A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths

HG Mar Dionysius III (Punnathra, Kurien) (1785-1825). Memorial feast commemorating death of 11th Malankara Metropolitan and Successor to the Holy Apostolic Throne of St Thomas, who during a long career in the Malankara Church, suggested establishing the Syrian seminary at Kottayam, Kerala’s 1st educational institution, and welcomed its 1st English missionary teachers. Following the 1816 sudden demise of Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysious I, the British Resident met with the Diwan (prime minister) of Travancore and elders of the Church and an Acting Malankara Metropolitan was consecrated and cordially accepted by the Maharajas of Travancore and Cochin. In 1817, a general assembly of representatives of the parishes of the Church (the modern Malankara Palli-yogam, മലങ്കര പള്ളി യോഗം) selected Punnathara as the next Metropolitan. Anglican missionaries had arrived to open schools in Kerala in 1816, without interfering in the faith and administration of the Malankara Church, and began to translate the Bible into Malayalam. During an outbreak of cholera in Kerala, Punnathara died and was interred in St Mary’s Orthodox Church, Kottayam (Kottayam Cheriapally). Image: en.wikipedia.org.

St Dunstan (c909-88). Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox Church Feast Day and Church of England Lesser Festival commemorating the death of Wessex nobleman who was born in Baltonsborough, near Glastonbury, and studied under the Irish monks in the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, dreaming of its restoration. He entered into the service of his uncle, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and later became a favourite of King Æthelstan, causing envy that led to a plot to disgrace him with accusations of being involved in witchcraft and black magic. Dunstan thus journeyed to Winchester to serve another uncle, the Bishop of Winchester, take Holy Orders and become a hermit at Glastonbury, where he defied the Devil and worked as a silversmith, scribe and illuminator. When King Edmund faced death at the edge of Cheddar Gorge, he thought of Dunstan, was saved and made Dunstan Abbot of Glastonbury to re-establish Benedictine monasticism there and rebuild the Abbey. After a time in Flanders and Rome, Dunstan reformed the English Catholic Church, becoming successively Bishop of Worcester, Bishop of London, Bishop of Winchester and Archbishop of Canterbury, where he retired to teach at the Cathedral School. On the vigil of Ascension Day, a vision of angels warned him that he would die in 3 days and he led the Feast Day, announced his impending death and wished his congregation well. He chose the spot for his tomb in the Cathedral and died peacefully, his final words being: “He hath made a remembrance of his wonderful works, being a merciful and gracious Lord: He hath given food to them that fear Him.” When Canterbury Cathedral was destroyed by fire in 1074, a new tomb was provided in the rebuilt Cathedral. However, the monks of Glastonbury held that during the sack of Canterbury by the Danes in 1012, Dunstan’s body was translated for safety to their Abbey. Canterbury claimed in 1508 that they still had the remains but Dunstan’s shrine was destroyed during the English Reformation. The 7th-Century Glastonbury Abbey had been destroyed by an 1184 major fire, was rebuilt and by the 14th Century was one of the richest and most powerful monasteries in England but it was disestablished in 1539 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries under King Henry VIII. Venerated in Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglican Communion. Blind Veterans UK (formerly St Dunstan’s) provides free support and services to vision-impaired ex-Armed Forces and National Service personnel. Patron of blacksmiths, goldsmiths, locksmiths, musicians, silversmiths, bellringers. Shrines Glastonbury Abbey, Canterbury Cathedral, both destroyed. Image: saintdunstansma.org.

Prayer O God of truth and beauty, Who didst richly endow thy Bishop Dunstan with gifts of administration and reforming zeal, teach us, we beseech, to see in Thee the source of all our talents and move us to offer them for the advancement of true charity. Amen

Santa Pudenziana (St Pudentiana, Potenciana). Ancient Feast Day for 2nd-Century Roman virgin of the early Christian church, the martyress daughter of St Pudens, who was a friend of the Apostles mentioned by St Paul in 2 Timothy. Pudentiana and her sister Praxedes, also a martyress, built a baptistry in the church inside their father’s house, and started to baptise pagans. Pudentiana refused to worship the Roman Emperors as deities and at 16 was martyred. Pudentiana is buried next to her father Pudens in the Priscilla catacombs on the Via Salaria. The Church of Santa Pudenziana, erected c150, is the oldest place of Christian worship in Rome and was the residence of the Pope until 313, when the Emperor Constantine I offered the Lateran Palace in its stead. In the 4th Century, the Church of Santa Pudenziana became a Basilica and in 499 the administration of the Sacraments was permitted there. The Spanish Conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi gained possession on 19 May 1571 of the territory that is now The Philippines and declared Potenciana patroness. In 1942, the Virgin Mary under the title of the Immaculate Conception was declared principal patroness of the country, with Saints Pudentiana and Rose of Lima as secondary patronesses, historical documents having indicated Rose of Lima a patroness in the 17th Century. Intramuros, the walled Spanish citadel that was the nucleus of Manila, has a street that bears the name of Potenciana. Major shrine Basilica of Santa Pudenziana, Rome. Patron of Rome, co-patroness of the Philippines. Image: acatholiclife.blogspot.com.