Tuesday, October 6, 2015

William Tyndale

(sometimes spelled Tindall or Tyndall) (ca. 1494–6 October 1536) was a 16th century reformer and scholar who translated the Bible into the Early Modern English of his day. Although a number of partial and complete Old English translations had been made from the 7th century onward, Tyndale's was the first to take advantage of the new medium of print, which allowed for its wide distribution. In 1535 Tyndale was arrested, jailed in the castle of Vilvoorde outside Brussels, Belgium for more than a year, tried for heresy and treason and then strangled and burnt at the stake in the castle's courtyard.

Much of Tyndale's work eventually found its way into the King James Version (or Authorized Version) of the Bible, published in 1611, which, though nominally the work of 54 independent scholars, is based primarily on Tyndale's translations.

William Tyndale was born about 1495 at Slymbridge near the Welsh border. He received his degrees from Magdalen College, Oxford, and also studied at Cambridge. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1521, and soon began to speak of his desire, which eventually became his life's obsession, to translate the Scriptures into English. It is reported that, in the course of a dispute with a prominent clergyman who disparaged this proposal, he said, "If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy that driveth the plow to know more of the Scriptures than thou dost." The remainder of his life was devoted to keeping that vow, or boast. Finding that the King, Henry VIII, was firmly set against any English version of the Scriptures, he fled to Germany (visiting Martin Luther in 1525), and there traveled from city to city, in exile, poverty, persecution, and constant danger.

Tyndale understood the commonly received doctrine -- the popular theology -- of his time to imply that men earn their salvation by good behavior and by penance. He wrote eloquently in favor of the view that salvation is a gift of God, freely bestowed, and not a response to any good act on the part of the receiver. His views are expressed in numerous pamphlets, and in the introductions to and commentaries on various books of the Bible that accompanied his translations. He completed his translation of the New Testament in 1525, and it was printed at Worms and smuggled into England. Of 18,000 copies, only two survive.

In 1534, he produced a revised version, and began work on the Old Testament. In the next two years he completed and published the Pentateuch and Jonah, and translated the books from Joshua through Second Chronicles, but then he was captured (betrayed by one he had befriended), tried for heresy, and put to death. He was burned at the stake, but, as was often done, the officer strangled him before lighting the fire. His last words were, "Lord, open the King of England's eyes."

Miles Coverdale continued Tyndale's work by translating those portions of the Bible (including the Apocrypha) which Tyndale had not lived to translate himself, and publishing the complete work. In 1537, the "Matthew Bible" (essentially the Tyndale-Coverdale Bible under another man's name to spare the government embarrassment) was published in England with the Royal Permission. Six copies were set up for public reading in Old St. Paul's Church, and throughout the daylight hours the church was crowded with those who had come to hear it. One man would stand at the lectern and read until his voice gave out, and then he would stand down and another would take his place. All English translations of the Bible from that time to the present century are essentially revisions of the Tyndale-Coverdale work.

Propers for William Tyndale - Priest, Translator and Martyr

The Collect.

ACCEPT, O Lord, our thanksgiving this day for thy servant William Tyndale; and grant unto us in like manner such constancy and zeal in thy service, that we may obtain with him and thy servants everywhere a good confession and the crown of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - Hebrews 12:1-2.

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

Reference and Resources:


Bruno of Cologne

(Cologne, c. 1030 – Serra San Bruno, 6 October 1101), the founder of the Carthusian Order, personally founded the order's first two communities. He was a celebrated teacher at Reims, and a close advisor of his former pupil, Pope Urban II.

He was a lecturer in theology at the cathedral school at St. Cunibert's, Cologne. He subsequently left this post and, along with a few of his friends, became a hermit in the mountainous land of the Chartreuse. From this experience grew the Order of the Carthusians, which emphasized penance, poverty, solitude and contemplation.

In our materialistic age, it is hard for many to fathom giving one's life to prayer and contemplation. However, as believers in Christ, we realize our destiny is eternal, not temporal.

Propers for Bruno of Cologne - Monastic and Confessor

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 Bruno, 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 - Ecclesiasticus 31:8-11

Blessed is the man that is found without blemish: and hath not gone after gold. Who is he? and we will call him blessed: for wonderful things hath he done among his people. Who hath been tried thereby and found perfect? Then let him glory. Who might offend and hath not offended? or done evil, and hath not done it? His goods shall be established, and the congregation shall declare his alms.

The Gospel - St. Luke 12:35-40

Let your loins be girded about, and your lights 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. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

Reference and Resources:



Monday, October 5, 2015

Martyrs of Trier

Innumerable martyrs slain in Trier, modem Germany. They were put to death under Roman Governor Rictiovarus during the persecution of Emperor Diocletian.

Propers for the Martyrs of Trier

The Collect.

Almighty and Everlasting God, who didst enkindle the flame of thy love in the heart of thy holy martyrs of Trier : Grant to us, thy humble servants, a like faith and power of love, that we who rejoice in their triumph may profit by their 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 - 1 Peter 4:12-19.

The Holy Gospel - St. Mark 8:34-38.


Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity

The Collect.

LORD, we beseech thee, grant thy people grace to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil; and with pure hearts and minds to follow thee, the only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - 1 Corinthians i. 4.

I THANK my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; that in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Gospel - St. Matthew xxii. 34.

WHEN the Pharisees had heard that Jesus had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

Francis of Assisi

was born in 1182, the son of a wealthy cloth merchant. His early years were frivolous, but an experience of sickness and another of military service were instrumental in leading him to reflect on the purpose of life. One day, in the church of San Damiano, he seemed to hear Christ saying to him, "Francis, repair my falling house." He took the words literally, and sold a bale of silk from his father's warehouse to pay for repairs to the church of San Damiano. His father was outraged, and there was a public confrontation at which his father disinherited and disowned him, and he in turn renounced his father's wealth--one account says that he not only handed his father his purse, but also took off his expensive clothes, laid them at his father's feet, and walked away naked. He declared himself "wedded to Lady Poverty", renounced all material possessions, and devoted himself to serving the poor.

In his day the most dreaded of all diseases was something known as leprosy. (It is probably not the same as either the modern or the Biblical disease of that name.) Lepers were kept at a distance and regarded with fear and disgust. Francis cared for them, fed them, bathed their sores, and kissed them. Since he could not pay for repairs to the Church of San Damiano, he undertook to repair it by his own labors. He moved in with the priest, and begged stones lying useless in fields, shaping them for use in repairing the church. He got his meals, not by asking for money so that he might live at the expense of others, but by scrounging crusts and discarded vegetable from trash-bins, and by working as a day laborer, insisting on being paid in bread, milk, eggs, or vegetables rather than in money. Soon a few companions joined him.

After three years, in 1210, the Pope authorized the forming of the Order of Friars Minor, commonly called the Franciscans. ("Friar" means "brother," as in "fraternity", and "minor" means "lesser" or "younger." I take the meaning to be that a Franciscan, meeting another Christian, is to think, "I am your brother in Christ, and your younger brother at that, bound to defer to you and to give you precedence over myself."

Francis and his companions took literally the words of Christ when he sent his disciples out to preach (St. Matthew 10:7-10):

"And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food."

They would have no money, and no property, individually or collectively. Their task was to preach, "using words if necessary," but declaring by word and action the love of God in Christ. Francis was partial to a touch of the dramatic (see his parting from his father, for example), and it was probably he who set up the first Christmas manger scene, to bring home the Good News of God made man for our salvation, home to men's hearts and imaginations as well as to their intellects.

In 1219, Francis went to the Holy Land to preach to the Muslims. He was given a pass through the enemy lines, and spoke to the Sultan, Melek-al-Kamil. Francis proclaimed the Gospel to the Sultan, who replied that he had his own beliefs, and that Muslims were as firmly convinced of the truth of Islam as Francis was of the truth of Christianity. Francis proposed that a fire be built, and that he and a Muslim volunteer would walk side by side into the fire to show whose faith was stronger. The Sultan said he was not sure that a Muslim volunteer could be found. Francis then offered to walk into the fire alone. The Sultan who was deeply impressed but remained unconverted. Francis proposed an armistice between the two warring sides, and drew up terms for one; the Sultan agreed, but, to Francois' deep disappointment, the Christian leaders would not. Francis returned to Italy, but a permanent result was that the Franciscans were given custody of the Christian shrines then in Muslim hands.

Back in Italy and neighboring countries, the Order was suffering from its own success. Then, as now, many persons were deeply attracted by Francis and his air of joy, abandonment, and freedom. What is overlooked is that these were made possible only by his willingness to accept total poverty, not picturesque poverty but real dirt, rags, cold, and hunger, and lepers with real pus oozing from their sores and a real danger of infection. Many idealistic young men were joining the Order in a burst of enthusiasm and then finding themselves not so sure that such extremes of poverty were really necessary. When there were only a few friars, they were all known to Francis personally, and the force of his personality kept the original ideals of the Order alive in them. Now that the Order was larger, this was no longer enough. In 1220 Francis resigned as minister-general of the Order, and in 1221 he agreed to a new and modified rule, which he did not approve, but could not resist. He died on 4 October 1226. The Franciscan split into the Conventual Franciscans, who held a limited amount of property in common, and the Spiritual Franciscans, who disavowed all property. They taught that Christ and the twelve apostles had held no property, singly or jointly. This view offended those who held property, and was declared to be heretical. In 1318, several Spiritual Franciscans were burned at the stake in Marseilles.

A story is told of the days when the friars first began to have permanent houses. A beggar came by when Brother Juniper was at the gate and asked for a little money. Brother Juniper said, "There is no money in the house. But wait a minute. Last week someone gave us an altar cloth with little silver bells attached. We don't need those. I will cut them off for you. They will be as good as money." And he did. When the sacristan learned what had happened, he complained to the prior, who said, "We are fortunate that he did not give away the cloth itself. But send him to me, and I will scold him." Brother Juniper came, and the prior scolded him until he was hoarse. Brother Juniper noticed that the prior was hoarse, and went to the kitchen and cooked him some mint sauce. He brought it to the prior, who had gone to bed. He said, "Father Prior, get up and eat this mint sauce. It will be good for your throat." The prior said, "I don't want any mint sauce. Go away and let me sleep." Brother Juniper said, "It's good sauce, and will be good for your throat." The prior said, "Go away, I don't want it." Brother Juniper said, "Well, if you won't eat it, how about holding the candle while I eat it?" This was too much for the prior. He got up and they both ate.

From the first known letter from Francis to all Christians:

O how happy and blessed are those who love the Lord and do as the Lord himself said in the gospel: You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart and your whole soul, and your neighbor as yourself. Therefore, let us love God and adore him with pure heart and mind. This is his particular desire when he says: True worshipers adore the Father in spirit and truth. For all who adore him must do so in the spirit of truth. Let us also direct to him our praises and prayers, saying: "Our Father, who are in heaven," since we must always pray and never grow slack.

Furthermore, let us produce worthy fruits of penance. Let us also love our neighbors as ourselves. Let us have charity and humility. Let us give alms because these cleanse our souls from the stains of sin. Men lose all the material things they leave behind in this world, but they carry with them the reward of their charity and the alms they give. For these they will receive from the Lord the reward and recompense they deserve. We must not be wise and prudent according to the flesh. Rather we must be simple, humble and pure. We should never desire to be over others. Instead, we ought to be servants who are submissive toe very human being for God's sake. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on all who live in this way and persevere in it to the end. He will permanently dwell in them. They will be the Father's children who do his work. They are the spouses, brothers and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ.

While he was praying on the mountain of Verna, during a forty day fast in preparation for Michaelmas, Francis is said to have had a vision on or about 14 September 1224, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, as a result of which he received the stigmata. Brother Leo, who had been with Francis at the time, left a clear and simple account of the event, the first definite account of the phenomenon of stigmata. "Suddenly he saw a vision of a seraph, a six-winged angel on a cross. This angel gave him the gift of the five wounds of Christ."

Suffering from these Stigmata and from an eye disease, he had been receiving care in several cities (Siena, Cortona, Nocera) to no avail. In the end he was brought back to the Porziuncola. He was brought to the transito, the hut for infirm friars, next to the Porziuncola. Here, in the place where it all began, feeling the end approaching, he spent the last days of his life dictating his spiritual testament. He died on the evening of 3 October 1226 singing Psalm 141. His feast day is observed 4 October.

On 16 July 1228 he was pronounced a saint by the next pope Gregory IX, the former cardinal Ugolino di Conti, friend and protector of St. Francis. The next day, the pope laid the foundation stone for the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi.

St. Francis is considered the first Italian poet by literary critics. He believed commoners should be able to pray to God in their own language, and he wrote always in dialect of Umbria instead of Latin. His writings are considered to have great literary value, as well as religious.

Propers for Francis of Assisi - Friar

The Collect.

MOST high, almighty, and good Lord: Grant thy people grace to renounce gladly the vanities of this world, that, after the example of blessed Francis, we may for love of thee delight in all thy creatures, with perfectness of joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - Galatians 6:14-18.

The Gospel - St. Matthew 11:25-30.

Reference and Resources:


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Thérèse of Lisieux

Born to a pious middle-class French family of tradesmen; daughter of Louis Martin and Marie-Azelie Guérin Martin, and all four of her sisters became nuns. Her mother died when Francoise-Marie was only four, and the family moved to Lisieux, Normandy, France to be closer to family.

Educated by the Benedictine nuns of Notre-Dame-du-Pre. Confirmed there at age eleven. Just before her 14th birthday she received a vision of the Child Jesus; she immediately understood the great sacrifice that had been made for her, and developed an unshakeable faith. Tried to join the Carmelites, but was turned down due to her age.

Pilgrim to Rome, Italy at for the Jubilee of Pope Leo XIII whom she met and who knew of her desire to become a nun. Joined the Carmelites at Lisieux on 9 April 1888 at age 15, taking her final vow on 8 September 1890 at age 17.

Known by all for her complete devotion to spiritual development and to the austerities of the Carmelite rule. Due to health problems resulting from her ongoing fight with tuberculosis, her superiors ordered her not to fast. Novice mistress at age 20. At age 22 she was ordered by her prioress to begin writing her memories and ideas, which material would turn into the book History of a Soul. Therese defined her path to God and holiness as The Little Way, which consisted of child-like love and trust in God.

She had an on-going correspondence with Carmelite missionaries in French Indo-China, often stating how much she wanted to come work with them, but her health prevented this.

Thérèse's final years were marked by a steady decline that she bore resolutely and without complaint. Tuberculosis was the key element of Thérèse's final suffering, but she saw that as part of her spiritual journey. After observing a rigorous Lenten fast in 1896, she went to bed on the eve of Good Friday and felt a joyous sensation. She wrote: "Oh! how sweet this memory really is!... I had scarcely laid my head upon the pillow when I felt something like a bubbling stream mounting to my lips. I didn't know what it was." The next morning she found blood on her handkerchief and understood her fate. Coughing up of blood meant tuberculosis, and tuberculosis meant death.

In July 1897, she made a final move to the monastery infirmary. On August 19, 1897, Therese received her last communion. She died on 30 September 1897 at the young age of 24. On her death-bed, she is reported to have said:"I have reached the point of not being able to suffer any more, because all suffering is sweet to me." Her last words were, "My God, I love you!"

Propers for Thérèse of Lisieux - Mystic, Writer and Monastic

O GOD, by whose grace the blessed Thérèse of Lisieux 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 Holy 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.



Friday, October 2, 2015

Thomas of Hereford

Born at Hambledon, Buckinghamshire, England, about 1218; died at Orvieto, Italy, 25 August, 1282.

He was the son of William de Cantelupe and Millicent de Gournay, and thus a member of an illustrious and influential family. He was educated under the care of his uncle, Walter de Cantelupe, Bishop of Worcester, first at Oxford then at Paris. During his studies he attended the Council of Lyons in 1245, when he became a papal chaplain. Returning to Oxford, he taught canon law, and in 1262 was elected chancellor of the university.

In the Barons' Wars he took the popular side and stated the Barons' case before St. Louis at Amiens, 1263. After the defeat of Henry III at the battle of Lewes he was made chancellor of England (22 February, 1265), gaining wide renown for his judicial wisdom and fairness. Deprived of the chancellorshp on the death of Simon de Montfort, he went into exile, lecturing at Paris on theology and Scripture (1265-72). He then resumed teaching at Oxford till 1274 when he attended the second Council of Lyons.

He held several benefices which he administered most zealously, appointing responsible vicars, visiting them regularly, and showing himself a model pastor by his holiness and wide charity. In June, 1275, he was appointed Bishop of Hereford, and was consecrated by his friend Cardinal Kilwardby (8 September, 1275). As bishop he continued his apostolic life, labouring incessantly for the good of his people, maintaining the privileges and property of his diocese against Gilbert of Gloucester, Llewellyn, and others, supporting Edward I in his struggle with Llewellyn, and reforming the clergy, secular and regular. He came into conflict with Archbishop Peckham on questions of jurisdiction, and at the Council of Reading (July, 1279) led the resistance of the bishops to the policy of Peckham.

His personal differences with Peckham led first to his withdrawal to Normandy that he might avoid an interdict and appeal to Rome, and subsequently in 1282 to his actual excommunication by the archbishop. He then went to Rome to plead his own cause before Pope Martin IV, who received him kindly. But his failing health succumbed to the fatigue of the journey and the summer heat. He was buried at Orvieto, but subsequently his relics were brought back to Hereford, where many miracles were wrought by his intercession and his shrine became second only to that of St. Thomas of Canterbury. He was canonized by John XXII (17 April, 1320), and his festival, formerly observed on 2 October, is now kept in England on 3 October.

Propers for Thomas of Hereford - Teacher and Bishop

The Collect.

O Almighty God, who hast compassed us about with so great a cloud of witnesses: Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of thy servant Thomas of Hereford , may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at length, through thy mercy, we may with him attain to thine eternal joy; through Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Epistle - Hebrews 12: 1-2.

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

Reference and Resources:


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Remigius of Rheims

Saint Remigius (French Saint Rémi or Saint Rémy), Bishop of Rheims, Apostle of the Franks, (c. 437–533) effected the conversion to Christianity of Clovis, King of the Franks, at Christmas, 496, one of the turning points in the success of orthodox catholic faith and a climactic moment in European history.

Born into a noble family of Galo-Roman origin, Remigius as a young man was known for his intelligence, education and religious zeal. At age of twenty-two his reputation earned him the Archbishopric of Rheims though he was still a layman. After being seated in his new office, Remigius set as his chief goal the conversion of the pagan Franks which had conquered Gaul and had become a major power in the region, to this end Remigius befriended the Frankish King Clovis.

The story of the return of the sacred vessels, which had been stolen from the Church of Soissons testifies to the friendly relations existing between Remigius and Clovis, whom he converted to Christianity with the assistance of St. Waast (Vedastus, Vaast) and St. Clotilda, wife of Clovis. Even before he embraced Christianity Clovis had showered benefits upon both the Bishop and Cathedral of Rheims, and after the battle of Tolbiac, he requested Remigius to baptize him at Rheims (24 December, 496) in presence of several bishops and great numbers of the Frankish army.

Though Remigius never attended any of the church councils, in 517 he held a synod at Rheims, at which after a heated discussion he converted a bishop of Arian views. Although St Remigius' influence over people and prelates was extraordinary, upon one occasion his condoning of the offences of one Claudius, a priest whom Remigius had consecrated, brought upon him the rebukes of his episcopal brethren, who deemed Claudius deserving of degradation. The reply of Remigius, still extant, is able and convincing.

With the conversion of the Franks and the Carolingian dynasty, Remigius may have unknowingly preserved Christian European Civilization. In 732 at the Battle of Tours, it was the Franks that led the Christian armies in defeating the Mohammedan forces of the Umayyad Caliphate, thereby stemming the Saracen invasion of Europe.

Propers for Remigius - Bishop, Missionary and Enlightener of the Franks


O God, who by the teaching of thy faithful servant and bishop Remigius [and the loving influence and example of thy handmaid Clotilda] didst turn the nation of the Franks from vain idolatry to the worship of thee, the true and living God, in the fullness of the catholic faith; Grant that we who glory in the name of Christian may show forth our faith in worthy deeds; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Epistle - 1 John 4:1-6.

Gospel - St. John 14:3-7.

Reference and Resources:


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Jerome the Translator

Jerome was the foremost biblical scholar of the ancient Church. His translation of the Bible, along with his commentaries and homilies on the biblical books, have made him a major intellectual force in the Western Church.

Jerome was born in about 347, and was converted and baptized during his student days in Rome. On a visit to Trier, he found himself attracted to the monastic life, which he tested in a brief but unhappy experience as a hermit in the deserts of Syria. At Antioch, he continued his studies in Hebrew and Greek. In 379, he went to Constantinople where he studied under Gregory of Nazianzus. From 382 to 384 he was secretary to Pope Damasus I, and spiritual director of many noble Roman ladies who were becoming interested in the monastic life. It was Damasus who set him the task of making a new translation of the Bible into Latin -- into the popular form of the language, hence the name of the translation: the Vulgate. After the death of Damasus, Jerome returned to the East, and established a monastery at Bethlehem, where he lived and worked until his death on 30 September 420.

Jerome is best known as the translator of the Bible into Latin. A previous version (now called the Old Latin) existed, but Jerome's version far surpassed it in scholarship and in literary quality. Jerome was well versed in classical Latin (as well as Greek and Hebrew), but deliberately translated the Bible into the style of Latin that was actually spoken and written by the majority of persons in his own time. This kind of Latin is known as Vulgate Latin (meaning the Latin of the common people), and accordingly Jerome's translation is called the Vulgate.

Jerome was intemperate in controversy, and any correspondence with him tended to degenerate into a flame war. (His friendship with Augustine, conducted by letter, nearly ended before it began. Fortunately Augustine sized him up correctly, soothed his feelings, and was extremely tactful thereafter.) His hot temper, pride of learning, and extravagant promotion of asceticism involved him in many bitter controversies over questions of theology and of Bible interpretation. However, he was candid at times in admitting his failings, and was never ambitious for either worldly or churchly honors. He was a militant champion of orthodoxy, a tireless worker, and a scholar of rare gifts.

Propers for Jerome - Priest, Scholar, Translator, Church Father, Theologian and Doctor

The Collect.

O GOD, who hast given us the Holy Scriptures for a light to shine upon our path: Grant us, after the example of thy servant Jerome, so to learn of thee according to thy holy Word, that we may find in it the light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-9.

The Gospel - St. Luke 24:44-48.

References and Resources :


Tuesday, September 29, 2015


On the Feast of Michael and all Angels, popularly called Michaelmas, we give thanks for the many ways in which God's loving care watches over us, both directly and indirectly, and we are reminded that the richness and variety of God's creation far exceeds our knowledge of it.

St. Michael is one of the principal angels; his name was the war-cry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against the enemy and his followers.

It would have been natural to St. Michael, the champion of the Jewish people, to be the champion also of Christians, giving victory in war to his clients. The early Christians, however, regarded some of the martyrs as their military patrons: St. George, St. Theodore, St. Demetrius, Ss. Sergius and Bacchus, St. Procopius, St. Mercurius, etc.; but to St. Michael they gave the care of their sick. At the place where he was first venerated, in Phrygia, his prestige as angelic healer obscured his interposition in military affairs. It was from early times the center of the true cult of the holy angels, particularly of St. Michael. Tradition relates that St. Michael in the earliest ages caused a medicinal spring to spout at Chairotopa near Colossae, where all the sick who bathed there, invoking the Blessed Trinity and St. Michael, were cured.

Michaelmas Day, in England and other countries, is one of the regular quarter-days for settling rents and accounts; but it is no longer remarkable for the hospitality with which it was formerly celebrated. Stubble-geese being esteemed in perfection about this time, most families had one dressed on Michaelmas Day. In some parishes (Isle of Skye) they had a procession on this day and baked a cake, called St. Michael's bannock.

Propers for Michaelmas

The Collect.

O EVERLASTING God, who hast ordained and constituted the services of Angels and men in a wonderful order; Mercifully grant that, as thy holy Angels always do thee service in heaven, so, by thy appointment, they may succour and defend us on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - Revelation xii. 7.

THERE was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

The Gospel - St. Matthew xviii. 1.

AT the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell-fire. Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

References and Resources :


Monday, September 28, 2015

Wenceslaus of Bohemia

Son of Vratislav I, Duke of Bohemia, whose family had been converted by Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius, and Drahomira, daughter of a pagan chief; she was baptized on her wedding day, but who apparently never seriously took to the faith. Grandson and student of Saint Ludmilla.

Duke of Bohemia, ascending to power when his father was killed during a pagan backlash against Christianity, which he fought against with prayer and patience. Murdered by his brother Boleslaus at the door of a church; killed for political reasons, but normally listed as a martyr since the politics arose from his faith. Miracles reported at his tomb. Subject of the Christmas carol Good King Wenceslas.

Propers for Wenceslaus I - Duke of Bohemia and Martyr.

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who didst strengthen thy blessed martyr Wenceslaus 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 Lesson - 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.

Reference and Resources:



Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity

The Collect.

LORD, we pray thee that thy grace may always prevent and follow us, and make us continually to be given to all good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - Ephesians iv. 1.

I THEREFORE, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

The Gospel - St. Luke xiv. 1.

IT came to pass, as Jesus went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him. And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go; and answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? And they could not answer him again to these things. And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief seats; saying unto them, When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest seat; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; and he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest place; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, "Friend, go up higher": then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent was born of poor parents in the village of Pouy in Gascony, France, about 1580. He enjoyed his first schooling under the Franciscan Fathers at Acqs. Such had been his progress in four years that a gentleman chose him as subpreceptor to his children, and he was thus enabled to continue his studies without being a burden to his parents. In 1596, he went to the University of Toulouse for theological studies, and there he was ordained priest in 1600.

In 1605 while traveling aboard ship in the Mediterranean Sea, Vincent was captured by North African Pirates and sold into slavery. Vincent remained in bondage for two years eventually gaining his freedom by converting his Mohammedan owner to Christianity. After leaving North Africa, Vincent traveled to Rome and then back to France serving in Various Chaplaincies and Parishes for a time.

This brought him into contact with the peasants, and he became concerned for their needs, physical and spiritual. A peasant who believed himself to be dying confessed to him that his previous confessions for many years had been dishonest. Vincent began to preach in the local church on confession, repentance, forgiveness, and the love of God. His sermons drew such crowds of penitents that he had to call in a group of other priests to assist him. He took on the pastorship of a neighboring church attended by a more fashionable and aristocratic crowd, and there he likewise drew many of his listeners to repentance and amendment of life. Returning to Paris, he worked among the prisoners destined for the galleys who were being held at the Conciergerie.

In 1625 he established the Congregation of the Mission (now known as the Vincentians, or the Lazarists), a community of priests who undertook to renounce all ecclesiastical advancement and devote themselves to work in the small towns and villages of France. In an age not noted for "interdenominational courtesy," he instructed his missioners that Protestants were to be treated as brothers, with respect and love, without patronage or condescension or contentiousness. Wealthy men and women came to him, expressing a wish to amend their lives, and he organized them into a Confraternity of Charity, and set them to work caring for the poor and sick in hospitals and in home visits. In 1633 the Archbishop or Paris gave him the Priory of St Lazare as a headquarters. There he offered retreats six times a year for those who were preparing for the ministry. These lasted two weeks each, and each involved about eighty students. He then began to offer similar retreats for laypersons of all classes and widely varying backgrounds.

Out of his Confraternity of Charity there arose an order of nuns called the Daughters (or Sisters) of Charity, devoted to nursing those who were sick and poor. He said of them, "Their convent is the sick-room, their chapel the parish church, their cloister the streets of the city." Many babies were abandoned in Paris every year, and when Vincent saw some of them, he established an orphanage for them, and thereafter often wandered through the slums, looking in corners for abandoned babies, which he carried back to the orphanage.

He complained to the King that ecclesiastical posts were distributed simply as political favors, and that the spiritual qualifications of the appointees were simply ignored. The King responded by creating a Council of Conscience to remedy the matter, with Vincent at the head. On one occasion, a noblewoman of the court, furious with Vincent because he refused to nominate her son for a position as bishop, threw a stool at him. He left the room with a stream of blood pouring from his forehead, and said to a companion who was waiting for him, "Is it not wonderful how strong a mother's love for her son can be?" He died 27 September 1660.

Propers for Vincent de Paul - Priest, Confessor and Helper of Men

The Collect.

Almighty God, who didst call thy servant Vincent de Paul to serve thee in the person of those in need: Grant, we beseech thee, that we, following his example, may fulfil thy commandments by loving our neighbour, and by loving thee with all our hearts, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Epistle - Philippians 4:4-9.

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

Reference and Resources:


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Cyprian and Justina of Antioch

Cyprian was a pagan magician of Antioch who had dealing with demons. By their aid he sought to bring St. Justina, a Christian virgin, to ruin; but she foiled the threefold attacks of the devils by the sign of the cross. Brought to despair, Cyprian made the sign of the cross himself and in this way was freed from the toils of Satan. He was received into the Church, was made pre-eminent by miraculous gifts, and became in succession deacon, priest and, finally, bishop, while Justina became the head of a convent.

During the Diocletian persecution, both were seized and taken to Damascus, where they were shockingly tortured. As their faith never wavered, they were brought before Diocletian at Nicomedia, where at his command they were beheaded on the bank of the river Gallus. The same fate befell a Christian, Theoctistus, who had come to Cyprian and had embraced him.

After the bodies of the saints had lain unburied for six days, they were taken by Christian sailors to Rome, where they were interred on the estate of a noble lady named Rufina and later were entombed in Constantine's basilica.

Propers for Cyprian and Justina of Antioch - Martyrs

The Collect.

Almighty and Everlasting God, who didst enkindle the flame of thy love in the heart of thy holy martyrs Cyprian and Justina : Grant to us, thy humble servants, a like faith and power of love, that we who rejoice in their triumph may profit by their 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


Friday, September 25, 2015

Sergius of Radonezh

Venerable Sergius of Radonezh (Сергий Радонежский, Sergii Radonezhsky)—also translated as Sergey Radonezhsky or Serge of Radonezh was a spiritual leader and monastic reformer of medieval Russia

Sergius has held a special place in the history of Russian monasticism. His community at Holy Trinity served as the model of secluded ascetic life organized as communities outside the limits of towns and cities. He himself was a model of asceticism. While not a learned man nor a great preacher, he was a man committed to poverty and utter sincerity. He was deeply humble and had a staunch faith in God's help. He committed to giving help to all who sought his help with loving attention. He was a true leader who led his monks in work and service by setting an example. He established a number of monastery schools and taught farmers better methods of farming.

In view of the stature of his place among Russian saints, he has been honored by adding his name to the monastery he founded: Trinity-Sergius Lavra.

Propers for St. Sergius - Abbot and Monastic Reformer

The Collect.

O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich: Deliver us, we pray thee, from an inordinate love of this world, that inspired by the devotion of thy servant Sergius, we may serve thee with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Epistle - Ecclesiasticus 39:1-9.

The Gospel - St. Matthew 13:47-52.

Reference and Resources:


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Our Lady of Walsingham

In A.D. 1061 a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Richeldis de Faverches, a devout Saxon noblewoman. In the vision Lady Richeldis was shown the house in which Mary received the Annunciation from the Archangel Gabriel, Mary asked Lady Richeldis to build an exact replica of the house in Walsingham.

The de Faverches family had the Holy House built with provisions for it's upkeep and the building of a priory next to it. The Chapel and priory came under the care of the Augustinian Canons in the mid-12th century. The chapel became a destination for pilgrims from all over England, eventually winning Royal patronage and Royal pilgrims. The fame and wealth of the site grew to immense proportions, that it was a target of thieves from without and embezzlers from within.

In A.D. 1538, one of the chapel's greatest patrons became it's nemesis when King Henry VIII ordered the confiscation of the site's wealth along with the destruction of chapel and priory, even though two years before the Prior had accepted the King's supremacy as head of the Church of England, it would not save them. The sub-prior was executed and eleven other men from the area that complained as to the sites fate were also executed.

In the early 20th century Walsingham once again became a destination for pilgrims, Anglican, Roman and Orthodox. In 1897 Pope Leo XIII re-established a restored Slipper Chapel as a Roman Catholic Shrine and in 1921 Fr. A.H. Patten, the CofE Vicar for Walsingham sparked Anglican interest in the pre-Reformation pilgrimage. Since then Walsingham has become a centre for ecumenical co-operation, with pilgrims from different denominations making the pilgrimage to both the Roman and Anglican shrines.

Propers for the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham

The Collect.

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hast revealed the beauty of thy power by exalting the lowly virgin of Nazareth and making her the mother of our Saviour: May the prayers of Our Lady of Walsingham bring Jesus to the waiting world and fill the hearts of all thy people with the presence of her child, who liveth and reigneth with thee and Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lesson - Isaiah 7:10-16.

The Gospel - St. Luke 1:26-38

Reference and Resources:

The Orthodox Christian Society of Our Lady of Walsingham

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Adomnán of Iona

was abbot of Iona (679–704), hagiographer, statesman and clerical lawyer; he was the author of the most important Vita of Saint Columba and promulgator of the "Law of Innocents", lex innocentium, also called Cáin Adomnáin, "Law of Adomnán". In Ireland, especially in Derry and County Donegal, a popular Anglicised form of his name is Saint Eunan, from the Gaelic Naomh Adhamhnán.

Adamnan gave sanctuary to Prince Aldfrid when the throne of Northumbria was in dispute following the death of King Oswy. When Aldfrid became king in 686, Aldamnan secured the release of all Irish prisoners taken in the conflict, and visited the monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow.

Attended the Council of Birr and Synod of Tara in 697 at which he helped enact the Canons of Adamnan, laws that helped protect civilian and clerical populations in areas at war, prohibiting the murder or enslavement of non-combatant women and children.

Propers for Adomnán of Iona - Abbot, Writer and Lawyer

The Collect.

O GOD, by whose grace the blessed Adomnán, 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:


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Maurice and the Theban Legion

In A.D. 286 a legion of Roman soldiers (6,600 men in strength) known as the Theban Legion (as most of the men came from the Thebes region of Egypt) and under the command of a man name Mauritius (Maurice) was deployed to the Roman Province of Gaul to help put down a rebellion.

The Theban Legion's soldiers were mostly ethnic Copts and Christians and very devout in their faith, from the Commander Maurice down to the lowliest Legionnaire. After establishing their camp among the rest of the Roman Army in Gaul, the Emperor Maximian ordered the army to make sacrifice to the pagan gods and swear an oath of allegiance and swear to assist in the extirpation of Christianity in Gaul, The Theban Legion refused to do either. Again the Emperor demanded that the Thebans make sacrifice and swear the oaths, Mauritius explained to Maximian that the Thebans had no problem in fighting the enemies of the Empire and doing their duty but they would not participate in pagan idolatry or the persecution and murder of Christian non-combatants.

Maximian would not budge on his demands and ordered the Theban Legion decimated, in which the ranks are formed and every tenth man is killed where he stood. The Thebans did not resist and when the decimation was complete the Emperor again made his demands on Mauritius and his legion and again they refused, Maximian ordered another decimation to which the Thebans still did not offer any resistance and they died willingly for their God and their fellow Christians. Again and again the Emperor tried breaking the Thebans will and again they refused to submit and in the process they won over many converts in the ranks of the other legions which had been tasked with their killing as they refused to resist their lawful punishment for their principals and beliefs.

After realizing that he would be unable to make the Thebans conform to his will, the Emperor Maximian ordered the remainder of the Theban Legion destroyed and the Thebans of all ranks were cut-down where they stood thereby winning the Crown of Martyrdom in the service of their God and neighbour.

Propers for Maurice and the Theban Legion - Soldiers and Martyrs

The Collect.

Grant we beseech thee, Almighty God: to keep in our memory the devotion and service of thy blessed Martyrs, Maurice and his companions; and that we may show the same love and obedience unto thee through their example, for the sake of Our Lord and Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

The Lesson - Wisdom 3:1-8

The Gospel - St. Luke 6:17-23

Reference and Resources:


Monday, September 21, 2015

St. Matthew the Apostle

One day Jesus was walking and saw a tax collector named Matthew sitting at a tax collection post, and said to him, "Follow me." And Matthew stood up and followed Him, and became one of His twelve apostles.

Tax collectors in those days were social outcasts. Devout Jews avoided them because they were usually dishonest (the job carried no salary, and they were expected to make their profits by cheating the people from whom they collected taxes). Patriotic and nationalistic Jews hated them because they were agents of the Roman government, the conquerors, and hated them with a double hatred if (like Matthew) they were Jews, because they had gone over to the enemy, had betrayed their own people for money. Thus, throughout the Gospels, we find tax collectors (publicans) mentioned as a standard type of sinful and despised outcast. Matthew brought many of his former associates to meet Jesus, and social outcasts in general were shown that the love of Jesus extended even to them.

There is not much historical information about Matthew's ministry and martyrdom, but the general conclusion is that he was martyred while evangelizing in an area south of the Caspian Sea possibly Persia or Syria.

According to the consensus, Matthew wrote his Gospel around 80 AD, or about 50 years after Christ's death and resurrection. For comparison's sake, Alexander the Great's two biographies were written about 400 years after his death and are considered generally reliable. However, some scholars, including one famous liberal scholar, date Matthew to no later than 65 AD, a mere 30 years after Christ.

Some of Matthew's unique accounts include the Star of Bethlehem, the visit of the Magi, Herod's execution of the innocent babies, the earthquake at the crucifixion, and the trinitarian formula for baptism.

It is interesting to note that some claim the "Star of Bethlehem" has received surprising confirmation in a recent, comprehensive astronomical study, while second century Greek historian, Phlegon, confirms Matthew's account of the earthquake that followed Christ's death on the cross.

Propers for Matthew - Apostle and Evangelist

The Collect.

O ALMIGHTY God, who by thy blessed Son didst call Matthew from the receipt of custom to be an Apostle and Evangelist; Grant us grace to forsake all covetous desires, and inordinate love of riches, and to follow the same thy Son Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Epistle - 2 Corinthians iv:1.

THEREFORE seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

The Gospel - St. Matthew ix:9.

AND as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

References and Resources :


Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Sixteenth Sunday After Trinity

The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee, let thy continual pity cleanse and defend thy Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without thy succour, preserve it evermore by thy help and goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - Ephesians iii. 13.

I DESIRE that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

The Gospel - St. Luke vii. 11.

AND it came to pass the day after, that Jesus went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.

John Coleridge Patteson

(1 April 1827 – 20 September 1871) was an Anglican bishop and martyr.

Patteson was educated at The King's School, Ottery St Mary, Eton and then Balliol College, Oxford. He was ordained in 1853 in the Church of England. His old tutor at Eton, George Augustus Selwyn, was the first Bishop of New Zealand, and he persuaded Patteson to become a missionary to the South Seas.

In 1855 Patteson set out to found the Melanesian Mission. He founded a college on Norfolk Island for native boys, toured the islands on the ship Southern Cross, and learned many of the local languages. In 1861 he was made Bishop of Melanesia.

Patteson's aim was to take boys from local communities, educate them in western Christian culture and return them to their communities. Persuading local people to allow their young men to depart – sometimes for years – was his principal problem.

On 20 September 1871 he was murdered on the island of Nukapu in the Solomon Islands, where he had landed alone. The explanation of his death at the time was that natives killed him as revenge for the abduction of some natives by illegal labour recruiters months earlier. These recruiters, known as "blackbirders", were considered to be virtually slave traders by members of the mission, as they enticed or abducted youths to work on plantations.

His death became a cause celebre in England and increased interest both in missionary work and in improvement of the working conditions in Melanesia. His life is celebrated in the Church of England as a saintly one, and he is commemorated with a Lesser Festival on 20 September. There is a memorial to him in the chapel of Merton College, Oxford by Thomas Woolner, which depicts his portrait surrounded by fronds, beneath which he is shown lying in the canoe, as described above

Propers for John Coleridge Patteson - Bishop and Martyr

The Collect.

Almighty God, who didst call thy faithful servants John Coleridge Patteson and his companions to be witnesses and martyrs in the islands of Melanesia, and by their labours and sufferings didst raise up a people for thine own possession: Pour forth thy Holy Spirit upon thy Church in every land, that by the service and sacrifice of many, thy holy Name may be glorified and thy kingdom enlarged; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Epistle - 1 Peter 4:12-19.

The Gospel - St. Mark 8:34-38.

Reference and Resources:


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Ember Days of Autumn

The Collects.

O LORD Jesus Christ, who in thy earthly life didst share man’s toil, and thereby hallow the labour of his hands: Prosper all those who maintain the industries of this land; and give them pride in their work, a just reward for their labour, and joy both in supplying the needs of others and in serving thee their Saviour; who with the Father and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, ever one God, world without end.

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.

Theodore of Tarsus

When the pagan Anglo-Saxons invaded England, they drove the native Celtic inhabitants north into Scotland and west into Ireland, Wales, and Cornwall. The Anglo-Saxons were subsequently converted to Christianity by Celtic missionaries from the north and west, and Roman and Gallic missionaries from the south and east. As a result, they ended up with two different "flavors" of Christianity. The difference was expressed mainly in the form of a disagreement about the proper method for calculating the date of Easter, a disagreement which we may suspect was a stand-in for other disagreements a little more difficult to articulate. In 663, a council was called to settle the dispute, the Synod of Whitby. It decided in favor of the Roman or continental way of doing things.

Soon after, the Archbishop of Canterbury died, and the English elected a successor, Wighard, and sent him to Rome to be consecrated by the Pope. Wighard died in Rome before he could be consecrated, and the Pope (Vitalian) took it upon himself to choose a man to fill the vacancy. He consecrated Theodore of Tarsus (the native city of the Apostle Paul), a learned monk (not a priest) from the East then living in Rome, 65 years old. This surprising choice turned out to be a very good one. Theodore was (as Bede put it in his Ecclesiastical History) "the first archbishop whom all the English obeyed." Having made a tour of his charge, Theodore filled the vacant bishoprics and in 672 presided over the first council of the entire English Church, at Hertford. He established definite territorial boundaries for the various dioceses, and founded new dioceses where needed. He found the Church of England an unorganized missionary body, and left it a fully ordered province of the universal Church. The body of canon law drawn up under his supervision, and his structure of dioceses and parishes, survived the turmoil of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and are substantially intact today.

He founded a school at Canterbury that trained Christians from both the Celtic and the Roman traditions, and did much to unite the two groups. The school was headed by Adrian, an abbot born in Africa but later resident in Italy, who had been the Pope's first choice for Archbishop, but who had refused and recommended Theodore instead. Adrian was learned in the Scriptures, a good administrator, and fluent in Latin and Greek. The school taught Bible, theology and sacred studies, Latin and Greek (Bede alleges that some of the students knew these languages as well as they knew English), poetry, astronomy, and calendar calculation (of some importance for political reasons, as stated above). Adrian died 9 January 710.

Theodore died 19 September 690, being 88 years old.

Propers for Theodore of Tarsus - Archbishop of Canterbury

The Collect.

O GOD, who dost ever hallow and protect thy Church: Raise up therein through thy Spirit good and faithful stewards of the mysteries of Christ, as thou didst in thy servant Theodore; that by their ministry and example thy people may abide in thy favour and walk in the way of truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Epistle - 2 Timothy 2:1-5, 10.

The Gospel - St. Matthew 24:42-47.

References and Resources :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_of_Tarsus http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/theodore.cfm