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A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths

The Right Reverend Mikael Agricola (Michael Olaui, Mikkel Olofsson, Mikael Olavinpoika, the father of literary Finnish) (c1510-1557). Lutheran Commemoration of wealthy Finnish Bishop of Turku in the Church of Sweden who became the de facto founder of literary Finnish and a prominent proponent of the Protestant Reformation in Sweden, including Finland as a Swedish territory at the time. In only 3 years, he translated the New Testament into Finnish and also produced the prayer book and hymns used in Finland’s new Lutheran Church. This work set the rules of orthography that are the basis of modern Finnish spelling. He died whilst returning from a diplomatic mission during which he assisted in negotiating the 1557 Peace Treaty of Novgorod with the Tsardom of Russia. On 9 April, he fell ill and died on the Karelian Isthmus, the day being celebrated in Finland as the Day of the Finnish language. The exact location of Agricola’s grave in Viipuri church is not known.

Prayer May we now follow God’s commandments and may we know that if they make our souls fearful Christ will sooth them once again. So, we may begin anew our learning without obstacles and remember for all our lives that Jesus will always lend us His mercy. Amen

William Law (1686-1761). Feast Day for Northamptonshire spiritual writer and Church of England priest who lost his fellowship of Emmanuel College, Cambridge when his conscience would not allow him to take the required oath of allegiance to the first Hanoverian monarch, King George I, due to his previous allegiance to the House of Stuart. He continued as a curate in London until that too became impossible without the required oath and then taught privately, as well as writing extensively. His mystic and theological writing greatly influenced the evangelical movement of his day as well as Dr Samuel Johnson and Edward Gibbon. John and Charles Wesley consulted him but Law’s mystical tendencies caused breaches between Law and the practical-minded John Wesley. In 1784 William Wilberforce, the politician, philanthropist and leader of the movement to stop the slave trade, was deeply touched by reading Law’s 1729 A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life. Law’s spiritual writings remain in print today. Venerated in Anglican Communion.

William of Ockham (Gulielmus Occamus, Venerabilis Inceptor) (1285-1347). Church of England commemoration of Surrey Franciscan Friar of the Order of Friars Minor, scholastic philosopher, theologian and Teacher of the Faith, one of the major figures of medieval thought at the centre of the intellectual and political controversies of the 14th Century. He is known for his view of parsimony in the methodological principle of Occam’s Razor and also produced significant works on logic, physics and theology. In Avignon in 1327, he was asked to review Apostolic poverty, as the Franciscan Rule demanded the following of the belief that Jesus and his apostles owned no property either individually or in common, something that brought them into conflict with the Pope. William and other leading Franciscans took refuge in Bavaria and he was excommunicated and wrote treatises for the Emperor to have supreme control over church and state in the Holy Roman Empire. In 1342, William became the leader of the small band of Franciscan dissidents living in exile and he died in Munich prior to the outbreak of the plague. Bertrand Russell interpreted Occam’s Razor as stating that one should always opt for an explanation in terms of the fewest possible causes, factors or variables (Entia non sunt multiplicanda sine necessitate) and for William the only truly necessary entity was God.