Collect: Lord, we pray thee that thy grace may always both precede and follow us, and make us continually to be given to all good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Saints & Feast Days:
September 24 (Transferred): St. Theodore of Tarsus
Born in 602, St. Theodore was from Tarsus (St. Paul’s home as well) and educated in Tarsus and Athens. At 66 years old, he was an Eastern monk living in Rome, still a layman. Out of need (England had been devastated by the plague) he was appointed the seventh Archbishop of Canterbury, skipping the usual progression of priestly office. He was loved and respected as archbishop– bringing into order many issues with a no-nonsense approach. The Venerable Bede reflected, “Theodore was the first archbishop whom the entire Church of the English consented to obey. . . Never had there been such happy times as these since the English settled in Britain; for the Christian kings were so strong that they daunted all the barbarous tribes. The people eagerly sought the new-found joys of the kingdom of heaven, and all who wished for instruction in the reading of the Scriptures found teachers ready to hand.” St. Theodore died on this day in the year 690, after being bishop for 22 years.
September 25: St. Sergius
St. Sergius is considered to be the greatest of the Russian saints and is the patron saint of all of Russia. He was born in 1314 and lived until this day in the year 1392. Fr John-Julian in his book Stars in a Dark World, describes St. Sergius:
“He lived a life reminiscent of that of the Desert Fathers, but under very different circumstances. Ice, snow, terrible winds, and rain were his foes. But like Francis, he made friends with the beasts of the forest — with an especial love also, like Francis. Sergius spoke of fire and light as personal friends. Physically, he was a strong northern peasant type: bearded, sparing of speech and gesture, and he was once described as ‘smelling of fir wood.'”
He founded forty monasteries, included the famous monastery of the Holy Trinity, located near Moscow (founded with his brother Stephen). He had great political influence, convincing Russian princes not to be in civil war with each other and also inspiring Prince Dimitri to hold out against a Tartar invasion in 1380.
September 26: Lancelot Andrews
Lancelot Andrews was an English bishop who lived from 1555 to 1626, renowned for his piety, scholarship and kindness. He was part of reforming the church of England, and his translations of the Old Testament make up much of the Authorized Version. He was known for the excellence of his preaching. T.S. Eliot claimed that “Andrewes is the first great preacher of the English Catholic Church.” And here is how Eliot wrote of Andrewes’ sermons:
“It is only when we have saturated ourselves in his prose, and followed the movement of his thought, that we find his examination of words terminating in the ecstacy of assent. Andrewes takes a word and derives the world from it; squeezing and squeezing the word until it yields a full juice of meaning which we would never have supposed any word to possess.”
September 29: St. Michael and All Angels!
- Michaelmas is this week! 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
- For Michaelmas two years ago, art historian (and our priest’s wife) Sandy McNamara reflected upon Angels and Architecture
- The Feast Day of St. Francis is on October 4. Here is our post that includes a Godly Play resource, in addition to book recommendations.
- Speaking of Godly Play, in 2016, we did a two part series on what Godly Play looks like at our church. You can read it here and here.
Books to Borrow or Buy
- For Michaelmas: Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. Such a beautiful book!
- For St. Francis: Brother Sun, Sister Moon by Katherine Patterson, Brother Wolf of Gubbio: A Legend of Saint Francis by Colony Elliott Santangelo, and St. Francis by Brian Wildsmith