A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
Martyrdom Of Guru Tegh Bahá’íadur Sahib (Hind ki Chadar, Shield of India, Mighty of the Sword) (1621-75). Annual commemoration of the 1675 beheading of the ninth of the ten Sikh human Gurus, who built the city of Anandpur Sahib in the Punjab, now known by Sikhs as the City of Bliss, one of the five most important Sikh sacred places. When the Mughal Emperor tried to impose Islam on Indian Hindus and Sikhs, the Guru refused to sacrifice his faith and was arrested, interrogated, imprisoned, tortured and beheaded in public at Chandni Chowk in Delhi. This sacrifice was, in fact, on behalf of Hindu Kashmiri Brahmins who, although they were of a different religious persuasion and worshipped idols, had turned to him for help. The Guru said: “All men are created by God and therefore must be free to worship in any manner they like.” He was of a deeply mystical temperament and spent prolonged periods in seclusion and contemplation and he refused to perform any miracles for the Emperor as: “God’s favour is not for the purpose of show, like a juggler.” Yesterday, Sikh Women’s Aid launched a report into domestic abuse and child sexual abuse within the Sikh community. Today, on the 10 am BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, the co-founder of the charity and co-author of the report spoke of the findings in the context of the 1970s Women’s Liberation Movement in Britain. Tomorrow at 12:15 pm, the Town Mayor and Mayoress will unveil a bench by the fish pond in Grove Park and tie ribbons for the victims of domestic abuse. On Sunday 28 November at midday, the BME Network will tie ribbons and on 5 December at the same time the British Bangladeshi Association will do the same. Image: english.newstracklive.com.
St Andrew Dũng Lạc and Companions (Anrê Trần An Dũng Lạc, André Dũng-Lạc) (1795-1839). Feast Day for converted Vietnamese Roman Catholic who was ordained a priest in 1823 and martyred on 21 December 1839. This is also a Memorial and Universal Church commemoration for one hundred and seventeen other people, including ninety-six Vietnamese, martyred in Vietnam between 1820 and 1862 and all of the other Vietnamese Martyrs from 1625 to 1886. The Portuguese took Christianity to Vietnam and the Jesuits opened the first permanent mission at Da Nang in 1615, ministering to Japanese Catholics driven from Japan. Severe persecutions in the Nineteenth Century led to hundreds of thousands of Catholics being killed or subjected to great hardship. Seventeen laypersons, one of them a nine-year-old, were executed in 1862, when a treaty with France guaranteed religious freedom to Catholics but did not stop all persecution. Religious freedom was finally achieved in the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), which existed from 1955 to 1975, although there were still many Catholics in prison in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). Now that the country is reunited, the Constitution of Vietnam officially provides for freedom of religion but the government restricts religious practice with registration requirements for all religious groups, control boards and surveillance. Dũng Lạc is Venerated in the Catholic Church and is patron of the Diocese of Orange. Image: catholicnewsagency.com.
Prayer O God, source and origin of all fatherhood, Who kept the Martyrs Saint Andrew Dũng-Lac and his companions faithful to the Cross of Your Son, even to the shedding of their blood, grant that by spreading Your love among our brothers and sisters we may be Your children in name and in truth. Amen
St Enflaeda (Enfleda) (626-85). Feast Day for the Anglian Deiran princess whose mother had been raised a Christian. Although her father was a Pagan, he agreed to Enflaeda’s baptism and was then himself baptised with eleven others of the royal household. When she married c642, Enflaeda became a Northumbrian Queen and the early patroness of St Wilfrid, recommending him for his 654 pilgrimage to Rome. The 664 Synod of Whitby was summoned at the double monastery at Streanæshalch (Whitby) that her kinswoman Hilda (Hild) had founded. Against Hilda’s wishes, Enflaeda’s husband ruled that his kingdom would calculate Easter and observe the monastic tonsure according to the customs of Rome rather than the customs practised by Irish monks at Iona and its satellite institutions. In thanks for Enflaeda’s rôle in the Synod, the Pope sent her a cross and golden key made from the fetters of Peter and Paul. Widowed in in 670, after some years she retired to Hilda’s monastery and, jointly with her daughter Ælfflæd, became Abbess of Streanæshalch when Hilda died at her Hackness nunnery and was buried at Streanæshalch in 680. Enflaeda served as Abbess until her death in 685 and burial alongside her husband in the monastery. The English historian William of Malmesbury believed that her remains were later translated to Glastonbury Abbey, where he said in the Twelfth Century that there was a monument to her. Venerated in Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox Churches. Image: gw.geneanet.org.