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Posts Tagged ‘Anglican Saints’

At Lyons and Vienne, in Gaul, there were missionary houses. Many Christians from Asia and Greece came to these places. As time progressed Persecution began sometime in 177.

The Gauls were not fond of these new Christians. In the beginning Christians were excluded from public places. They could not go to public baths, markets, and basically any form of public life. It was common for them to be attacked in public. At some time during all of this the government involved themselves in the matter of dealing with these Christians.

They began taking Christians into custody and questioning them. Many slaves and servants of Christian houses were tortured for information. The government got the these slaves to confess that the Christians were cannibals, and frequently partook in incestuous relations.

Word of such behavior turned the whole city against the Christians. Particularly against St. Pothinus Bishop of Lyons, St. Sanctus a Deacon, St Attalus, St. Maturus, and St Blandina a slave. Bishop Pothinus who was old in age was beaten and then released. Days later he obtained martyrdom from his blessed wounds and gained a red crown. Deacon Sanctus was beaten severely, but kept alive so he could be tormented with red-hot irons. Saint Blandina was tortured all day long. In spite of the fierce pain she would exclaim nothing except, “I am a Christian, and nothing vile is done among us.” Both of them triumphantly accepted their red crowns of martyrdom. At some time later many Christians were put to death in the public arena.

Letters and accounts from those who were martyred, and witnesses.

The Letter of the Churchs of Vienna and Lyons to the Churches of Asia and Phrygia
Letter from the Martyrs of Lyons

Prayer

Grant, O Lord, we pray, that we who keep the feast of the holy martyrs Blandina and her companions may be rooted and grounded in love of you, and may endure the sufferings of this life for the glory that shall be revealed in us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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The Holy Spirit, Gift of God’s Love
By St. Augustine

There is no gift of God more excellent than this. It alone distinguishes the sons of the eternal kingdom and the sons of eternal perdition. Other gifts, too, are given by the Holy Spirit; but without love they profit nothing. Unless, therefore, the Holy Spirit is so far imparted to each, as to make him one who loves God and his neighbor, he is not removed from the left hand to the right. Nor is the Spirit specially called the Gift, unless on account of love. And he who has not this love, “though he speak with the tongues of men and angels, is sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal; and though he have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and though he have all faith, so that he can remove mountains, he is nothing; and though he bestow all his goods to feed the poor, and though he give his body to be burned, it profiteth him nothing.”

How great a good, then, is that without which goods so great bring no one to eternal life! But love or charity itself,–for they are two names for one thing,–if he have it that does not speak with tongues, nor has the gift of prophecy, nor knows all mysteries and all knowledge, nor gives all his goods to the poor, either because he has none to give or because some necessity hinders, nor delivers his body to be burned, if no trial of such a suffering overtakes him, brings that man to the kingdom, so that faith itself is only rendered profitable by love, since faith without love can indeed exist, but cannot profit. And therefore also the Apostle Paul says, “In Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith that worketh by love:” so distinguishing it from that faith by which even “the devils believe and tremble.” Love, therefore, which is of God and is God, is specially the Holy Spirit, by whom the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, by which love the whole Trinity dwells in us. And therefore most rightly is the Holy Spirit, although He is God, called also the gift of God. And by that gift what else can properly be understood except love, which brings to God, and without which any other gift of God whatsoever does not bring to God? . . .

Wherefore, if Holy Scripture proclaims that God is love, and that love is of God, and works this in us that we abide in God and He in us, and that hereby we know this, because He has given us of His Spirit, then the Spirit Himself is God, who is love. Next, if there be among the gifts of God none greater than love, and there is no greater gift of God than the Holy Spirit, what follows more naturally than that He is Himself love, who is called both God and of God? And if the love by which the Father loves the Son, and the Son loves the Father, ineffably demonstrates the communion of both, what is more suitable than that He should be specially called love, who is the Spirit common to both? For this is the sounder thing both to believe and to understand, that the Holy Spirit is not alone love in that Trinity, yet is not specially called love to no purpose.

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Saint Anselm was born in Italy 1033.  He died April 21, 1109.  He was a Benedictine monk, philosopher, and theologian.  He was the prominent theologian between Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas.

In 1060 he entered the monastery of Bec in Normandy to study under Stephen Lanfranc, whom he succeeded in office of Abbot (1078 ). Later as Archbishop of Canterbury ( December 4th, 1093).

King William II was king of England.  He had great disregard for the church. In fact he left the See of Canterbury vacant for a great portion of his rule.  It was when he we very ill he made Anselm the Arch Bishop of Canterbury.  King William II recovered and the two were at constant odds.  Saint Anselm disputed the king’s right to intervene in Church matters. Anselm went into exile in Italy , and remained there for three years until the King died (1100).

King Henry I the successor to King William II invited the Arch Bishop to return to England.  Like the previous king Henry I was at odds with Anselm.  The king had civil and religious authority.  Henry I wanted control over the election of Bishops and Abbots.  St. Anselm again was exiled from 1103 to 1106. In 1107 a compromise was reached, and Anselm returned home to Canterbury, where he lived his last few years in peace, dying 21 April 1109.

Great has been the discussion and controversy over some of his writings.  Many theologians who came after him would refute writings such as his Proslogium.  In his Proslogium he discusses “Psalm 14 (“The fool hath said in his heart: There is no God.”), Anselm undertakes to show that the fool is contradicting himself — that the concept of God is unique in that anyone who understands what is meant by the question, “Does God exist?” will see that the answer must be “Yes.” The argument has received mixed reviews from the start. (by James Kiefer)”   St. Thomas Aquinas was one who rejected Anselm’s argument as inconclusive.

Other writings like his book  Cur Deus Homo? (Why Did God Become Man?). In this book he writes on his “satisfaction theory” of the Atonement.  This theory was so successful that most Christians today accept this as the only theory of atonement.

When I think of St. Anselm I see a man  who was steadfast in his faith.  He was determined to reform the thought of his day no matter what the cost.  Some of his ideas have fallen out of thought.  Yet others are still prominent to this very day.  Like many saints he planted his feet into the word of the Lord, and stood fast. I think he is a great model for  religious leaders and the faithful of today. To look towards him as an example.  Not to be controversial, but to seek right reform.  To stand to the fullness of faith.

Prayer

Almighty God, who raised up your servant Anselm to teach the Church of his day to understand its faith in your eternal Being, perfect justice, and saving mercy: Provide your Church in every age with devout and learned scholars and teachers, that we may be able to give a reason for the hope that is in us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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Matrona of Thessalonica. was the maid of a Jewish woman, Pantilla by name, who was the wife of a certain general at the city of Thessalonica. Whenever her lady went to the Jewish synagogue, Matrona followed her as well but she would not enter the synagogue. Instead, she turned away and went to the Church of the Christians. Because this was made known to her lady, Saint Matrona was badly beaten and she was locked in prison. After she had spent a lot of days in prison, she commended her soul to the hands of God.

Prayer

O Almighty God, by whose grace and power was given to your servant Matrona, who triumphed over suffering and was faithful even unto death: Grant us, who now remember her with thanksgiving, to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world, that we may receive with her the crown of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen +

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Today we celebrate Stephen the Confessor, and Abbot of Triglia. He lived during the reign of king Leo the Armenian in 815. St. Stephen from a young boy loved God, and thirsted for Piety. Living our a ascetic way of life.

king Leo was a iconoclast was someone or a group who felt that veneration of icons or statues was idolatry. They were know to burn and destroy Icons, and other images of our Lord and the Saints. They also were know for their persecution of Pious Christians who possessed icons, and those who Venerated them.

One day St. Stephen was Called to an audience with the impious Leo the iconoclast. King Leo made great attempts to get Stephen to deny the veneration of the holy icons and to turn his back on his Orthodox faith.

St. Stephen would not falter. Full of the Holy Spirit he renounced king Leo and the other iconoclasts. Calling them impious. Full of rage king Leo severely punished Stephen. Exiled him to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Prayer

We give you thanks, O Lord of glory, for the example of your servant Stephen, who through his Piety and devotion to monastic rule led many souls to heaven. Strengthen us so like your servant Stephen we can stand against the heresy of our day. So on that day we can stand with Saint Stephen and the others saints in the glory of your Son Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen

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Today we remember the martyrdom of St. Barnabas. Joses later called Barnabas by Jesus was born in Cyprus and of the house of Levi. He is known as one of the 70 Disciples called by Christ. He was also among the Disciples in the upper room when they were filled with the Holy Spirit.

St Barnabas was known as a man of great virtues. He went from town to town proclaiming the Gospel and sharing the love of Jesus The Christ. After St. Pauls conversion Barnabas brought him to the Apostles in Jerusalem. He defended Paul. Giving good witness to his conversion on the road to Damascus, and his great passion for Jesus. The Apostles in Jerusalem accepted Paul in their fellowship. The Holy Spirit said to the Disciples: “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul (Paul) for the work to which I have called them” (Acts 13:2).

So together They went out preaching the Good News of our Lord and Savior. Many people were cured of physical conditions and many others saved. In Lystra a cripple was cured and the people proclaimed that Paul and Barnabas must be Zeus, and Hermes. Animals were gathered at their pagan temple to be sacrificed. When they heard of this they ripped their clothes and ran out into the people. Paul and Barnabas cried out and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them.” And with these sayings they could scarcely restrain the multitudes from sacrificing to them (Acts 14:8-15).

After some time Paul and Barnabas went their own ways. St. Barnabas took with him St. Mark and together they went to Cyprus. Many were converted and baptized. The Jewish leaders became enraged. St. Barnabas and Mark were accused falsely of many things to the Governor of Cyprus.

St. Barnabas was taken and beaten severely. Their anger had not subsided by their actions. So they graced St. Barnabas with a red crown of martyrdom by stoning him and then burn his dead body. After all of this unfolded St. Mark took and wrapped Barnabas’s broken and lifeless body in a placed it in cave. St. Mark then went on to Egypt and preached in Alexandria.

Prayer
God our Father, You filled Saint Barnabas with faith and the Holy Spirit and sent him to convert the nations. Help us to proclaim the gospel by word and deed.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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