Thu 15 Jul 2010
Thu 15 Jul 2010
On this day…
1099 The Muslim citizens of Jerusalem surrendered their city to the armies of the First Crusade. The Crusaders then proceeded, through misguided religious zeal, to massacre thousands of unarmed men, women and children.
1779 Birth of Clement C. Moore, American Episcopal educator. His fame endures today,not as a theologian, but as the author of a completely mythical poem: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ (1823).
1814 Birth of Edward Caswall, English clergyman and hymn translator. Today we still sing Caswall’s English versions of the hymns ‘Jesus, The Very Thought of Thee’ and ‘When Morning Gilds the Skies.’
1823 In Rome, the church known as St Paul’s Outside the Walls was destroyed by a fire. Its original edifice was erected in AD 324 by the Roman emperor Constantine.
1904 1st Buddhist temple in US established, Los Angeles
1951 The First Southern Baptist Church to be constituted in the state of Wyoming was formed in Casper by a group of families principally related to the oil industry.
Anglican : St Swithin’s Day
Muslim-Pakistan : Mohammed’s Ascension
RC : Commemoration of Bl Anne Mary Javouhey, French virgin
Luth : Commemor of Vladimir, 1st Christian ruler of Russia
Old Catholic : Feast of St Henry II, Holy Roman emperor (1014-24)
RC : Commemoration of St Bonaventure, bishop/confessor/doctor
On this day in 1779, Clement C. Moore was born. He taught Green and Hebrew Literature at General Theological Seminary for 28 years. He also authored “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (‘Twas the Night Before Christmas…) in 1823.
Division of the Apostles
Benedict, bishop (of Angers), confessor [GTZ: Angers]
Bertin, monk (at Luxeuil) [PCP (Paris)]
Bonaventure, bishop, Doctor of the Church [MR]
Ciriaca and Juliata, martyrs 
David, abbot [GTZ: Upsala only]
Quiricus and Julitta, martyrs [GTZ: Teutonic Knights, Genf, Trent, Italy, Russia; 6082]
Gumpert, confessor [GTZ: Würzburg]
Henry (II), emperor [BLS]
Margaret, virgin, martyr [GTZ: Basel, Chur, Constance, Strassburg]
Nine virgins [GTZ: Scotland]
Plechelm, bishop, confessor [BLS; GTZ: Utrecht]
Reginswindis, virgin, martyr [GTZ: Würzburg]
Rivalus, confessor [GTZ: Tréguier]
Swithun, bishop (of Winchester), confessor (Translation) [BLS; GTZ: England]
Vedast, bishop (of Arras) (Relatio) [GTZ: Cambrai]
On This Day
1207 - John of England expels Canterbury monks for supporting Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton
TRANSLATION OF ST. SWITHUN, 862
ST. SWITHIN’S DAY
The pranks played by tradition with the memory of various noted individuals, saintly and otherwise, display not unfrequently the most whimsical anomalies both as regards praise and blame. Whilst the sordid and heretical George of Cappadocia has been transformed into the gallant and chivalrous St. George, the patron saint of England, and the mirror of all knightly virtues, it has been the misfortune of the patriotic and virtuous St. Swithin to be associated in the popular mind with drunkenness and excess, and at best to enjoy only a mythical reputation as the hero of a well-known saying in connection with the state of the weather on the anniversary of his so-called translation.
The common adage regarding St. Swithin, as every one knows, is to the effect that, as it rains or is fair on St. Swithin’s Day, the 15th of July, there will be a continuous track of wet or dry weather for the forty days ensuing.
St Swithin’s Day, if thou dost rain,
For forty days it will remain:
St. Swithin’s Day, if thou be fair,
For forty days ‘twill rain nae mair.’
The explanation given by Brand in his Popular Antiquities of this saying—an explanation which has been pretty currently received as correct—is as follows. St. Swithin, bishop of Winchester, was a man equally noted for his uprightness and humility. So far did he carry the latter quality, that, on his death-bed, he requested to be buried, not within the church, but outside in the churchyard, on the north of the sacred building, where his corpse might receive the eaves-droppings from the roof, and his grave be trodden by the feet of the passers-by. His lowly request was complied with, and in this neglected spot his remains reposed till about a hundred years afterwards, when a fit of indignation seized the clergy at the body of so pious a member of their order being allowed to occupy such a position; and on an appointed day they all assembled to convey it with great pomp into the adjoining cathedral of Winchester. When they were about to commence the ceremony, a heavy rain burst forth, and continued without intermission for the forty succeeding days. The monks interpreted this tempest as a warning from Heaven of the blasphemous nature of their attempt to contravene the directions of St. Swithin, and, instead of disturbing his remains, they erected a chapel over his grave, at which many astounding miracles were performed. From this circumstance, it is stated, arose the popular belief of the anniversary of the attempted translation of St. Swithin being invested with a prophetic character in reference to the condition of the weather for the ensuing six weeks.
This statement is specious, but unfortunately rests on no authority whatever, and indeed has been traced by an annotator on Brand to no more trustworthy source than a cutting from an old newspaper. So far from the account of the repugnance of the saint to his transference from the churchyard to the church being borne out by the real facts of the case, these are diametrically the other way; and from what has been actually ascertained, the translation of St. Swithin was, instead of being a disastrous failure, accomplished with the utmost eclat and success. For the most recent history of this celebrated personage we are indebted to the Rev. John Earle, professor of Anglo-Saxon in the university of Oxford, who has published a facsimile and translation of a Saxon manuscript of the tenth century—the earliest fragment which we possess regarding St. Swithin—along with an ingenious essay, in which he has collected all the reliable data connected with the saint that can be obtained. These are far indeed from being either numerous or ample, but, such as they are, may be considered as exhaustive on this subject.
Swithin, or Swithun, was born in the neighbour-hood of Winchester, probably about the year 800. He became a monk of the Old Abbey of Winchester, and gradually rose to be prior of that community. He seems to have gained the favour of Egbert, king of Wessex, who intrusted him with the education of his son and successor, Ethelwulf. An authentic record of Swithin at this period is furnished by a charter granted by King Egbert in 838, and bearing the signatures of Elmstan, episcopus, and Swithunus, diaconus. Elmstan dying in 852, Swithin was appointed his successor in the see of Winchester, a situation which he filled with great credit and usefulness. Through his endeavours great improvements were effected on the city, including the erection of several churches, and the spanning of the Itchen by a fine stone bridge, the first of the kind which had been seen in these parts.
After the accession of Ethelwulf, he acted as that monarch’s counsellor in all matters relating to religion and the peaceful arts, whilst the charge of military and foreign affairs was assumed by Alstan, bishop of Sher-bourne. It has been imagined that he was chosen by Ethelwulf to accompany his son, the great Alfred, then a boy, on his visit to Rome, and also that he acted as mediator betwixt Ethelwulf and his eldest son, the rebellious Ethelbald. Swithin seems to have died about 862, leaving directions that he should be buried in a vile place, under the eaves-droppings on the north side of Winchester church. Mr. Earle conjectures that he may have chosen this locality for sepulture, to put a stop to the common superstitious prejudices against burial in that part of the churchyard. Whatever may have been his reasons, his request was acceded to, and there he would probably have been permitted to rest undisturbed, had it not suited the policy of Dunstan, more than a hundred years afterwards, to revive the popular veneration for Swithin, in furtherance of his own schemes for the establishment of monastic discipline, for Swithin appears to have been a maintainer of the stricter conventual rule, which Dunstan zealously sought to enforce; and he had, moreover, earned a most enduring mark of distinction, by being the first to get introduced the system of tithes as a provision for the clergy.
This was daring the reign of Ethelwulf, who was induced by Swithin to set apart a tenth of his lands for religious uses, though the payment of tithes as a legal obligation was not introduced till the time of Athelstan, nor finally established till under King Edgar. In addition to the reasons just detailed, the cathedral of Winchester was then rebuilding under Bishop Ethelwold, a confederate of Archbishop Dunstan; and the enrichment of the new temple by the possession of some distinguished relics was a most desirable object. The organised plan was now accordingly put into execution, and ingenious reports were circulated regarding certain miraculous appearances made by Swithin. The account of these forms the subject of the Saxon fragment above referred to, edited by Mr. Earle. According to this, Bishop Swithin appeared one night in a dream to a poor decrepit smith, and requested him to go to a certain priest, named Eadsige, who, with others, had been ejected for misconduct from the abbey of Old-Minster, and desire him, from Swithin, to repair to Bishop Ethelwold, and command him to open his (Swithin’s) grave, and bring his bones within the church. The smith, in reply to the orders of his ghostly visitant, stated that Eadsige would not believe him, whereupon Swithin rejoined that he would find the reality of the vision confirmed by going to his stone coffin, and pulling there from an iron ring, which would yield without the least diffuculty. The smith was still unconvinced, and Swithin had to repeat his visit twice; after which the smith went to the bishop’s tomb, and withdrew the ring from the coffin with the greatest ease, as had been foretold. He then delivered. Swithin’s message to Eadsige, who hesitated for a while, but at last communicated it to Bishop Ethelwold. Contemporaneously, various wonderful miracles took place at Bishop Swithin’s tomb, including the cure of a deformed man, who was relieved of his hump, in the most astonishing manner, by praying at the grave; and of another individual, who recovered by the same means from a grievous ailment in his eyes. These preternatural occurrences were all duly reported to King Edgar, who thereupon gave directions for the formal translation of the relics of St. Swithin from the grave in the churchyard to the interior of the cathedral, where they were enclosed in a magnificent shrine, and placed in a conspicuous position.
A few years afterwards, the church, which had previously been dedicated to the apostles Peter and Paul, changed these guardians for St. Swithin, who continued its patron saint till the time of Henry VIII., who ordered the name of the Holy Trinity to be substituted. A splendid ceremonial and feast accompanied the translation, which was effected on 15th July 971, 108 years after the death of Swithin. It ought to be remarked, that, though distinguished by the prefix of Saint, Swithin was never regularly canonised by the pope, a practice not introduced till nearly 200 years after his translation, which is the only ceremony on which he rests his claim to the title. He is thus emphatically what Mr. Earle calls ‘a home-made saint.’ It will be noticed that the above narrative completely contradicts Mr. Brand’s account of a supposed supernatural inter-position on the part of Swithin to prevent his translation.
No event or natural phenomenon, which could be construed into such, is alluded to by any of the various authors—Monk Wolstan and others—who subsequently wrote histories of St. Swithin. On the contrary, the weather seems to have been most propitious, whilst the community at large, so far from regarding these proceedings of their rulers as an unhallowed contravention of the wishes of the holy man, seemed rather to have rejoiced in the honours bestowed on his relics, and to have feasted and revelled to the utmost. How, then, did the popular notion about St. Swithin’s Day arise? Most probably, as Mr. Earle remarks, it was derived from some primeval pagan belief regarding the meteorologically prophetic character of some day about the same period of the year as St. Swithin’s. Such adaptations, it is well known, were very frequent on the supplanting throughout Europe of heathenism by Christianity. Many of our popular customs and beliefs can indeed be only satisfactorily explained by tracing them to such a source.
In further confirmation of this view, it is to be observed, that in various countries of the European continent the same belief prevails, though differences exist as to the period of the particular day in question. Thus, in France, St. Médard’s Day (June 8), and the day of Saints Gervais and Protais (June 19), have a similar character ascribed to them:
’S’il pleut le jour de Saint Médard,
Il pleut quarante jours plus tard;
S’il pleut le jour de Saint Gervais et de Saint Protais,
Il pleut quarante jours apre’s.’
It is a little curious that St. Médard should have the post of a rainy saint assigned him, as the celebrated fĕte at Salency, where the young maiden who has enjoyed the highest reputation during the preceding year for good-conduct receives a prize, and is crowned with a chaplet of roses, takes place on his day, and is said to have been instituted by him. A somewhat ludicrous account is given of the origin of the peculiar characteristic of St. Médard’s Day. It is said that, Médard being out with a large party one hot day in summer, a heavy fall of rain suddenly took place, by which all were thoroughly drenched, with the exception of the saint himself, round whose head an eagle kept continually fluttering; and by sheltering him with his wings till his return home, accomplished effectually the purposes of an umbrella. In Belgium they have a rainy saint, named St. Godeliève; whilst in Germany, among others, a character of this description is ascribed to the day of the Seven Sleepers.
The belief in the peculiar characteristics of St. Swithin’s Day is thus alluded to in Poor Robin’s Almanac for 1697:
‘In this month is St. Swithin’s Day,
On which, if that it rain, they say,
Full forty days after it will,
Or more or less, some rain distil.
This Swithin was a saint, I trow,
And Winchester’s bishop also,
Who in his time did many a feat,
As popish legends do repeat:
A woman having broke her eggs,
By stumbling at another’s legs,
For which she made a woful cry.
St. Swithin chanced for to come by,
Who made them all as sound or more,
Than ever that they were before.
But whether this were so or no,
‘Tis more than you or I do know.
Better it is to rise betime,
And to make hay while sun doth shine,
Than to believe in tales and lies,
Which idle monks and friars devise.’
In the next century, Gay remarks in his Trivia
‘Now if on Swithin’s feast the welkin lours,
And every penthouse streams with hasty showers,
Twice twenty days shall clouds their fleeces drain,
And wash the pavement with incessant rain.
Let not such vulgar tales debase thy mind;
Nor Paul nor Swithin rule the clouds and wind!’
The question now remains to be answered, whether the popular belief we have been considering has any foundation in fact, and here the observations at Greenwich for the 20 years preceding 1861, must be adduced to demonstrate its fallacy. From these we learn that St. Swithin’s Day was wet in 1841, and there were 23 rainy days up to the 24th of August; 1845, 26 rainy days; 1851, 13 rainy days;- 1853, 18 rainy days; 1854, 16 rainy days; and, in 1856, 14 rainy days. In 1842, and following years, St. Swithin’s Day was dry, and the result was in 1842, 12 rainy days; 1843, 22 rainy days; 1844, 20 rainy days; 1846, 21 rainy days; 1847, 17 rainy days; 1848, 31 rainy days; 1849, 20 rainy days; 1850, 17 rainy days; 1852, 19 rainy days; 1855, 18 rainy days; 1857, 14 rainy days; 1858, 14 rainy days; 1859, 13 rainy days; and, in 1860, 29 rainy days. It will thus be seen, by the average of the fore-going 20 years, that the greatest number of rainy days, after St. Swithin’s Day, had taken place when the 15th of July was dry. It is, indeed, likely enough that a track of wet weather, or the opposite, may occur at this period of the year, as a change generally takes place soon after midsummer, the character of which will depend much on the state of the previous spring. If this has been for the greater part dry, it is very probable that the weather may change to wet about the middle of July, and vice versa”. But that any critical meteorological influence resides in the 15th, seems wholly erroneous.
Hone, in his Everyday Book, quotes an amusing instance of a lady, a stanch believer in St. Swithin, who, on his day one year being fine, expressed her belief in an approaching term of fine weather, but, a few drops of rain having fallen in the evening, changed her tune, and maintained that the next six weeks would be wet. Her prediction was not accomplished, the weather having been remark-ably fine. ‘No matter,’ she would say, when pressed on the point, ‘if there has been no rain during the day, there certainly has been during the night.’ Her opinion of St. Swithin’s infallibility was in nowise to be shaken. The same author mentions a pretty saying current in some parts of the country when rain falls on St. Swithin’s bans: ‘St. Swithin is christening the apples.’
It is only to be remarked, in conclusion, that the epithet of the ‘drunken saint,’ sometimes applied to St. Swithin, is a base slander on the worthy bishop’s memory. True, the Saxons were rather noted for their convivial habits, and St. Swithin, doubtless, had no objection to a cheerful glass in moderation. But no aberrations whatever, on the score of temperance, are recorded of him. The charge belongs clearly to the same category as that veracious statement in the popular ditty, by which St. Patrick, the apostle of Ireland, is represented as a lover of potheen, and initiating his converts in the art of manufacturing that liquor.
15 Jul 1015
Olga and Vladimir, First Christian Rulers of Russia
Olga (or Helga), born in about 890, was the wife of Prince Igor of Russia, and after his death in 945 she was regent for their son. She appears to have ruled well by secular standards. In 957 she visited Constantinople and, either then or earlier, became a Christian. She did not succeed in converting her son, or a significant number of their countrymen. She died in 969, probably on 11 July.
Vladimir, great-grandson of Rurik (the traditional founder of the Russian state), grandson of Olga, and youngest of the three sons of Sviatoslav of Kiev, was born in 956 and was made Prince of Novgorod in 970. In 972 his father died, and the three sons fought for the crown. Yaropolk killed Oled, and Vladimir fled to his Viking kinsmen in Scandinavia. In 980 he returned with Viking support, killed Yaropolk, and took the throne. He expanded his empire by a series of conquests. In 988, he proposed a military alliance with the Byzantine emperor Basil II, and a marriage to the emperor’s sister Anna. In return, he agreed to convert to Christianity. The agreement was made, Vladimir was baptized, and when the emperor reneged on the marriage, Vladimir invaded the Crimea. The marriage duly took place and the alliance prospered.
Vladimir took his Christian commitment seriously, and under his rule the Christianization of Russia proceeded rapidly. He put away his former collection of pagan wives and mistresses, destroyed idols and pagan temples, built churches and monasteries and schools, brought in Greek missionaries to educate his people, abolished or greatly restricted capital punishment, and gave lavish alms to the poor. In converting his people, however, he was willing to resort to military methods (all his life he had survived by fighting), and some of his former pagan wives and their sons raised an armed rebellion against him, in the course of which he was killed near Kiev, 15 July 1015. He and his grandmother Olga are honored as the founders of Russian Christianity.
PRAYER (traditional language):
O God, who didst call thy servants Olga and her grandson Vladimir to an earthly throne that they might advance thy heavenly kingdom, and didst give them zeal for thy Church and love for thy people: Mercifully grant that we who commomorate them this day may be fruitful in good works, and attain to the glorious crown of thy saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
PRAYER (contemporary language):
O God, who called your servants Olga and her grandson Vladimir To an earthly throne that they might advance your heavenly kingdom, and gave them zeal for your Church and love for your people: Mercifully grant that we who commomorate them this day may be fruitful in good works, and attain to the glorious crown of your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
VLADIMER OF KIEV, 1015
Vladimir I of Kiev
July 15, 2010
THURSDAY, JULY 15, 2010
“Meditation on Christ in His humanity is corporeal in deed, in fact, but spiritual in mind… . By adopting this habit, you will steady your mind, be trained to virtues, and receive strength of soul….Let meditation of Christ’s life be your one and only aim, your rest, your food, your desire, your study.” - St. Bonaventure
Born in Bagnorea near Viterbo, Italy, in 1221; died at Lyons, France, in 1274; canonized in 1482; declared a Doctor (the “Seraphic Doctor”) of the Church in 1587 by Pope Sixtus V.
Saint Bonaventure (whose name means “good fortune”) was baptized John, but was given his name by St. Francis of Assissi, who cured him of an illness when he was an infant, and seeing the mission that God had prepared for him, exclaimed “O buona ventura!”
At the age of 14 Bonaventure went to study at the University of Paris under the English Franciscan theologian, Alexander of Hales, probably the influence that led him to join the order eight years later.
A fellow student who became a close lifelong friend of Bonaventure was St. Thomas Aquinas (“the Angelic Doctor”). Bonaventure taught scripture and theology at the University for some years after he was awarded his doctorate.
When he was thirty-five, Bonaventure was elected the minister general of the Franciscans and he served for 17 years. Bonaventure’s importance for the Franciscan order is so great that he is often referred to as the second founder of the Franciscans.
He laid down the constitutions of the order and definitvely decided that the study of philosophy and theology was an area in which the Franciscans could be of service to the Church, against those in the order who preferred to shun all kinds of higher learning on the grounds that it ran against the counsel of radical poverty so central to Franciscan spirituality.
Bonaventure is known for his great intellectual contribution to theology and philosophy, his greatest work being the Commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard, written when he was 27 years old. He is better known however for his mystical and ascetical treatises, most famously, The Soul’s Journey to God.
He was appointed cardinal archbishop of Albano in 1273 by Pope Gregory X and was a key figure of the Council of Lyons in 1274. He died suddenly during the council at the age of 53.
Bonaventure, Franciscan, theologian, doctor of the Church, was both learned and holy. Because of the spirit that filled him and his writings, he was at first called the Devout Doctor; but in more recent centuries he has been known as the Seraphic Doctor after the “Seraphic Father” Francis because of the truly Franciscan spirit he possessed.
Born in Bagnoregio, a town in central Italy, he was cured of a serious illness as a boy through the prayers of Francis of Assisi. Later, he studied the liberal arts in Paris. Inspired by Francis and the example of the friars, especially of his master in theology, Alexander of Hales, he entered the Franciscan Order, and became in turn a teacher of theology in the university. Chosen as minister general of the Order in 1257, he was God’s instrument in bringing it back to a deeper love of the way of St. Francis, both through the life of Francis which he wrote at the behest of the brothers and through other works which defended the Order or explained its ideals and way of life.
Jul 15 - Holy Martyrs Cyricus And His Mother Julitta
Wed 14 Jul 2010
On this day…
1771 Mission San Antonio de Padua founded in California
1773 The first annual conference of the Methodist Church in America convened at St.George’s Church in Philadelphia, PA.
1775 Anglican clergyman and hymnwriter John Newton wrote in a letter: ‘The knowledge of God cannot be attained by studious discussion on our parts; it must be by revelation on His part.’
1789 Bastille Day-citizens of Paris storm Bastille prison
1800 Birth of Anglican clergyman Matthew Bridges. In 1848 he converted to Catholicism, under the influence of the Oxford Movement in England. He is remembered today for authoring the hymn, ‘Crown Him with Many Crowns.’
1833 Anglican clergyman John Keble preached his famous sermon on national religious apostasy. It marked the beginning of the Oxford Movement, which sought to purify and revitalize the Church of England.
1892 The Baptist Young People’s Union held its first national convention in Detroit. The founding of the BYP Union was inspired by the earlier work of Francis E. Clark, a Congregational pastor who founded the first ‘modern’ youth fellowship in 1881.
Muslim-Indonesia, Kuwait, Oman, UAE, Yemen PDR : Mohammed Ascension
Old Catholic : Commem of St Bonaventure, bishop/confessor/doctor
RC : Mem St Camillus of Lellis, patron of nurses/sick (opt)
RC : Memorial of Bl Kateri Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks, virgin
On this day in 1833, John Keble preached a landmark sermon at St. Mary’s in Oxford and the Oxford Movement began in England.
Amelberga, virgin [WTS (Bruges)]
Bonaventure, bishop, confessor, Doctor of the Church [common]
Camillus de Lellis, priest, confessor [common]
Cyprian, martyr (at Poitiers) [GTZ: Poitiers]
Exuperius, bishop (of Bayeux) (Translation) [GTZ: Bayeux]
Phocas, bishop, martyr [GTZ: France; 6082]
Giles (of Assisi) [BLS]
Henry, emperor, confessor [GTZ: Gnesen, Magdeburg]
Justus, confessor (at Trier, or Bourges) [GTZ: Trier, Bourges, Sens]
Landericus, bishop (of Séez) [PCP (Paris)]
Lupus, bishop (of Bayeux) (Translation) [GTZ: Bayeux]
Maldegar, confessor [GTZ: Cambrai]
Sisinnius and companions, martyrs [GTZ: Chur]
Vigor, bishop (of Bayeux) (Translation) [GTZ: Bayeux]
Vincent, confessor [GTZ: Cambrai]
On This Day
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha (United States)
Camillus de Lellis (Roman Catholic Church, except in the United States)
Idus of Leinster,
Libert of Saint-Trond, Ulrich of Zell
Bastille Day (France and French dependencies)
1771 - Foundation of Mission San Antonio de Padua in modern California by Franciscan friar Junípero Serra
WITNESS TO THE FAITH IN NEW ENGLAND, 1792
The Reverend Samson Occom (1723 – 1792) (also spelled as Occum) was a Native American Presbyterian clergyman and a member of the Mohegan nation near New London, Connecticut. He has the distinction of being the first Native American person to ever publish documents and pamphlets in English.
Born to Joshua Tomacham and his wife Sarah, Occom is believed to be a direct descendant of the famous Mohegan chief, Uncas. In 1740, at the age of sixteen, Occom was exposed to the teachings of Christian evangelical preachers in the Great Awakening. He began to study theology at the “Lattin School” of Eleazar Wheelock in 1743 and stayed for four years until leaving to begin his own career.
Occom served as a missionary to Native American people in New England and Montauk, Long Island, where he married a local woman. It was also on Long Island where he was officially ordained a minister on August 30, 1759, by the presbytery of Suffolk. Although promised otherwise by the church leaders,
Wheelock established an Indian charity school (which became Dartmouth College) with a benefaction from Joshua Moor in 1754, and he persuaded Occom to go to England in 1766 to raise money for the school, along with the Rev. Nathaniel Whitaker. Occom preached his way across the country from February 16, 1766, to July 22, 1767. He delivered in total between three and four hundred sermons, drawing large crowds wherever he went. By the end of his tour he had raised over twelve thousand pounds for Wheelock’s project. King George III himself donated 200 pounds, and William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth subscribed 50 guineas. The friendship between Occom and Wheelock dissolved when Occom learned that Wheelock had neglected to care for Occom’s wife and children while he was away. Occom also took issue with the fact that Wheelock put the funds toward establishing Dartmouth College for the education of Englishmen rather than of Native Americans.
Upon his return from England, Occom lived at Mohegan, then moved in 1786 with some New England and Long Island Indians to Oneida territory in what is known today as New York. He then helped to found Brothertown, and lived among the Brothertown Indians. Occom died on July 14, 1792, in New Stockbridge, New York.
— from Wikipedia
Preface of Baptism
PRAYER (traditional language)
God, the Great Spirit, whose breath givest life to the world and whose voice thundereth in the wind: We give thee thanks for thy servant Samson Occom, strong preacher and teacher among the Mohegan people; and we pray that we, cherishing his example, may love learning and by love build up the communities into which thou sendest us, and on all our paths walk in beauty with Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit, livest and reignest, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
PRAYER (contemporary language)
God, Great Spirit, whose breath gives life to the world and whose voice thunders in the wind: We thank you for your servant Samson Occom, strong preacher and teacher among the Mohegan people; and we pray that we, cherishing his example, may love learning and by love build up the communities into which you send us, and on all our paths walk in beauty with Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit, is alive and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Bonaventure, Bp. of Albano
Jul 14 - Father Among The Saints Joseph, Archbishop Of Thessalonika
BLESSED KATERI TEKAKWITHA
WEDNESDAY, JULY 14, 2010
Kateri Tekakwitha, the “Lily of the Mohawks,” is the first Native American to be beatified. She was born in Auriesville, New York, in 1656 to a Christian Algonquin woman and a pagan Mohawk chief.
When she was a child a smallpox epidemic attacked her tribe and both her parents died. She was left permanently scarred with a pocked face and impaired eyesight. Her uncle, who had now become chief of the tribe adopted her and her aunts began planning her marriage while she was still very young.
When three Jesuit fathers were visiting the tribe in 1667 and staying in the tent of her uncle, they spoke to her of Christ, and though she was still not and did not ask to be baptized, she believed in Jesus with an incredible intensity. She also realized that she was called into an intimate union with God as a consecrated virgin.
She had to struggle to maintain her faith amidst the opposition of her tribe who ridiculed her for it. When she was 18, Fr. Jacques de Lamberville returned to the Mohawk village and she asked to be baptized.
The life of the Mohawk village had become violent and debauchery was commonplace; realizing that this was proving too dangerous to her life and her call to perpetual virginity, Kateri escaped to the town of Caughnawaga in Quebec, near Montreal.
There she lived the last years of her short life practicing austere penance and constant prayer. She was said to have reached the highest levels of mystical union with God, and many miracles were attributed to her while she was still alive.
She died on April 17, 1680 at the age of 24, and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980. Devotion to her began immediately after her death and her body, enshrined in Caughnawaga, is visited by many pilgims each year.
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha
The blood of martyrs is the seed of saints. Nine years after the Jesuits Isaac Jogues and John de Brébeuf were tortured to death by Huron and Iroquois Indians, a baby girl was born near the place of their martyrdom, Auriesville, New York. She was to be the first person born in North America to be beatified.
Her mother was a Christian Algonquin, taken captive by the Iroquois and given as wife to the chief of the Mohawk clan, the boldest and fiercest of the Five Nations. When she was four, Kateri lost her parents and little brother in a smallpox epidemic that left her disfigured and half blind. She was adopted by an uncle, who succeeded her father as chief. He hated the coming of the Blackrobes (missionaries), but could do nothing to them because a peace treaty with the French required their presence in villages with Christian captives. She was moved by the words of three Blackrobes who lodged with her uncle, but fear of him kept her from seeking instruction. She refused to marry a Mohawk brave and at 19 finally got the courage to take the step of converting. She was baptized with the name Kateri (Catherine) on Easter Sunday.
Now she would be treated as a slave. Because she would not work on Sunday, she received no food that day. Her life in grace grew rapidly. She told a missionary that she often meditated on the great dignity of being baptized. She was powerfully moved by God’s love for human beings and saw the dignity of each of her people.
She was always in danger, for her conversion and holy life created great opposition. On the advice of a priest, she stole away one night and began a 200-mile walking journey to a Christian Indian village at Sault St. Louis, near Montreal.
For three years she grew in holiness under the direction of a priest and an older Iroquois woman, giving herself totally to God in long hours of prayer, in charity and in strenuous penance. At 23 she took a vow of virginity, an unprecedented act for an Indian woman, whose future depended on being married. She found a place in the woods where she could pray an hour a day—and was accused of meeting a man there!
Her dedication to virginity was instinctive: She did not know about religious life for women until she visited Montreal. Inspired by this, she and two friends wanted to start a community, but the local priest dissuaded her. She humbly accepted an “ordinary” life. She practiced extremely severe fasting as penance for the conversion of her nation. She died the afternoon before Holy Thursday. Witnesses said that her emaciated face changed color and became like that of a healthy child. The lines of suffering, even the pockmarks, disappeared and the touch of a smile came upon her lips. She was beatified in 1980.
‘DE HERETICO COMBURENDO’
Amongst the last victims of the religious persecution under Mary, were six persons who formed part of a congregation caught praying and reading the Bible, in a by-place at Islington, in May 1558. Seven of the party had been burned at Smithfield on the 27th of June; the six who remained were kept in a miserable confinement at the palace of Bonner, bishop of London, at Fulham, whence they were taken on the 14th of July, and despatched in a similar manner at Brentford.
While these six unfortunates lay in their vile captivity at Fulham, Bonner felt annoyed at their presence, and wished to get them out of the way; but he was sensible, at the same time, of there being a need for getting these sacrifices to the true church effected in as quiet a way as possible. He therefore penned an epistle to (apparently) Cardinal Pole, which has lately come to light, and certainly gives a curious idea of the coolness with which a fanatic will treat of the destruction of a few of his fellow-creatures when satisfied that it is all right.
‘Further,’ he says, ‘may it please your Grace concerning these obstinate heretics that do remain in my house, pestering the same, and doing snuck hurt many ways, some order may be taken with them, and in mine opinion, as I shewed your Grace and my Lord Chancellor, it should do well to have them brent in Hammersmith, a mile from my house here, for then I can give sentence against them here in the parish church very quietly, and without tumult, and having the sheriff present, as I can have him, he, without business or stir, [call] put them to execution in the said place, when otherwise the thing [will need a] day in [St] Paul’s, and with more comberance than now it needeth. Scribbled in haste, &c’
Bonner was a man of jolly appearance, and usually of mild and placid speech, though liable to fits of anger. In the ordinary course of life, he would probably have rather done one a kindness than an injury. See, however, what fanaticism made him. He scribbles in haste a letter dealing with the lives of six persons guilty of no real crime, and has no choice to make in the case but that their condemnation and execution may be conducted in a manner as little calculated to excite the populace as possible.
Bastille Day commemorates modern France and French democracy. Bastille Day is a French holiday. But, you can celebrate it, too.
Bastille Day symbolizes the end of the constitutional monarchy, and the beginning of the democratic republic of France. To Frenchmen, Bastille Day is viewed as their liberation.
Bastille Day is actually called Fete de la Federation. In France, it is a holiday that is celebrated with military parades.
Happy Bastille Day and “Vive la France!”
A Little (but not too much) Bastille Day History:
In the late 1700s, France was ruled by a king.
On July 14, 1789, there was an uprising against the constitutional monarchy, and the people stormed Bastille.
Bastille was actually a prison, and it was a symbol of the monarchy.
The goal was to create reconciliation for all of France, promote unity, and purse liberty from the monarchy.
This uprising ultimately led to the birth of democracy in France.
Fete de la Federation was first held on July 14, 1790, the first anniversary of the storming of the prison at Bastille.
DESTRUCTION OF THE BASTILE—THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK
The 14th of July will ever be a memorable day in French history, as having witnessed, in 1789, the demolition, by the Paris populace, of the grin old fortress identified with the despotism and cruelty of the falling monarchy. It was a typical incident, representing, as it were, the end of a wicked system, but unfortunately not inaugurating the beginning of one milder and better. Much heroism was shewn by the multitude in their attack upon the Bastile, for the defenders did not readily submit, and had a great advantage behind their lofty walls. But their triumph was sadly stained by the massacre of the governor, Delaunay, and many of his corps.
‘It was now,’ says Lamartine, ‘that the mysteries of this state-prison were unveiled—its bolts broken —its iron doors burst open—its dungeons and subterranean cells penetrated—from the gates of the towers to their very deepest foundations and their summits. The iron rings and the chains, rusting in their strong masonry, were pointed out, from which the victims were never released, except to be tortured, to be executed, or to die. On those walls they read the names of prisoners, the dates of their confinement, their griefs and their prayers —miserable men, who had left behind only those poor memorials in their dungeons to attest their prolonged existence and their innocence! It was surprising to find almost all these dungeons empty.
The people ran from one to the other: they penetrated into the most secret recesses and caverns, to carry thither the word of release, and to bring a ray of the free light of heaven to eyes long lost to it; they tore the locks from the heavy doors, and those heavy doors from the hinges; they carried off the heavy keys; all these things were displayed in triumph in the open court. They then broke into the archives, and read the entries of committals. These papers, then ignominiously scattered, were afterwards collected. They were the annals of arbitrary times, the records of the fears or vengeance of ministers, or of the meaner intrigues of their favourites, here faithfully kept to justify a late exposure and reproach. The people expected to see a spectre come forth from these ruins, to testify against these iniquities of kings. The Bastile, however, long cleared of all guilt by the gentle spirit of Louis XVI, and by the humane disposition of his ministers, disappointed these gloomy expectations. The dungeons, the cells, the iron collars, the chains, were only worn-out symbols of antique secret incarcerations, torture, and burials alive. They now represented only recollections of old horrors. These vaults restored to light but seven prisoners—three of whom, gray-headed men, were shut up legitimately, and whom family motives had withdrawn from the judgments of the ordinary courts of law. Tavernier and Withe, two of them, had become insane.
They saw the light of the sun with surprise; and their incurable insanity caused them to be sent to the madhouse of Charenton, a few days after they had enjoyed fresh air and freedom. The third was the Count de Solages, thirty-two years before sent to this prison at his father’s request. When restored free to Toulouse, his home, he was recognised by none, and died in poverty. Whether he had been guilty of some crime, or was the victim of oppression, was an inexplicable enigma. The other four prisoners had been confined only four years, and on purely civil grounds. They had forged bills of exchange, and were arrested in Holland on the requisition of the bankers they had defrauded. A royal commission had reported on their cases; but nothing was now listened to against them. What-ever had been branded by absolute authority, must be innocent in the eyes of the prejudiced people. These seven prisoners of the Bastile became victims —released, caressed, even crowned with laurels, carried in triumph by their liberators like living spoil snatched from the hands of tyranny, they were paraded about the streets, and their sufferings avenged by the people’s shouts and tears. The intoxication of the victors broke out against the very stones of the place, and the embrasures, torn from the towers, were soon hurled with indignation into the ditches.’
It was asserted at the time, and long afterwards believed—though there was no foundation for the averment—that the wasted body of the famous state-prisoner, called the Man in the Iron Mask, had been found chained in a lower dungeon, with the awful mask still upon the skull!
Speculations had long been rife among French historians, all tending to elucidate the mystery connected with that celebrated prisoner. By some, it was hinted that he was the twin-brother of Louis XIV, thus frightfully sacrificed to make his senior safe on his throne; others affirmed him to be the English Duke of Monmouth; others, a son of Oliver Cromwell; many, with more reason, inclining to think him a state-prisoner of France, such as the Duke de Beaufort, or the Count de Vermandois. It was reserved for M. Delort, at a comparatively recent period, to penetrate the mystery, and enable the late Lord Dover to compile and publish, in 1825, his True History of this unfortunate man; the facts being gathered from the state archives of France, and documentary evidence of conclusive authority.
It appears that this mysterious prisoner was Count Anthony Matthioli, secretary of state to Charles III, Duke of Mantua, and afterwards to his son Ferdinand, whose debauched habits, and consequent need, laid him open to a bribe from Louis XIV for permission to place an army of occupation in his territory, with a view to establish French influence in Italy. Matthioli had expressed his readiness to aid the plot; had visited Paris, and had a secret interview with the king, who presented him with a valuable ring and a considerable sum of money; but when the time came for vigorous action, Matthioli, who appears to have been intriguing with the Spanish court for a better bribe, placed all obstacles and delays in the way of France. The French envoy, the Baron Asfeld, was arrested by the Spanish governor of the Milanese; and the French court found that their diplomacy was betrayed. Louis determined to satisfy his wounded pride and frustrated ambition, by taking the most signal vengeance on Matthioli. The unfortunate secretary was entrapped at a secret interview on the frontier, and carried to the French garrison at Pignerol, afterwards to the fortress of Exiles; when his jailer, St. Mars, was appointed governor of the island of St. Marguerite (opposite Cannes), he was immured in the fortress there, and so remained for eleven years. In the autumn of 1698, St. Mars was made governor of the Bastile, and thither Matthioli was conveyed, dying within its gloomy walls on the 19th of November 1703. He had then been twenty-four years in this rigorous confinement, and had reached the age of sixty-three.
Throughout this long captivity, Louis never shewed him any clemency. The extraordinary precautions against his discovery, and the one which appears to have been afterwards resorted to, of obliging him to wear a mask during his journeys, or when he saw any one, are not wonderful, when we reflect upon the violent breach of the law of nations which had been committed by his imprisonment. Matthioli, at the time of his arrest, was actually the plenipotentiary of the Duke of Mantua for concluding a treaty with the king of France; and for that very sovereign to kidnap him, and confine him in a dungeon, was one of the most flagrant acts of violence that could be committed; one which, if known, would have had the most injurious effects upon the negotiations of Louis with other sovereigns; nay, would probably have indisposed other sovereigns from treating at all with him. The confinement of Matthioli is decidedly one of the deadliest stains that blot the character of Louis XIV.
The prison of Matthioli, in the fortress of St. Marguerite, is now, for the first time, engraved from an original sketch. It is one of a series of five, built in a row on the scarp of the rocky cliff. The walls are fourteen feet thick; there are three rows of strong iron gratings placed equidistant within the arched window of Matthioli’s room, a large apartment with vaulted roof, and no feature to bleak its monotony, except a small fireplace beside the window, and a few shelves above it. The Bay of Cannes, and the beautiful range of the Esterel mountains, may be seen from the window; a lovely view, that must have given but a maddening sense of confinement to the solitary prisoner. It is on record, that his mind was seriously deranged during the early part of his imprisonment; what he became ultimately, when all hope failed, and a long succession of years deadened his senses, none can know—the secret died with his jailers.
There is a tradition, that he attempted to make his captivity known, by scratching his melancholy tale on a metal dish, and casting it from the window; that it was found by a fisherman of Cannes, who brought it to the governor, St. Mars, thereby jeopardising his own life or liberty, for he was at once imprisoned, and only liberated on incontestable proof being given of his inability to read. After this, all fishermen were prohibited from casting their nets within a mile of the island. Matthioli was debarred, on pain of death, from speaking to any but his jailer; he was conveyed from one dungeon to the other in a sedan-chair, closely covered with oil-cloth, into which he entered in his cell, where it was fastened so that no one should see him; his jailers nearly smothered him on his journey to St. Marguerite; and afterwards the black mask seems to have been adopted on all occasions of the kind. Lord Dover assures us, that it has been a popular mistake to affirm this famed mask was of iron; that, in reality, it was formed of velvet, strengthened by bands of whalebone, and secured by a padlock behind the head.
The same extraordinary precautions for concealment followed his death that had awaited him in life. The walls of his dungeon were scraped to the stone, and the doors and windows burned, lest any scratch or inscription should betray the secret. His bedding, and all the furniture of the room, were also burned to cinders, then reduced to powder, and thrown into the drains; and all articles of metal melted into an indistinguishable mass. By this means it was hoped that oblivion might surely follow one of the grossest acts of political cruelty in the dark record of history.
Tue 13 Jul 2010
On this day…
0574 John III ends his reign as Catholic Pope
1105 Death of Rashi (b.1040), medieval Jewish Bible scholar. His name is a Hebrew acrostic for Rabbi Shelomoh ben Isaac. Rashi was the leading rabbinic commentator in his day on the Old Testament and Talmud.
1568 Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral perfects a way to bottle beer
1769 Birth of Thomas Kelly, Irish Episcopal clergyman and author of 765 hymns,including ‘Praise the Savior, Ye Who Know Him.’
1778 Anglican clergyman and hymnwriter John Newton wrote in a letter: ‘It is perhapsthe highest triumph we can obtain over bigotry when we are able to bear with bigotsthemselves.’
1815 President John Adams wrote in a letter: ‘The Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation. If I were an atheist,… I should still believe fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations.’
1863 Anti-draft mobs lynch blacks in NYC; about 1,000 die
1868 Oscar J Dunn, former slave, installed as lt governor of Louisiana
1886 Birth of Father Edward Flanagan, American Catholic parish priest. Believing there was ‘no such thing as a bad boy,’ in 1922 he organized Boys Town near Omaha, Nebraska.
1917 Vision of Virgin Mary appeared to children of Fatima, Portugal
1919 Race riots in Longview & Gregg counties Texas
1967 Race riots break out in Newark, 27 die
Christian : Festival of Our Lady of Fatima
RC : Commemoration of St Anacletus I, pope (c 76-c 88), martyr
RC : Feast of St Eugenius, bishop of Carthage, confessor
RC : Memorial of St Henry II (the Pious), emperor (opt)
On this day in 1819, Charles Kingsley, priest and author, was born in Devonshire, England. Kingsley’s most famous work is “The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby.”
On this day in 1857, “The Voice that Breathed O’er Eden” was written by John Keble, English priest and poet and a prominent leader of the Oxford movement.
St. Anacletus, martyr, 2nd century;
St. Eugenius, bishop of Carthage, and his companions, martyrs, 505;
St. Turiaf, Turiave or Thivisiau, bishop of Doi, in Brittany, about 749.
Anacletus, pope, martyr [BLS; GTZ: southern France, Franciscans; PRI]
Eugenius, bishop (of Carthage), and companions, confessors [BLS]
Henry, emperor, confessor [common]
Margaret, virgin, martyr [common]
Mildrada, abbess, virgin [GTZ: Utrecht, Exeter]
Silas, apostle [GTZ: northern France]
Thuriaf, bishop (of Dol), confessor [BLS; GTZ: Paris; PCP (Paris), as Curien]
Willehad, bishop (of Bremen), confessor (Ordination) [GTZ: Bremen]
On This Day
Abel of Tacla Haimonot (Coptic Church)
Clelia Barbieri - Catholic saint,
Eugenius of Carthage,
Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor,
Silas (Roman Catholic Church)
Teresa of the Andes
1985 - Live Aid benefit concerts take place around the world
WITNESS TO PEACE and RECONCILIATION, 1760
Conrad Weiser (November 2, 1696 – July 13, 1760), born Johann Conrad Weiser, Jr., was a German Pennsylvanian pioneer, interpreter and effective diplomat between the Pennsylvania Colony and Native Americans. He was a farmer, soldier, monk, tanner, and judge as well. He contributed as an emissary in councils between Native Americans and the colonies, especially Pennsylvania, during the French and Indian War.
Conrad Weiser was born in 1696 in the small village of Affstätt in the Duchy of Württemberg (now part of Germany). Conrad Weiser and his family were among thousands of refugees who left German lands in 1709, many of them from the Palatine area. The Weiser family eventually ended up in the Schoharie Valley of New York. At age 16, Conrad’s father agreed to a chief’s proposal for the youth to live with the Mohawks in the upper Schoharie Valley. During his stay in the winter and spring of 1712-1713, Weiser learned much about the Mohawk language and the customs of the Iroquois, while enduring hardships of cold, hunger, and homesickness. Conrad Weiser returned to his own people towards the end of July 1713.
On November 22, 1720, at the age of 24, Weiser married the young German girl Anna Eve Feck (Faeg). In 1723 the couple followed the Susquehanna River south out of New York and settled their young family on a farm in Tulpehocken near present-day Reading, Pennsylvania. The couple had fourteen children, but only seven reached adulthood.
Weiser’s colonial service began in 1731. The Iroquois sent Shikellamy, an Oneida chief and friend of weiser, as an emissary to other tribes and the British. The Iroquois trusted him and considered him an adopted son of the Mohawks. Weiser impressed the Pennsylvania governor and council, which thereafter relied heavily on his services.
During the winter of 1737, Weiser attempted to broker a peace between southern tribes and the Iroquois. He had to survive high snow, freezing temperatures and starvation rations just to make the six-week journey to the Iroquois capital of Onondaga (near persent-day Syracuse, NY). Impressed with his fortitude, the Iroquois named Weiser Tarachiawagon (Holder of the Heavens). Spill-over violence from a war between the Iroquois and southern tribes such as the Catawba would have drawn first Virginia, and then Pennsylvania, into conflict with the Iroquois. Therefore this peace-brokering had a profound effect on Native American/colonial relations.
Throughout his decades-long career, Weiser built on his knowledge of Native American languages and culture. He was a key player in treaty negotiations, land purchases, and the formulation of Pennsylvania’s policies towards Native Americans. Because of his early experiences with the Iroquois, Weiser was inclined to be sympathetic to their interpretation of events, as opposed to the Lenape or the Shawnees. This may have exacerbated Pennsylvanian-Lenape/Shawnee relations, with bloody consequences in the French and Indian Wars.
Nevertheless, for many years, Weiser helped to keep the powerful Iroquois allied with the British as opposed to the French. This important service contributed to the continued survival of the British colonies and the eventual victory of the British over the French in the French and Indian Wars.
Between 1734 and 1741, Weiser became a follower of Conrad Beissel, a German Seventh Day Baptist preacher. For six years, he lived at the monastic settlement, Ephrata Cloister, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Conrad was also teacher and a lay minister of the Lutheran Church; he was one of the founders of Trinity Church in Reading.
Weiser died on his farm on July 13, 1760. Upon his death, one Iroquois Indian noted to a group of colonists, “We are at a great loss and sit in darkness…as since his death we cannot so well understand one another.” Indeed, shortly after Conrad Weiser’s death, relations between the colonists and the Native Americans began a rapid decline.
— more at Wikipedia and the Berks County website
Job 5:8-9, 20-27
2 Corinthians 5:16-20
Preface of the Epiphany
PRAYER (traditional language)
Almighty God, of thy grace thou didst endue Conrad Weiser with the gift of diplomacy, the insight to understand two different cultures and interpret each to the other with clarity and honesty: As we strive to be faithful to our vocation to commend thy kingdom, help us to proclaim the Gospel to the many cultures around us, that by thy Holy Spirit we may be effective ambassadors for our Savior Jesus Christ; who with thee and the same Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
PRAYER (contemporary language)
Almighty God, of your grace you gave Conrad Weiser the gift of diplomacy, the insight to understand two different cultures and interpret each to the other with clarity and honesty: As we strive to be faithful to our vocation to commend your kingdom, help us to proclaim the Gospel to the many cultures around us, that by your Holy Spirit we may be effective ambassadors for our Savior Jesus Christ; who with you and the same Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Silas [Silvanus] Companion of Paul, Martyr, 1st Century
Silas is chiefly remembered as the companion of the Apostle Paul who was arrested with him at Philippi (Acts 16:19-40). They were beaten severely and confined in the inner prison, with their feet in stocks. There they sang hymns in the night, and an earthquake shook the prison, and released them. As a result, the jailer and his household became believers.
The first mention of Silas is earlier. Paul and Barnabas went on a missionary journey (A 13:1-5), taking with them John Mark, who (for unspecified reasons) parted from them and went home in the middle of the journey (A 13:13). Paul and Barnabas completed their mission and returned to Antioch. They had made many Gentile converts on their mission, and the question arose whether a Gentile could become a Christian without also becoming a Jew, being circumcised if male, and undertaking to observe the Law of Moses (A 15:1). The congregation at Antioch referred the question to the Apostles at Jerusalem, and Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem to present their case. A council of apostles and elders at Jerusalem judged that, with a few specified exceptions, the Law of Moses was not to be imposed on Gentile Christians, and they sent two men from Jerusalem back to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas to convey their reply. The men were Judas Barsabbas (not otherwise mentioned) and Silas (A 15:22).
Eventually Paul and Barnabas undertook to visit again the congregations they had founded on their previous journey, and Barnabas wished to take John Mark with them, but Paul thought this unwise, and so they determined to travel separately, Barnabas taking Mark, and Paul taking Silas (A 15:36-40). And so Paul and Silas (joined in progress by Timothy and by Luke) went through part of what is now Turkey and then crossed over into Europe and preached at Philippi (where they made converts and were arrested as described above), and went on to Thessalonica and Berea, being the center of riots in each place (A 17:1-13), after which Paul went on to Athens and thence to Corinth, and was soon joined there by Silas and Timothy (A 18:5). And that is the last we hear of Silas.
The name “Silas” is a shortened form of “Silvanus”, and the Silvanus whom Paul mentions in his writings to the Corinthians (2 C 1:19) and the Thessalonians (1 Th 1:1; 2 Th 1:1) is almost certainly the Silas of Acts, and probably the same as the Silvanus who carried the Apostle Peter’s first letter (1 P 5:12) to its scattered recipients.
Further details of the life of Silas are not known, but he is customarily honored as a martyr.
PRAYER (traditional language)
Almighty and everlasting God, we thank thee for thy servant Silas, whom thou didst call to preach the Gospel to the peoples of Turkey, Greece, and Macedonia. Raise up, we beseech thee, in this and every land evengelists and heralds of thy kingdom, that thy Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
PRAYER (contemporary language)
Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Silas, whom you called to preach the Gospel to the peoples of Turkey, Greece, and Macedonia. Raise up in this and every land evengelists and heralds of your kingdom, that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Jul 13 - Holy Martyr Golinduc Of Persia
ST. HENRY II
TUESDAY, JULY 13, 2010
Born in 972 to the Duke of Bavaria and the daughter of the King of Burgundy, the future emperor was educated piously and rigorously by St. Wolfgang, bishop of Ratisbon, and had planned to enter the priesthood as a Benedictine monk.
However, at the age of 23, on the death of his father, Henry became the Duke of Bavaria, and seven years later, on the death of Otto III, he was elected emperor. He served in this capacity for 22 years, aided greatly by his wife, St. Cunegunde.
Henry II was an able politician who used his political skills to consolidate the place of the Church within the empire, and he was especially generous to the Benedictine Order, encouraging the reforms of Cluny and building many more monasteries.
In fact, near the end of his reign he wished to abdicate his throne and enter a monastery, but he was refused by the wise abbot, who told him that he had much to do in the world, and that he should dedicate his holy efforts to the advancement of the Church in the life of the empire.
He fought many battles to protect the empire from attacks from without, as well as rebellion within, notably the rebellion of Rome in 1014, which his army put down. He was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Benedict VIII following his victory.
Henry established the See of Bamberg in which he built a Cathedral and towards which he was a doting benefactor.
He died in 1024, and was buried with his wife in the Cathedral of Bamberg, which has a strong devotion to him and the empress.
Pope Eugene III canonized him in 1146.
As German king and Holy Roman Emperor, Henry was a practical man of affairs. He was energetic in consolidating his rule. He crushed rebellions and feuds. On all sides he had to deal with drawn-out disputes so as to protect his frontiers. This involved him in a number of battles, especially in the south in Italy; he also helped Pope Benedict VIII quell disturbances in Rome. Always his ultimate purpose was to establish a stable peace in Europe.
According to eleventh-century custom, Henry took advantage of his position and appointed as bishops men loyal to him. In his case, however, he avoided the pitfalls of this practice and actually fostered the reform of ecclesiastical and monastic life.
FESTIVAL OF MIRACLES
This day (July 13th), if Sunday, or the first Sunday after the 13th, begins the festival of the Miracles at Brussels, which lasts for fifteen days. The first day, Sunday, however, is the grand day of celebration; for on this takes place the public procession of the Holy Sacrament of the Miracles. We had an opportunity of witnessing this locally celebrated affair on Sunday, July 15th, 1860, and next day procured from one of the ecclesiastical officials a historical account of the festival, of which we offer an abridgment.
In the year 1369, there lived at Enghein, in Hainault, a rich Jew, named Jonathan, who, for purposes of profanation, desired to procure some consecrated wafers. In this object he was assisted by another Jew, named Jean de Louvain, who resided in Brussels, and had hypocritically renounced Judaism. Jean was poor, and in the hope of reward gladly undertook to steal some of the wafers from one of the churches. After examination, he found that the church of St. Catherine, at Brussels, offered the best opportunity for the theft. Gaining access by a window on a dark night in October, he secured and carried off the pix containing the consecrated wafers; and the whole were handed to Jonathan, who gave his appointed reward. Jonathan did not long survive this act of sacrilege. He was assassinated in his garden, and his murderers remained unknown. After his death, his widow gave the pix, with the wafers, to a body of Jews in Brussels, who, in hatred of Christianity, were anxious to do the utmost indignity to the wafers. The day they selected for the purpose was Good Friday, 1370. On that day, meeting in their synagogue, they spread the holy wafers, sixteen in number, on a table, and with horrid imprecations proceeded to stab them with poniards. To their amazement, the wounded wafers spouted out blood, and in consternation they fled from the spot!
Anxious to rid themselves of objects on which so very extraordinary a miracle had been wrought, these wicked Jews engaged a woman, named Catherine, to carry the wafers to Cologne, though what she was to do with them there is not mentioned. Catherine fulfilled her engagement, but with an oppressed conscience she, on her return, went and revealed all to the rector of the parish church. The Jews concerned in the sacrilege were forthwith brought to justice. They were condemned to be burned, and their execution took place May 22nd, 1370. Three of the wafers were restored to the clergy of St. Guduli, where they have ever since remained as objects of extreme veneration. On several occasions they have good service to the inhabitants of Brussels, in the way of stopping epidemics.
On being appealed to by a solemn procession in 1529, a grievous epidemic at once ceased. From 1579 to 1585, during certain political troubles in the Netherlands, there were no processions in their honour; and they were similarly neglected for some years after the great revolution of 1789—92. But since Sunday, July 14th, 1804, the annual procession has been resumed, and the three wafers shewing the miraculous marks of blood, have been exposed to the adoration of the faithful in the church of St. Guduli. It is added in the authoritative account, that certain indulgences are granted by order of Pius VI. to all who take part in the procession, and repeat daily throughout the year, praises and thanks for the most holy sacrament of the Miracles. In the openings of the pillars along both sides of the choir of St. Guduli, is suspended a series of Gobelin tapestries, vividly representing the chief incidents in the history of the Miracles, including the scene of stabbing the wafers.
SUPERSTITIONS, SAYINGS, &c., CONCERNING DEATH
If a grave is open on Sunday, there will be another dug in the week.
This I believe to be a very narrowly limited superstition, as Sunday is generally a favourite day for funerals among the poor. I have, however, met with it in one parish, where Sunday funerals are the exception, and I recollect one instance in particular. A woman coming down from church, and observing an open grave, remarked: ‘Ah, there will be some-body else wanting a grave before the week is out!’ Strangely enough (the population of the place was then under a thousand), her words came true, and the grave was dug for her.
If a corpse does not stiffen after death, or if the rigor mortis disappears before burial, it is a sign that there will be a death in the family before the end of the year.
In the case of a child of my own, every joint of the corpse was as flexible as in life. I was perplexed at this, thinking that perhaps the little fellow might, after all, be in a trance. While I was considering the matter, I perceived a bystander looking very grave, and evidently having something on her mind. On asking her what she wished to say, I received for answer that, though she did not put any faith in it herself, yet people did say that such a thing was the sign of another death in the family within the twelve-month.
If every remnant of Christmas decoration is not cleared out of church before Candlemas-day (the Purification, February 2), there will be a death that year in the family occupying the pew where a leaf or berry is left. An old lady (now dead) whom I knew, was so persuaded of the truth of this superstition, that she would not be contented to leave the clearing of her pew to the constituted authorities, but used to send her servant on Candlemas-eve to see that her own seat at any rate was thoroughly freed from danger.
Fires and candles also afford presages of death. Coffins flying out of the former, and winding-sheets guttering down from the latter. A winding-sheet is produced from a candle, if, after it has guttered, the strip, which has rum down, instead of being absorbed into the general tallow, remains unmelted: if, under these circumstances, it curls over away from the flame, it is a presage of death to the person in whose direction it points.
Coffins out of the fire are hollow oblong cinders spirted from it, and are a sign of a coming death in the family. I have seen cinders, which have flown out of the fire, picked up and examined to see what they presaged; for coffins are not the only things that are thus produced. If the cinder, instead of being oblong, is oval, it is a cradle, and predicts the advent of a baby; while, if it is round, it is a purse, and means prosperity.
The howling of a dog at night under the window of a sick-room, is looked upon as a warning of death’s being near.
Perhaps there may be some truth in this notion. Everybody knows the peculiar odour which frequently precedes death, and it is possible that the acute nose of the dog may perceive this, and that it may render him uneasy: but the same can hardly be alleged in favour of the notion, that the screech of an owl flying past signifies the same, for, if the owl did scent death, and was in hopes of prey, it is not likely that it would screech, and so give notice of its presence.
Suffolk. C. W. J.
O - Bon / Festival of Souls (lunar date)
Barbershop Music Appreciation Day
When : July 13th
Barbershop Music Appreciation Day is a day to relax and enjoy the sweet voices of the Sweet Adelines, or a Barbershop Quartet.
Edna Mae Anderson of Tulsa, Oklahoma invited some women to her home to sing on July 13, 1945. Their husbands were members of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBSQSA). The ladies wanted to participate in the singing fun and enjoyment. On that evening, the “Sweet Adelines” were born. The group later became Sweet Adelines International., which now boasts hundreds of groups and thousands for members.
Also see Barbershop Quartet Day in April.
Today is a great day to listen to barbershop music. Better still, join a Barbershop Quartet, or the Sweet Adelines.
The Origin of Barbershop Music Appreciation Day:
Barbershop Music Appreciation Day was created in 2005 by Sweet Adelines International. It was started to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of their organization. This organization boasts over 300 choruses, and 15,000 singers.
Mon 12 Jul 2010
On this day…
0526 St Felix IV begins his reign as Catholic Pope
1191 The armies of the Third Crusade (1189-92), led by England’s King Richard (‘TheLionhearted’), captured the Syrian seaport of Acre.
1290 Jews are expelled from England by order of King Edward I
1543: King Henry VIII of England wed his sixth and last wife, Catherine Parr.
1843 Mormon church founder Joseph Smith announced that a divine revelation had been given him sanctioning polygamy among his newly-organized religious followers.
1898 Birth of Peter Deyneka, missions pioneer. The Slavic Gospel Association, which he founded in 1934, undertakes evangelistic work in Europe and South America.
1944 Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary was chartered in Mill Valley, CA, under sponsorship of the Southern Baptist Church.1951 Mob tries to keep black family from moving into all-white Cicero Ill
1963 Swiss Reformed theologian Karl Barth wrote in a letter: ‘Do not stop testing and correcting your insights by holy scripture. Then, being sound in what really counts, you can live and represent a comforted life.’
1966 Race riot in Chicago
1967 23 die in Newark race rebellion
1967 Blacks in Newark, riot, 26 killed, 1500 injured & over 1000 arrested
On this day in 2000, the 73rd General Convention adopted the new name of Episcopal Relief and Development for the former Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief.
Amator, bishop (of Auxerre), confessor (Translation) [GTZ: Auxerre]
Cletus (and Marcellinus), popes, martyrs [GTZ: Liège]
Hermagoras and Fortunatus, martyrs [GTZ: Salzburg, Osnabrück, Paderborn, France, Aquileia]
John Gualbert, abbot, confessor [common]
Margaret, virgin, martyr [GTZ: Salzburg and Suffragane]
Menulf, bishop, confessor [GTZ: Bourges]
Nabor and Felix, martyrs [common]
Prejectus, bishop, martyr (Translation) [GTZ: Noyon]
Sixtus [PCP (Paris)]
Viventiolus, bishop (of Lyon), confessor [GTZ: Lyon]
On This Day
Hermagoras and Fortunatus,
Jason of Tarsus (Roman Catholic Church)
Nabor and Felix,
1580 - Ostrog Bible, first printed Bible in a Slavic language, published.
ARCHBISHOP OF UPPSALA, 1931
Nathan Söderblom was born in Trönö, Sweden, in 1866 and ordained in 1893. He was chaplain at the Swedish Embassy in Paris from 1894 to 1901, and earned a doctorate in comparative religion from the Sorbonne. He then became professor of the history of religion at the University of Uppsala, and in 1914 became Archbishop of Uppsala and Primate of the Church of Sweden.
Soderblom, a Lutheran in a church that had retained the historic episcopate, valued the liturgy and devotional tradition of traditional Catholic worship, while seeing much of worth in the writings of liberal Protestant scholars. He believed it his duty to work for a united Christendom, both catholic and evangelical, and saw practical cooperation on social issues as a promising first step. During World War I, he worked tirelessly to alleviate the conditions of prisoners of war and refugees. For this and his subsequent work for Church unity and world peace, he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1930. At Stockholm in 1925, he organized the Universal Christian Council on Life and Work. Meanwhile, a chiefly Anglican group had formed an inter-denominational Conference on Faith and Order. In 1948 the two groups merged to form the World Council of Churches. As Archbishop of Sweden, he was concerned to deepen the channels of communication between the Church and the laboring masses, and also between the Church and the intellectuals. He died 12 July 1931.
2 Kings 22:3-13
1 Corinthians 1:10-18
Preface of Apostles
PRAYER (traditional language)
Almighty God, we bless thy Name for the life and work of Nathan Söderblom,
Archbishop of Uppsala, who helped to inspire the modern liturgical revival and worked tirelessly for cooperation among Christians. Inspire us by his example, that we may ever strive for the renewal of thy Church in life and worship, for the glory of thy Name; who with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
PRAYER (contemporary language)
Almighty God, we bless your Name for the life and work of Nathan Söderblom,
Archbishop of Uppsala, who helped to inspire the modern liturgical revival and worked tirelessly for cooperation among Christians. Inspire us by his example, that we may ever strive for the renewal of your Church in life and worship, for the glory of your Name; who with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Jul 12 - Holy Martyrs Proclus And Hilarius
ST. IGNATIUS DELGADO
MONDAY, JULY 12, 2010
St. Ignatius Delgado was a Spanish missionary and is now one of the martyrs of Vietnam.
He was born in Villafeliche, Spain, in 1761. He was raised in a pious family, became a Dominican priest and served as a missionary to Vietnam for almost 50 years.
He was named coadjutor vicar-apostolic at East Tonkin, Vietnam. However, government-sanctioned persecution of Christians began soon after. He was arrested, locked in a cage put on public display for ridicule and abuse, and left to die. He died of hunger and exposure in 1838.
The martyr was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1988.
Sts. John Jones and John Wall
(c. 1530-1598; 1620-1679)
John Jones was Welsh. He was ordained a diocesan priest and was twice imprisoned for administering the sacraments before leaving England in 1590. He joined the Franciscans at the age of 60 and returned to England three years later while Queen Elizabeth I was at the height of her power. John ministered to Catholics in the English countryside until his imprisonment in 1596. He was condemned to be hanged, drawn and quartered. John was executed on July 12, 1598.
John Wall was born in England but was educated at the English College of Douai, Belgium. Ordained in Rome in 1648, he entered the Franciscans in Douai several years later. In 1656 he returned to work secretly in England.
In 1678 Titus Oates worked many English people into a frenzy over an alleged papal plot to murder the king and restore Catholicism in that country. In that year Catholics were legally excluded from Parliament, a law which was not repealed until 1829. John Wall was arrested and imprisoned in 1678 and was executed the following year.
John Jones and John Wall were canonized in 1970.
Sun 11 Jul 2010
On this day…
1533 Pope Clement VII excommunicated England’s King Henry VIII
1656 Ann Austin and Mary Fisher became the first Quakers to arrive in America and were promptly arrested. Five weeks later, they were deported back to England.
1740 Jews are expelled from Little Russia by order of Czarina Anne
1905 Black intellectuals & activists organize Niagara movement
1952 American missionary and martyr Jim Elliot wrote in his journal: ‘Teach me, Lord Jesus,… not to be hungering for the “strange and peculiar” when the common, ordinary, and regular, rightly taken, will suffice to feed and satisfy the soul.’
1955 American Presbyterian missionary Francis Schaeffer observed in a letter: ‘No priceis too high to have a free conscience before God.’
1967 The Vatican reported that Albania had closed its last Roman Catholic church.(Albania is a tiny Balkan country with an area only the size of Maryland.
1977 Medal of Freedom awarded posthumously to Rev Martin Luther King Jr
On this day in 1533, Pope Clement VII excommunicates England’s King Henry VIII for remarrying after his divorce.
St. Pius I, pope and martyr, 157;
St. James, bishop of Nisibis, confessor, 350;
St. Hidulphus, bishop and abbot, 707;
St. Drostan, abbot of Dalcongaile, about 809.
Droatan, prince (of Scotland), abbot [BLS]
Benedict, abbot (of Montecassino), confessor (Translation, Deposition) [common; WTS (Bruges), sometimes in red]
Brictius, bishop, confessor [GTZ: Meissen]
Faustinus, bishop, martyr [GTZ: Kammin]
Hyldulf, bishop (of Trier), confessor [BLS; GTZ: Trier]
James, bishop (of Nisibis), confessor [BLS]
Ketillus, confessor (sometimes martyr): [GTZ: Sleswig, Scandinavia]
Pius (I), pope, martyr [BLS; GTZ: Bamberg, Orden; PRI]
Placidus and Sigisbert [GTZ: Chur]
Procopius, abbot (at Prague), confessor [GTZ: Dominicans]
Sabinus, confessor [GTZ: Poitiers]
SUNDAY, JULY 11, 2010
St. Benedict is the patron of Europe and the founder of Western monasticism.
He was born in the fifth century into a noble family, the twin brother of St. Scholastica, in Umbria, Italy. After studying in Rome, he fled to the mountains and lived like a hermit in a cave for three years. Tradition says that he was fed by a raven.
Based on his vituous reputatin, an abbey invited him to join them as their leader at Monte Cassino, Italy. This is where he wrote his renowned Rule.
However, he soon returned to his cave when an attempt was made on his life. Some monks tried by poison him, but he blessed the cup and it became harmless.
He continued to attract followers and he eventually established 12 monasteries. He had the ability to read consciences and drive demons. He destroyed pagan statues and helped to Christianize Europe. He also had the gift of prophesy.
He died of a fever while in prayer at Monte Cassino, Italy, March 21, 547. He was buried in the same tomb as St. Scholastica, who also lived the monastic life as a nun.
After his death, many other Benedictine monasteries were established across Europe, helping to evangelize and Christianize the continent. His Rule was adopted by up to 40,000 monasteries around the world.
Benedict of Nursia
FOUNDER OF WESTERN MONASTICISM (11 JULY 540)
Benedict was born at Nursia (Norcia) in Umbria, Italy, around 480 AD. He was sent to Rome for his studies, but was repelled by the dissolute life of most of the populace, and withdrew to a solitary life at Subiaco. A group of monks asked him to be their abbot, but some of them found his rule too strict, and he returned alone to Subiaco. Again, other monks called him to be their abbot, and he agreed, founding twelve communities over an interval of some years. His chief founding was Monte Cassino, an abbey which stands to this day as the mother house of the world-wide Benedictine order.
Totila the Goth visited Benedict, and was so awed by his presence that he fell on his face before him. Benedict raised him from the ground and rebuked him for his cruelty, telling him that it was time that his iniquities should cease. Totila asked Benedict to remember him in his prayers and departed, to exhibit from that time an astonishing clemency and chivalry in his treatment of conquered peoples.
Benedict drew up a rule of life for monastics, a rule which he calls “a school of the Lord’s service, in which we hope to order nothing harsh or rigorous.” The Rule gives instructions for how the monastic community is to be organized, and how the monks are to spend their time. An average day includes about four hours to be spent in liturgical prayer (called the Divinum Officium — the Divine Office), five hours in spiritual reading and study, six hours of labor, one hour for eating, and about eight hours for sleep. The Book of Psalms is to be recited in its entirety every week as a part of the Office.
A Benedictine monk takes vows of “obedience, stability, and conversion of life.” That is, he vows to live in accordance with the Benedictine Rule, not to leave his community without grave cause, and to seek to follow the teaching and example of Christ in all things. Normal procedure today for a prospective monk is to spend a week or more at the monastery as a visitor. He then applies as a postulant, and agrees not to leave for six months without the consent of the Abbot. (During that time, he may suspect that he has made a mistake, and the abbot may say, “Yes, I think you have. Go in peace.” Alternately, he may say, “It is normal to have jitters at this stage. I urge you to stick it out a while longer and see whether they go away.” Many postulants leave before the six months are up.) After six months, he may leave or become a novice, with vows for one year. After the year, he may leave or take vows for three more years. After three years, he may leave, take life vows, or take vows for a second three years. After that, a third three years. After that, he must leave or take life vows (fish or cut bait). Thus, he takes life vows after four and a half to ten and a half years in the monastery. At any point in the proceedings at which he has the option of leaving, the community has the option of dismissing him.
The effect of the monastic movement, both of the Benedictine order and of similar orders that grew out of it, has been enormous. We owe the preservation of the Holy Scriptures and other ancient writings in large measure to the patience and diligence of monastic scribes. In purely secular terms, their contribution was considerable. In Benedict’s time, the chief source of power was muscle, whether human or animal. Ancient scholars apparently did not worry about labor-saving devices. The labor could always be done by oxen or slaves. But monks were both scholars and workers. A monk, after spending a few hours doing some laborious task by hand, was likely to think, “There must be a better way of doing this.” The result was the systematic development of windmills and water wheels for grinding grain, sawing wood, pumping water, and so on. The rotation of crops (including legumes) and other agricultural advances were also originated or promoted by monastic farms. The monks, by their example, taught the dignity of labor and the importance of order and planning. For details, see The Mediaeval Machine: The Industrial Revolution of the Middle Age, by Jean Gimpel, (Holt Rinehart & Winston, 1976; Penguin, 1977, ISBN 0-14-00-4514-7).
by James Kiefer
Psalm 1 or 34:1-8
Preface of a Saint (2)
PRAYER (traditional language)
Almighty and everlasting God, whose precepts are the wisdom of a loving Father: Give us grace, following the teaching and example of thy servant Benedict, to walk with loving and willing hearts in the school of the Lord’s service; let thine ears be open unto our prayers; and prosper with thy blessing the work of our hands; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
PRAYER (contemporary language)
Almighty and everlasting God, whose precepts are the wisdom of a loving Father: Give us grace, following the teaching and example of your servant Benedict, to walk with loving and willing hearts in the school of the Lord’s service; let your ears be open to our prayers; and prosper with your blessing the work of our hands; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
World Population Day
When : Always July 11th
World Population Day focuses upon people under 25, reproductive issues, and health. This day is sponsored by the United Nations World Population Fund (UNFPA).
According to the UNFPA website, the focus of this day is upon people under 25 and those at reproductive age. This day seeks to provide education and awareness to reproductive health, reproductive choice, family planning, and to provide a better future for young people.
You can participate in World Population Day by playing a role in bringing awareness of these issues to the youth in your community.
The Origin of World Population Day:
World Population Day was started by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Cheer Up the Lonely Day
When : July 11th
Cheer Up the Lonely Day is an opportunity to make a lonely person happy. Any time you can make someone happy, you’ve done a good thing, and should be proud of yourself.
Lonely people have few friends and loved ones. They may have lost loved ones over the years. They may be elderly. They see people on an infrequent basis.
Spend some time today cheering up lonely people. It’s easy to do…..just spend some time with them. When you visit, bring happy things to talk about. Keep the conversation upbeat, and lively. When you leave, give a big hug and let them know you enjoyed the stay. Sending cards or making a phone call is okay, only if they live too far away to visit. What a lonely person really needs, is face to face time with other people.
The Origin of Cheer Up the Lonely Day:
According to L.J. Pesek, Cheer Up the Lonely Day was created by her father, Francis Pesek from Detriot, Michigan. She told us that he “was a quiet, kind, wonderful man who had a heart of gold. He got the idea as a way of promoting kindness toward others who were lonely or forgotten as shut-ins or in nursing homes with no relatives or friends to look in on them.” Francis Pesek chose this day, because it was his birthday.
Sat 10 Jul 2010
On this day…
1509 Birth of John Calvin, French religious reformer. His ‘Institutes of the Christian Religion’ became the most popular doctrinal statement of the Protestant Reformation.
1629 1st non-Separatist Congregational Church in America founded (Salem, MA)
1851 California Wesleyan College was chartered in Santa Clara, under sponsorship ofthe Methodist Church. In 1961 its name was changed to the University of the Pacific.
1925 Jury selection took place in John T Scopes evolution trial
1950 American missionary and martyr Jim Elliot wrote in his journal: ‘I am just trying to deliver familiar truth from the oblivion of general acceptance.’
1962 Martin Luther King Jr arrested during demonstration in Georgia
On this day in 1974, Bishops, priests, women deacons and lay people meet in Philadelphia to plan an ordination for women.
On this day in 1991, the 70th General Convention opened in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Seven Brothers, martyrs, 2nd century.
Saints Rufina and Secunda, virgins and martyrs, 3rd century.
Amalberga, virgin [GTZ: Brandenburg, Flanders]
Etto, bishop, confessor [GTZ: Mons]
Felicitas, martyr [BLS; GTZ: Halberstadt, Hildesheim, Augsburg]
Kanute, king, martyr [GTZ: Sleswig, Scandinavia]
Maclovius, bishop (of St. Malo), confessor (Translation) [GTZ: St. Malo]
Rufina and Secunda, martyrs [common; GTZ: Albi]
The Seven Brothers (Januarius, Felix, Philip, Silvanus, Alexander, Vitalis, and Martialis), martyrs [common; GTZ: Halberstadt, Hildesheim]
MARTYRS OF DAMASCUS
SATURDAY, JULY 10, 2010
Beaitifed by Pope Pius XI in 1926, these eight Franciscan friars and three Maronite laymen were offered the choice of converting to Islam or suffering death in Damascus on July 9, 1860.
Thousands of Maronite Christians had already been killed by the Druz in Southern Lebanon in that year and the Druz, an offshoot sect of Shiite Islam, had turned their attention to Damascus where they killed nearly two thousand more.
When they had reached the Franciscan convent there, the superior, a spaniard named Fr. Emmanuel Ruiz, who had sheltered the Christians that lived around the convent inside the chapel, was threatened with death if he did not convert immediately.
He refused and they cut him to pieces and killed the rest of his community and the three Maronites who, refusing to flee with the other Christians, chose to die rather than deny their faith.
St. Veronica Giuliani
Veronica’s desire to be like Christ crucified was answered with the stigmata.
Veronica was born in Mercatelli. It is said that when her mother Benedetta was dying she called her five daughters to her bedside and entrusted each of them to one of the five wounds of Jesus. Veronica was entrusted to the wound below Christ’s heart.
At the age of 17, Veronica joined the Poor Clares directed by the Capuchins. Her father had wanted her to marry, but she convinced him to allow her to become a nun. In her first years in the monastery, she worked in the kitchen, infirmary, sacristy and served as portress. At the age of 34, she was made novice mistress, a position she held for 22 years. When she was 37, Veronica received the stigmata. Life was not the same after that.
Church authorities in Rome wanted to test Veronica’s authenticity and so conducted an investigation. She lost the office of novice mistress temporarily and was not allowed to attend Mass except on Sundays or holy days. Through all of this Veronica did not become bitter, and the investigation eventually restored her as novice mistress.
Though she protested against it, at the age of 56 she was elected abbess, an office she held for 11 years until her death. Veronica was very devoted to the Eucharist and to the Sacred Heart. She offered her sufferings for the missions. Veronica was canonized in 1839.
THE KORNAN BEIRAN
The Korban Beiram, or feast of sacrifices, is one of the greatest solemnities of the Mohammedan religion. On this day every family of the true believers offers a sheep to God, and the streets of their cities are filled with men carrying the destined victim on their backs. Among the Arabs the festival begins at the early hour of four A.M., when immense crowds collect at the residence of the nearest pacha or bey, awaiting his appearance in the court of the palace. The fanciful style of eastern costume renders the scene both original and picturesque. All the sheiks are arranged on one side: in the front stand the officers and ministers of the pacha. At five o’clock his highness, accompanied by the members of his family and his staff, makes his entree: cannon are fired, the peculiar bands of the East play airs suitable for this religious ceremony. The chief-captain of the hussars of the palace announces to the crowd, in a solemn voice, that the hour of sacrifice has arrived, and that his highness, after prayer, will be present at this important act. All then adjourn to the mosque, the body of imams or priests entering with the suite of the pacha. As soon as the sacrifice is over, the pacha re-enters the court, and seated on an elevated throne, all those of high rank have the privilege of kissing his hand; the inferiors slightly touch it with their lips. This occupies an hour, when all retire to take coffee; the captain thanking the crowd for their presence as a mark of attachment to their ruler.
Fri 9 Jul 2010
On this day…
1228 Death of Stephen Langton (b.ca.1155), Archbishop of Canterbury. It was Langtonwho formulated the original division of the Bible into chapters in the late 1100s.
1530 German reformer Martin Luther wrote in a letter: ‘This is a definite sign thatwe are God’s children, because we are men of peace.’
1540 England’s King Henry VIII 6-mo marriage to Anne of Cleves annulled
1838 Birth of Philip P. Bliss, American gospel singer and songwriter. His best-remembered hymns include ‘Wonderful Words of Life,’ ‘It is Well with My Soul’ and ‘Let theLower Lights Be Burning.’
1843 Birth of Ralph E. Hudson, sacred composer and music publisher. His most enduringhymns include ‘At the Cross’ and ‘Blessed Be the Name.’
1896 Birth of William Cameron Townsend, American missionary and linguist. In 1942 heestablished what has become the largest evangelical missionary agency in the world —Wycliffe Bible Translators (WBT). 1955 1st black executive on White House staff (E Frederic Morrow)
1942: Anne Frank forced into hiding
Anne Frank and her family went into hiding in Amsterdam on this day in 1942 and lived in a secret annex—an experience documented in her diary, which became a classic of war literature—until their capture on August 4, 1944.
1978 American Nazi Party, holds a rally at Marquette Park, Chicago
On this day in 1228, Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton died.
Agilulf, bishop (of Cologne), martyr [GTZ: Cologne]
Brictius, bishop, confessor [GTZ: Magdeburg]
Cyril, bishop, and companions, martyrs [GTZ]
Ephrem (the Deacon), confessor, Doctor of the Church [BLS; GTZ: northern France]
Eleutherius, bishop (of Tournai), confessor (Elevation) [GTZ: Tournai]
Everildis, virgin [BLS; GTZ: York]
Heraclius, bishop (of Sens) [GTZ: Sens]
Holy Martyrs of Gorcum [BLS]
Nicholas, bishop, confessor (Translation) [GTZ: Salzburg only]
Pavacius, bishop (of LeMans) (Translation) [GTZ: LeMans]
Procopius, martyr [GTZ: Worms, Würzburg]
Sevo (Gevo) [WTS (Bruges)]
Sabinus, bishop, martyr [GTZ: Kammin]
Theobald, abbot, confessor [GTZ: Paris; PCP (Paris), as Thibault]
Veronica de Julianis, virgin [BLS]
Zeno, martyr [GTZ: Paris, Châlons-sur-Marne; PCP (Paris)]
On This Day
Agilulfus of Cologne,
Martyrs of Gorkum,
Our Lady of Peace,
Octave of the Visitation,
1989 - Two bombs explode in Mecca, killing one pilgrim and wounding 16 others
Jul 09 - Hieromartyr Pancratius, Bishop Of Taormina In Sicily
120 MARTYRS OF CHINA
FRIDAY, JULY 09, 2010
“Every piece of my flesh, every drop of my blood will tell you that I am Christian”.
- Chi Zhuzi, 18 year old Chinese martyr
On October 1, 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized 120 men, women, and children who gave their lives for the faith in China between the years 1648 and 1930. 87 of these martyrs were Chinese and the other 33 foreign missionaries. The majority were killed during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900 which fell under the reign of the Ching dynasty (1648-1907).
Religious persecution has a long history in China, especially persecution of Christians. Thousands of Christians have been killed for their faith in China in the last 800 years beginning with the first recorded persecution under the early Yuan dynasty (1281-1367) and another under the late Ming dynasty (1606-1637) two and a half centuries later.
One of the most well-known of the martyrs was a 14 year-old girl named Ann Wang who was killed during the Boxer Rebellion because she refused to apostasize when faced with the threats of her executioners. They cut off her right arm to make her submit but she remained adamant. Just as she was about to be beheaded she declared “The door of heaven is open to all,” and murmured the name of Jesus three times.
Chi Zhuzi, an eighteen-year old boy who had been receiving catechism lessons and was ready to receive the sacrament of Baptism was caught on the road one night and ordered to worship idols in a temple. He refused to do so, revealing his belief in Christ. They threatened to cut him into little pieces if he did not deny his faith and he refused firmly, As they inflicted the slow and excruciating torture on him, he said to them “Every piece of my flesh, every drop of my blood will tell you that I am Christian.”
Other Martyrs celebrated on the same day are the Martyrs of Gorkum:
These nineteen martyrs were hanged by Calvinists on July 9, 1572 at Gorkum, Holland for maintaining their loyalty to the Pope and for their belief in the Real Presence in the Eucharist.
St. Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions
Christianity arrived in China by way of Syria in the 600s. Depending on China’s relations with the outside world, Christianity over the centuries was free to grow or was forced to operate secretly.
The 120 martyrs in this group died between 1648 and 1930. Most of them (87) were born in China and were children, parents, catechists or laborers, ranging from nine years of age to 72. This group includes four Chinese diocesan priests.
The 33 foreign-born martyrs were mostly priests or women religious, especially from the Order of Preachers, the Paris Foreign Mission Society, the Friars Minor, Jesuits, Salesians and Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.
Augustine Zhao Rong was a Chinese solider who accompanied Bishop John Gabriel Taurin Dufresse (Paris Foreign Mission Society) to his martyrdom in Beijing. Augustine was baptized and not long after was ordained as a diocesan priest. He was martyred in 1815.
Beatified in groups at various times, these 120 martyrs were canonized in Rome on October 1, 2000.
Lailat al-Miraj (Ascension of the Prophet),
Thu 8 Jul 2010
On this day…
1663 Following restoration of the English monarchy, a new charter was issued to the American colony of Rhode Island. It guaranteed religious freedom regardless of ‘differencesin opinion in matters of religion.’
1741 Influencing the start of New England’s ‘Great Awakening,’ colonial American theologian Jonathan Edwards preached his classic sermon, ‘Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,’ at Enfield, CT.
1777 Vt becomes 1st state abolishing slavery, adopts male sufferage
1792 Birth of Lowell Mason, Presbyterian pioneer of congregational singing. He composed over 1,000 hymn tunes, including BETHANY (‘Nearer, My God, To Thee’), DENNIS (‘Blest Be theTie That Binds’), and HAMBURG (‘When I Survey the Wondrous Cross’).
1948 The Moscow Conference convened to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the independence of the Russian Orthodox Church from control of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople.
1959 Meeting in Oberlin, OH, the Congregational Christian and the Evangelical and Reformed churches adopted a united statement of faith. (The two groups merged to form the United Church of Christ in 1961.)
1975 Quake damages over 2,000 temples in Pagan, Burma. 20-foot-high
seated Buddha of Thandawgya decapitated
On this day in 1829, the Diocese of Kentucky held its the first convention at Christ Church, Lexington.
St. Procopius, martyr, about 303;
Saints Kilian, Colman, and Totnan, martyrs, 688;
St. Withburge, virgin, of Norfolk, 743;
St. Grimbald, abbot of New Minstre, 903;
Blessed Theobald, abbot of Vaux de Cernay, 1247;
St. Elizabeth, queen of Portugal, 1336.
Adrian Fortescue, martyr [BLS]
Aquila and Priscilla, martyrs [GTZ: Châlons-sur-Marne, Amiens]
Auspicius, bishop (of Trier) [GTZ: Trier]
Barbara (Translation) [HCC]
Bosilus, abbot [GTZ: Durham]
Claudius and companions [PCP (Paris)]
Elizabeth, queen (of Portugal) [BLS]
Evodius, bishop (of Rouen), confessor (Translation) [GTZ: Rouen]
Grimbald, abbot, confessor [BLS; GTZ: England]
Kiliam, bishop, and companions (Olman, priest, and Totnam, deacon), martyrs [common]
Landrada, virgin [GTZ: Mons]
Nummius, confessor [GTZ: Paris; PCP (Paris), as Nom]
Procopius, martyr [common; GTZ: Osnabrück]
Quintinus, martyr (Invention) [GTZ: Angers, LeMans]
Sunniva and companions, virgins [GTZ: Norway]
Theobald, abbot [BLS]
Withburge, virgin [BLS]
On This Day
Abda and Sabas,
Auspicius of Trier,
Grimbald, abbot, confessor,
Totnan, and Colman,
Procopius of Scythopolis,
Theobald of Marly,
Sunniva and companions
1970 - Richard Nixon delivers congressional message enunciating Native American Self-Determination as official US policy
STS. AQUILA AND PRISCILLA
THURSDAY, JULY 08, 2010
Aquila and Priscilla were a Jewish couple of Rome who had been exiled to Corinth and friends of St. Paul in the first century. They hosted St. Paul on his visit to that city and were probably converted by him. They are mentioned a few times in the New Testament in glowing terms by their friend Paul, who calls them “my helpers in Christ, who have for my life laid down their own necks” (Romans 16:3-4).
They were tentmakers, thus sharing the same profession as Paul and because of this it is thought that Paul may have worked with them. Acts 18: 18-19 tells us that they accompanied Paul to Ephesus and stayed there with him for three years.
In the era of house churches - when Mass was always celebrated in the house of one of the Christian community - their’s was an important one.
According to tradition they were martyred in Rome on their return, probably around the same time as St. Paul.
8 Jul NT Aquila and Priscilla, Companions of the Apostle Paul
When Paul came to Corinth (probably in the year 50), he met Priscilla (or Prisca) and her husband Aquila, tentmakers by trade like Paul, Jewish, and just arrived from Rome, from which city the Emperor Claudius had recently expelled the Jewish community. (The Roman historian Suetonius tells us that Claudius expelled the Jews from Rome because they were rioting on account of someone named Chrestus — presumably referring to disputes between Christian and non-Christian Jews.) It is not clear whether Aquila and Priscilla were already Christians before meeting Paul, or were converted by his preaching. After eighteen months, the three of them went together to Ephesus, where Priscilla and Aquila remained while Paul continued to Antioch. Soon after, a man named Apollos came to Ephesus, who had heard and believed a portion of the Christian message, and was promoting that belief with eloquent preaching, based on a thorough knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures. Aquila and Priscilla befriended him and explained the Gospel to him more fully, after which he continued to preach with even greater effectiveness.
Priscilla and Aquila were apparently in Rome when Paul wrote to that congregation, and in Ephesus with Timothy when Paul wrote his last letter to Timothy. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians from Ephesus, he joined their greetings with his own. Clearly they were dear to Paul, and were earnest and effective in spreading the Good News of Christ and His saving work. Altogether, Aquila and Priscilla are mentioned six times in the New Testament (Acts 18:2,18,26; Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19), and the reader will note that in the odd-numbered mentions, Aquila’s name comes first, while in the even-numbered mentions, Priscilla’s comes first, as if to emphasize that they are being mentioned on equal terms.
In 1 Timothy 2:12, Paul writes: “I do not permit a woman to instruct or command a man.” Jerome, writing over 3 centuries later, mentions a woman he knew, the Lady Paula, who was well equipped to discuss theology and the Scriptures, but who, in discussions with men, instead of simply saying what she thought, would innocently remark, “You know, that reminds me of something I once heard a man say — his opinion was that….” Thus, she avoided the appearance of being a woman teaching a man, and yet got her point across. Now the Greek Gyne can mean either “woman” or “wife”, and the Greek Aner (Andro-) can mean either “man” or “husband”. Thus Paul may have meant, “I do not permit a wife to teach or command her husband.” In interpreting his meaning, it is perhaps worth noting that we are told that Priscilla and Aquila, acting jointly, instructed Apollos in the Gospel, and there is no hint in the text that Aquila did all the talking while Priscilla hovered in the background and kept them supplied with sandwiches and coffee.
(Note: “Priscilla” is the diminutive form of “Prisca”, as “Johnny” is the diminutive form of “John”. Literally, it means “little Prisca.” Diminutives are more common in many foreign languages (Latin, Spanish, Russian, Greek) than in English. They can denote affection, or distinguish from an older person, especially a relative, with the same name.)
PRAYER (traditional language)
God of grace and might, we praise thee for thy servants Priscilla and Aquila, whom thou didst plenteously endow with gifts of zeal and eloquence to make known the truth of the Gospel. Raise up, we pray thee, in every country, heralds and evangelists of thy kingdom, that the world may know the immeasurable riches of our Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
PRAYER (contemporary language)
God of grace and might, we praise you for your servants Aquila and Priscilla, to whom you gave gifts to make the good news known. Raise up, we pray, in every country, heralds and evangelists of your kingdom, so that the world may know the immeasurable riches of our Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Sts. Priscilla and Aquila, Martyrs, 1st Century
Jul 08 - Holy Great Martyr Prokopios
St. Gregory Grassi and Companions
Christian missionaries have often gotten caught in the crossfire of wars against their own countries. When the governments of Britain, Germany, Russia and France forced substantial territorial concessions from the Chinese in 1898, anti-foreign sentiment grew very strong among many Chinese people.
Gregory Grassi was born in Italy in 1833, ordained in 1856 and sent to China five years later. Gregory was later ordained Bishop of North Shanxi. With 14 other European missionaries and 14 Chinese religious, he was martyred during the short but bloody Boxer Uprising of 1900.
Twenty-six of these martyrs were arrested on the orders of Yu Hsien, the governor of Shanxi province. They were hacked to death on July 9, 1900. Five of them were Friars Minor; seven were Franciscan Missionaries of Mary — the first martyrs of their congregation. Seven were Chinese seminarians and Secular Franciscans; four martyrs were Chinese laymen and Secular Franciscans. The other three Chinese laymen killed in Shanxi simply worked for the Franciscans and were rounded up with all the others. Three Italian Franciscans were martyred that same week in the province of Hunan. All these martyrs were beatified in 1946.
PETER THE HERMIT
There is no more extraordinary episode in the annals of the world, than the History of the Crusades. To understand it, we must previously have some sense of the leading form which had been given to religion in the eleventh and twelfth centuries—an intense contemplation of the sufferings and merits of Christ, with a bound-less feeling of gratitude and affection towards his name. Already had this feeling caused multitudes to pilgrimise through barbarous countries to pay their devotions on the scene of his passion. It needed but an accident to make the universal European sentiment take the form of some wild and wonderful series of acts.
In the north of France, there lived a man of low origin, named Peter, naturally active and restless, but who by various causes was drawn at last into a religions and anchoritic life, in which he became liable to visions and spiritual impulses, all thought by him to be divine. It was impressed upon him that the Deity had constituted him one of His special instruments on earth, and, as usual, others soon came to view him in that character, to thrill under his preachings, and to believe in his miraculous gifts.
The rage for pilgrimages to the East drew the hermit Peter from his retreat, and, like the rest, he went to Jerusalem, where his indignation was moved by the manner in which the Christians were treated by the infidels. He heard the relation of their sufferings from the lips of the patriarch Simeon, and with him in private lamented over them, and talked of the possibility of rescuing the sufferers. It was in these conversations that the project was formed of exciting the warriors of the West to unite together for the recovery of the Holy Land from the power of the infidels. Peter’s enthusiasm now led him to believe that he was himself the man destined for this great work, and on one occasion, when he was kneeling before the holy sepulchre, he believed that he had a vision, in which Jesus Christ appeared to him, announced to him his mission, and ordered him to lose no time in setting about it. Impressed with this idea, he left Palestine, and proceeded to Rome, where Urban II was then pope.
Urban embraced the project with ardour, treated. Peter the Hermit as a prophet, and enjoined him to go abroad and announce the approaching deliverance of Jerusalem. Peter thereupon set out on his new pilgrimage. He rode on a mule, bare-headed and bare-foot, clothed in a long frock and a hermit’s mantle of coarse woollen cloth, girded with a rope. In this manner he proceeded through Italy, crossed the Alps, and wandered through France and the greater part of Europe, everywhere received as a saint, and spreading among all classes an amazing amount of zeal for the Crusade, which he was now openly preaching. The enthusiasm which followed his steps was wonderful: people crowded to obtain the favour of touching his garments, and even the hairs of his mule were preserved as holy relics. His miracles were a subject of general conversation, and nobody doubted for a moment the truth of his mission.
It was at this moment that the ambassadors of the Emperor Alexis Comnemus arrived in Rome, to represent to the pope the danger to which Constantinople was exposed from the invasions of the Turks, and to implore the assistance of the Western Christians. Pope Urban called a council, which met at Piacenza, in Lombardy, at the beginning of March 1095. So great had been the effect of Peter’s preaching, that no less than 200 archbishops and bishops, 4000 other ecclesiastics, and 30,000 laymen attended this council, which was held in the open air, in a plain near the city: but various subjects divided its attention, and it came to no decision relative to the war against the infidels. The pope found that the Italians, who were, even at this early period, less bigoted. Catholics than the other peoples of Western Europe, were not very enthusiastic in the cause, and he resolved on calling another council, for the especial object of deliberating on the holy war, and in a country where he was likely to find more zeal. Accordingly, this council assembled in the November of the same year, at Clermont, in Auvergne: it was equally numerous with that of Piacenza, and, which was of most importance, Peter the Hermit attended in person, seated on his mule, and in the costume in which he had preached the Crusade through so many countries.
After some preliminary business had been transacted, Peter was brought forward, and he described the sufferings of the Christians in the East in such moving language, and was so well seconded by the eloquence of the pope, that the whole assembly was seized with a fit of wild enthusiasm, and burst into shouts of, ‘God wills it! God wills it!”It is true,’exclaimed the pope, ‘God wills it, indeed, and you here see fulfilled the words of our Saviour, who promised to be present in the midst of the faithful when assembled in his name: it is he who puts into your mouths the words I have just heard: let them be your war-cry, and may they announce everywhere the presence of the God of armies! The pope then held forth a cross, and told them all to take that as their sign, and wear it upon their breasts, and the proposal was adopted amid a scene of the most violent agitation. Ademar de Monteil, bishop of Puy, advanced, and was the first to assume the cross, and multitudes hastened to follow his example. They called upon Urban to take the command of the expedition, but he excused himself personally, and appointed to the command, as his delegate, the zealous bishop of Puy, who is said to have been distinguished as a warrior before he became an ecclesiastic.
Thus began the first Crusade. Armies—or rather crowds of men in arms—began now to assemble in various parts, in order to direct their march towards Constantinople. Among the first of these was the multitude who followed the preaching of Peter the Hermit, and who, impatient of delay, chose him for their leader, and were clamorous to commence their march. Peter, blinded by his zeal, accepted a position for which he was totally without capacity, and placed himself at their head, mounted on the same mule and in the same costume in which he had preached. His troop, starting from the banks of the Maas and the Moselle, and consisting origin-ally of people of Champagne and Burgundy, was soon increased by recruits from the adjacent districts, until he numbered under his command from 80,000 to 100,000 men. They came chiefly from the simpler and more ignorant classes of society, and they had been told so much of God’s direct interference, that they were led to believe that he would feed and protect them on the road, and they did not even take the precaution to carry provisions or money with them. They expected to be supported by alms, and they begged on the way.
Peter’s army was divided into two bodies, of which the first, commanded by a man whose mean social position may be conjectured by his name of Walter the Penniless (Gaultier sans Avoir), marched in advance. They were received with enthusiasm by the Germans, who crowded to the same standard, and all went well until they came to the banks of the Morava and the Danube, and encountered the Hungarians and Bulgarians, both which peoples were nominally Christians: but the former took no interest in the Crusades, and the latter were not much better than savages. Walter’s band of Crusaders passed through Hungary without any serious accident, and reached the country of the Bulgarians, where, finding themselves entirely destitute of provisions, they spread over the country, plundering, murdering, and destroying, until the population, flying to arms, fell upon them, and made a great slaughter. Those who escaped, fled with their leader towards Greece, and reached Nissa, the governor of which place administered to their pressing necessities: and, having learned by misfortune the advantage of observing something like discipline, they proceeded with more order till at length they reached Constantinople, where they were treated well, and allowed to encamp and await the other division, which was approaching under the command of Peter the Hermit.
The zeal and incapacity of the latter led him into still greater disasters. In their passage through Hungary, the spots where some of the followers of Walter the Moneyless had been slaughtered, were pointed out to the Crusaders, and they were told that the Hungarians had entered into a plot for their destruction. Instead of enforcing the necessity of caution and discipline, Peter talked of vengeance, and sought only to inflame the passions of his followers. On their arrival at Semlin, they beheld the arms of some of the first band of Crusaders, who had been slain, suspended as a trophy over the gates, and Peter himself encouraged them to revenge their comrades. The inhabitants abandoned the town, fled, were overtaken, and 4000 of them slain, and their bodies thrown into the Danube, the waters of which. carried them down to Belgrade.
The Crusaders returned to Semlin, which was given up to plunder, and they lived there in the most licentious manner, until news came that the Hungarians had assembled a great army to attack them, and then they abandoned the town, and hastened their march across Bulgaria. Everywhere the violence and licentiousness of the Crusaders had spread terror, and they now found the country abandoned, and suffered fearfully from the want of provisions. The people of Nissa had armed and fortified themselves, so that the Crusaders did not venture to attack them, but, having obtained a supply of provisions, had continued their march, when the ill-behaviour of their rear-guard provoked a collision, in which a considerable number of the Crusaders were slaughtered. Peter, informed of this affair, instead of hastening his march, returned to obtain satisfaction, and the irritating behaviour of his troops provoked a still greater conflict, in which 10,000 of the Crusaders were slaughtered, and the rest fled and took refuge in the woods and marshes of the surrounding country. That night, Peter the Hermit, who had taken refuge on a hill, had only 500 men about him, but next day his band numbered 7000, and a few days afterwards the number had been increased to 30,000. With these he continued his march, and, as their disasters had rendered them more prudent, they reached Constantinople without further misfortunes, and rejoined their companions.
As the Emperor Alexis rather despised this undisciplined horde than otherwise, he received them with favour, and treated Peter the Hermit with the greatest distinction: but he lost no time in ridding himself of such troublesome visitors by transporting them to the other side of the Bosphorus. Those who had marched under the banner of Peter the Hermit, had now been joined by the remains of other similar hordes who had followed them, and who had experienced still greater disasters in passing through Hungary and Bulgaria: and, in addition to the other causes of disorder, they now experienced that of jealousy among themselves. They not only laid waste the country, and committed every sort of atrocity, but they quarrelled about the plunder: and, Peter himself having lost his authority, various individuals sought to be their leaders. The Italians and Germans, under the conduct of a chieftain named Renaud, separated from the rest of the army, left the camp which was established in the
fertile country bordering on the Gulf of Nicomedia, and penetrated into the mountains in the neighbourhood of Nicaea, where they were destroyed by the Turks. The main army of the Crusaders, who now acknowledged the nominal authority of Walter, but who paid little attention to the orders of their chieftains, hastened imprudently to revenge the Italians and Germans, and had reached the plain of Nicaea, when they found themselves unexpectedly surrounded by the numerous and better disciplined army of the Turks, and, after a useless resistance, the whole army was put to the sword, or carried into captivity, and a vast mound of their bones was raised in the midst of the plain.
Thus disastrously ended the expedition of Peter the Hermit. Of 300,000 men who had marched from Europe in the belief that they were going to conquer the Holy Land, all had perished, dither in the disasters of the route, or in the battle of Nicaea. Peter had left them before this great battle, disgusted with their vices and disorders, and had returned to Constantinople, to declaim against them as a horde of brigands, whose enormous sins had caused God to desert them. From this time the Hermit became a second-rate actor in the events of the Crusade. When the more noble army of the Crusaders, under the princes and great warriors of the West, arrived at Constantinople, he joined them, and accompanied them in their march, performing merely the part of an eloquent and zealous preacher; but at the siege of Antioch, he attempted to escape the sufferings of the Christian camp by flight, and was pursued and overtaken by Tancred, brought back, and compelled to take an oath to remain faithful to the army. This disgrace appears to have been wiped out by his subsequent conduct; and he was among the first ranks of the Crusaders who came in sight of Jerusalem. The wearied warriors were cheered by the enthusiastic eloquence with which he addressed them on the summit of the Mount of Olives; and in the midst of the slaughter, when the holy city was taken, the Christian soldiers crowded round him, as people had crowded round him when he first proclaimed the Crusade, and congratulated him on the fulfilment of his prophecies.
Peter remained in the Holy Land until 1102, when he returned to Europe, with the Count of Montaign, a baron of the territory of Liege. On their way they were overtaken by a dreadful tempest, in which the Hermit made a vow to found a monastery if they escaped shipwreck. It was in fulfilment of this vow, that he founded the abbey of Neufmoutier, at Huy, on the Maas, in honour of the holy sepulchre. Here he passed the latter years of his life, and died in 1115. In the last century, his tomb was still preserved there, with a monumental inscription.
Wed 7 Jul 2010
On this day…
1438: King Charles VII of France issued the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges, restricting the rights of the pope and in many cases making his jurisdiction subject to the will of the king.
1586 Birth of Thomas Hooker, colonial American pastor and an originator of the earliestsystem of federal government in America.
1851 Birth of Charles A. Tindley, African-American Methodist preacher and songwriter.His most enduring gospel hymns include ‘Stand By Me,’ ‘Nothing Between,’ ‘Leave It There’ and ‘By and By.’
1946 Italian-American educator, Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917) became thefirst American citizen to be made a saint in the Catholic Church. She arrived in the U.S.in 1889, and was naturalized in 1909.
1948 6 female reservists become 1st women sworn into regular US Navy
1952 Six churches met to form the Southern Baptist Association of Colorado, the first organization of this denomination in the state.
1959 English apologist C.S. Lewis wrote in a letter: ‘I “believed” theoretically in the divine forgiveness for years before it really came home to me. It is a wonderful thing when it does.’
1980 Az Judge Sandra Day O’Connor 1st female nominated to Supreme Court
1987 Kiwanis Clubs end men-only tradition, vote to admit women
St. Pantaenus, father of the church, 3rd century;
St. Felix, bishop of Nantes, confessor, 584;
St. Edelburga, virgin, of Kent;
St. Hedda, bishop of the West Saxons, confessor, 705;
St. Willibald, bishop of Aichstadt, confessor, 790;
St. Benedict XI, pope and confessor, 1304.
Begga, widow [GTZ: Liège, Mons]
Benedict (XI), pope [BLS]
Claudius and companions, martyrs [GTZ: Breslau, Lebus, northern France, Genf]
Cyril and Methodius, bishops [BLS]
Domitian [WTS (Bruges)]
Edelburga [BLS; PRI: England]
Euphrosyne and Florentia, virgins [GTZ: Sleswig]
Felix, bishop (of Nantes) [BLS; GTZ: Nantes]
Hedda, monk (of St. Hilda’s), bishop (of the West Saxons) [BLS; GTZ: England; PRI: England]
Martialis, bishop, confessor [GTZ: Carmelites]
Maternianus, bishop [GTZ: Bremen, Verdun, Minden]
Natuitus, bishop (of Trier), martyr [GTZ: Trier]
Nicostratus, martyr [WTS (Bruges)]
Pantaenus, Father of the Church [BLS]
Peter, subdeacon [WTS (Bruges)]
Thomas, bishop (of Canturbury), martyr (Translation) [GTZ: England, France; PCP (Paris)]
Willebald, bishop (of Eichstädt), confessor [common]
On This Day
Æthelburg of Faremoutiers,
Job of Maniava (Ukrainian Orthodox Church)
2005 - London bombings
2005 - 2005 - G8 leaders pledge to double 2004 levels of aid to Africa from US$25 to US$50 billion by 2010
Jul 07 - Holy Martyr Kyriake Of Nicomedia
BLESSED MARIA ROMERO MENESES
WEDNESDAY, JULY 07, 2010
Blessed Maria Romero Meneses is a saint of the new millennium. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2002.
She was born in Granada, Nicaragua, in 1902 to a wealthy family; her father was a government minister. At the age of 12, she was extremely sick and paralyzed for six months with rheumatic fever. She was cured by the intercession and apparition of Our Lady Help of Christians, during which she understood her vocation to be a Salesian sister.
She entered the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (Salesian Sisters) and made her final profession in 1929. Two years later, she was transferred to San Jose, Costa Rica. She taught music, drawing and typing to rich girls. She also trained catechists and trades to the poor. She inspired many of her students to join her in her work with the poor and was known for helping people come to know God in a personal way.
More and more, her ministry became focused on social development, helping the rich to see how they could help the poor. She set up recreational centers in 1945, food distribution centers in1953, a school for poor girls in 1961, and a clinic in 1966. In 1973, she organized the construction of seven homes, which became the foundation of the village Centro San Jose, a community where poor families could have decent homes.
She died of a heart attack in 1977 in Nicaragua.
Blessed Emmanuel Ruiz and Companions
Not much is known of the early life of Emmanuel Ruiz, but details of his heroic death in defense of the faith have come down to us.
Born of humble parents in Santander, Spain, he became a Franciscan priest and served as a missionary in Damascus. This was at a time when anti-Christian riots shook Syria and thousands lost their lives in just a short time.
Among these were Emmanuel, superior of the Franciscan convent, seven other friars and three laymen. When a menacing crowd came looking for the men, they refused to renounce their faith and become Muslims. The men were subjected to horrible tortures before their martyrdom.
Emmanuel, his brother Franciscans and the three Maronite laymen were beatified in 1926 by Pope Pius XI.