A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
Św Alberta Chmielowskiego (St Albert Chmielowski TOSF, Adam Hilary Bernard Chmielowski) (1845-1916). Feast Day for Polish nobleman, noted painter and disabled veteran, a professed religious and founder of both the Albertine Brothers and Albertine Sisters servants of the homeless and destitute. Due to the lack of a priest in turbulent times, he received a lay baptism before a formal church one. After home schooling, Chmielowski studied agroforestry and became involved in independence politics in the 1863 January Uprising. He lost a leg in battle, saying before the unanaesthesised amputation: “Give me a cigar – that will help me pass the time.” He offered his intense suffering to God before escaping from the hospital hidden in a coffin. The Czarist authorities forced Chmielowski to leave Poland and he went to study engineering in Ghent, where he discovered his talent for painting, which he began to develop despite the objections of family trustees. He was for a time a popular Polish artist and religious themes began to appear. Whilst working on an image of Christ, he perceived a religious vocation and in 1880 he entered the Jesuit Stara Wieś novitiate for a short time before discovering the Rule of Saint Francis of Assisi and in 1887 joining the Third Order of Saint Francis, taking the religious name Albert. Chmielowski’s strong political convictions had inspired his interest in the human condition and he had developed a gentle and compassionate spirit that made him aware of the suffering of the poor. He had felt compelled to help those in need and volunteered in the homeless shelters in Kraków before accepting a beggar’s life. Taking up residence in the Kraków public shelter where he had been volunteering, in 1888 he took his final religious vows and founded the Servants of the Poor. In 1891, Chmielowski and Maria Jabłońska founded a parallel women’s congregation, the Albertine Sisters who organised food and shelter for the homeless and destitute. Chmielowski died on Christmas Day in the shelter that he had established and was buried in the Rakowicki Cemetery, his remains being exhumed in 1932 and placed in a metal coffin, to be exhumed again in 1949 and translated to a Discalced Carmelite church. In 1949, Karol Wojtyła, then a priest in Poland, wrote a well-received play about Albert, entitled Our God’s Brother, which was made into a film. Cardinal Karol Józef Wojtyła became Pope John Paul II and approved the necessary two miracles for Chmielowski to be proclaimed a saint in 1989. Venerated in Roman Catholic Church. His Feast Day cannot be on the date of his death. Patron of Puławy, Diocese of Sosnowiec, painters, Servants of the Poor, Sisters Servants of the Poor, Franciscan tertiaries, soldiers, volunteers, harvests, travellers. Image: apostol.pl.
Sts Martha and Mary of Bethany (1st Century). Eastern Orthodox liturgical commemoration of the sisters of St Lazarus, the three of whom became especially devoted disciples of our Lord, Mary and Martha being among the Myrrh-bearing women. On Lazarus Saturday, the day before Palm Sunday, Jesus and his Disciples had come to a village where Martha opened her home to them and Jesus resurrected her brother (Lazarus of the Four Days, Righteous Lazarus) 4 days after his death. Mary sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made and asked: “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Mary, Martha and Lazarus reposed in Cyprus, where Lazarus had become the first Bishop of Kition after he had been restored to life by the Lord at 30 and lived for another 30 years, never again laughing. In Greece in 1949, Mother Superior Alice-Elizabeth, the mother of the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, founded a Greek Orthodox nursing order of nuns, the Christian Sisterhood of Martha and Mary. Also commemorated on 4 June in Western Church and 29 July in Eastern Church with the Sunday of Myrrh-Bearing Women, the second Sunday following Pascha. Image: thedailyfeast.org.
Prayer God our Father, whose Son enjoyed the love of his friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus, may we so rejoice in Your love that the world may come to know the depths of Your wisdom, the wonder of Your compassion and Your power to bring life out of death. This we pray through the merits of Your only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is alive and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, now and for ever. Amen
Samuel and Henrietta Barnett (1844-1913, 1851-1936). Commemoration of social reformers who married in 1873. Samuel Barnett was Canon of Westminster, remembered on the couple’s 1916 George Frampton white and green marble tablet in the south choir aisle of Westminster Abbey by the figure of a sower with the inscription: “Fear not to sow because of the birds,” referring to the parable of the sower in the Bible. Samuel’s inscription reads: “In gratitude to God and in memory of Samuel Augustus Barnett, Canon of Westminster Abbey and Sub-Dean Designate, Founder and Warden of the first University Settlement, Toynbee Hall Whitechapel, Canon of Bristol Cathedral, Vicar of St Jude’s Whitechapel. Believing that we are all members one of another he laboured unceasingly to unite men in the service of God and by his counsel and example inspired many to seek for themselves and for the nation the things that are eternal. Friends who loved and revered him erected this tablet in thankful remembrance of the witness that he bore to God in the world as with faith and courage he followed Christ.” Henrietta’s inscription: “And to the memory of his wife Dame Henrietta Barnett DBE” was added after her death. Samuel was born in Bristol and educated at home and at Wadham College, Oxford. He taught at Winchester College before travelling to America. In 1867 he was ordained before marrying Henrietta Rowland, who was born in Clapham and made a Dame of the British Empire in 1924. Both worked tirelessly for the education and welfare of the poor in the deprived East End of London. Henrietta was the inspiration behind Hampstead Garden Suburb, a community where both rich and poor could live side by side. Herbert Asquith called her: “The unofficial custodian of the children of the state.” They had no children but adopted Dorothy Woods as their ward. Both Samuel and Henrietta are buried at St Helen’s church, Hangleton, Hove, East Sussex, as Samuel requested that he should not be buried in the Abbey. Image: pinterest.com.