Lent Madness: Brigid of Kildare vs. Dionysius the Great

March 19, 2015 Comments Off on Lent Madness: Brigid of Kildare vs. Dionysius the Great

Lent Madness 2015Francis of Assisi trounced Cecilia, winning 69% on the Lent Madness site. On the St. Luke’s site, Francis also won by 67%.

The next match up in the Saintly Sixteen is Brigid of Kildare vs. Dionysius the Great.

Remember: vote at Lent Madness here AND ALSO below the saint bios here so we see how the readers of the St. Luke in the Fields blog compare! Results of this match up will be reported the next day.

brigid-of-kildare-icon-211x300Brigid of Kildare

Brigid is the most-beloved Irish saint, alongside Patrick, in the hearts of the Irish people.

Known as Mary of the Gael, she is said to have miraculous powers over beer: both changing a bathtub full of water to beer to feed a starving family, and causing a single barrel of her monastery’s brew to last from Christmas straight through to Pentecost.

However, she didn’t limit her exploits to mass beer production — Brigid was a shrewd leader as well. Her double monastery was the first of its kind. When she went to the king, to request land to build her abbey, she explained that she had just the right spot picked out: it had trees, access to water, good for building, a lovely view, etc. The king flatly refused...Read more here.

dionysius-image-233x300Dionysius the Great

Dionysius the Great, as he would come to be called, was an agent of reconciliation in a time of heated dispute. As Bishop of Alexandria, the chief episcopal see in the third century, Dionysius saw his flock subjected to the horrors of the Decian persecutions and is remembered especially for his role in the question of how to treat those Christians who had lapsed during the persecutions.

Many fled Alexandria seeking safety, others went to their reward loyal to the faith, and yet others gave in to the pressures of the Roman Empire and apostatized. Dionysius himself was furious when he was not allowed to go to his martyrdom after he was kidnapped by supporters who could not bear to see him become a victimRead more here.

Lent Madness: Francis of Assisi vs. Cecilia

March 18, 2015 Comments Off on Lent Madness: Francis of Assisi vs. Cecilia

Lent Madness 2015Frederick Douglass won 60% to to Juan Diego’s 40% on the Lent Madness site. On the St. Luke’s site, Frederick Douglass won by an even better margin with 70% of the votes.

The next match up in the Saintly Sixteen is Francis of Assisi vs. Cecilia.

Remember: vote at Lent Madness here AND ALSO below the saint bios here so we see how the readers of the St. Luke in the Fields blog compare! Results of this match up will be reported the next day.

2-st-francis-of-assisi-randy-wollenmann-300x300Francis of Assisi

The Francis of ideas is often quite different from his actual life, ministry, and words. We envision him as a quiet man surrounded by animals who founded a gentle monastic order. In reality, Francis lived his life with a holy blend of rashness, mysticism, and devotion many modern Christians would call extreme.

G.K. Chesterton notes the Bishop of Assisi, when visiting the Order and seeing them without comforts, without possessions, eating anything they could get, and sleeping on the ground, was greatly disturbed. Francis met the Bishop’s concerns with a stunning in-your-face-ness (bishops were often called upon to support military engagements) by saying, ‘If we had any possessions, we should need weapons and laws to defend them.”…Read more here.

Orazio_Gentileschi_-_Saint_Cecilia_with_an_Angel-300x261Cecilia

Cecilia is the patron saint of singers, musicians, organists, and poets. While witnessing the deaths of her husband and brother-in-law, it is believed that she was singing praises to the Lord during her own martyrdom in Rome in 280 AD.

The songs that Cecilia sang while she was being martyred have been lost to the ages. However, the many poems and songs written and performed in her honor remain great contributions to the literary and music world, and are firmly planted in society’s juke box over the centuries.

Henry Purcell’s 1692 “Hail! Bright Cecilia,” also known as “Ode to St. Cecilia,” has a text by Nicholas Brady:

Hail! Bright Cecilia, Hail to thee!
 Great Patroness of Us and Harmony! 
Who, whilst among the Choir above
 Thou dost thy former Skill improve,
 With Rapture of Delight dost see
 Thy Favourite Art 
Make up a Part
 Of infinite Felicity.
 Hail! Bright Cecilia, Hail to thee!
 Great Patroness of Us and Harmony!

Equally famous is Georg Friedrich Händel’s “An Ode For St. Cecilia’s Day,” from 1739Read more here.

Lent Madness: Dionysius the Great vs. Irene the Great

March 9, 2015 Comments Off on Lent Madness: Dionysius the Great vs. Irene the Great

Lent Madness 2015Cecila won 70% to Balthazar’s 30% on the blog! Clearly the musicians won this battle.  And indeed on the Lent Madness site, Cecilia also trounced Balthazar, 74% to 26%.

Today’s match up is Dionysius the Great vs. Irene the Great.

Remember: vote at Lent Madness here AND ALSO below the saint bios here so we see how the readers of the St. Luke in the Fields blog compare! Results of this match up will be reported the next day.

 

LMdionysiusDionysius the Great

Dionysius was born sometime around 190 to a well-to-do pagan family. He attended a church school and was educated to be a priest. He was a bright and well-read child and a student of the scholar Origen. Dionysius became head of the Catechetical School of Alexandria in 232 and was elevated to Bishop of Alexandria in 248, succeeding Heraklas in both posts.

In 249 a series of riots broke out and anti-Christian violence ensued. This soon evolved into the Decian Persecutions. Christians were subjected to all manner of torture and cruelty, with the goal to force them to sacrifice to false gods. It was a time of martyrdom and forced migration as many fled to the deserts for safety….Read more here.

Irene_of_ThessalonikiIrene the Great

Named Penelope and born as a Persian princess in the fourth century, Irene the Great is a legendary figure credited with miracles that astonish the modern reader. To keep her from hearing the gospel, her father (the pagan king Licinius) isolated her in a high tower like a Rapunzel of late antiquity, where she was watched over by thirteen young maidens and the statues of ninety-eight gods. She desperately objected to her seclusion and isolation from her mother and even the sunshine, but Licinius would not relent and sealed her in the tower with his signet ring until she was to marry. In spite of her father, an elderly tutor was hired to teach her. Servants hauled him up into the tower by an elaborate pulley system, and he spoke to her from behind a curtain and taught her about Jesus Christ.Read more here.

Lent Madness: Balthazar vs. Cecilia

March 6, 2015 § 2 Comments

Lent Madness 2015Egeria won 59% to 41% on the blog! A close call, for sure. But, on the Lent Madness site, Egeria also “prevailed 51% to 49%, by less than 140 votes with 6,800 cast.” Every vote counts!

Today’s match up is Balthazar vs. Cecilia.

Remember: vote at Lent Madness here AND ALSO below the saint bios here so we see how the readers of the St. Luke in the Fields blog compare! Results of this match up will be reported the next day.

 

SApolN-Balthazar-Nov03-D1757sAR-300x225Balthazar

The story of the Three Wise Men is a beloved part of Christmas crèches and pageants, albeit exercising a bit of editorial license. In Matthew’s Gospel, the text only says that sages and magi traveled from the East to find the infant King — not how many there were or what their names were.

Nonetheless, over time, tradition has narrowed the number of the Eastern travelers….Read more here.

StCeciliaViolin-236x300Cecilia

Cecilia is the patron saint of singers, musicians, and poets. She was martyred in Rome in the third century. Finding historically factual information regarding her life is a real heartbreaker and can shake the confidence of even the most devoted researcher.

Nevertheless, it is believed that Cecilia was born into nobility and privilege. She was a woman of strong faith and was credited with converting four hundred people. She was married to a pagan named Valerian. With Cecilia’s faith as a living example, Valerian and his brother Tiburtius, along with Maximus, a Roman soldier, were converted. After their baptism, the two brothers devoted themselves to burying the martyrs who were being slain daily. In about 230 CE, the brothers were arrested for practicing their faith. They were executed—and while she was burying her husband and brother-in-law, Cecilia was arrested.Read more here.

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