Monday, April 27, 2009

A Few More 'Lesser' Saints

April 27 - Christina Rosetti, Poet 1894 - A rare find! She wrote the poem "In the Bleak Midwinter", which was later set to music and is now a Christmas Carol. But (for all us Geeks), she also wrote "Goblin Market" part of which appears in the episode titled "Midnight" in the sci-fi show Doctor Who!

April 29 - Catherine of Siena, 1380 - The youngest of 25 children, Catherine began having visions at the age of six. Despite her families best efforts, she pursued her mystic vocation as a Dominican. An interesting woman to read about.

April 30 Sarah Josepha Buell Hale, Editor and Prophetic Witness, 1879. An early advocate of the back to Africa movement to return slaves to Liberia, Ms. Hale is best known for two other accomplishments, the children's poem "Mary Had a Little lamb", and the nationalization of the Thanksgiving Holiday. Editor of Goday's Ladies Book for forty years, she was also a tireless advocate for women's education, and the production of American literature.

May 2 Athansius, Bishop of Alexandria, 373 - Nowadays, he is a pillar of orthodoxy. Of course, he had to go into exile 5 times because the odds were stacked against him. What was the reason? In a word, homoousios. It means "of one being (with the Father)." The full divinity of Christ was the major debate at the time.

May 4 - Monnica, Mother of Augustine of Hippo, 387 - Monnica prayed for years that her son would convert to Christianity. She won. You might want to check out whatever your mother is praying for!

May 7 - Harriet Starr Cannon, Religious, 1896 - The founder of the Community of St. Mary, the Episcopal Church's first monastic order for Women. On September 9, the order is remembered for the martyrs of Memphis, when several members of the order died nursing victims of Yellow Fever in Tennessee.

May 8 - Dame Julian of Norwich, c. 1417 - One of the great medieval mystics. "All is well."

May 9 - Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishop of Constantinople, 389 - Known as one of the Cappadocian Fathers, Gregory championed the Trinity at a time when the church was just beginning to work out that theology. A beloved bishop and good preacher.

May 10 - Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf, Prophetic Witness, 1760 - Zinzendorf can be attributed with creating the Moravian Church, which is odd since he was not exactly the type who wanted to create another organization. A somewhat maverick Lutheran, he simply could not conform and saw the idea of free churches developing along family lines, becoming structured only when necessary. We can all see some attraction in that! He also had some interesting ideas about sexuality and transcendance.

That's enough for now!

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