A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
Beata Angelina da Marsciano (Blessed Angeline of Marsciano TOR, of Montegiove, of Corbara) (1377-1435). Liturgical Feast Day for noble Umbrian religious sister The daughter of a Count, at 15 Angeline made a vow of perpetual chastity but her father decided that she should marry another Count, who agreed to respect her previous vow. When her husband died 2 years later, Angeline settled in Foligno and joined the Monastery of Sant’Anna, a small community of women Franciscan tertiaries that had been founded in 1388 and with several other women dedicated herself to caring for the sick, the poor, widows and orphans. Angeline founded the first community of Franciscan women living under the Rule of the Third Order Regular (bizocche), the only one other than the Poor Clares to receive papal approval. Unlike the the Poor Clare nuns of the Second Order of the Franciscan movement, the Third Order Regular was not an enclosed religious order and has been active in serving the poor around them for much of their history. Angeline and her companions in Foligno received papal approval in 1397, and she established 15 similar communities of women in other Italian cities including Florence, Spoleto, Assisi, and Viterbo. In 1430, Angeline was elected their first Minister General and developed the Statutes for the congregation to be followed by all its houses. Their degree of independence was not welcomed by the Friars Minor, who had been granted complete authority over the tertiaries that same year and Angeline had to make a vow of obedience to the Foligno Minister Provincial. The chapter of the community at Sant’Anna said the vow was invalid, as it was made under duress, and the Holy See confirmed their autonomy the following year. To avoid a repetition of the conflict, the congregation put themselves under the obedience of their local bishops, with their spiritual direction to come from the Friars of the 1221 Third Order Regular of St Francis. Angeline died in Foligno and was interred in the Church of St Francis there. Her remains were translated to a grander shrine in 1492. Due to the requirement to keep their communities small and simple, Angeline’s congregation gained greatest popularity in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries. They had a specific mandate for the education and instruction of young girls but their work was fairly apostolic until they were required to become an enclosed religious order in 1617, taking solemn vows with a strict separation from the affairs of the external world and limited to the education of girls within the cloister. With a 1903 lifting of the papal enclosure, a wider apostolate was again permitted and the congregation became known as the Franciscan Sisters of Blessed Angelina, who now have houses worldwide. Venerated in Roman Catholic Church (Third Order of St Francis and the Poor Clares). Franciscan commemoration 4 June. Major shrine Chiesa di San Francesco, Foligno, Perugia. Image: aciprensa.com.
Silas, Apostle (Silvanus, Σίλαςm Σιλουανός) (dc80). Catholic and Syriac Feast Day for the First Century prophet, disciple, evangelist, missionary and Bishop, a leading member of the Early Christian community who accompanied Paul on parts of his first and second missionary journeys. Silas went with Paul and Barnabas to Antioch and the prophets converted many non-Hebrew Gentiles, the question arising as to whether a Gentile could become a Christian without also becoming a Jew and undertaking to observe the Law of Moses. The congregation at Antioch referred the question to the Apostles at Jerusalem and Paul and Barnabas went there to present their case. A council of apostles and elders at Jerusalem judged that, with a few specified exceptions, the Law of Moses was not to be imposed on Gentile Christians and they sent Judas Barsabbas and another man back to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas to convey their reply. On Paul’s second journey, he and Silas were briefly imprisoned in Philippi but an earthquake broke their chains and opened the prison door. Silas, Barnabas, Timothy and Paul then met Jewish hostility in the Thessalonica and Berea synagogues and Silas was martyred in Macedonia. Venerated in Roman Catholic, Eastern Catholic Churches, Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Lutheranism. Lutheran Church Commemoration 10 February. Feast Day 30 July Eastern Orthodox Church, with the Apostles Silvanus, Crescens, Epenetus and Andronicus, 4 January with all the Apostles, 26 January with Timothy and Titus in American Evangelical Lutheran, Episcopal Churches. Image: readingacts.com.
Prayer Almighty and everlasting God, we thank Thee for thy servant Silas, whom Thou didst call to preach the Gospel to the peoples of Turkey, Greece and Macedonia. Raise up, we beseech Thee, in this and every land, evangelists and heralds of Thy kingdom that Thy Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Saviour Jesus Christ who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
St Henry the Pious (Kronung Heinrich II, Enrico II Obl SB) (973-1024). Roman Catholic Optional Memorial and Eastern Orthodox Feast Day commemorating the death of the Catholic Holy Roman Emperor (Romanorum Imperator), the last ruler of the Ottonian line who turned to Christianity at an early age and attended the cathedral school in Hildesheim. As Duke of Bavaria, he became King of the Romans (Rex Romanorum) and was made King of Italy (Rex Italiae). Returning from his first expedition to Italy in 1004, Henry controversially gathered an army to march against Poland in alliance with the Western Slavs but suffered significant losses in Poznań and signed a peace treaty. Henry went to Italy to be crowned Emperor in 1014 and returned to Germany giving the rule of Rome to the Pope along with Italy and the Papal States. Henry entertained the pretender to the throne of the Kievan Rus’ East Slavic and Uralic peoples, who seized power in Kiev. Henry was thus able to prepare another invasion of Poland with a large army at his command but he again suffered heavy losses and, after peace negotiations, a ceasefire was declared in 1017. Sincerely religious, Henry, as a celibate, supported service to the Church and promoted various monastic reforms, strongly enforced clerical celibacy, encouraged the reform of the Church, fostered missionary activity and made several charitable foundations for the poor. He wished to become a monk and in virtue of his imperial power was accepted in the monastery at Verdun, the Abbot ordering him to continue the administration of the Empire, which duties Henry fulfilled in a spirit of humility and service, being convinced that temporal power was given by God for the good of the people. Henry persuaded the Pope that the Holy Spirit emanated from both God the Father and God the Son and, together with the concept of Papal primacy, dispute over this doctrine was one of the primary causes of the 1054 Great Schism that divided the European Christian church into two major branches, the Western Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. Returning to Magdeburg from southern Italy to celebrate Easter, Henry fell ill in Bamberg but celebrated Easter before retiring to his imperial palace in Göttingen, where he died. Henry was interred at Bamberg Cathedral. Venerated in Catholic, Eastern Orthodox Churches. Roman Catholic Third-Class Feast and alternative Eastern Orthodox Church Feast Day 15 July. Patron of Basel and Marist Brothers’ College in Durban, also patron of Benedictine Oblates, having become an oblate of the Benedictine Order, and today venerated within the Order as the patron saint of all oblates, along with St Frances of Rome. Image: catholicnewsagency.com.