Wednesday, November 30, 2011

St. Andrew the Apostle

(Greek: Ανδρέας, Andreas), called in the Orthodox tradition Protocletos, or the First-called, is a Christian Apostle and the elder brother of Saint Peter. The name "Andrew" (from Greek : ανδρεία, manhood, or valour), like other Greek names, appears to have been common among the Jews from the second or third century B.C. No Hebrew or Aramaic name is recorded for him.

The Bible records that St Andrew was a son of Jonah, or John, (Matthew 16:17; John 1:42). He was born in Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee (John 1:44). Both he and his brother Peter were fishermen by trade, hence the tradition that Jesus called them to be his disciples by saying that He will make them "fishers of men" (Greek: ἁλιείς ἀνθρώπων, halieis anthropon). At the beginning of Jesus' public life they occupied the same house at Capernaum (Mark 1:21, 29).

From the Gospel of John we learn that Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist, whose testimony first led him and John the Evangelist to follow Jesus (John 1:35-40). Andrew at once recognized Jesus as the Messiah, and hastened to introduce Him to his brother(John 1:41). Thenceforth the two brothers were disciples of Christ. On a subsequent occasion, prior to the final call to the apostolate, they were called to a closer companionship, and then they left all things to follow Jesus (Luke 5:11; Matthew 4:19-20; Mark 1:17-18).

In the gospels he is referred to as being present on some important occasions as one of the disciples more closely attached to Jesus (Mark 13:3; John 6:8, 12:22); but in Acts there is only a bare mention of him (1:13).

Eusebius quotes Origen as saying Andrew preached in Asia Minor and in Scythia, along the Black Sea as far as the Volga and Kiev. Hence he became a patron saint of Romania and Russia. According to tradition, he founded the See of Byzantium in AD 38, installing Stachys as bishop (the only bishopric in that neighbourhood before that time had been established at Heraclea). This See would later develop into the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Andrew is recognized as its Patron Saint.

He is said to have been martyred by crucifixion at Patras (Patrae) in Achaea, on a cross of the form called Crux decussata (X-shaped cross) and commonly known as "St. Andrew's cross", at his own request, as he deemed himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross on which Christ was crucified. Saint Andrew is the patron of Patras. According to tradition his relics were moved from Patras to Constantinople, and thence to St. Andrews (see below). Local legends say that the relics were sold to the Romans. The head of the saint, considered as one of the treasures of St. Peter's Basilica, was given by the Byzantine despot Thomas Palaeologus to Pope Pius II in 1461. In recent years, the relics were kept in the Vatican City, but were sent back to Patras by decision of the Pope Paul VI in 1964. The relics, which consist of the small finger, part of the top of the cranium of Saint Andrew and small parts of the cross, have since that time been kept in the Church of St. Andrew at Patras in a special tomb, and are reverenced in a special ceremony every November 30.

St. Andrew Basilica at Patras, where the saint's relics are kept, said to be erected over the place of his martyrdom. The apocryphal Acts of Andrew, mentioned by Eusebius, Epiphanius and others, is among a disparate group of Acts of the Apostles that were traditionally attributed to Leucius Charinus. "These Acts may be the latest of the five leading apostolic romances. The Acts, as well as a Gospel of St. Andrew, appear among rejected books in the Decretum Gelasianum connected with the name of Pope Gelasius I. The Acts of Andrew was edited and published by Constantin von Tischendorf in the Acta Apostolorum apocrypha (Leipzig, 1821) Another version of the Andrew legend is found in the Passio Andreae, published by Max Bonnet (Supplementum II Codicis apocryphi, Paris, 1895).

Propers for Saint Andrew the Apostle

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY God, who didst give such grace unto thy holy Apostle Saint Andrew, that he readily obeyed the calling of thy Son Jesus Christ, and followed him without delay; Grant unto us all, that we, being called by thy holy Word, may forthwith give up ourselves obediently to fulfill thy holy commandments; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - Romans x. 9.

IF thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things ! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

The Gospel - St. Matthew iv. 18.

JESUS, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father. and followed him.

Reference and Resources:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The First Sunday in Advent

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.

(This Collect is to be repeated every day, after the other Collects in Advent, until Christmas Day.)

The Epistle - Romans xiii. 8.

OWE no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

The Gospel - St. Matthew xxi. 1.

WHEN they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name 'of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cungar of Congresbury

(from 11/27/2011)

Cungar was traditionally born in Llanwngar in Pembrokshire in the late 5th century. It seems that he should not be identified with St. Cyngar of Llangefni as their feast days are different. The latter was the son of King Gerren Llyngesog of Dumnonia, but Cungar may perhaps be the grandson of King Ceredig Ceredigion named in the Bonedd y Saint as father of Saints Gwynlleu and Cyndeyrn. His father was Prince Garthog.

It appears that Cungar left Wales at a young age and crossed the Bristol Channel, settling at Congresbury in Somerset. He apparently turned the surrounding marsh into fertile farmland, thus attracting many followers to his side. Tradition holds that Congresbury became the centre of a West Country See, a precussor of Wells, and that Cungar was its first Bishop. But he was desirous of a solitary life once more and felt himself recalled to Wales. There, he founded a monastery in Morgannwg. The 16th century publisher of his "Life" wrongly identified this as Llandochau (Llandough-juxta-Cardiff) and perpetuated the myth that St. Dochau was an alternative name for Cungar. This is incorrect.

Cungar may have spent some time in Cornwall and Brittany where churches dedicated to him may still be found. Though there may have been a third Breton Saint of a similar name.

He died, on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, on 27th November, supposedly in AD 520, and was buried in his foundation at Congresbury.

Propers for Cungar of Congresbury - Monastic and Bishop

The Collect.

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

The Lesson - Song of Solomon 8:6-7

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

Peter of Alexandria

was Patriarch of Alexandria (300–311).

It is believed that Peter was given by his parents to His Holiness Theonas to be brought up as a priest, similarly to the story of Samuel in the Old Testament. He rose through the ranks of holy orders, first becoming a reader, then a deacon, then a priest. On his death bed, Theonas advised the church leaders to choose Peter as his successor, which they did.

Peter's time as bishop included the most terrible persecution Christianity was subjected to, that of Roman Emperor Diocletian, which began in 303, and continued intermittently over the next ten years.

Accounts of Peter's position during the persecution vary, but one states that he was imprisoned for a time with bishop Meletius of Lycopolis and they fell into an argument over the treatment of Christians who had either offered pagan sacrifice or surrendered scriptures to the authorities to save their lives during the persecution. Peter urged leniency while Meletius held firmly that the lapsed had abandoned their faith and needed to be rebaptised. Their argument became heated, and was ended when Peter hung a curtain between him and Meletius. One of Meletius' followers was a priest named Arius (modern scholarship differs on whether this was the same Arius as became involved with the Arian controversy a few years later). According to Severus of Ashmumeen, Arius tried in vain to receive absolution from the Patriarch before Peter was executed, and before dying Peter issued a prophecy against Arius.

Propers for Peter of Alexandria - Bishop and Martyr

The Collect.

O Almighty God, who didst give to thy servant Peter boldness to confess the Name of our Saviour Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world, and courage to die for this faith: Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us, and to suffer gladly for the sake of the same our Lord Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lesson - 2 Esdras 2:42-48

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

Reference and Resources:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Catherine of Alexandria

was born in Alexandria and raised a pagan, but converted to Christianity in her late teens. It is said that she visited her contemporary, the Roman Emperor Maxentius, and attempted to convince him of the moral error in persecuting Christians. She succeeded in converting his wife, the Empress, and many pagan philosophers whom the Emperor sent to dispute with her, all of whom were subsequently martyred. Upon the failure of the Emperor to win Catherine over, he ordered her to be put in prison; and when the people who visited her converted, she was condemned to death on the breaking wheel, an instrument of torture. According to legend, the wheel itself broke when she touched it, so she was beheaded.

According to Christian tradition, angels carried her body to Mount Sinai, where, in the 6th century, the Eastern Emperor Justinian established Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai, the church being built between 548 and 565 in Saint Catherine, Egypt, on the Sinai peninsula. Saint Catherine's Monastery survives, a famous repository of early Christian art, architecture and illuminated manuscripts that is still open to visiting scholars.

Propers for Catherine of Alexandria - Virgin and Martyr

The Collect.

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

The Epistle - 2 Esdras 2:42-48.

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

The Gospel - St Matthew 25:1-13.

AT that time: Jesus spake this parable unto his disciples: the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Reference and Resources:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day

The Collect.

O MOST merciful Father, who hast blessed the labours of the husbandman in the returns of the fruits of the earth; We give thee humble and hearty thanks for this thy bounty; beseeching thee to continue thy loving-kindness to us, that our land may still yield her increase, to thy glory and our comfort; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - St. James i. 16.

DO not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

The Gospel - St. Matthew vi. 25.

JESUS said, Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than food, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto the measure of his life? And why are ye anxious for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore be not anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Clement of Rome

the Bishop of Rome from 88 to 99 AD. Also called Clement of Rome and Clemens Romanus, he was the fourth pope, after Anacletus, according to Catholic tradition.

Few details are known about Clement's life. According to Tertullian Clement was ordained by Saint Peter and he is known to have been a leading member of the church in Rome in the latter part of the 1st century. Early church lists place him as the second or third bishop of Rome after Saint Peter, but the meaning of this evidence is unclear, given the lack of evidence for monarchical episcopacy in Rome at so early a date.

According to apocryphal acta dating to the fourth century at earliest, Clement was banished from Rome to the Chersonesus during the reign of the Emperor Trajan and was set to work in a stone quarry. Finding on his arrival that the prisoners were suffering from lack of water, he knelt down in prayer. Looking up, he saw a lamb on a hill, went to where the lamb had stood and struck the ground with his pickaxe, releasing a gushing stream of clear water. This miracle resulted in the conversion of large numbers of the local pagans and his fellow prisoners to Christianity. As punishment, Saint Clement was martyred by being tied to an anchor and thrown from a boat into the Black Sea.

Clement I is also considered one of the Apostolic Fathers, and his name is in the Roman Canon of the Mass. Clement is commemorated on November 23 as a bishop and martyr in the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran Church.

Propers for Clement of Rome - Bishop and Martyr

The Collect.

O GOD, who hast enlightened thy Church by the teaching of thy servant Clement: Enrich us evermore, we beseech thee, with thy heavenly grace, and raise up faithful witnesses who by their life and doctrine will set forth the truth of thy salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - Philippians 3:17-4:3

The Gospel - St. Matthew 24:42-47

Reference and Resources:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

C.S. Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis ("Jack" Lewis to his friends) was a tutor and lecturer at Oxford University, and later Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English Literature at Cambridge University. In the judgment of many, he is the most popular and most effective explainer and defender of the Christian faith writing in English in the 20th century. He tried to make a point of avoiding disputes on matters where Christians disagree, and defending those beliefs which they hold in common. His work was valued by many Christians of widely differing backgrounds: Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, etc.

Lewis was a close friend of J. R. R. Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings. Both authors were leading figures in the English faculty at Oxford University and in the informal Oxford literary group known as the "Inklings". According to his memoir Surprised by Joy, Lewis had been baptized in the Church of Ireland at birth, but fell away from his faith during his adolescence. Owing to the influence of Tolkien and other friends, at about the age of 30, Lewis re-converted to Christianity, becoming "a very ordinary layman of the Church of England" (Lewis 1952, p. 6). His conversion had a profound effect on his work, and his wartime radio broadcasts on the subject of Christianity brought him wide acclaim. Later in life he married the American writer Joy Gresham, who died of bone cancer four years later at the age of 45.

In early June 1961, Lewis began experiencing medical problems and was diagnosed with inflammation of the kidneys which resulted in blood poisoning. His illness caused him to miss the autumn term at Cambridge, though his health gradually began improving in 1962 and he returned that April. Lewis's health continued to improve, and according to his friend George Sayer, Lewis was fully himself by the spring of 1963. However, on July 15, 1963 he fell ill and was admitted to hospital. The next day at 5:00 pm, Lewis suffered a heart attack and lapsed into a coma, unexpectedly awaking the following day at 2:00 pm. After he was discharged from hospital, Lewis returned to the Kilns though he was too ill to return to work. As a result, he resigned from his post at Cambridge in August. Lewis's condition continued to decline and in mid-November, he was diagnosed with end stage renal failure. On November 22, 1963, Lewis collapsed in his bedroom at 5:30 pm and died a few minutes later, exactly one week before what would have been his 65th birthday. He is buried in the churchyard of Holy Trinity Church, Headington, Oxford.


Almighty God, whose servant C.S. Lewis received of Thy grace singular gifts of insight in understanding the truth in Christ Jesus, and of eloquence and clarity in presenting that truth to his readers: Raise up in our day faithful interpreters of Thy Word, that we, being set free from all error and unbelief, may come to the knowledge that maketh us wise unto salvation: through Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Reference and Resources:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Presentation of Mary

This feast day, while not based on Scriptural fact, but rather pious tradition, deals with the presentation of the Virgin Mary when she was three years old at the Temple in Jerusalem.

Tradition also has it that she spent a good deal of time there as a child with other children. Whether this is true or not is not significant. What is important is that Mary was no doubt raised in a Godly home which nurtured her sanctity.

May we make the sacrifice of raising our children in God's House, the Church, by having them attend Sunday School and in encouraging their religious life at home as well.

Propers for the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Collect.

O GOD, who on this day didst vouchsafe the Blessed Virgin Mary, the dwelling-place of thy Holy Ghost, should be presented in the Temple: grant, we beseech thee; that we may be found worthy to be presented unto thee in the temple of thy glory. Through thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Lesson - Ecclesiasticus 24:9-12

The Holy Gospel - St. Luke 11:27-28

Reference and Resources:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Sunday Before Advent

The Collect.

STIR up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may by thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - Jeremiah xxiii. 5.

BEHOLD, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.

The Gospel - St. John vi. 5.

WHEN Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Edmund the Martyr

(From 11/20)

When the heathen Anglo-Saxons invaded Christian Britain in the 400's, they eventually established seven kingdoms: Essex, Wessex, Sussex (East Saxons, West Saxons, and South Saxons), Mercia, Northumbria, and East Anglia (three kingdoms of the Angles), and the Jute kingdom of Kent. (The borders between these ancient kingdoms are still borders between regions speaking English with different accents today.) Under the influence of missionaries from the Celts and from continental Europe, these peoples became Christian, only to be faced themselves by a wave of heathen invaders.

Edmund's father was King Æthelweard who died in 854, and was succeeded by Edmund when the boy was a fourteen-year-old. Edmund was said to have been crowned by St Humbert on 25 December 855 at Burna (probably Bures St Mary, Suffolk), which at that time functioned as the royal capital.

Almost nothing is known of the life of Edmund during the next fourteen years. It was recorded that Edmund was a model king who treated all with equal justice and was unbending to flatterers. It was also written that he retired for a year to his royal tower at Hunstanton and learned the whole Psalter, so that he could recite it from memory.

In 869 the Danes invaded East Anglia and set-up camp at Thetford. Edmund was determined to drive the heathens from his kingdom and protect his Christian subjects from further abuses at the hands of the pagan marauders. Edmund and his army engaged the Danes under Ubbe Ragnarsson and Ivar the Boneless, but his forces were unable to withstand the fury of the Norsemen, with Edmund being captured. The Danish captains gave Edmund terms in hopes of expanding their holdings, but those terms Edmund could not accept. Edmund chose to die a martyr rather than renounce Christ and live under pagan overlords and he was executed on the field of battle.

He is venerated as a saint and a martyr in the Anglican, Eastern and Roman churches. It is said that the king's body was ultimately interred at Beadoriceworth, the modern Bury St Edmunds, where the pilgrimage to his shrine was encouraged by the 12th century monks' enlargement of the church. Edmund's popularity among the Anglo-Norman nobility helped justify claims of continuity with pre-Norman traditions; a banner of St. Edmund's arms was carried at the Battle of Agincourt.

Propers for Edmund the Martyr

The Collect.

O God of ineffable mercy, who didst give grace and fortitude to blessed Edmund the king to triumph over the enemy of his people by nobly dying for thy Name: Bestow on us thy servants, we beseech thee, the shield of faith, wherewith we may withstand the assaults of our ancient enemy; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Lesson - Revelation 12. 10-12a.

The Gospel - St. Matthew 10. 34-39.

Reference and Resources:

Elizabeth of Hungary

The numerous "St. Elizabeth's Hospitals" throughout the world are for the most part named, not for the Biblical Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, but for this princess of Hungary. She was concerned for the relief of the poor and the sick, and with her husband's consent she used her dowry money for their relief.

During a famine and epidemic in 1226, while her husband was away in Italy, she sold her jewels and established a hospital where she nursed the sick, and opened the royal granaries to feed the hungry. After her husband's death in 1227, her in-laws, who opposed her "extravagances," expelled her from Wartburg. Finally an arrangement was negotiated with them that gave her a stipend. She became a Franciscan tertiary (lay associate) and devoted the remainder of her life to nursing and charity. She sewed garments to clothe the poor, and went fishing to feed them.

Propers for Elizabeth of Hungary - Princess

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who didst enkindle the flame of thy love in the heart of thy servant Elizabeth: Grant to us, thy humble servants, the same faith and power of love; that as we rejoice in her triumph, we may profit by her example; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Lesson - Tobit 12:6b-9.

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

Reference and Resources:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hilda of Whitby

Hilda (known in her own century as "Hild") was the grandniece of King Edwin of Northumbria, (see 12 Oct) a kingdom of the Angles. She was born in 614 and baptized in 627 when the king and his household became Christians. In 647 she decided to become a nun, and under the direction of Aidan (see 31 Aug) she established several monasteries. Her last foundation was at Whitby. It was a double house: a community of men and another of women, with the chapel in between, and Hilda as the governor of both; and it was a great center of English learning, one which produced five bishops (during Hilda's lifetime or that of the Abbey?). Here a stable-boy, Caedmon, was moved to compose religious poems in the Anglo-Saxon tongue, most of them metrical paraphrases of narratives from Genesis and the Gospels.

The Celtic peoples of Britain had heard the Gospel well before 300 AD, but in the 400's and 500's a massive invasion of Germanic peoples (Angles, Jutes, and Saxons) forced the native Celts out of what is now England and into Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. The invaders were pagans, and missionaries were sent to them in the north and west by the Celts, and in the south and east by Rome and other churches on the continent of Europe.

Hilda herself greatly preferred the Celtic customs in which she had been reared, but once the decision had been made she used her moderating influence in favor of its peaceful acceptance. Her influence was considerable; kings and commoners alike came to her for advice. She was urgent in promoting the study of the Scriptures and the thorough education of the clergy. She died 17 November 680.

Propers for Hilda of Whitby - Abbess

The Collect.

O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich: deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that, following the example of thy servant Hilda, we may serve thee with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the world to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

The Epistle - Ephesians 4:1-6

The Holy Gospel - St. Matthew 19:27-29

Reference and Resources:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hugh of Lincoln

As a sign of his remorse for his role in the murder of the Archbishop Thomas a Becket, King Henry II founded the first house in England of the strict monastic order called the Carthusians. Difficulties arose with the first two priors, and a French noble recommended Hugh de Avalon, who at that time had been a monk at the mother house of the order for 17 years.

On his arrival in England in 1176, Hugh found that the building of the monastery had not begun. Worse, no compensation had been paid to those who would have to lose their lands and property to make room for it. Hugh refused to take office until these persons had been paid "to the last penny." He intervened again on behalf of the builders, whose pay was not forthcoming.

Henry loved him for his plain speaking. "I do not despair of you," Hugh said to him at their first interview; "I know how much your many occupations interfere with the health of your soul." Henry, impressed by his frankness, swore that while he lived he should not leave his kingdom, and took so much pleasure in his conversation, and paid so much heed to his counsels, that a rumor arose that Hugh was his son. Hugh's biographer wrote that "of all men only Hugh could bend that rhinosceros to his will." When Henry was in danger of shipwreck, he cried out, "If only my Carthusian Hugh were awake and at prayer, God would not forget me."

This affection never diminished, though Hugh dared to oppose the king, particularly in the matter of keeping bishoprics vacant in order that their revenues might fall to the king's treasury. One of the worst examples was Lincoln, which, except for a few months, had been without a bishop for eighteen years. Hugh was elected to the post in 1186, and his monastic superiors ordered him to accept. After so long a period of neglect, there was great need of reform. Hugh employed priests of great piety and learning, and made the fullest use of his authority in disciplining his clergy. He took a stern view of the ill-treatment of the poor by the royal foresters, and when a subject of the church of Lincoln suffered at their hands he excommunicated their chief.

He also refused to appoint a royal favorite to a meaningless but lucrative post. Henry was furious, and summoned him to his presence. He came, and Henry turned away his face and would not speak, but by way of ignoring his presence took out a torn glove and began to sew it. At last Hugh said, "How like you are to your relations at Falaise." The king might have resented this allusion to the humble birth of William the Conqueror's mother, the daughter of a glove-maker, but he only laughed, and the quarrel was made up.

Riots against the Jews broke out in England at the time of the Third Crusade. In defence of the persecuted, Hugh faced armed mobs in Lincoln, Stamford and Northampton and compelled their submission.

Hugh refused to raise money for the foreign wars of King Richard the Lion-Heart, calmed the king's rage with a kiss, and persisted in his refusal: this was the first clear example on record of the refusal of a money-grant demanded directly by the crown, and an important legal precedent. Richard said, "If all bishops were like my lord of Lincoln, not a prince among us could raise his head against them."

His relations with King John were less happy. John showed him an amulet, which he said was sacred and would preserve him. Hugh replied, "Do not put your trust in lifeless stone, but only in the living and heavenly stone, our Lord Jesus Christ." The following Easter he preached at length on the duties of kings, and the king slipped out partway through.

Devout, tireless, and forgetful of self, Hugh also had wit, a temper that he described as "more biting than pepper," and a great love and concern for children and the defenseless. He visited leper-houses and washed the ulcerous limbs of their inmates.

He was fond of animals, and they of him. Birds and squirrels came readily to his hand. He had a swan that would feed from his hand, follow him about, and keep guard over his bed, so that no one could approach it without being attacked.

In 1200 the king sent him on an embassy to France. His mission was a success, but he took ill and returned to England to die on 16 November 1200. John Ruskin called him "the most beautiful sacerdotal (priestly) figure known to me in history."

Propers for Hugh de Lincoln - Bishop

The Collect.

O GOD, the light of the faithful and shepherd of souls, who didst call thy servant Hugh to feed thy sheep by his word, and guide them by his example: Grant us, we pray thee, to keep the faith which he taught, and to follow in his footsteps; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Common of Saints, Of a Theologian or Teacher

Reference and Resources:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Margaret of Scotland

(c 1045 – 16 November 1093), was the sister of Edgar Ætheling, the short-ruling and uncrowned Anglo-Saxon king of England. She married Malcolm III, King of Scots, becoming his Queen consort.

The daughter of the English prince Edward the Exile, son of Edmund Ironside, Margaret was probably born in Hungary. The provenance of her mother Agatha is disputed. According to popular belief, Margaret was a very serious person, so much that no one ever could recall seeing her laugh or smile.

When her uncle, Edward the Confessor, the French-speaking Anglo-Saxon King of England, died in 1066, she was living in England where her brother, Edgar Ætheling, had decided to make a claim to the vacant throne. According to tradition, after the conquest of the Kingdom of England by the Normans the widowed Agatha decided to leave Northumberland with her children and return to the Continent, but a storm drove their ship to Scotland where they sought the protection of King Malcolm III. The spot where she is said to have landed is known today as St Margaret's Hope, near the village of North Queensferry. Malcolm was probably a widower, and was no doubt attracted by the prospect of marrying one of the few remaining members of the Anglo-Saxon royal family. The marriage of Malcolm and Margaret soon took place and was followed by several invasions of Northumberland by the Scottish king, probably in support of the claims of his brother-in-law Edgar. These, however, had little result beyond the devastation of the province.

Margaret and Malcolm had eight children, six sons and two daughters:

* Edward, killed 1093.
* Edmund of Scotland
* Ethelred, abbot of Dunkeld
* King Edgar of Scotland
* King Alexander I of Scotland
* King David I of Scotland
* Edith of Scotland, also called Matilda, married King Henry I of England
* Mary of Scotland, married Eustace III of Boulogne

Her husband, Malcolm III, and their eldest son, Edward, were killed in siege against the English at Alnwick Castle on 13 November 1093. Her son Edmund was left with the task of telling his mother of their deaths. Margaret was ill, and she died on 16 November 1093, three days after the deaths of her husband and eldest son. Her children tried to hide the fact of their father's and brother's deaths, but when Margaret did find out she either died of sadness or a broken heart.

It is notable that while Malcolm's children by his first wife Ingibjörg all bore Gaelic names, those of Margaret all bore non-Gaelic names. Later tradition often has it that Margaret was responsible for starting the demise of Gaelic culture in the lowlands and Scotland in general. The forenames of Margaret's children were probably intended to bear Margaret's claims to the Anglo-Saxon throne in the period before permanent Norman rule was recognized, and so the first group of children were given Anglo-Saxon royal names. In fact, in Gaeldom, she has usually not been considered a saint, but referred to as Mairead/Maighread nam Mallachd: Accursed Margaret.

Moreover, it is unlikely that they were originally seen as successors to the Scottish throne, as Malcolm had other (grown) sons and brothers who were much more likely to succeed him. Furthermore, Margaret freely patronized Gaelic churchmen, and Gaelic remained an expanding language in northern Britain. Nevertheless, these sons regarded their Anglo-Saxon heritage as important, as the latter was one of the main devices for legitimizing the authority of the Scottish kings in English-speaking Lothian and northern England.

Margaret was canonized in 1251 by Pope Innocent IV on account of her personal holiness and fidelity to the Church. She would personally serve orphans and the poor every day before she herself would eat, and would rise at midnight to attend church services every night. The Roman Catholic Church formerly marked the feast of Saint Margaret of Scotland on 10 June, but the date was transferred to 16 November, the actual day of her death, in the liturgical reform of 1972. Queen Margaret University (founded in 1875), Queen Margaret Hospital (just outside Dunfermline), North Queensferry, South Queensferry and several streets in Dunfermline are named after her.

Propers for Margaret of Scotland - Queen

The Collect.

O GOD, who didst call thy servant Margaret to an earthly throne that she might advance thy heavenly kingdom, and didst endue her with zeal for thy Church and charity towards thy people: Mercifully grant that we who commemorate her example may be fruitful in good works, and attain to the glorious fellowship of thy saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - Hebrews 12:1-2.

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

Reference and Resources:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Malo of Brittany

(also known as Maclou or Mac'h Low and, in Latin, as Maclovius or Machutus) was the mid-6th century founder of Saint-Malo in Brittany, France. He is one of the seven founding saints of Brittany.

Details of Malo's career are preserved in three medieval 'Lives' which seem to include incidents associated with several different people of similar names. Despite this confusion, it appears that Malo was born about the year 520, probably in Wales.

Malo is said to have been baptized by Saint Brendan and to have become his favorite disciple. He is said to have been one of those specially selected by that holy man for his oft-described voyage. It was traditionally from Llancarfan Abbey that Saint Brendan and his disciple, Malo, with numerous companions set forth for the discovery of the "Island of the Blest". He then put to sea on a second voyage and visited the Island of Cézembre, in the seaward front of St Malo, where he tarried for some time.

It was supposedly on the occasion of his second voyage that he evangelized the Orkney Islands and the northern isles of Scotland. It is remarkable that Saint Brendan also laboured at Cézembre where he is said to have had a hermit's cell on a precipitous rock in the sea, whither he often retired.

At Aleth, opposite St Malo, Malo placed himself under a venerable hermit named Aaron, on whose death in 544, he succeeded to the spiritual rule of the district subsequently known as St Malo, and was consecrated first Bishop of Aleth.

In old age the disorder of the island compelled saint Malo to leave, but the people soon begged the saint to come back. On his return matters were put right, and the saint, feeling that his end was at hand, determined to spend his last days in solitary penance. Accordingly he proceeded to Archambiac, a village in the diocese of Saintes, where he passed the remainder of his life in prayer and mortification. His death, reported in Archingeay (in the same diocese) is chronicled on 15 November, a Sunday, in the year 621.

Propers for Malo of Brittany - Monk, Evangelist and Bishop

The Collect.

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

The Epistle - Hebrews 12:1-2.

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

Reference and Resources:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bestowal of the American Episcopate

A crucial date for Anglicanism in the United States of America is the consecration of the first Bishop of the Anglican Communion in the United States. During the colonial era, there had been no Anglican bishops in the New World; and persons seeking to be ordained as clergy had had to travel to England for the purpose. After the achievement of American independence, it was important for the Church in the United States to have its own bishops, and an assembly of Connecticut clergy chose Samuel Seabury to go to England and there seek to be consecrated as a bishop.

However, the English bishops were forbidden by law to consecrate anyone who would not take an oath of allegiance to the British Crown. He accordingly turned to the Episcopal Church of Scotland. When the Roman Catholic king James II was deposed in 1688, some of the Anglican clergy (including some who had been imprisoned by James for defying him on religious issues) said that, having sworn allegiance to James as King, they could not during his lifetime swear allegiance to the new monarchs William and Mary. Those who took this position were known as non-Jurors (non-swearers), and they included almost all the bishops and clergy of the Episcopal Church in Scotland. Accordingly, the monarchs and Parliament declared that thenceforth the official church in Scotland should be the Presbyterian Church. The Episcopal Church of Scotland thereafter had no recognition by the government, and for some time operated under serious legal disabilities. However, since it had no connection with the government, it was free to consecrate Seabury without government permission, and it did. This is why you see a Cross of St. Andrew on the Episcopal Church flag.

In Aberdeen, 14 November 1784, Samuel Seabury was consecrated to the Episcopate by the Bishop and the Bishop Coadjutor of Aberdeen and the Bishop of Ross and Caithness. He thus became part of the unbroken chain of bishops that links the Church today with the Church of the Apostles.

In return, he promised them that he would do his best to persuade the American Church to use as its Prayer of Consecration (blessing of the bread and wine at the Lord's Supper) the Scottish prayer, taken largely unchanged from the 1549 Prayer Book, rather than the much shorter one in use in England. The aforesaid prayer, adopted by the American Church with a few modifications, has been widely regarded as one of the greatest treasures of the Church in this country.

Propers for The Bestowal of the American Episcopate

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY God, who by Thy Son Jesus Christ didst give to Thy holy Apostles many excellent gifts, and didst charge them to feed Thy flock: give grace, we beseech Thee, to all Bishops, the Pastors of Thy Church, that they may diligently preach Thy Word, and duly administer the godly Discipline thereof; and grant to the people, that they may obediently follow the same, that all may receive the crown of everlasting glory. Through the same Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, Who with Thee and the Holy Ghost, reigneth One God, forever and ever. Amen.

The Epistle - The Acts of the Apostles 20:28-32.

The Gospel - St. Matthew 9:35-38.

Reference and Resources:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The 21st Sunday After Trinity

The Collect.

GRANT, we beseech thee, merciful Lord, to thy faithful people pardon and peace, that they may be cleansed from all their sins, and serve thee with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - Ephesians vi. 10.

MY brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

The Gospel - St. John iv. 46.

THERE was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house. This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Martin of Tours

Born about 316 in Roman Pannonia (modern Hungary) to pagan parents (though his mother later converted), his father was a Tribune (officer) in the Roman Army.

In his early teens, Martin began to follow Christian teachings and became a catechumen. At 15, Martin enlisted in the Roman army and was posted to the same unit, the Imperial Horse Guard in which his father had served. While on patrol in Gaul Martin came across a beggar who was cold, so Martin cut his winter cloak in half and shared it with the man. That night Martin had a vision of Christ wearing the same cloak and saying to some angels "Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is not baptised; he has clad me.", Martin was Baptized soon after.

In 336, Martin's unit was preparing for battle against one of the Germanic tribes when Martin came to his superior officer and said "I am a soldier of Christ. I cannot fight." Martin was charged with cowardice and placed in jail to await punishment, being placed at the front of the battle line unarmed. On the eve of the battle the Germans sued for peace and Martin was spared that fate, though he was discharged from the army.

Martin traveled to Tours, where he became a disciple of St. Hilary of Poitier, then a leading figure of catholic Christianity against the Arian heresy. Martin was a excellent student and ardent supporter of Hilary's. When Hilary was exiled by an Arian bishop, Martin left as well and carried catholic teaching to contentious areas in the hope of stemming Arian influence.

Returning from Illyria, he was confronted by the Arian archbishop of Milan Auxentius, who expelled him from the city. According to the early sources, he decided to seek shelter on the island then called Gallinaria, now Isola d'Albenga, in the Tyrrhenian Sea, where he lived the solitary life of a hermit.

In 361 Hilary was returned to his see, Martin rejoined Hilary and helped to establish a monastery nearby (the first in Gaul) and in 371 Martin succeeded Hilary as Bishop and was followed by the founding of another monastery at Marmoutier and a rudimentary parish system within Martin's bishopric.

Martin's love for his fellow man, his piety, orthodoxy and gentle nature became known far and wide and he was held in high regard by both commoner and emperor alike. Martin died 8 November 397 and was buried 11 November in the cemetery of the poor in Candes by his request.

Propers for Martinus of Tours - Soldier, Monastic and Bishop

The Collect.

O GOD, who by thy Holy Spirit didst enable thy servant Martin to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil: Grant that we, in the same Spirit, may with pure hearts and minds follow thee, the only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - Isaiah 58:10-12.

IF thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day: and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt he called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

The Gospel - St. Matthew 25:34-40.

THEN shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred. and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred. and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Reference and Resources:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gervadius of Moray

was an Irish saint. His feast day is celebrated on November 8. He was an Irishman who established himself as a hermit in Scotland, near Kenedor (present day Kinneddar, Lossiemouth, Moray).

He may have emigrated to escape Viking raids in his native land. It is possible he may have been part of a Gaelic religious community that was present in Kinneddar in the 10th century, and who placed his cell in a cave in a rocky promontory to the east.

A legend states that he lit flaming torches at night to warn ships away from the dangerous rocks. Another states that once, when Gervadius needed wood to complete the construction of a church, he was miraculously assisted by a river, which washed timber down to where he was working. An alternate version states that the river brought him food. The Life of Gervadius states that he met with English soldiers sent by Athelstan in 934.

Propers for Gervadius of Moray - Monk, Hermit and Church Builder

The Collect.

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

The Lesson - Micah 6:6-8

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

Monday, November 7, 2011


(c. 658 – November 7, 739) was a Northumbrian missionary, known as the "Apostle to the Frisians" in the modern Netherlands. He became the first Bishop of Utrecht and died at Echternach, Luxembourg.

Propers for Willibrod - Bishop and Missionary

The Collect.

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

The Epistle - Hebrews 12:1-2:

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

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

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

References and Resources:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The 20th Sunday After Trinity

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY and most merciful God, of thy bountiful goodness keep us, we beseech thee, from all things that may hurt us; that we, being ready both in body and soul, may cheerfully accomplish those things which thou commandest; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - Ephesians v. 15.

SEE then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

The Gospel - St. Matthew xxii. 1.

JESUS said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: and the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding-garment: and he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding-garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Illtud of Llanilltud Fawr

(From 11/6)

Illtyd (also spelled Illtud and, in corrupt English, Eltut, and, in Latin, Hildutus) (died mid-6th century), was a Welsh saint, founder and abbot of Llanilltud Fawr (Llantwit Major) in the Welsh county of Glamorgan. He was also said to have re-established the attached monastery school known as Cor Tewdws, after it had been destroyed.

The 7th century 'Life of Saint Samson' claims that Illtyd was a disciple of Germanus of Auxerre (although this does not necessarily mean that he was taught by him directly), that he was the most learned Briton in the study of scripture and philosophy, and that he was the abbot of his monastery in Glamorgan. He appears to have been married at some stage and may have had a military background

In an age when any schooling was available only to a very few privileged people, perhaps Illtyd's monastic school of Cor Tewdws was the closest approximation in existence to an institution of higher education. Among Illtyd's pupils were Saints Pol Aurelian, Samson of Dol, Gildas and David, and the future King Maelgwn of Gwynedd.

Propers for Illtud of Llanilltud Fawr - Teacher and Abbott

The Collect.

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

The Lesson - Song of Solomon 8:6-7

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

Leonard of Noblac

Leonard of Noblac or of Limoges or de Noblet (also known as Lienard, Linhart, Leonhard, Léonard, Leonardo) (died traditionally in 559), according to the romance that accrued to his name recorded in an 11th-century vita, was a Frankish noble in the court of Clovis I. He was converted to Christianity along with the king, at Christmas 496, by Saint Remigius, Bishop of Reims. Leonard asked Clovis to grant him personally the right to liberate prisoners whom he would find worthy of it, at any time.

Leonard secured the release of a number of prisoners, for whom he has become a patron saint, then, declining the offer of a bishopric— a prerogative of Merovingian nobles— he entered the monastery at Micy near Orléans, under the direction of Saint Mesmin and Saint Lie. Then, according to his legend, Leonard became a hermit in the forest of Limousin, where he gathered a number of followers. Through his prayers the queen of the Franks was safely delivered of a male child, and in recompense Leonard was given royal lands at Noblac, 21 km from Limoges, where he founded the abbey of Noblac, around which a village grew, named in his honor Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat.

Propers for Leonard of Noblac - Abbott and Confessor

The Collect.

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

The Epistle - Philippians 4:4-9.

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

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

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

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Winifred of Flintshire

(also, Winefride Welsh: Gwenffrewi; in modern English Winifrid and numerous variations) was a legendary 7th century Welsh noblewoman and abbess who was canonized after dying for the sake of her chastity.

Born the daughter of Tyfid ap Eiludd, a Welsh noble, she was raised devout and chaste. She was also very beautiful and was pursude by one potential suitor Caradog, who became obsessed with Winifred.

There were many monastics in her family and Winifred chose to become a nun and with her families wealth and connections she soon founded an abbey at Gwytherin in Denbighshire. During this time Caradog had continued his infatuation with Winifred and when she had moved to the abbey he became very agitated and upset. Caradog went to Winifred one more time to ask her to renounce her vows and marry him and when she refused he few his sword and decapitated her.

According to legend, Winifred's head rolled downhill, and, where it stopped, a healing spring appeared, known as St Winefride's Well, Holywell, Flintshire. Winifred's brother Owain is known to have killed Caradog as revenge for this crime. Winifred was interred at her abbey. In 1138, relics were carried to Shrewsbury to form the basis of an elaborate shrine. The shrine and well became major pilgrimage goals in the Late Middle Ages, but the shrine was destroyed by Henry VIII in 1540.

Propers for Winifred of Flintshire - Virgin, Abbess and Martyr

The Collect.

O Almighty God, who didst give to thy servant Wilifred boldness to confess the Name of our Saviour Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world, and courage to die for this faith: Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us, and to suffer gladly for the sake of the same our Lord Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Epistle - 1 Peter 3:14-18,22

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

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Richard Hooker

Today we remember one of the Anglican Fathers who helped to define our tradition as separate from either Rome or Geneva.

Hooker was born in March 1554 in Heavitree, Exeter from a good family, but one that was neither noble nor wealthy. His uncle John Hooker was a success and served as the chamberlain of Exeter.

He was educated in Exeter until he was sent, with Bishop Jewel as his patron, to Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He graduated MA in 1577, and became a fellow of the college in the same year.

On 14 August 1579 Hooker was ordained a priest by Edwin Sandys, then bishop of London. Sandys made Hooker tutor his son Edwin, and Richard also taught George Cranmer, the great nephew of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer.

In 1581 Hooker married Jean Churchman, who's family were members of the Puritan wing of the Church of England, but this did not affect Hooker's own High-Church views or his ability to argue against the Geneva system taking hold of the English Church.

In 1585, Archbishop Edwin Sandys brought Hooker to the attention of Queen Elizabeth I, who appointed him Master (i.e. rector) of the Temple Church in London. There, Hooker soon came into public conflict with Walter Travers, a leading Puritan and Assistant at the Temple.

Later Hooker wrote one of the most influential works of Anglican thought, Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, published in 1593, and subsequently, Hooker's eight volume work is primarily a treatise on Church-state relations, but it also deals comprehensively with issues of biblical interpretation, soteriology, ethics, and sanctification. Throughout the work, Hooker makes clear that theology involves prayer and is concerned with ultimate issues, and that theology is relevant to the social mission of the church.

In 1595, Hooker became Rector of the parish of St. Mary's in Bishopsbourne in Kent. He died 3 November 1600 at Bishopsbourne.He was buried in St. Mary's Churchyard.

Propers for Richard Hooker - Anglican Divine

The Collect.

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

The Epistle - Wisdom 7:7-14:

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

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

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

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