Collect for the Week:
Almighty and everlasting God, give unto us the increase of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain that which thou dost promise, make us to love which thou dost command; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Saints and Other Feast Days:
- September 2: The Martyrs of Papua New Guinea
On this day, we remember the two martyrdom events that took place in Papua New Guinea in the 20th century. In 1901, two missionaries and their companions, James Chalmers and Oliver Tomkins, met their death by martyrdom. Then, during WWII, the Japanese invaded Papua New Guinea and killed 333 church workers, which included twelve Anglicans. When they knew the Japanese invasion was impending, the Bishop Philip Strong broadcasted a message to his fellow workers:
“We could never hold up our faces again, if for our own safety, we all forsook him and fled when the shadows of the passion began to gather around him in his spiritual body, the Church in Papua. . . God will not forsake us. He will uphold us; he will strengthen us and he will guide us and keep us through the days that lie ahead. If we all left, it would take years for the Church to recover from our betrayal of our trust. If we remain — and even if the worst came to the worst and we were all to perish in remaining — the Church will not perish, for there would have been no breach of trust in its all, but its foundations and structure would have received added strength for the future building by our faithfulness unto death.”
Every single one of the bishop’s staff stayed with the people, until they realized that their presence could be harmful to the people, since the Japanese were targeting the bishop. The bishop himself lived, even though he traveled fearlessly around his diocese to serve his people.
One of those killed was the elderly Father Henry Holland who had served there for 25 years, whose stacks of Scripture translation were lost when their station was looted. Father Vivian Redlich died when he refused to abandon his Sunday mass. Lucian Tapiedi , a teacher, told his married colleagues, “Take your wives and families to the bush and hide. I am single; I’ll stay with the fathers and sisters.” There are many more stories of bravery and love for the Lord that we remember on this day. Learn much more here.
- September 8: The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Both the Eastern and Western churches celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on this day. The first reference to the Church celebrating this day is from Pope Sergius in 680. According to tradition, the Virgin Mary’s parents Joachim and Anna were faithful to the Lord, but were looked down upon for not having any children. In a pattern of events clearly modeled upon Hannah and her son Samuel, they vowed that if the Lord gave them a child, they would devote that child to the Lord’s service and take her to the temple at age 3. Within Anglicanism, many different position exist in regard to devotion to Mary. But regardless of where you stand, on this day we praise God for the birth and life of a “new Eve,” who gladly and courageously surrendered to God’s word and believed in the One she would bear in her womb.
- In September of 2015, we started the Homely Hours! We now have 3 years of posts (some years more consistent than others). Here is our very first post: Why the Homely Hours? We hope that we are living up to our beginning aspirations. And, we welcome your thoughts on how we can improve.
- Are you starting to think about Michaelmas? It’s coming up on Saturday, September 29th. This post, Preparing for Michaelmas, is full of ideas and resources. Make sure to print out the booklet by Phil James ahead of time, so that you can read the “chapters” in the days beforehand. And, here is another fun post: Dragonbread for Michaelmas
Ideas of Books to Borrow or Buy:
- For the feast day of St. Hildegard of Bingen on September 17: Has anyone read Hildegard’s Gift by Megan Hoyt? I was looking at buying it on Amazon and would welcome thoughts if anyone has it already.
- For Michaelmas: Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. Such a beautiful book!
- What other children’s books are you collecting for celebrating the church year for this month?