O GOD, the strength of all those who put their trust in thee; Mercifully accept our prayers; and because, through the weakness of our mortal nature, we can do no good thing without thee, grant us the help of thy grace, that in keeping thy commandments we may please thee, both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle - 1 St. John iv. 7.
BELOVED, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only-begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
The Gospel - St. Luke xvi. 19.
THERE was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: and there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Sunday, June 6, 2021
Born to the nobility, Norbert was raised around the royal court and served as almoner for Emperor Henry V. In the court he developed a very worldly view, and took holy orders as a career move, joining the Benedictines at Siegburg. A narrow escape from death led to a conversion experience, and he began taking his vows seriously. He tried to reform his order’s local house, then became a wandering preacher. He founded a community of Augustinian canons at Premontre, France; they became known as the Norbertines or Premonstratensians, and started a reform movement that swept through European monastic houses.
Norbert of Xanten - 6 June - Monastic, Bishop, and Reformer
O GOD, by whose grace the blessed Norbert enkindled with the fire of thy love, became a burning and a shining light in thy Church: Grant that we may be inflamed with the same spirit of discipline and love, and ever walk before thee as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle - Philippians 4:4-9.
REJOICE in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice, Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
The Gospel - St. Luke 6:17-23
JESUS came down and stood in the plain, with the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coasts of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases; and they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all. And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven.
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Saturday, June 5, 2021
(Latin: Bonifacius; German: Bonifatius; c. 672 – June 5, 754), the Apostle of the Germans, born Winfrid or Wynfrith at Crediton in the kingdom of Wessex (now in Devon, England), was a missionary who propagated Christianity in the Frankish Empire during the 8th century. He is the patron saint of Germany and the Netherlands.
Winfrid was of a respected and prosperous family. It was somewhat against his father's wishes that he devoted himself at an early age to the monastic life. He received his theological training in the Benedictine monasteries of Adescancastre, near Exeter and Nursling, on the western edge of Southampton, under the abbot Winbert. Winfrid taught in the abbey school and at the age of 30 became a priest. He wrote the first Latin grammar produced in England.
Later he set out to preach in Friesland (overlaps with modern Holland), whence he was soon expelled because of war between its heathen king and Charles Martel of France. Boniface, after a brief withdrawal, went into Hesse and Bavaria, having secured the support of the Pope and of Charles Martel for his work there. In Hesse, in the presence of a large crowd of pagans, he cut down the Sacred Oak of Geismar, a tree of immense age and girth, sacred to the god Thor. It is said that after only a few blows of his axe, the tree tottered and crashed to the ground, breaking into four pieces and revealing itself to be rotted away within. It was the beginning of a highly successful missionary effort, and the planting of a vigorous Christian church in Germany, where Boniface was eventually consecrated bishop. He asked the Christian Saxons of England to support his work among their kinsmen on the continent, and they responded with money, books, supplies, and above all, with a steady supply of monks to assist him in teaching and preaching.
Boniface did not confine his attentions to Germany. He worked to establish cooperation between the Pope and others in Italy on the one hand and Charles and his successors in France on the other. He persuaded Carloman and Pepin, the sons of Charles, to call synods for the reform of the church in their territories, where under previous rulers bishoprics had often been sold to the highest bidder. He never forgot his initial failure in Friesland, and in old age resigned his bishopric and returned to work there. Many Frisians had been converted earlier by Willibrord (another Saxon missionary from England--see 7 Nov), but had lapsed after his death. Boniface preached among them with considerable success. On June 5, the eve of Pentecost, 754, he was preparing a group of Frisians for confirmation when they were attacked and killed by heathen warriors. His tomb is in the crypt of Fulda Cathedral.
Boniface of Mentz (Winfrid of Wessex) - 5 June - Missionary, Bishop and Martyr
Almighty God, who didst call thy faithful servant Boniface to be a witness and martyr in the lands of Germany and Friesland, and by his labor and suffering didst raise up a people for thine own possession: Pour forth thy Holy Spirit upon thy Church in every land, that by the service and sacrifice of many thy holy Name may be glorified and thy kingdom enlarged; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Epistle - Acts 1:1-9.
The Gospel - St. Matthew 10:16-22.
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Friday, June 4, 2021
(English: Petrock, Welsh: Pedrog, Latin: Petrocus and French: Perreux) (died 564) is a 6th century Celtic Christian saint. He was born in Wales but primarily ministered to the Britons of Dumnonia which included the modern counties of Devon (Dewnans), Cornwall (Kernow), and parts of Somerset (Gwlas an Hav) and Dorset. He also became a popular saint in Brittany by the end of the tenth century.
The earliest Life of Petroc states that he was the son of an unnamed Welsh king. This was rewritten at Bodmin in the twelfth century in a version known as the 'Gotha Life' which states that he was a son of King Glywys of Glywysing (Orme 2000, p. 215) and a brother of Gwynllyw, and there are local dedications to him at St Petroc near Pembroke and Ferwig near Cardigan. He has also given his name to Llanbedrog, a village on the Lleyn peninsula. He studied in Ireland where he is said to have been the teacher of Saint Kevin.
After studying, he began his mission to Cornwall, where he is associated with monasteries at Padstow and Bodmin. The name of the earlier monastery was Lanwethinoc (the church of Wethinoc an earlier holy man). Padstow, which is named after him (Pedroc-stowe, or 'Petrock's Place'), appears to have been his major cult centre for some time. Some time after the middle of the ninth century Bodmin became the major centre for his veneration and his relics were moved there, with the Bodmin monastery becoming one of the wealthiest Cornish churches by the eleventh century. There are other dedications to him in Cornwall, including Little Petherick, and he is even said to have converted its king, Constantine of Dumnonia, to Christianity. After thirty years, legend says that he went on the pilgrimage to Rome by way of Brittany.
Upon his return Petroc is said to have passed through Devon, where ancient dedications to him are even more numerous: a probable seventeen (plus Timberscombe just over the border in Somerset), compared to Cornwall's five. The position of churches bearing his name, including one within the old Roman walls of Exeter (Karesk), are nearly always near the coast reminding us that in those days travelling was done mainly by sea. The Devonian villages of Petrockstowe and Newton St Petroc are also named after Saint Petroc.
The legendary tales surrounding Petroc are exceptionally vivid and imaginative (giving him a second pilgrimage, travels to India, taming wolves) and may represent interpolation from pagan tales.
St. Petroc - 4 June - Pilgrim, Missionary, and Abbot
O GOD, by whose grace the blessed Petroc enkindled with the fire of thy love, became a burning and a shining light in thy Church: Grant that we may be inflamed with the same spirit of discipline and love, and ever walk before thee as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle - Philippians 3:7-15.
HOWBEIT what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ. Yea verily, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I suffer the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not having a righteousness of mine own, even that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death; if by any means I may attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect: but I press on, if so be that I may apprehend that for which also I was apprehended by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself yet to have apprehended: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye are otherwise minded, even this shall God reveal unto you.
The Gospel - St. Luke 12:22-37.
JESUS said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you. Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his span of life? If ye then be not able to do that which is least, why are ye anxious for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of anxious mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall he added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded about, and your lamps burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.
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In 1891 he finished his studies at the Yaroslavl seminary and was appointed to the Moscow Theological Academy. On August 1, 1893, with the blessing of St. John of Kronstadt, he was tonsured into monasticism with the name Andronicus, and was ordained to the diaconate on August 6. In 1895 he graduated from the Academy, and was awarded the degree of candidate of theology for his work "The Early Church's Teaching on the Eucharist as a Sacrifice in connection with the Question of Redemption". On July 22, 1895 he was ordained to the priesthood.
He served for many years as a priest and bishop in Japan, before returning to Russia for health reasons. On October 26, 1907, he became the deputy of Bishop Eulogius of Kholm and took temporary control of the diocese, appearing in a session of the State Duma in Kholm. On March 14, 1908 he was made bishop of Tikhvin, a vicariate of the Novgorod diocese.
On March 8, 1913 Vladyka Andronicus received the independent see of Omsk; and his ascent up the Urals Golgotha began on July 30, 1914 with his appointment as bishop of Perm and Solikamsk. That summer Great Princess Elizabeth Fyodorovna made a pilgrimage to the relics of St. Symeon of Verkhoturye.
In 1917 Vladyka became one of the seven hierarchs in the preconciliar council of the Local Council of the Russian Church in Moscow. From August 15/28, 1917, until the end of the second session on April 7/20, 1918, Vladyka Andronicus took an active part in the Council, being deputy president of the section on the Old Believers and Yedinovery, deputy president of the publishing section and president of the section on the legal and property qualifications of the clergy. In December, 1917, he made an appeal to his flock in Perm to stand firm in defence of the Church.
On January 28, 1918 the Bolsheviks of Perm published the decree on freedom of conscience and the separation of the Church from the State. Thus the robbing of Church property which had taken place in 1917 was replaced by the "lawful" confiscation of the Church's possessions. On January 25 Vladyka Andronicus made a written appeal to the Orthodox people in all the churches and monasteries of the diocese to defend the heritage of the Church from the aggressors and looters.
Upon reading the Moscow Overland Assembly's instructions on the matter, Archbishop Andronicus ordered his archdeacon to anathematize the Communists. The Archbishop was arrested, shot by two members of the Perm CHEKA, then buried on the road from Perm to Motoviliha.
Andronicus of Perm - 4 June - Bishop and Martyr
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who didst strengthen thy blessed martyr Andronicus of Perm with the virtue of constancy in faith and truth: Grant us in like manner for love of thee to proclaim thy Holy Name, and to fear not torture, death or adversity; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle - 2 Esdras 2:42-48.
The Gospel - St. Matthew 10:16-22.
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Thursday, June 3, 2021
Corpus Christi (Latin for Body of Christ) is a Christian feast. Its purpose is to honor the Eucharist, and as such it does not commemorate a particular event in Jesus' life. Its celebration on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday is meant to associate it with Jesus' institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper, on Maundy Thursday. Because of the sorrow of Holy Week, no festivals are celebrated within it; the Thursday after Trinity Sunday is the first Thursday after Holy Week, Eastertide, and the Octave of Pentecost have ended.
The Feast of Corpus Christi
O GOD, who in a wonderful Sacrament hast left unto us a memorial of thy Passion: grant us, we beseech thee, so to venerate the sacred mysteries of thy Body and Blood, that we may ever perceive within ourselves the fruit of thy redemption. Who with God the Father livest and reignest with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
The Epistle - 1 Corinthians xi. 23.
I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
The Gospel - St. John vi. 55.
Jesus said to the multitudes of the Jews: My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven; not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead; he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
On 3 June 1886, thirty-two young men, pages of the court of King Mwanga of Buganda, were burned to death at Namugongo for their refusal to renounce Christianity. In the following months many other Christians throughout the country died by spear or fire for their faith.
These martyrdoms totally changed the dynamic of Christian growth in Uganda. Introduced by a handful of Anglican and Roman missionaries after 1877, the Christian faith had been preached only to the immediate members of the court, by order of King Mutesa. His successor, Mwanga, became increasingly angry as he realized that the first converts put loyalty to Christ above the traditional loyalty to the king. Martyrdoms began in 1885. Mwanga first forbade anyone to go near a Christian mission on pain of death, but finding himself unable to cool the ardor of the converts, resolved to wipe out Christianity.
The Namugongo martyrdoms produced a result entirely opposite to Mwanga's intentions. The example of these martyrs, who walked to their deaths singing hymns and praying for their enemies, so inspired many of the bystanders that they began to seek instruction from the remaining Christians. Within a few years the original handful of converts had multiplied many times and spread far beyond the court. The martyrs had left the indelible impression that Christianity was truly African, not simply a white man's religion. Most of the missionary work was carried out by Africans rather than by white missionaries, and Christianity spread steadily. Uganda now has the largest percentage of professed Christians of any nation in Africa.
The Martyrs of Uganda - 3 June
O God, by whose providence the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church: Grant that we who remember before thee the blessed martyrs of Uganda, may, like them, be steadfast in our faith in Jesus Christ, to whom they gave obedience even unto death, and by their sacrifice brought forth a plentiful harvest; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Epistle - Hebrews 10:32-39
The Gospel - St. Matthew 24:9-14
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Wednesday, June 2, 2021
At Lyons and Vienne, in Gaul, there were missionary centres which had drawn many Christians from Asia and Greece. Persecution began in 177.
At first, Christians were excluded from the public baths, the marketplace, and from social and public life. They were subject to attack when they appeared in public, and many Christian homes were vandalized. At this point, the government became involved and began to take Christians into custody for questioning. Some slaves from Christian households were tortured to obtain confessions and were induced to say that Christians practiced cannibalism and incest. These charges were used to arouse the whole city against the Christians, particularly against Pothinus, the aged bishop of Lyons; Sanctus, a deacon; Attalus; Maturus, a recent convert; and Blandina, a slave. Pothinus was beaten and then released, to die of his wounds a few days later. Sanctus was tormented with red-hot irons. Blandina tortured all day long, would say nothing except, "I am a Christian, and nothing vile is done among us." Finally, the survivors were put to death in the public arena.
Martyrs of Lyons - 2 June
Grant, O Lord, we beseech thee, that we who keep the feast of the holy martyrs Blandina and her companions may be rooted and grounded in love of thee, and may endure the sufferings of this life for the glory that shall be revealed in us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Epistle - 1 Peter 1:3-9
The Gospel - St. Mark 8:34-38
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