A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
Fatimah bint Musa (فَاطِمَة بِنْت مُوسَىٰ, Fatimah al-Masumah, Masumeh, infallible) (173-201 AH, 790-816 CE). Commemoration on 1 Dhu al-Qi’dah 1442 in Hijri and Islamic calendar of birth in Medina of daughter of the seventh Twelver Shi’a Imam, Musa al-Kadhim, and sister of the eighth Twelver Shi’a Imam, ‘Ali al-Rida. Shi’i Imams foretold Fatimah’s holiness and piety before her birth and she had a special gift of knowledge and spiritual awareness, even in childhood. In 200 AH, ‘Ali al-Rida was forced to live apart from his sister and the following year she set off in a caravan of family and friends alongside another caravan of 12,000 people to join him but they were attacked by agents of the Caliph and Fatimah saw the murders of her close family and was then poisoned. She asked to be taken to Qom, where she died and was buried. In Shi’ism, women either become saints by their own merits or because they are the sisters, daughters or wives of other saints and Fatimah is a saint because of her own holiness and wisdom, as well as for her closeness to her brother, ‘Ali al-Rida, and her father, both Shi’i Imams. Fatimah is honoured in many hadiths (teachings) from Shi’i Imams that proclaim the benevolence of visiting her shrine in Qom and more miracles are reported to occur there than at the burial place of any other prophet or imam. Shrine Qom, Iran to which thousands of Shi’a Muslims normally travel each year. Image: twitter.com.
Sts Bartholomew and Barnabas, Apostles (1st Century). Eastern Christianity Feast Day for Bartholomew (Βαρθολομαῖος, Bartholomaîos, Bartholomaeus, Բարթողիմէոս, ⲃⲁⲣⲑⲟⲗⲟⲙⲉⲟⲥ, בר-תולמי,, بَرثُولَماوُس, Nathanael), a Canaanite, and Lutheran Lesser Festival for Barnabas (ܒܪܢܒܐ, Βαρνάβας, Joseph), a wealthy Levite Cypriot Christian disciple in Jerusalem. Bartholomew was one of the Twelve Apostles and was summoned to Jesus by Philip, Jesus paying him the great compliment: “Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him,” When he asked how Jesus knew him, Jesus said: “I saw you under the fig tree” and he exclaimed: “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel”, Jesus countering with: “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” Bartholomew was one of the Apostles to whom Jesus appeared on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias, the third appearance after His Resurrection, although no one knew it was He until the miracle of the great catch, when John cried out to Peter: “It is the Lord.” Barnabas was one of the Seventy Apostles, studied together with Saul and introduced him to the Apostles as Paul, the two of them and Mark then preaching the Gospel in Antioch and elsewhere. Bartholomew died a martyr in Albanopolis, Armenia and is venerated in all Christian denominations that venerate saints. His major shrine is St Bartholomew Monastery, Armenia, with relics in Canterbury Cathedral. Western Christianity Feast Day 24 August. Patron of Armenia, bookbinders, butchers, leather workers; neurological diseases, skin diseases, dermatology, plasterers, shoemakers, curriers, tanners, trappers, twitching. The Armenian Apostolic Church honours St Bartholomew along with Saint Thaddeus as its patron saints. On Cyprus, Barnabas suffered at the hands of the Jews and was buried by Mark outside Salamis, his grave remaining unknown until three 451 visions revealed it to the Archbishop of Cyprus and many received healing, identifying it as the Place of Health. The miraculous discovery of the relics of the holy Apostle Barnabas established that the church in Cyprus, as an Apostolic Church, should always be independent. Barnabas is venerated in the Catholic, Lutheran, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches and Anglican Communion and is celebrated by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria on 11 September. He is patron of Cyprus, Antioch, against hailstorms, and invoked as a peacemaker. His Shrine is in the Monastery of St Barnabas, Famagusta, Cyprus. Image: orthodoxtimes.com.
St William of Perth and Rochester (12th Century-c1201). Feast Day for Scottish baker born in Perth who, on reaching manhood, devoted himself wholly to the service of God, setting aside every tenth loaf for the poor. He went to Mass daily and one dark morning found on the threshold of the church an abandoned child whom he adopted and to whom he taught his trade. Later, he took a vow to visit the Holy Places and receive the palm leaf folded into a cross of a Palmer (palmarius) Christian pilgrim. Palmers were highly regarded as well-natured holy men because of their devotion to Christ along the pilgrimage. William set out with his adopted son Cockermay Doucri (David the Foundling), staying three days at Rochester to proceed to Canterbury and Jerusalem. However, David wilfully misled his benefactor and, with robbery in mind, felled him with a blow to the head and cut his throat. An insane woman who discovered the corpse was restored to sanity and, on learning this, the monks of Rochester carried the body to the Cathedral for burial. William was honoured as a martyr because he was on a pilgrimage to the Holy Places. The miracle involving the woman and later miracles after his death led to his being acclaimed a saint by the people. In 1256, the Bishop of Rochester established the shrine of St William of Perth (Seint Willyam of Rowchester), which became a place of pilgrimage second only to Canterbury’s shrine of St Thomas Becket, bringing many thousands of Medieval pilgrims to Rochester Cathedral. Their footsteps wore down the original stone Pilgrim Steps and nowadays they are covered by wooden steps. A small chapel, the remains of which can still be seen, was built at the place of the murder, which was then called Palmersdene. In 1399, the Pope granted an indulgence to those who visited and gave alms at the shrine on certain days and the local people continued to make bequests throughout the 15th and 16th Centuries. Venerated in Roman Catholic Church. Alternative Feast Days 22 April, 23 May. Patron of adopted children. Image: pinterest.com.