A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
Ezekiel The Prophet (יְחֶזְקֵאל, Ἰεζεκιὴλ) (c622-570 BCE). Orthodox and Roman Catholic Feast Day for Hebrew prophet of priestly Kohen lineage who is the protagonist of the Book of Ezekiel. He lived childless in Babylonian captivity with his wife on the banks of the Chebar River, in Tel Abib, Syria with other exiles from Judah. Before the exile, he was active as a prophet in the Land of Israel and, in the Jewish tradition, the three pious men, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) asked him for advice on resisting Nebuchadnezzar’s command for idol worship, choosing death by fire although Ezekiel received God’s saving revelation: “Thou dost believe indeed that I will abandon them. That shall not happen; but do thou let them carry out their intention according to their pious dictates and tell them nothing”. Ezekiel is recognised as a prophet in Islamic tradition but not mentioned in the Qur’an by name, unless as the prophet Zul-Kifl. Ezekiel’s prophecies are considered to include the destruction of Jerusalem, the restoration of the Land of Israel and a vision of a Millennial Third Temple. Venerated in Judaism, Christian Protestantism, Roman Catholic, Armenian Apostolic, Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, Islam, Baháʼí Faith. Major shrine Dhul-Kifl (Ezekiel) Tomb, Al Kifl, Iraq. Celebrated 21 July in Lutheranism, 28 August with Feast in Armenian Apostolic Churches. Image: loandbeholdbible.com.
Birthday of Emperor Haile Selassie I (ቀዳማዊ ኃይለ ሥላሴ) (1892-1975). Haile Selassie was born Ras Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael and was Regent Plenipotentiary of Ethiopia from 1916. He was the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian defining figure in modern Ethiopian history until he was assassinated. Birthday celebrations include Nyabingi sessions with drumming, hymns and prayers to honour the date. On this, one of the holiest days of the Rastafarian year, nearly a million Rastafarians revere him as the returned Messiah, God Incarnate and He who will lead a future golden age of eternal peace, righteousness and prosperity. Rastafarians also celebrate on 2 November his 1930 Coronation, with his accession to the throne and crowning as Ras (Prince) Tafari Makonnen, Emperor of Ethiopia. Another of the holiest days in the Rastafarian year, along with Groundation Day on 21 April, is the Ethiopian Constitution Day on 16 July. Image: colnect.com.
Prayer Haile Selassie I is thy name, thy Will be done on earth as it is in Zion Axum. Give us our daily bread and forgive us all our feeble errors. I-men
Sankta Birgitta av Sverige (St Birgitta of Sweden, Heliga Birgitta, Bridget, Princess of Nericia) (c1303-73). Feast Day outside Sweden commemorating the death of one of the most celebrated Swedish saints and one of the six patron saints of Europe, with St Benedict of Nursia, Sts Cyril and Methodius, St Catherine of Siena and St Edith Stein. Although remembered as the Princess of Nericia outside Sweden, Birgitta Birgersdotter, born just north of Stockholm, was not a member of the Swedish Royal Family, although her mother was related to the Swedish kings of her era and Birgitta herself was principal lady-in-waiting to the Queen of Sweden. Birgitta was a renewer of the Lutheran Church, Abbess of Vadstena, a mystic and the founder of the Bridgettines nuns and monks. She went to Rome in 1350 and, except for several pilgrimages, remained there for the rest of her life. She exercised a wide apostolate among rich and poor, sheltering the homeless and sinners, and she worked untiringly for the end of the Avignon papacy and for the Pope to return to Rome. After one of her many visions, she went on a 1372 pilgrimage to the Holy Land and died soon after her return to Rome. St Birgitta is venerated in the Catholic Church, Anglican Communion and Lutheranism. Feast Day in Sweden 7 October. Patron of Europe, Sweden, widows. Image: blackwells.co.uk.