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: Juan Diego vs. Frederick Douglass

March 17, 2015 § 1 Comment

Lent Madness 2015Molly Brant eked out a victory on the Lent Madness site winning 51%. But on the St. Luke’s site, Cuthbert won 54% to 46%.

The next match up in the Saintly Sixteen is Juan Diego vs. Frederick Douglass.

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.

unnamed-227x300Juan Diego

Juan Diego, raised according to the Aztec pagan religion, showed an unusual and mystical sense of life even prior to hearing the Gospel from missionaries. It is said that before the famous apparition of the Virgin Mary, Juan Diego was a virtuous man who led such an exemplary life that people often asked him to intercede for them in prayer.

On December 9, 1531, Juan Diego experienced that apparition in which he asked the Virgin her name. She responded in his native language of Nahuatl, “Tlecuatlecupe,” which means “the one who crushes the head of the serpent” (side note: the serpent was a very important symbol in Aztec religion! Coincidence?!?) “Tlecuatlecupe” when correctly pronounced, sounds very similar to “Guadalupe.”Read more here.

Douglass-at-work-207x300Frederick Douglass

Throughout Frederick Douglass’ life, literature and Holy Scripture remained an ever-present force. After his escape from slavery, Douglass, who was born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, renamed himself after a character in Walter Scott’s The Lady of the Lake. His sense of mission was inspired by the prophetic words of Old Testament Scripture.

Regarding the Civil War, Douglass wrote, “Civil war was not a mere strife for territory and dominion, but a contest of civilization against barbarism.” After the Civil War, Douglass brought attention to the rise of lynchings in the Deep South and the ongoing racism that prevented the economic and social advancement of African Americans. He was also an outspoken advocate for female suffrage. Hours before his death Douglass stood alongside suffragist Susan B. Anthony and Methodist minister and physician Anna Howard Shaw as they rallied for women’s voting rights. Regarding the matter, Douglass once wrote in his newspaper The North Star, “Right is of no Sex — Truth is of no Color. God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren.”Read more here.

Lent Madness: John Keble vs. Thecla

February 24, 2015 Comments Off on Lent Madness: John Keble vs. Thecla

Lent Madness 2012

On the Lent Madness site: Juan Diego advanced to the Saintly Sixteen with a 57% to 43% victory over Hadewijch. He’ll face the winner of Dorcas vs. Frederick Douglass.  On the St. Luke’s site, however, Hadewijch won 54% over Juan Diego’s 46% in a very close race!

Today’s match up is John Keble vs. Thecla.

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.

john-keble1John Keble

Though devoted to his calling as a country priest, serving for thirty years as the vicar of Hursley, John Keble is best known as an influential founder of the Oxford Movement. This movement sought to renew the Church of England through a better understanding and adherence to the practices of the early church. In 1833 he preached the Assize Sermon, soon published with the provocative title “National Apostasy.” Keble was a key player in the Oxford Movement and wrote nine of the ninety Tracts for the Times. In addition to writing poetry, tracts, and sermons, Keble also translated the works of Iranaeus and prepared a three-volume edition of the works of Richard Hooker.…Read more here.

 

Image 1Thecla

Thecla was a follower of the Apostle Paul, whose life was recorded in the Acts of Paul and Thecla, a prominent piece of early Christian literature.

This book recounted a missionary journey of Paul to Iconium, where he was proclaiming “the word of God about abstinence and the resurrection.” Thecla, upon hearing Paul’s message, found herself enraptured. Her devotion to Paul and his teaching so deeply concerned her mother and fiancé (worried that she would follow Paul’s demands to live in chastity), they formed a mob and imprisoned Paul...Read more here.

Lent Madness: Hadewijch vs. Juan Diego

February 23, 2015 Comments Off on Lent Madness: Hadewijch vs. Juan Diego

Lent Madness 2012

Results in from Saturday’s match up! From the Lent Madness site: In the only Saturday match-up of Lent Madness 2015, Molly Brant sent Swithun back to the proverbial swamp 58% to 42%. Molly will face the winner of Bede vs. Cuthbert in the Saintly Sixteen. On the St. Luke’s site, Molly also beat Swithun 57% to 43%.

Today’s match up is between Hadewijch and Juan Diego.

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.

 

Hadewijch+van+Brabant+hadewijch1Hadewijch

In the early thirteenth century, new expressions of religion began to appear in what are now the modern-day countries of Belgium, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands. The devotions of contemplation and ecstatic mysticism began to be publicly practiced by a group of devout women known as the Beguines. Beguines were not nuns, but women who chose to lead lives of poverty and prayerful contemplation without taking formal vows. Their members were from across all socioeconomic classes; some lived alone, and others formed small groups.

Hadewijch was among these devout women. Other than her devotion as a Beguine, almost nothing is known of her life..…Read more here.

unnamedJuan Diego

Juan Diego is the first Roman Catholic indigenous American saint. Born in 1474 with the name “Cuauhtlatoatzin” (“the talking eagle”), Juan Diego was a member of the Chichimeca people and lived a simple life as a weaver, farmer, and laborer. When he was fifty years old, he and his wife were among the first indigenous people in the former Aztec Empire to accept baptism and convert to Christianity.

According to tradition, on December 9, 1531, Juan Diego…Read more here.

 

 

 

 

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