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A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths

St Mychal, Martyr (Reverend Mychal Judge OFM, Robert Emmett Judge) (1933-2001). Feast Day commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the death of the Brooklyn Roman Catholic Franciscan Friar and Catholic priest who was the son of Irish immigrants and served as a Chaplain to the New York City Fire Department. He was the first certified fatality of the September 11 2001 attacks when four planes were hijacked and crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. A plane struck the World Trade Center North Tower at about 2:46 pm BST (8:46 am EST) and the South Tower was hit 17 minutes later, both towers collapsing within two hours. From 1992, as a chaplain, Mychal had offered encouragement and prayers at fires, rescues and hospitals, and counselled firemen and their families. He was considered by many to be a living saint and ministered to the homeless, the hungry, recovering alcoholics, people with AIDS, the sick, injured, and grieving, immigrants, gays and lesbians, and those alienated by society. He celebrated immigration and was especially sensitive to those who were undocumented, including thousands of Irish. Mychal died in the collapse of the World Trade Center in New York City, where 2,606 people perished, including 343 firefighters. Whilst most were fleeing the horror and the terror, he and the other firefighters made their way towards the tragedy. His body was carried the mile to St Peter’s Catholic Church and placed before the altar before being taken to the medical examiner. As his was the first body to be recovered and taken to the medical examiner, Judge was designated Victim 0001 and thereby recognised as the first official victim of the attacks, although others had been killed before him. More than 90 countries lost citizens in the attacks, including: 67 UK, 41 India, 39 Greece, 24 Japan, 18 Colombia, 16 Jamaica, 16 The Philippines, 10 Italy, 6 Bangladesh, 6 Ireland, 6 Pakistan and 6 Poland. Venerated in Orthodox-Catholic Church of America. Shrine St Mychal the Martyr Parish, Lexington, Kentucky. Since 2002, there has been an annual Father Mychal Judge Walk of Remembrance in New York City. This year, a small 9/11 ceremony was held in Bristol, Tennessee in honour of those who died in New York, Washington DC and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. BBC World Service broadcast 9/11: The day that changed our lives forever today at 12:06 pm, with repeats on Sunday 12 September at 3:06 am and 15:06 pm. Image:

Prayer Lord, take me where you want me to go, let me meet who you want me to meet, tell me what you want me to say and keep me out of your way. Amen

Enkutatash - Celebration of Ethiopian New Year

Ethiopian New Year’s Day. Rastafarian holy day in their spiritual homeland and a place to which they wish to return, to celebrate the start of a year in a four year cycle in which each year is named after one of the evangelists. This solar year has 13 months and 365 days, with 366 in a four-yearly leap year when New Year’s Day is 12 September in the Luke-year. The first year after an Ethiopian leap year is named the John-year, followed by the Matthew-year, and then the Mark-year. The history of Ethiopia is remembered on this day and its importance acknowledged through Biblical readings and prayer. A Nyabingi Rastafari unity gathering celebrates the day with drumming, hymns and prayers. Men are expected to remove any hair coverings whilst women must keep their hair covered. A group of men typically forms a line or semi-circle to beat the drums throughout. The congregation continue with chants (songs), some being Hebraic scriptural verses that evidence the divinity of Haile Selassie I (ቀዳማዊ ኃይለ ሥላሴ), the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian defining figure in modern Ethiopian history assassinated in 1975. Rastafari consider that Haile Selassie fulfilled the teachings and prophecy of scripture and was descended from Solomon’s father King David and therefore related to Jesus Christ. Melkam Addis Amet is Happy New Year in Amharic, the language of Ethiopia. Image:

Our Lady of Hildesheim. The Fifteenth-Century Tintenfassmadonna venerated in the 1010 Hildesheim St Mary’s Cathedral replaced the miraculous image once venerated by King Louis the Meek that led to the building of the original 815 Chapel of St Mary on the site as it had become so heavy that it could not be further moved. In the early Twelfth Century, Eskil, a prince’s son leading a disorderly life as a student in Hildesheim and near death, had a vision of a fiery furnace and a palace with the most Blessed Virgin Mary, who said: “Presumptuous man that thou art, dost thou dare to appear before me? Depart hence and to that fire thou hast deserved. You do not even deign to salute me with a Hail Mary.” He said: “I promise to amend, and I will be thy devout client.” The Blessed Mother said: “Well, I accept thy promise; be faithful to me, and meanwhile, with my blessing, be delivered from death and hell”, and the vision disappeared. From that time, Eskil led a holy life, always persevering in great devotion to Our Lady of Hildesheim, becoming in 1137 the Archbishop of Lund, which was then in Denmark, and converting many to the faith. At the end of his life, he retired to become a simple monk in Clairveaux in present-day France and he is venerated by the Cistercians. The most benign Lady of Hildesheim only requires that the sinner recommend himself to her and purposes amendment of his life. The Blessed Virgin told St Brigid: “However much a man may sin, I am immediately ready to receive him when he repents; nor do I pay attention to the number of sins, but only to the intention with which he comes to me.” Since 1983, Weston-super-Mare has been twinned with Hildesheim. Image: © Copyright 2011