A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
Błogosławiona Jolenta z Polski (Blessed Jolenta of Poland) (c1235-98). Feast Day for Hungarian princess who was sent for her education to her sister St Kunigunde, who was married to the Duke of Poland. Jolenta married the Duke of Greater Poland and was able to use her wealth to assist the poor, the sick, widows and orphans. Her pious husband joined her in building hospitals, convents and churches. When her husband died, Jolenta and her third daughter entered the convent of the Poor Clares but war forced them to move to another convent where, despite her reluctance, she was made Abbess. Jolenta served her Franciscan sisters by word and example and her fame and good works continued to spread. Her favourite devotion was the Passion of Christ and Jesus appeared to her, telling her of her coming death. Many miracles, down to our own day, have occurred at her grave. Image: bjolanta.pl.
Prayer Lord Jesus, the Blessed Jolenta used her privileged position to help those less fortunate and when she lost her main support turned to You and joined her Sisters so that she might continue worshipping You. Her life of charity toward the poor and her devotion to her Franciscan Sisters brought her happiness midst the problems of life. She led them in generously and willingly serving well the people around them, leading them towards happiness by serving others. We pray that You will guide us to serve generously and willingly all those around us this day. Amen
St Isaácios (d396). Orthodox Christian Feast Day for righteous Syrian Abbot and founder of the Dalmáton Monastery who arrived in Constantinople in 374 and excelled in the monastic life. The 5th Century Third Ecumenical Council raised a later Abbot to the rank of Archimandrite and exarch of the prominent monasteries of the imperial city. However, in the 8th Century the iconoclast Emperor Constantine turned the Dalmáton Monastery into a barracks: “And as for the Monastery called Palmatus, which is ancient and the oldest of all those in Constantinople, after he had expelled the monks, he made it a barracks for soldiers”. Later Byzantine writers denigrated Constantine with the sobriquet Copronymus (Κοπρώνυμος, dung-named). The Cathedral of Saint Isaac in Saint Petersburg is dedicated to St Isaácios, who is remembered for looking beyond the flesh that passes to the soul which is immortal, his soul thus rejoicing with the angels. Image: filesusr.com.
St Ternan (Bishop of the Picts) (bc440). Feast Day for missionary born in Fordoun, Angus who was a monk at Culross and a follower of the cult of St Ninian. Ternan founded a small monastery on the north side of the River Dee near the current graveyard in the town of Banchory. As well as preaching the Christian gospel, he and his followers taught the local people farming, arts and crafts. Ternan is venerated as the Bishop of the Picts and is remembered for two key artifacts, his copy of Matthew’s Gospel and his Bell (Ronnecht). The Gospel was enshrined in a metal case (cumdach, book shrine) and remained in Banchory until the Reformation. The Bell had been brought to Banchory from Rome by Ternan and is last recorded as having been transferred to the custody of Alexander Symson, Vicare of Banquhoriterne in 1491. When the glebe was being excavated for the railway line in 1863, an old bronze bell was found and it now hangs on the front wall of Banchory Ternan East Church as a visible reminder of the debt that is owed to this early pioneer of Christianity in Scotland. Some of Ternan’s relics were venerated at St Machar’s Cathedral, Aberdeen. Churches in Banchory and the surrounding area bear the name of St Ternan. St Ternan’s Feast Day is celebrated annually in Banchory with the St Ternan’s Fair being held on the closest Saturday. In Medieval times, vendors travelled to Banchory along the drove roads and set up stalls to sell their wares, with entertainment provided by itinerant musicians. In 1834, there were around 400 stalls and also an opportunity for local people to sell their surplus goods or barter produce or items they had made. The modern-day St Ternan’s Heritage Fair celebrates local culture and features a range of events for local people and visitors. It was moved to early June for the Queen’s Diamond and Golden Jubilees and next year will be moved to the early-June Platinum Jubilee dates. Image: visitbanchory.com.