A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths

Li Xia (The Beginning of Summer). This ancient Chinese festival for the 7th of 24 ,and 1st solar, term of summer to 20 May dates back 3,000 years to the solemn rituals of worshipping the sun as spring passes into summer and the crops enter their peak growing season, with the concept of human beings living in harmony with nature. At this time in 1929, agricultural associations were established and aroused suspicion but led to the development of the Red Army of Chinese workers and peasants at the start of the New China. Image: lovepik.com.

Éamonn Iognáid Rís (Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice) (1762-1844). Feast Day for Irish Catholic missionary and educationalist, the founder of 2 institutes of religious brothers, the Congregation of Christian Brothers and the Presentation Brothers, with schools around the world that continue to follow the traditions he established. Rice was born at a time when Catholics faced oppression under Penal Laws enforced by the British authorities but was able to work on educating the poor. Following his wife’s death, he wholeheartedly devoted his life to prayer and charitable work, particularly with the poor and marginalised, for whom he established 3 early schools. After a period of poor health, he lived in a near-comatose state for more than 2 years and died at Mount Sion, Waterford, where his remains lie in a casket. Large crowds filled the streets around his house in Dublin to honour him. A 1976 miracle occurred when a terminally-ill man’s friends prayed for the intercession of Rice and placed a reliquary at the bedside of the dying man, who fully recovered after a few weeks. Venerated in Catholic Church. Major shrine Westcourt, Callan, Ireland. Image: ireland-calling.com.

Friedrich der Weise (Frederick the Wise, Frederick III) (1463-1525). Lutheran Commemoration in the Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod of death of Roman Catholic Saxon Elector of Saxony, Landgrave of Thuringia and founder of the University of Wittenberg. Frederick successfully protected Martin Luther from the Holy Roman Emperor, the Pope and other hostile figures and ensured that Luther would be heard before the 1521 Diet of Worms. Frederick’s collection of over 19,000 relics in his castle church included a thumb from St Anne, a twig from Moses’ burning bush, hay from the holy manger and milk from the Virgin Mary. These would have been worth over 2 million years of penance (earthly time otherwise spent in Purgatory but removed by indulgences). A diligent and pious person who rendered appropriate devotion to these relics and paid money to venerate them could thus escape years in Purgatory. Luther vigorously objected to the corrupt practice of selling such indulgences, saying that salvation could be reached only through faith and by divine grace. Frederick died unmarried, taking Lutheran communion on his deathbed, which might be seen as an unofficial conversion to Lutheranism, and was buried in the Schlosskirche at Wittenberg. He was succeeded by his brother Duke John the Steadfast, who had been Lutheran before he became Elector and made the Lutheran church the official state church in Saxony in 1527. Image: coingallery.de.