an abundance of converts.

Many black African nationalists regarded all missionaries as working for the European colonial governments. During an uprising in 1896, Bernard was warned to flee. He refused, since he did not regard himself as working for anyone but Christ, and he would not desert his converts or his post. On 18 June 1896, he was fatally speared outside his hut. His wife and a helper went to get food and blankets for him. They later reported that, from a distance, they saw a blinding light on the hillside where he had been lying, and heard a rushing sound, as though of many wings. When they returned to the spot his body had disappeared. The place of his death has become a focus of great devotion for Anglicans and other Christians, and one of the greatest of all Christian festivals in Africa takes place there every year around the feast day that marks the anniversary of his martyrdom, June 18.


Propers for Bernard Mizeki - Catechist, Missionary and Martyr

The Collect.


Almighty and everlasting God, who didst enkindle the flame of thy love in the heart of thy holy martyr Bernard Mizeki: 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 Epistle - Revelation 7:13-17.


The Gospel - St Luke 12:2-12.


Reference and Resources:

http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/06/18.html
http://chi.gospelcom.net/DAILYF/2003/06/daily-06-18-2003.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Mizeki

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Moling of Wexford

 Born in Wexford; died 697. Moling is said to have been a monk at Glendalough. Later he was founder and abbot of Aghacainid (Teghmolin, Saint Mullins) in County Carlow beside the Barrow River on which he is reputed to have established the ferry service which continues to today. For a time he lived in a nearby hermitage. Afterwards he succeeded Saint Aidan as bishop of Ferns, which included the entirety of Leinster.

Moling was a singular benefactor to his country. In 693, he persuaded King Finacta to release the people of Leinster from the heavy tribute of oxen which had been imposed by king Tuathal Techmar. He resigned his see some years before his death. In addition to his eminent sanctity, manifested by the gifts of prophecy and miracles, this saint is celebrated in Ireland for the abundant Gaelic poetry he wrote--more than any other saint except Columba. At his death Moling was interred in his own monastery of Teghmoling.

The Book of Mulling is a 9th-century Book of the Gospels, which was probably copied from Moling's autograph as its colophon suggests. It was described by Gerald of Wales (c. 1200) and survives in a splendid jewelled shrine in Trinity College library in Dublin. It is especially noted because of its plan for Moling's monastery; some crosses on the plan probably indicate places of sanctuary. The cultus of Moling was early and widespread.


Propers for Moling of Wexford - Abbot and Poet


The Collect.

O GOD, by whose grace the blessed Moling 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.

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. 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://www.catholicireland.net/church-a-bible/church/june-saints/1395-17-st-moling-luachra-614-696
http://www.celticsaints.org/2012/0617b.html


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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Joseph Butler

(18 May 1692 O.S. – 16 June 1752) was an English bishop, theologian, apologist, and philosopher. He was born in Wantage in the English county of Berkshire (now Oxfordshire). He is known, among other things, for his critique of Thomas Hobbes's egoism and John Locke's theory of personal identity. During his life and after his death, Butler influenced many philosophers, including David Hume, Thomas Reid, and Adam Smith.

The son of a Presbyterian linen-draper, he was destined for the ministry of that church, and—along with future archbishop Thomas Secker—entered Samuel Jones's dissenting academy at Gloucester (later Tewkesbury) for that purpose. Whilst there, he entered into a secret correspondence with the conformist controversialist Samuel Clarke; his letters were taken to Gloucester post office by Secker, who also collected Clarke's responses from there. Clarke later published this correspondence. In 1714, Butler decided to enter the Church of England, and went to Oriel College, Oxford. After holding various other high positions, he became rector of the rich living of Stanhope.

In 1736 he was made the head chaplain of King George II's wife Caroline, on the advice of Lancelot Blackburne. In 1738 he was appointed bishop of Bristol. He is said (apocryphally) to have declined an offer to become the archbishop of Canterbury in 1747. He became Bishop of Durham in 1750.

He is most famous for his Fifteen Sermons Preached at the Rolls Chapel (1726) and Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed (1736). The Analogy is an important work of Christian apologetics in the history of the controversies over deism. Butler's apologetic concentrated on "the general analogy between the principles of divine government, as set forth by the biblical revelation, and those observable in the course of nature, [an analogy which] leads us to the warrantable conclusion that there is one Author of both." Butler's arguments combined a cumulative case for faith using probabilistic reasoning to persuade deists and others to reconsider orthodox faith. Aspects of his apologetic reasoning are reflected in the writings of twentieth century Christian apologists such as C. S. Lewis and John Warwick Montgomery. Overall, his two books are remarkable and original contributions to ethics and theology. They depend for their effect entirely upon the force of their reasoning, for they have no graces of style.

The "Sermons on Human Nature" is commonly studied as an answer to Hobbes' philosophy of ethical egoism. These two books are considered by his followers to be among the most powerful and original contributions to ethics, apologetics and theology which have ever been made.

Today, he is commonly cited for the blunt epigram, "Every thing is what it is, and not another thing."
Butler died in 1752 at Rosewell House, Kingsmead Square in Bath, Somerset. His admirers praise him as an excellent man, and a diligent and conscientious churchman. Though indifferent to general literature, he had some taste in the fine arts, especially architecture.


Propers for Joseph Butler - Apologist, Bishop, Philosopher and Theologian

The Collect.

O God, who by thy Holy Spirit giveth to some the word of wisdom, to others the word of knowledge, and to others the word of faith: We praise thy Name for the gifts of grace manifested in thy servant Joseph Butler, and we pray that thy Church may never be destitute of such gifts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.



The Lesson - Acts 13:38-44

Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you. And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.



The Gospel - St. John 3:11-16


Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.



Reference and Resources:

http://www.missionstclare.com/english/people/jun16.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Butler