So, it’s after dark, and I’m celebrating (the eve of) St. Michael and All Angels.

And the most useful thing I’ve read today comes from an old sermon of Gregory the Great (in Atwell and Webber’s Celebrating the Saints).  He says:  “You should be aware that the word ‘angel’ denotes a function rather than a nature. (more…)

Well, I continue to learn (or at least have my point of view challenged) by reading from and about the saints. (more…)

He is not in our calendar, but there really was a St. Valentine!  Early sources, in fact, record two martyrs of this name, one claimed by Rome, one claimed by Terni, both martyred on the Flaminian Way.  It seems likely we’re talking about the same person, and really only fighting about who gets to claim him.

There is no known association between Valentine and lovers. (more…)

Read an excerpt from a commentary on Galatians by Augustine of Hippo this morning.  In it, he talked about what it meant to be no longer under the law. (more…)

Today is St. Agnes’ Day (and my wife’s birthday!).  Guess which is more important to me?  No contest!  I do have to admit that honoring my wife’s birth on the day I also honor a consecrated virgin child’s martyrdom makes for odd juxtapositions in my mind.  And I’ve always had some trouble getting behind St. Agnes. (more…)

Do I believe in angels?

I found myself asking this question this morning as I prepared to read Matins in the church office.  And I wasn’t sure I could answer the question.

Certainly I believe in angels in the root sense of the word, the idea that there are messengers from God. (more…)

Well, yesterday would have been the day we commemorate Lancelot Andrewes — if it had not been a Sunday. (more…)

Today we remember Prudence Crandall, who was born into a Quaker family in Rhode Island (and educated at a Friend’s boarding school since Friends believed in educating women).  She started a school for girls in Connecticut attended by the daughters of the wealthy.  Two years later, when she admitted Sarah Harris, a young African American girl, parents demanded that she be expelled. (more…)

I have been enjoying “Holy Women, Holy Men (Celebrating the Saints)” — which replaces and greatly expands (and also edits) the old “Lesser Feasts and Fasts.”  We added just over 100 new names to our (optional) calendar.  And it’s been fun seeing who’s now included.  Harriet Beecher Stowe, the great opponent of slavery and the author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (the best-selling book of the nineteenth century — Lincoln is supposed to have said, upon meeting her, “So this is the little lady who started this great war!”) is there.  (more…)

Thanks to Susan’s note, I found this at St. Dunstan’s Priory, about Bede Griffiths, about whom I had not heard before, who they commemorate May 13 (my father’s birthday):

Bede Griffiths (17 December 1906 – 13 May 1993), born Alan Richard Griffiths and also known as Swami Dayananda (Bliss of Compassion), was a British-born Benedictine monk who lived in ashrams in South India. He was born at Walton-on-Thames, England and studied literature at Magdalen College, Oxford under professor and Christian apologist C. S. Lewis, who became a lifelong friend. Griffiths recounts the story of his conversion in 1931 to Roman Catholicism while a student at Oxford in his autobiography The Golden String. (more…)

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