A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths

Kamada Ekadashi. The Ekadashi Tithi 11th day of Chaitra Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of the Moon), when devotees of Lord Vishnu observe an Ekadashi Vrat day-long fast, is the 1st Ekadashi of the Hindu New Year Lunar calendar, as the Hindu Lunar Year begins with the Pratipada Tithi (1st day) of the 1st month of Chaitra. This Ekadashi of Chaitra Shukla Paksha has a special significance, as devotees observing a vrat on this day obtain peace and are absolved of the worst of sins. Lord Vishnu is the Palan Karta, the one who protects and sustains life on Earth, and took various incarnations to save humanity by defeating evil. There are two Ekadashis in every lunar month, the Ekadashi of Shukla Paksha, on which Kamada Ekadashi falls immediately after Chaitra Navaratri, and the Ekadashi of Krishna Paksha. Image: jagrantimes.in.

St George (Agios Georgios, Γεώργιος, George the Great Martyr and Triumphant, George of Lydda, Heiliger Georg, The Feast of Saint George, St George’s Day, Día de Aragón) (d303). Solemnity and Optional Memorial commemorating death of the Cappadocian Christian Patron Saint of England, a soldier in the Roman army and member of the Praetorian Guard. He lived and died in the Middle East, but his popularity grew after the Crusades, when his red cross on a white background became the symbol of the English Crusaders. As one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, he refused to recant his Christian faith and was executed by decapitation before Nicomedia’s city wall. His body was returned to Lydda (Lod), his mother’s birthplace, his  bones being buried in a sarcophagus (tomb) in the Church of Saint George, where Christians soon came to honour him as a Martyr. The veneration of George spread from Syria Palaestina through Lebanon to the rest of the Byzantine Empire and the region east of the Black Sea, by the 5th Century reaching the Christian Western Roman Empire. It is said that Saint George killed the a dragon near Beirut and Saint George Bay (Golfe de Saint-Georges, Bay of Beirut) was named in his honour. George (جرجس‎, Jirjis) is venerated as a prophetic figure in some Muslim texts . The 14th Century mosque of Nabi Jurjis in Mosul claimed his remains as Hazrat Jurjays but was destroyed in 2014 by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, as a place for apostasy instead of prayer. George was immortalised in the 11th Century legend of Saint George and the Dragon, which relates that he slayed with a lance a fierce dragon that was causing panic in the city of Silene, Libya. When he gave his reward to the poor, the people of the city became baptised Christians. The earliest numismatic depiction of St George was in the Kingdom of Georgia c1015. Venerated in Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church as a Great Martyr, Oriental Orthodoxy, Church of the East, Anglican Communion, Lutheranism, Umbanda, Druze faith. Major shrines St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, the Royal place of burial where the Duke of Edinburgh was laid to rest, Church of Saint George, Lod, St George’s Monastery, Al-Khader, St George Syro-Malabar Catholic Forane Churches, Aruvithura and Edappally, St George Orthodox Church Puthuppally Pally. Celebrated on this day in England, Greece, Ethiopia, Georgia, Catalonia, Aragon, Moscow and elsewhere. The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates 2 additional Feasts on 3 November, commemorating the consecration of the early-4th Century Lydda Cathedral, and on 26 November for a c1054 church in Kiev. In India, the Eastern Catholic Syro-Malabar Church and the Malankara Orthodox Church commemorate George from 27 April to 14 May. In Egypt, the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria refers to George (Ⲡⲓⲇⲅⲓⲟⲥ Ⲅⲉⲟⲣⲅⲓⲟⲥ or ⲅⲉⲱⲣⲅⲓⲟⲥ) as the Prince of Martyrs and celebrates his martyrdom on 23 Paremhat of the Coptic calendar (1 May) and the consecration of the 1st church dedicated to him on 7 Hatour (17 November). In Bulgaria, George’s Day (Гергьовден) is celebrated on 6 May. In Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serbian Orthodox Church refers to George as Sveti Djordje (Свети Ђорђе) and George’s Day (Đurđevdan) is also celebrated on 6 May by ethnic Serbs. Patron of England and protector of the Royal Family, with his cross forming the national flag and part of the Union Flag, Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Georgia although not named after the saint, Malta and Gozo, Portugal, Brazil, Aragón, Valencia, Catalonia, the Balearics, Sicily, Sardinia. Image: independent.co.uk.

Prayer O God, Who didst grant to Saint George strength and constancy in the various torments which he sustained for our holy faith, we beseech Thee to preserve, through his intercession, our faith from wavering and doubt, so that we may serve Thee with sincere hearts, faithfully unto death. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

Toyohiko Kagawa (賀川 豊彦)(1888-1960). Lutheran and Episcopal Church (USA) Commemoration of death of Japanese Protestant renewer of society, social reformer, peace and labour activist, evangelist and author of over 150 books, who wrote, spoke and worked on ways to employ Christian principles in the ordering of society and in cooperatives. He learned English from missionaries who converted him to Christianity and his vocation to help the poor led him to live among them. He advocated for women’s suffrage and promoted a peaceful foreign policy. Kagawa was arrested in Japan in 1921 and again in 1922 for his part in labour activism during strikes and, after his release, helped organise relief work in Tokyo following the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake and assisted in bringing about universal adult male suffrage in 1925. He organised the Japanese Federation of Labour and the National Anti-War League in 1928. Between 1926 and 1934 he focused his evangelical work through the Kingdom of God Movement. Kagawa persuaded many of Japan’s 1930s upland farmers that the solution to their soil erosion problem lay in widespread tree-planting, with fruit and nut trees on farmland to conserve the soil and supply food for humans and fodder for animals, the 3 dimensions of his System. In 1940, Kagawa made an apology to the Republic of China for the Japanese occupation and was arrested again. After his release, he went to the USA in a futile attempt to prevent war with Japan. After Japan’s surrender, Kagawa was an adviser to the transitional Japanese government. From 1955, Kagawa suffered heart troubles and in 1959 his last words were: “Please do your best for world peace and the church in Japan.” After his death, Kagawa was awarded the 2nd-highest honour of Japan, induction into the Order of the Sacred Treasure. Image: holywomenholymen.wordpress.com.