A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths

Easter Friday. Celebration in Roman Catholic, Lutheran and some Anglican Churches one week after Good Friday. In the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, Easter is one of two solemnities with an octave (period of 8 days), the other being Christmas. The Gospel readings for each of middle days of the Octave of Easter (Easter Week) are taken from the various Scriptural accounts of the Resurrection of Jesus and on Easter Friday from John’s account of Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish. The 3rd time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead was by the Sea of Galilee when the disciples were fishing at night. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore but the disciples did not recognise Him when He asked if they had any fish but they said they had caught nothing. He told them where to cast their net and they caught many fish. They then recognised Jesus as the Lord and He invited them to a breakfast of bread and fish. As the date of Easter (Pascha) is calculated differently by Western and Orthodox Christians, Easter Friday will be celebrated by the latter as Bright Friday on 7 May. Photo: Grow in Christ

God save our gracious Queen! Long live our noble Queen! God save The Queen! Send her victorious Happy and glorious Long to reign over us God save the Queen!

Mother Superior Alice-Elizabeth (Victoria Alice Elizabeth Julia Marie, Princess Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark) (1885-1969). Mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who sadly at 99 died peacefully at Windsor Castle today and who, at 18 months and sleeping in a temporary cot made from an old orange box, left Corfu in 1922 as a refugee on a Royal Navy cruiser, HMS Calypso, with his mother and his four older sisters. Philip was close to his mother’s brother Lord Louis Mountbatten, his Uncle Dickie. A great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Princess Alice was born in Windsor Castle. After the imposition of military rule in Greece in 1967, she was invited by her son and daughter-in-law to live at Buckingham Palace, where she died 2 years later, leaving no possessions as she had given everything away. In 1988, her remains were transferred from a vault in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, to the Church of Mary Magdalene at the Russian Orthodox convent of the same name on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, as she had wished to be near her aunt who was a Russian Orthodox saint. Alice helped in a Paris charity shop and, having become deeply religious, in 1928 had converted to the Greek Orthodox Church. After recovering from a 1930 mental health crisis, she devoted most of her remaining years to charity work in Greece, staying in Athens during World War II she worked for the Red Cross, helped organise soup kitchens for the starving, flew to Sweden to bring back medical supplies, organised 2 shelters for orphaned and lost children and a nursing circuit for poor neighbourhoods, and sheltered Jewish refugees, for which she was recognised as Righteous Among the Nations by Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Yad Vashem. After the War, she stayed in Greece and in 1949 founded a Greek Orthodox nursing order of nuns, the Christian Sisterhood of Martha and Mary. Alice was congenitally deaf and learned to lip-read in the languages she spoke, English, German, French and Greek. In 1958, as a tribute to his mother, Prince Philip became patron of the Royal National Institute for the Deaf. In 2010, Princess Alice was posthumously named a Hero of the Holocaust by the British Government. Photo: Harper’s Bazaar

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-45). Lutheran, Anglican and Methodist commemoration of death of Breslau German Lutheran ordained pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi dissident, key founding member of the Confessing Church and martyr. His writings on Christianity’s role in the secular world have become widely influential, and his book The Cost of Discipleship has been described as a modern classic. At 24, studying in the USA, he was introduced to the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, forming a lifelong love for African-American spirituals. Returning to Germany in 1931, he was ordained and appointed pastor in 2 German-speaking Protestant churches in London but refused an opportunity to study non-violent resistance under Gandhi in his ashram and returned to Germany to head an underground seminary. The Gestapo shut this down following the outbreak of World War II and in 1941 Bonhoeffer joined the Abwehr, a German military intelligence organisation, but served as a courier for the German resistance movement, visiting Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland. The British government ignored approaches from the German resistance. Bonhoeffer helped German Jews escape to Switzerland and was arrested in 1943. After the failure of the 1944 plot on Hitler’s life, secret Abwehr documents were discovered and Bonhoeffer, accused of conspiracy, was secretly moved to Buchenwald concentration camp. In a fit of rage, Hitler ordered that the Abwehr conspirators be eliminated and Bonhoeffer asked an English prisoner to remember him to Bishop George Bell of Chichester with: “This is the end, for me the beginning of life”. Condemned to death without a fair trial, Bonhoeffer was hanged with his brother and 5 others at Flossenbürg concentration camp just 2 weeks before USA soldiers liberated the camp. The whereabouts of Bonhoeffer’s remains is not known. Photo: The World of Books

Prayer O Lord God, as a loving Father take care of our loved ones, forgive us all the sins we have committed against Thee and against others. We trust in Thy grace and commit our lives wholly into Thy hands. Do with us as seemeth best to Thee and as is best for us. Whether we live or die, we are with Thee and Thou art with us. Amen