Friday, February 24, 2017

Matthias the Apostle


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


Propers for Saint Matthias the Apostle - 24 February

The Collect.

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


The Epistle - Acts i. 15.

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


The Gospel - St. Matthew xi. 25.

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


Reference and Resources:

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

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Polycarp of Smyrna

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

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

Propers for Polycarp - 23 February - Bishop of Smyrna and Martyr

The Collect.

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


The Epistle - Revelation 2:8-11.

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


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

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


Reference and Resources:

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

John the Saxon

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

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


Propers for John the Saxon - 22 February - Monastic


The Collect.

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


The Epistle - 2 Esdras 2:42-48.


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


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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Peter Damian

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

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

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

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

Propers for Peter Damian - 21 February - Bishop, Theologian, and Reformer

The Collect.

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


The Epistle - Wisdom 7:7-14.

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


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

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



Reference and Resources:

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


Monday, February 20, 2017

Wulfric of Somerset


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

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

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


Propers for Wulfric - 20 February - Priest

The Collect.

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


The Epistle - Hebrews 12: 1-2.

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


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

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


Reference and Resources:

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

Cecile Isherwood



Annie Cecile Ramsbottom Isherwood (1862, in Uxbridge, England - 20 February 1906) was an Anglican nun and founder of the Community of the Resurrection of our Lord in Grahamstown. She was known as Mother Cecile CR (pronounced Cecil).

Annie Isherwood was born in Uxbridge, England on 14 November 1862 to Richard Ramsbottom-Isherwood and Anna Clarendon (born Cox). One of her older siblings was future England rugby international and cricketer Francis Ramsbottom-Isherwood. Annie was educated privately and with the death of her mother in 1870 and father in 1875 she was orphaned by the age of 12. She was brought up by relatives in London where she attended St Peter's Church, Eaton Square.

Isherwood was 21 when Allan Becher Webb, Bishop of Grahamstown, came to preach in St Peter's on the text "I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision", it was at this service she felt called to leave England and undertake work in his diocese. It was agreed that she would start an order of sisters to be known as the Community of the Resurrection of our Lord (not to be confused with the Community of the Resurrection). She was clothed as a novice on St. Mark’s Day, 25 April 1884, and made her final profession on 14 November 1887. Isherwood became the mother superior of the order and was styled Mother Cecile CR.


The Sisters of the Community of the Resurrection of Our Lord opened St Peter's School, the Good Shepherd School a boarding house for the children of railway workers and an orphanage. Mother Cecile CR died on 20 February 1906 at age 43 of cancer exacerbated by overwork.

In 1894 the Community founded the Grahamstown Training College, an institution which played a valuable part in the development of education in southern Africa, it was forced to close down in 1975


Mother Cecile CR is commemorated in the Calendar of saints (Anglican Church of Southern Africa) on the 20th of February. Her image is featured in a stained glass window in St. George's Cathedral, Cape Town.


Propers for Cecile Isherwood - 20 February - Abbess


The Collect.

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


The Lesson - Philippians 3:7-15


The Holy Gospel - St. Luke 12:33-37


Reference and Resources:

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

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sexagesima Sunday

The Collect.

O LORD God, who seest that we put not our trust in any thing that we do; Mercifully grant that by thy power we may be defended against all adversity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - 2 Corinthians xi. 19.

YE suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise. For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face. I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also. Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.


The Gospel - St. Luke viii. 4.

WHEN much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way-side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way-side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

Philothei of Athens

(from 02/19)

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


Propers for Philothei of Athens - 19 February - Abbess and Martyr

The Collect.

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


The Epistle - 2 Esdras 2:42-48.

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


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

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


Reference and Resources:

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

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

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Martin of Erfurt

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

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

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

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


Propers for Martin Luther - 18 February - Priest, Educator, Translator, Theologian, and Reformer

The Collect.

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


The Epistle - Isaiah 55:6-11.

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


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

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


Reference and Resources:

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

Colmán of Lindisfarne

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

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

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

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


Propers for Colmán of Lindisfarne - 18 February - Monk, Bishop and Churchman

The Collect.

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


The Epistle - Acts 1:1-9.

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


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

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


Reference and Resources:

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


Friday, February 17, 2017

Finan of Lindisfarne

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

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

Propers for Finan of Lindisfarne - 17 February - Monk, Missionary, Churchman and Bishop

The Collect.

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


The Epistle - Acts 1:1-9.

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


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

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


Reference and Resources:

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

Mesrob of Armenia

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


Propers for Mesrob - 17 February - Monk, Theologian, and Linguist

The Collect.

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


The Epistle - Philippians 3:7-15.

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


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

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


Reference and Resources:

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

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Janani Luwum

Janani Luwum was born in 1922. His father was a convert to Christianity. Janani was sent to school and eventually became a schoolteacher. In 1948 he was converted. He became very active in the East African revival movement, and became a lay reader, then a deacon, and then a priest in 1956. He was chosen to study for a year at St Augustine's College in Canterbury, England. He returned to Uganda, worked as a parish priest, and then taught at Buwalasi Theological College. He made a second visit to Britain to study at the London College of Divinity, returning to Uganda to become Principal of Buwalasi. In 1969 he was consecrated bishop of Northern Uganda.

The Church in Uganda began with the deaths of martyrs (see Martyrs of Uganda, 3 June 1886, and James Hannington and his Companions, Martyrs, 29 October 1885). Around 1900, Uganda became a British protectorate, with the chief of the Buganda tribe as nominal ruler, and with several other tribes included in the protectorate. In 1962 Uganda became an independent country within the British Commonwealth, with the Bugandan chief as president and Milton Obote, of the Lango tribe, as Prime Minister. In 1966, Obote took full control of the government. In 1971, he was overthrown by General ID Amin, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces. Almost immediately, he began a policy of repression, arresting anyone suspected of not supporting him. Hundreds of soldiers from the Lango and Ashli tribes were shot down in their barracks. Amin ordered the expulsion of the Asian population of Uganda, about 55,000 persons, mostly small shopkeepers from India and Pakistan. Over the next few years, many Christians were killed for various offenses. A preacher who read over the radio a Psalm which mentioned Israel was shot for this in 1972.

Early in 1977, there was a small army rebellion that was put down with only seven men dead. However, Amin determined to stamp out all traces of dissent. His men killed thousands, including the entire population of Milton Obote's home village. On Sunday, 30 January, Bishop Festo Kivengere preached on "The Preciousness of Life" to an audience including many high government officials. He denounced the arbitrary bloodletting, and accused the government of abusing the authority that God had entrusted to it. The government responded on the following Saturday (5 February) by an early (1:30 am) raid on the home of the Archbishop, Janani Luwum, ostensibly to search for hidden stores of weapons. The Archbishop called on President Amin to deliver a note of protest at the policies of arbitrary killings and the unexplained disappearances of many persons. Amin accused the Archbishop of treason, produced a document supposedly by former President Obote attesting his guilt, and had the Archbishop and two Cabinet members (both committed Christians) arrested and held for military trial. The three met briefly with four other prisoners who were awaiting execution, and were permitted to pray with them briefly. Then the three were placed in a Land Rover and not seen alive again by their friends. The government story is that one of the prisoners tried to seize control of the vehicle and that it was wrecked and the passengers killed. The story believed by the Archbishop's supporters is that he refused to sign a confession, was beaten and otherwise abused, and finally shot. His body was placed in a sealed coffin and sent to his native village for burial there. However, the villagers opened the coffin and discovered the bullet holes. In the capital city of Kampala a crowd of about 4,500 gathered for a memorial service beside the grave that had been prepared for him next to that of the martyred bishop Hannington. In Nairobi, the capital of nearby Kenya, about 10,000 gathered for another memorial service. Bishop Kivengere was informed that he was about to be arrested, and he and his family fled to Kenya, as did the widow and orphans of Archbishop Luwum.

The following June, about 25,000 Ugandans came to the capital to celebrate the centennial of the first preaching of the Gospel in their country, among the participants were many who had abandoned Christianity, but who had returned to their Faith as a result of seeing the courage of Archbishop Luwum and his companions in the face of death.


Propers for Janani Luwum - 16 February - Archbishop, Confessor, and Martyr


The Collect.

Almighty God, by Whose providence the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church: Grant that we who remember before Thee blessed Janani, Archbishop and Martyr in Uganda, may, like him, be steadfast in our faith in Jesus Christ, to whom he gave obedience, even to death, and by his sacrifice brought forth a plentiful harvest; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


The Epistle - Ecclesiasticus 4:20-28.

Observe the opportunity, and beware of evil; and be not ashamed when it concerneth thy soul.
For there is a shame that bringeth sin; and there is a shame which is glory and grace. Accept no person against thy soul, and let not the reverence of any man cause thee to fall. And refrain not to speak, when there is occasion to do good, and hide not thy wisdom in her beauty. For by speech wisdom shall be known: and learning by the word of the tongue. In no wise speak against the truth; but be abashed of the error of thine ignorance. Be not ashamed to confess thy sins; and force not the course of the river. Make not thyself an underling to a foolish man; neither accept the person of the mighty. Strive for the truth unto death, and the Lord shall fight for thee.

The Gospel - St. John 12: 24-32.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

Reference and Resources:

http://www.jananiluwumtrust.com/luwum.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janani_Luwum
http://satucket.com/lectionary/janani_luwum.htm

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Thomas Bray

(1658 - 15 February 1730) was an English clergyman born in Marton, Shropshire in 1656. He was educated at Oswestry School and Oxford University, where he earned a B.A. degree with All Souls College and a M.A. with Hart Hall.

After leaving the university he was appointed vicar of Over Whitacre, and rector of Sheldon in Warwickshire, where he wrote his famous Catechetical Lectures. Henry Compton, Bishop of London, appointed him in 1696 as his commissary to organize the Church of England in Maryland, and he was in that colony in 1699-1700.

He spent only ten weeks in the colony, but he radically re-organized and renewed the Church there, providing for the instruction of children and the systematic examination of candidates for pastoral positions. He founded thirty-nine lending libraries and numerous schools. Both in Maryland and upon his return to England, he wrote and preached in defense of the rights of enlaved Africans, and of Indians deprived of their land.

He also projected a successful scheme for establishing parish libraries in England and America, out of which grew the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (founded 1699). Bray envisioned a library for each parish in America, funded by booksellers and stocked with books donated by authors. These libraries were meant to encourage the spread of the Anglican church in Britain's colonies, and as such were primarily composed of theological works. It was a major endeavour, as at the time the only other public libraries in the American colonies were at a small number of universities.

Back in England, he worked for the reform of prison conditions, and for the establishment of preaching missions to prisoners. He persuaded General Oglethorpe to found a American colony (Georgia) for the settlement of debtors as an alternative to debtors' prison. He founded a missionary society, the SPG (Society for the Propagation of the Gospel) and an educational and publishing society, the SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge), both of which are still active today.

From 1706 until his death in February 1730 he was rector of St Botolph's, Aldgate, London, being unceasingly engaged in philanthropic and literary pursuits.


Propers for Thomas Bray - 15 February - Priest and Missionary

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 Thomas Bray; 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 ever, one God, world without end. 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 Holy 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://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/02/15.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Bray
http://members.cox.net/kjc402/1963_Lesser_F&F.pdf

Lewis Wallace

(April 10, 1827 – February 15, 1905) was a lawyer, governor, Union general in the American Civil War, American statesman, and author, best remembered for his historical novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.

Wallace became known throughout the world, however, for his Christian novel "Ben Hurr" He had been interested in writing from youth. At age 15 he wrote a novel about chivalry in the Crusades. After the war while on a train trip, he had a discussion with an agnostic who questioned his faith. In response, he began a study of the ancient Jews. He determined to write a novel to penetrate the mysteries of the Nativity, Magi, and life of Christ.

On November 12, 1880, while Governor of New Mexico Territory, he submitted his novel "Ben Hurr" to publishers and to his dying day considered it his most important achievement. The success of the novel was remarkable. In 1893 it received a rating of 83% for popularity by libraries. By the end of the decade, with sales of 400,000, it was a standard in schools. It was the most illustrated novel ever published with almost 1,000 illustrations. It was endorsed by Christian around the world, and for many Protestant Evangelical homes, Ben Hurr was the first novel to be allowed in the household. Sears and Roebuck ordered one million copies in 1933. It has been translated into many languages. It had a dramatic influence on The Rev Lloyd C Douglas who wrote the Robe in 1942, which became the second best-selling Christian novel. The book has never been out of print. It has been performed on the stage and screen, and is a perennial favorite. Wallace died on February 15, 1905.


Commemoration of Lewis Wallace - 15 February - General, Confessor, and Novelist

Prayer

O Almighty God, who inspired thy servant Lewis Wallace to write the novel Ben Hurr, and thus help bring the Gospel story to men and draw them to thy Kingdom, grant that we might likewise confess and witness our faith before all men. We ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, in whom all our intercessions are acceptable through the Spirit, and who liveth and reigneth for ever and ever. Amen.


Reference and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lew_Wallace
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben-Hur:_A_Tale_of_the_Christ
http://orderofcenturions.org/wallace_lew.html

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

St. Valentine

At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under date of 14 February. One is described as a priest at Rome, another as bishop of Interamna (modern Terni), and these two seem both to have suffered in the second half of the third century and to have been buried on the Flaminian Way, but at different distances from the city. In William of Malmesbury's time what was known to the ancients as the Flaminian Gate of Rome and is now the Porta del Popolo, was called the Gate of St. Valentine. The name seems to have been taken from a small church dedicated to the saint which was in the immediate neighborhood. Of both these St. Valentines some sort of Acta are preserved but they are of relatively late date and of no historical value. Of the third Saint Valentine, who suffered in Africa with a number of companions, nothing further is known.

Propers for Valentine - 14 February - Martyr

The Collect.

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


The Epistle - 2 Esdras 2:42-48.

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


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

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


Reference and Resources:

Monday, February 13, 2017

Ermengild of Ely

Eormenhilde, Hermynhild) (d. c.700), queen of Mercia, abbess of Ely. She was the daughter of Erconbert, king of Kent, and of his wife *Sexburga, who was sister of *Etheldreda. Ermengild married Wulfhere, king of Mercia (657–74) and son of Penda. She converted her husband and bore him two children, Coenred, king of Mercia 704–9, and *Werburga. After Wulfhere’s death she became a nun at Minster-in-Sheppey, founded by her mother Sexburga. When the latter resigned this abbacy and went to Ely, Ermengild succeeded her at Minster; when Sexburga died at Ely twenty years later, Ermengild became Ely’s third royal abbess in succession. Nothing is known of her rule there, not even the day of her death. Her daughter Werburga succeeded her as abbess of Ely. Ermengild’s cult was extensive, but several pre-Conquest calendars wrongly describe her as a virgin.

Propers for Ermengild of Ely - 13 February - Abbess

O GOD, by whose grace the blessed Ermengild 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:

Farmer, David Hugh (2004-07-22). The Oxford Dictionary of Saints (Oxford Paperback Reference) (p. 176). OUP Oxford. Kindle Edition.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Septuagesima Sunday

The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee favourably to hear the prayers of thy people; that we, who are justly punished for our offences, may be mercifully delivered by thy goodness, for the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.


The Epistle - 1 Corinthians ix. 24.

KNOW ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.


The Gospel - St. Matthew xx. 1.

THE kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the market-place, and said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

http://anglicancontinuum.blogspot.com/2009/02/setptuagesima.html

Æthelwold of Lindisfarne


(also spelled Aethelwald, Ethelwold, etc.) was Bishop of Lindisfarne from 721 until 740.

Leather worker and bookbinder. Monk. Assistant to Saint Cuthbert. Prior and abbot of Old Melrose monastery in Scotland. Bishop at Lindisfarne in 721. Commissioned the famous Lindisfarne Book of Gospels, now in the British Museum, and made its jewel-encrusted leather cover, now lost. Wrote the Hymnal of Ethelwald.

Propers for Æthelwold of Lindisfarne - 12 February - Abbot and Bishop

The Collect.

O GOD, by whose grace the blessed (abbot) Æthelwold 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.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/com_mona.cfm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%86thelwold_of_Lindisfarne
http://saints.sqpn.com/sainte65.htm

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Fanny Crosby

Frances Jane Crosby (March 24 1820 – February 12 1915) usually known as Fanny Crosby, was an American lyricist best known for her Protestant Christian hymns. A lifelong Methodist, she was one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing over 8,000 despite being blind since infancy. Also known for her preaching and speaking, during her lifetime Fanny Crosby was one of the best known women in the United States.

To this day, the vast majority of American hymnals contain her work [but not the 1982 Episcopal Church Hymnal]. Some of her best known songs include "Blessed Assurance", "Jesus Is Tenderly Calling You Home", "Praise Him, Praise Him", and "To God Be the Glory". Because some publishers were hesitant to have so many hymns by one person in their hymnals, Crosby used nearly 100 different pseudonyms during her career.

Crosby wrote her first hymn in 1863 for the composer William B. Bradbury, a respected musician and publisher. It was called "There's a Cry from Macedonia". Over the years she wrote for Bradbury and for other composers, including Philip Phillips, Hubert P. Main, Robert Lowry, W. H. Doane, Ira D. Sankey, Philip P. Bliss, Mr. W. F. Sherwin, and Phoebe Knapp.

Crosby was very well known during her time and often met with presidents, generals, and other dignitaries. She played the hymn "Safe in the Arms of Jesus" at President Grant's funeral in 1885. In her later years, she also became a popular public speaker.

When she died, her tombstone carried the words, "Aunt Fanny" and "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine."

Selected Works:
  • "All the Way My Savior Leads Me"—bef. 1875, music by Robert Wadsworth Lowry
  • "Blessed Assurance"—1873, music by Phoebe Knapp
  • "The Bright Forever"—1871, music by Hubert P. Main
  • "Close to Thee"—1874, music by Silas J. Vail
  • "Jesus Is Tenderly Calling You Home"—1883, music by George C. Stebbins
  • "I Am Thine, O Lord"—bef. 1875, music by W. Howard Doane
  • "My Savior First of All"—1891, music by John R. Sweney
  • "Near the Cross"—bef. 1869, music by W. Howard Doane
  • "Pass Me Not, O Gentle Saviour"—1868, music by W. Howard Doane
  • "Praise Him, Praise Him"—bef. 1869, music by Chester G. Allen
  • "Redeemed, How I Love to Proclaim It"—bef. 1882, William J. Kirkpatrick
  • "Rescue the Perishing"—1869, music by W. Howard Doane
  • "Safe in the Arms of Jesus"—1878, music by W. Howard Doane
  • "Saviour, More Than Life to Me"—1875, music by W. Howard Doane
  • "Tell Me the Story of Jesus"—bef. 1880, music by John R. Sweney
  • "To God Be the Glory"—1875, music by W. Howard Doane
  • "Draw me Nearer"—1875, words by Fanny Crosby
You can find these and many other of her hymns at Hymnary.org.

Propers for Fanny Crosby - 11 February - Hymnist

The Collect.

O God, the blessed assurance of all who trust in thee: We give thanks unto thee for thy servant Fanny Crosby, who, though blind from infancy, beheld thy glory with great clarity of vision and spent her life giving voice to thy people’s heartfelt praise; and we pray that we, inspired by her words and example, may rejoice to sing of thy love, praising our Saviour all the day long; who liveth and reigneth with the and the Holy Ghost, one God in perfect harmony, now and for ever. Amen.

The Psalter - Psalm 108:1-6

The First Lesson - Isaiah 42:10-12, 16

The Second Lesson - 1 Peter 1:3-9

The Holy Gospel - St. John 9:35-39

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http://www.missionstclare.com/english/people/feb11.html

Friday, February 10, 2017

Scholastica

(c. 480 - 543) was born in Italy, she was the twin sister of Benedict of Nursia.

Gregory the Great, in his Dialogues, tells us that she was a nun and leader of a community for women at Plombariola about five miles from Benedict's abbey at Monte Cassino. We do not know what rule this community followed, although it seems most likely it was the Rule of St. Benedict.

Scholastica was dedicated to God from a young age (some tellings of her story indicate that she preceded Benedict in godliness, and he came to holiness after she did, and in her wake). The most commonly told story about her is that Benedict would, once a year, go and visit his sister at her abbey, and they would spend the day worshiping together and discussing sacred texts and issues.

At the end of the day, they had supper and continued their conversation. When Benedict indicated it was time for him to leave, she protested, and begged him to stay with her for the evening so they could continue their discussions. He refused, insisting that he needed to return to his cell. At that point, Scholastica closed her hands in prayer, and after a moment, a wild storm started outside of the guest house in which they were housed. Benedict asked, "What have you done?", to which she replied, "I asked you and you would not listen; so I asked my God and he did listen. So now go off, if you can, leave me and return to your monastery."

Benedict was unable to return to his monastery, and they spent the night in discussion. According to St. Gregory's Dialogues, three days later, from his cell, he saw his sister's soul leaving the earth and ascending to heaven in the form of a shining white dove.


Propers for Scholastica - 10 February - Abbess

The Collect.

O GOD, by whose grace the blessed Scholastica 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.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/scholas.cfm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Scholastica

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Eingan of Llanengan

The British (or Scotus) prince Saint Eingan or Eneon Bhrenin, left Cumberland for Wales, where he built a chruch ended his days as a hermit at Llanengan near Bangor. He is said to have been a son of the chieftain Cunedda.

Propers for Eingan of Llanengan - 9 February -Hermit and 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 - Philippians 4:4-9.


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


Reference and Resources:

http://www.bartleby.com/210/4/216.html
http://www.celticsaints.org/2012/0209f.html
http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-eingan-of-llanengan/

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Cuthmann of Steyning

In the biographies of the saints called the Acta Sanctorum which were preserved at the Abbey of Fécamp in Normandy it is said that he was born about 681 A.D., either in Devon or Cornwall, or more probably at Chidham, near Bosham, about 25 miles from Steyning. A birth in Chidham at that date would place him in the right time and area to be preached to by Wilfrid, the Apostle of Sussex (680-685), and would probably make Wilfrid the man who converted and baptised Cuthmann and his parents.

His legend states he was a shepherd who had to care for his paralysed mother after his father's death. When they fell on hard times and were forced to beg from door to door, he built a one-wheeled cart or wheelbarrow (with a rope from the handles over his shoulders taking part of the weight) in which he moved her around with him. They set out east, towards the rising sun, from his home and, even though the rope broke, he improvised a new one from withies, deciding that when that rope broke he would accept it as a sign from God to stop at that place and build a church. The withy rope broke at the place now called Steyning, upon which (according to his biography) he prayed:

"Father Almighty, you have brought my wanderings to an end; now enable me to begin this work. For who am I, Lord, that I should build a house to name? If I rely on myself, it will be of no avail, but it is you who will assist me. You have given me the desire to be a builder; make up for my lack of skill, and bring the work of building this holy house to its completion."

fter building a hut to accommodate his mother and himself, he began work on the church (now St Andrew's, Steyning, which in the 20th century instituted a Cuthmann chapel in his honour), with help from the locals. Whatever date we ascribe to Cuthman, this church was in existence by 857, for we know that King Æthelwulf of Wessex was buried there in that year.

Propers for Cuthmann of Steyning - Hermit and Church Builder

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.


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


Reference and Resources:

http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-cuthman/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuthmann_of_Steyning