Trinity Church Welcomes All through its "Big Red Doors" with Tibetan prayer flags flying in the wind. It would be hard to find a more diverse group of believers, used-to-be believers, and sort-of believers. Many of us were born into other religions and denominations, and have found ourselves to be part of the inclusiveness of God's love.
The festival of the wheat harvest, and is the first harvest festival of the year. Lammastide (Aug 1st) marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall. The days now grow visibly shorter and by the time we've reached autumn's end (Oct 31st). The blessing of new fruits was performed annually in both the Eastern and Western Churches on the first or the sixth of August (the latter being the feast of the Transfiguration of Christ.
August 1 - Joseph of Arimathaea - was, according to all four canonical Gospels, the man who donated his own prepared tomb for the burial of Jesus after Jesus' crucifixion. According to Mark 15:43, he was an "honourable counsellor (bouleutes), meaning a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin, who was waiting for the kingdom of God". Matthew 27:57 described this Joseph as a rich man and disciple of Jesus. According to John 19:38, upon hearing of Jesus' death, this secret disciple of Jesus, "went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus". Pilate, after a centurion confirmed the death, allowed Joseph's request. Joseph immediately purchased fine linen (Mark 15:46) and proceeded to Golgotha to take the body of Jesus down from the cross. There, according to John 19:39, Joseph and Nicodemus took the body, wrapped it in the fine linen, and applied the myrrh and aloes Nicodemus had brought. The disciples then conveyed the prepared corpse to the place previously bought for Joseph's own tomb, a man-made cave hewn from rock in the garden of his house nearby. This was done speedily, "for the Sabbath was drawing on". Luke 23:50–56 also mentions the event.
August 2- International Forgiveness Day - About forgiveness, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote, “It is to the credit of human nature, that, except where its selfishness is brought into play, it loves more readily than it hates. Hatred, by a gradual and quiet process, will even be transformed to love, unless the change be impeded by a continually new irritation of the original feeling of hostility.”
August 6- Transfiguration This feast celebrates the transparency of all creation for the Divine Light. When Jesus and his three favorite disciples climbed Mount Tabor to pray, he appeared before them shining like the sun, accompanied by the prophets Moses and Elias.
August 6-9 - Commemoration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings. A somber, prayerful remembrance of the victims of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 6 and 9, 1945). Many people follow the Japanese custom of sailing paper lanterns with peace prayers inscribed on them down streams and rivers. More than 270,000 people died as a result of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. These bombs are now considered, along with all weapons of mass destruction, as a crime against humanity. In addition to our prayers for peace today, we recommit ourselves to working for peace with all our heart and strength. “Since August 6, 1945, no one can deny that all of us belong together in this spaceship Earth. ‘When you are in the same boat with your worst enemy, will you drill a hole into his side of the boat?’ asks Elissa Melamed.'
August 7- John Mason Neale (1818–1866) Anglican priest who founded the Sisters of Saint Margaret (one of the first Anglican orders of women after the Reformation) for medical nursing work among England’s rural poor. He insisted on professional training for the nurses and fostered the autonomous leadership of women in their community. Forging strong ecumenical ties with Eastern Orthodoxy, he brought a daring, renewed feeling of beauty and tenderness to Anglican liturgy, hymnody, and architecture.August 8-Dominic was a Spanish priest and founder of the Dominican Order. Dominic is the patron saint of astronomers.
August 9- Herman of Alaska was a Russian Orthodox monk and missionary to Alaska, which was then part of Russian America. His gentle approach and ascetic life earned him the love and respect of both the native Alaskans and the Russian colonists. He is considered by many Orthodox Christians as the patron saint of North America.
August 9- St Theresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)-Martyr A brilliant philosopher who stopped believing in God when she was 14, Edith Stein was so captivated by reading the autobiography of Teresa of Avila (October 15) that she began a spiritual journey that led to her Baptism in 1922. Twelve years later she imitated Teresa by becoming a Carmelite, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. After living in the Cologne Carmel (1934-38), she moved to the Carmelite monastery in Echt, Netherlands. The Nazis occupied that country in 1940. In retaliation for being denounced by the Dutch bishops, the Nazis arrested all Dutch Jews who had become Christians. Teresa Benedicta and her sister Rosa, also a Catholic, died in a gas chamber in Auschwitz on August 9, 1942.
August 10 - Lawrence of Rome As deacon in Rome, St Lawrence was charged with the responsibility for the material goods of the Church and the distribution of alms to the poor. St Ambrose of Milan relates that when St Lawrence was asked for the treasures of the Church he brought forward the poor, among whom he had divided the treasure as alms. "Behold in these poor persons the treasures which I promised to show you; to which I will add pearls and precious stones, those widows and consecrated virgins, which are the church’s crown." The prefect was so angry that he had a great gridiron prepared, with coals beneath it, and had Lawrence’s body placed on it (hence St Lawrence's association with the gridiron). After the martyr had suffered the pain for a long time, the legend concludes, he made his famous cheerful remark, "I'm well done. Turn me over! From this derives his patronage of cooks and chefs, and also of comedians.August 11- Clare of Assisi - St. Clare of Assisi (1194-1253), who lived to the full the poverty and humility set before us in the Christian gospel, is patron saint of all who lovingly care for Mother Earth.
August 12- Florence Nightingale (1820–1910) Unitarian, sometime Anglican, accused of "eclectic religious beliefs.” The leading figure in the development of modern nursing practice through her pioneering work in the Crimean War, she recruited and trained women to serve in places of disease and violence where Victorian sensibilities taught that “gentle ladies ought not to go." Among her recruits were Anglican nursing sisters from the Sisters of Saint Margaret founded by fellow saint John Mason Neale.
August 13- Jonathan Myrick Daniels was an Episcopal seminarian, known for being killed in Hayneville, Alabama while working on the civil rights movement in Lowndes County. His death helped widen support for the civil rights movement. In 1991 Daniels was designated as a martyr in the Episcopal church and recognized annually. He is memorialized in the civil rights movement and other venues.
August 15- The Assumption of Mary / The Falling Asleep of Mary This Christian feast commemorates Mother Mary’s being taken up into heaven, where she is crowned Queen of all things.
The early legendary accounts of the death of Mary the Mother of Jesus led -- through centuries of devotion -- to the Catholic dogma of Mary’s bodily assumption into heaven. Mary represents the motherliness of God and the feminine dimension of divine love. Under this aspect, she is “Queen of Heaven and Earth.” The Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Mary’s dormition, her "falling asleep."
August 17 - Saint Roch was born in France in 1295. As a young man he walked as a mendicant pilgrim to Rome, where there was an epidemic of plague. He fearlessly tended the sick in public hospitals, and is said to have effected many miraculous cures by prayer and the sign of the cross and the touch of his hand. Eventually, he too became ill and went into the forest at the edge of the city and prepared for death. While praying, a dog came to him, brought him bread, and healed his wounds by licking them. Both returned to Rome, where they worked to heal others and comfort the dying. Also, St, Roch is patron saint of those who suffer with kneel problems, invalids,skin disease and dogs.
August 20 - Bernard of Clairvaux. Bernard, fiery defender of the Church in the twelfth century, was famed for the ardor with which he preached love for God "without measure." He was completely absorbed, even to the neglect of his own health, in support of the purity, doctrine, and prerogatives of the Church. He fulfilled his own definition of a holy man: "seen to be good and charitable, holding back nothing for himself, but using his every gift for the common good."
Bernard was the son of a knight and landowner who lived near Dijon, France. He was born in 1090 and given a secular education, but in 1113 he entered the Benedictine Abbey of Citeaux. His family was not pleased with his choice of a monastic life, but he nevertheless persuaded four of his brothers and about twenty-six of his friends to join him in establishing a monastery at Clairvaux in 1115. Among well known hymns, he is credited with having written "O sacred head sore wounded," "Jesus, the very thought of thee," and "Jesus, thou joy of loving hearts."
August 23 - Martin de Porres, Rosa of Lima, and Toribio de Mogrovejo - witnessness to the Faith in South America. Martin de Porres was born in Lima, Peru, on December 9, 1579, the illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman and a young black former slave. Because Martin inherited the dark skin of his mother, his father abandoned the family.
Martin apprenticed to a barber-surgeon and after learning the trade, he applied to the Dominicans to be a "lay helper." Placed in charge of the infirmary, he was known for his tender care of the sick and for his spectacular cures. His faithfulness led the community to request his religious profession. The stipulation that "no black person may be received to the holy habit or profession of our Order," was dropped, and Martin took vows as a Dominican brother in 1603.
Martin was a good friend of Rosa de Lima, who shared his passion for the sick and the poor. Rosa was exceedingly beautiful and, because of her family’s fading fortunes, she feared being married off to a wealthy man in exchange for her dowry. Not wanting this to happen, Rosa disfigured herself. In order to contribute to her family’s upkeep, Rosa took in sewing and served as a gardener.
Her passion for the poor, however, eventually led her to the Third Order of St. Dominic where she became a recluse. Out of her prayer grew a strong desire to do works of mercy for the poorest of the poor, particularly for Indians, slaves, and others on the margins of society.
Toribio de Mogrovejo was born in Spain in 1538 and became a brilliant student of law and theology. In 1580, the Archdiocese of Lima, Peru, needed a new leader and Toribio was chosen. He objected because he was a layman, but was overruled, ordained priest and bishop, and arrived in Peru in 1581 as archbishop.
Confronted with the worst of colonialism, Toribio fought injustice in both the church and the civil order. He baptized and confirmed nearly a million souls. Among his flock were Rosa de Lima and Martin de Porres. He founded many churches, religious houses, and hospitals, and, in 1591, founded the seminary at Lima.
August 24 - St. Bartholomew, Apostle. We know very little of Bartholomew; even his name is something of a mystery. Bartholomew is a patronymic meaning "Son of Tolmai." He is mentioned only in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) but he is generally believed to be the same person as Nathanael in John’s Gospel. He is credited by several reliable historical sources with writing a gospel, but the Gospel according to Bartholomew is lost today. Tradition holds that he traveled to India and this is certainly not inconceivable. He is regarded as the founder of the Church in Armenia and may have been martyred there. Ancient tradition maintains that he was flayed alive at Albanopolis, Armenia, by the authorities as a consequence of his evangelistic work. The Qur'an also mentions Jesus's disciples but does not give their names, referring to them as "helpers to the work of God". Muslim exegesis and Qur'an commentary, however, names them and includes Bartholomew amongst the disciples.
August 25 - St. Louis of France, King of France, 1270. (St. Louis attachment goes here) In fiction and fancy Louis IX of France is the king who gallantly led the French army in the crusades. This idea of Louis is true, but this image emerged from a man of deep conviction and rigorous self-discipline. Louis is best remembered in France as a peacemaker and law-giver. He curbed the private feudal warfare that had for years ravaged France, and he significantly reformed the taxing and judicial systems of the kingdom. He had a good sense of justice and fairness and tried to see that every man, peasant or prince, got his day in court. Strong in the Christian faith, he was a staunch opponent of the Albigensian heresy in France, but he was no bigot. He never made unreasonable demands on his enemies. His traditional enemies at home, the English, respected him so much that they asked him to arbitrate their disputes among themselves. Louis was a patron of learning and the arts. He was one of the founders of the University of Paris (the Sorbonne), and the grand cathedrals of Amiens, Bourges, and Chartres were largely built during his reign and with his patronage. Certainly the medieval ideal of Christian kingship was realized in the person of Louis IX.
August 27 - Thomas Gallaudet, Henry Winter Syle. Ministry to the deaf in the Episcopal Church begins with Thomas Gallaudet. Without his genius and zeal for the spiritual well-being of deaf persons, it is improbable that a history of ministry to the deaf in the Episcopal Church could be written. He has been called "The Apostle to the Deaf." Gallaudet was born June 3, 1822, in Hartford, the eldest son of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, founder of the West Hartford School for the Deaf, whose wife, Sophia, was a deaf-mute.
Ordained a priest in 1851, Gallaudet became Assistant at St. Ann’s Church, where he conceived a plan for establishing a church that would be a spiritual home for deaf people. This became a reality the following year, with the founding of St. Ann’s Church for Deaf-Mutes. The congregation was able to purchase a church building in 1859, and it became a center for missionary work to the deaf. As a result of this ministry, mission congregations were established in many cities. Gallaudet died on August 27, 1902.
One fruit of Gallaudet’s ministry was Henry Winter Syle, who had lost his hearing as the result of scarlet fever. Educated at Trinity; St. John’s, Cambridge; and Yale (B.A. and M.A.); Syle was a brilliant student, who persisted in his determination to obtain an education, despite his handicap and fragile health. He was encouraged by Gallaudet to seek Holy Orders, and, having moved to Philadelphia, was supported by Bishop Stevens, against the opposition of many who believed that the impairment of one of the senses was an impediment to ordination. Syle was ordained in 1876, the first deaf person to receive Holy Orders in this Church. In 1888, he built the first Episcopal church constructed especially for deaf persons. He died on January 6, 1890.
August 28 - Augustine of Hippo. Reared in a home with a staunchly Christian mother, Monnica (May 4), Augustine left in search of truth. He cohabitated with a girl whom he was always to love but never to marry formally. She bore him a son who was the apple of his eye. Augustine seriously sought the counsel of astrologers and all kinds of spiritual advisors and philosophers. He was a sincere Manichaean and, later, a convinced Platonist. Finally, under the influence of his mother, Monnica, and Ambrose, the great Bishop of Milan (December 7), Augustine turned to Christianity. With the possible exception of Paul of Tarsus, no one has affected the Christian tradition, way of life, and thought as profoundly as Augustine. His autobiography, Confessions, his treatise, On the Trinity, and his famous essays, On the City of God, remain classics of Christian literature. Much of modern Catholic and Protestant theology and practice derives from his original work. Augustine eventually entered the priesthood and later was ordained Bishop of Hippo in North Africa. He witnessed the sack of the city of Rome by Alaric, and as he lay on his deathbed vandals were assaulting his own city of Hippo.
Moses the Black -Hermit, Desert Father and Martyr. Moses was a servant of a government official in Egypt who dismissed him for theft and suspected murder. He became the leader of a gang of bandits who roamed the Nile Valley spreading terror and violence. He was a large, imposing figure.
On one occasion, a barking dog prevented Moses from carrying out a robbery, so he swore vengeance on the owner. Weapons in his mouth, Moses swam the river toward the owner's hut. The owner, again alerted, hid, and the frustrated Moses took some of his sheep to slaughter. Attempting to hide from local authorities, he took shelter with some monks in a colony in the desert of Wadi El Natrun, then called Sketes, near Alexandria. The dedication of their lives, as well as their peace and contentment, influenced Moses deeply. He soon gave up his old way of life, became a Christian, was baptized and joined the monastic community at Scetes.
Moses had a rather difficult time adjusting to regular monastic discipline. His flair for adventure remained with him. Attacked by a group of robbers in his desert cell, Moses fought back, overpowered the intruders, and dragged them to the chapel where the other monks were at prayer. He told the brothers that he didn't think it Christian to hurt the robbers and asked what he should do with them. The overwhelmed robbers repented, were converted, and themselves joined the community.
Moses was zealous in all he did, but became discouraged when he concluded he was not perfect enough. Early one morning, Saint Isidore, abbot of the monastery, took Moses to the roof and together they watched the first rays of dawn come over the horizon. Isidore told Moses, "Only slowly do the rays of the sun drive away the night and usher in a new day, and thus, only slowly does one become a perfect contemplative."
Moses proved to be effective as a prophetic spiritual leader. The abbot ordered the brothers to fast during a particular week. Some brothers came to Moses, and he prepared a meal for them. Neighboring monks reported to the abbot that Moses was breaking the fast. When they came to confront Moses, they changed their minds, saying "You did not keep a human commandment, but it was so that you might keep the divine commandment of hospitality." Some see in this account one of the earliest allusions to the Paschal fast, which developed at this time.
When a brother committed a fault and Moses was invited to a meeting to discuss an appropriate penance, Moses refused to attend. When he was again called to the meeting, Moses took a leaking jug filled with water and carried it on his shoulder. Another version of the story has him carrying a basket filled with sand. When he arrived at the meeting place, the others asked why he was carrying the jug. He replied, "My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another." On hearing this, the assembled brothers forgave the erring monk.
Moses became the spiritual leader of a colony of hermits in the Western Desert. Later, he was ordained a priest. At about age 75, about the year 405 AD, word came that a group of Berbers planned to attack the monastery. The brothers wanted to defend themselves, but Moses forbade it. He told them to retreat, rather than take up weapons. He and seven others remained behind and greeted the invaders with open arms, but all eight were martyred by the bandits on (July 1). A modern interpretation honors Saint Moses the Black as an apostle of non-violence.
August 29 - John Bunyan was an English Christian writer and preacher. He is the author of The Pilgrim's Progress, arguably the most famous published Christian allegory. In addition to The Pilgrim's Progress, Bunyan wrote nearly sixty titles, many of them expanded sermons.
Bunyan faced legal challenges to fulfilling his calling but did not make any concessions to the authorities. As a dissenter who was not ordained in the Church of England, he was unlicensed to preach. He preferred to face and endure twelve years of imprisonment at great sacrifice to himself and his family, rather than resign himself to giving up preaching. Although he has been described both as a Baptist and as an Independent, i.e. Congregationalist, he himself preferred to be described simply as a Christian.
August 31- Aidan, 651, and Cuthbert, 687, Bishops of Lindisfarne. Aidan provides us with a strong example that actions often speak louder than words and the best kind of Christian evangelism is that which proceeds from godly and charitable living. Trained at Iona, Scotland, Aidan was already revered as a compassionate and learned monk when King Oswald of Northumbria invited him to help with the evangelization of Northern England.
Aidan joyfully responded and began the work by founding a monastery on the island of Lindisfarne. This monastery soon became a center for missionary and charitable activities throughout England and Scotland. The monks of Lindisfarne followed the old Celtic rites and practices, but Aidan had traveled widely on the continent and was able to familiarize them with the practices of the Roman Church, thus preparing his people for things to come. Aidan trained a whole generation of Christian leaders for the English church. Included among them were numerous bishops and saints. Perhaps the highest compliment paid to Aidan was that of the Venerable Bede ( May 25) who wrote that Aidan "taught no otherwise than he and his followers lived; for he neither sought nor loved anything of this world, but delighted in distributing to the poor whatsoever was given him by the kings or rich men of the world." A man of large stature and unusual physical prowess, Cuthbert seemed destined from his youth for leadership. He, however, was always concerned that his spiritual leadership match his physical endowments. Prior to accepting a call to become Bishop of Lindisfarne, he spent eight years in prayer and meditation on the cold and isolated island of Farne. Cuthbert’s episcopate was brief but highly significant. It was occasioned by plague, war, and schism. He spent much time caring for and healing the sick and preaching against the superstitious use of charms and amulets. In the midst of war, Bishop Cuthbert went fearlessly among his people, ministering to the wounded and inspiring hope in the survivors. He worked toward the reconciliation of those Celtic Christians who were dissatisfied with the liturgical and political changes being effected by the Roman Church in Britain. Cuthbert led many men to salvation in Christ and contributed significantly to the Christianization of the North Country of England. Holy living to Cuthbert meant a life of service. As the historian Bede put it, "He was aflame with the fire of divine charity; and to give counsel and help to the weak he considered equal to an act of prayer—knowing that he who said, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God’ also said, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor.’"
** This prayer is offer for Victims of Violence throughout of the world. Victims of verbal, physical, emotional, of hunger and thirst,economic abuse,warfare (especially Ukraine, Venezuela, parts of Africa, South America Asia and the Middle East, terrorist action, the death penalty, suicide, shootings (in our cities and neighborhoods), and other guise of violence. May their souls rest in peace and their families experience the Comfort of God. The Church bells will toll on Wednesdays @ 6:10pm.
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