Mass Schedule – Week of Trinity XXI (November 9, 2014)
11, St. Martin, Bishop of Tours
15, St. Albert the Great
+ Martin was born around 330 of pagan parents. His father was a soldier, who enlisted Martin in the army at the age of fifteen. One winter day he saw an ill-clad beggar at the gate of the city of Amiens. Martin had no money to give, but he cut his cloak in half and gave half to the beggar. (Paintings of the scene, such as that by El Greco, show Martin, even without the cloak, more warmly clad than the beggar, which rather misses the point.) In a dream that night, Martin saw Christ wearing the half-cloak. He had for some time considered becoming a Christian, and this ended his wavering. He was promptly baptized. At the end of his next military campaign, he asked to be released from the army, saying: “Hitherto I have faithfully served Caesar. Let me now serve Christ.” He was accused of cowardice, and offered to stand unarmed between the contending armies. He was imprisoned, but released when peace was signed. He became a disciple of Hilary of Poitiers a chief opponent in the West of the Arians, who denied the full deity of Christ, and who had the favor of the emperor Constantius. Returning to his parents’ home in Illyricum, he opposed the Arians with such effectiveness that he was publicly scourged and exiled. He was subsequently driven from Milan, and eventually returned to Gaul. There he founded the first monastery in Gaul, which lasted until the French Revolution. In 371 he was elected bishop of Tours. His was a mainly pagan diocese, but his instruction and personal manner of life prevailed. In one instance, the pagan priests agreed to fell their idol, a large fir tree, if Martin would stand directly in the path of its fall. He did so, and it missed him very narrowly. When an officer of the Imperial Guard arrived with a batch of prisoners who were to be tortured and executed the next day, Martin intervened and secured their release. In the year 384, the heretic (Gnostic) Priscillian and six companions had been condemned to death by the emperor Maximus. The bishops who had found them guilty in the ecclesiastical court pressed for their execution. Martin contended that the secular power had no authority to punish heresy, and that the excommunication by the bishops was an adequate sentence. In this he was upheld by Ambrose, Bishop of Milan. He refused to leave Treves until the emperor promised to reprieve them. No sooner was his back turned than the bishops persuaded the emperor to break his promise; Priscillian and his followers were executed. This was the first time that heresy was punished by death. Martin was furious, and excommunicated the bishops responsible. But afterwards, he took them back into communion in exchange for a pardon from Maximus for certain men condemned to death, and for the emperor’s promise to end the persecution of the remaining Priscillianists. He never felt easy in his mind about this concession, and thereafter avoided assemblies of bishops where he might encounter some of those concerned in this affair. He died on or about 11 November 397 (my sources differ) and his shrine at Tours became a sanctuary for those seeking justice.The Feast of Martin, a soldier who fought bravely and faithfully in the service of an earthly sovereign, and then enlisted in the service of Christ, is also the day of the Armistice which marked the end of the First World War. On it we remember those who have risked or lost their lives in what they perceived as the pursuit of justice and peace.
+ Albertus Magnus was born in Swabia (in Germany) in 1206. He studied at the University of Padua, and then, against his family’s wishes, joined the newly founded Order of Preachers. He became a famous teacher, with headquarters at Cologne from 1248 on. His pupils included St. Thomas Aquinas. His writings are considerable both in bulk and in scope. They are concerned not only with biblical and theological studies, but also with logic, metaphysics, ethics, physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, human and animal physiology, geography, geology, and botany. He says that in some areas, such as questions about the nature of God, men cannot draw sound conclusions by themselves because they lack the necessary data. But he is an enthusiastic supporter of the autonomy of human reason, working on empirical data, in areas of knowledge where those data are relevant. Given an longstanding belief in his day that eagles incubate only one egg and rear only one offspring per season, he had himself lowered over a cliff edge and down to an eagle’s nest, so that he might check for himself.
+ On Monday, November 17, the Monday Morning Bible Study will embark upon a study of “The Miracle of the Scarlet Thread” by Richard Booker. Booker’s book looks closely at the theme of the blood covenant which God made with Abraham and its fruition in Jesus Christ. It demonstrates in clear language how the Old and New Testaments tell one complete story. For further information contact Priscilla King at email@example.com.
+ This coming Wednesday is Agape & Christian Education and I hope you all can come out as well as bring a friend. Thanks goes out to all our cooks, teachers, and helpers and especially to Jackie Jamison for her leadership in organizing and developing our Wednesday Agape. Jackie says, “Things will proceed similarly to last year with three classes led by the same teachers (Sr. Lynda for the preschoolers, me for the elementary kids, and Charlie for upper elementary and middle school). I want to encourage parents to encourage kids not to “age up” to Charlie’s class before fourth grade. Even though that class right now is small, if we let the age creep downward, it won’t serve its purpose as a place for older kids who do end up coming! All teachers please remember that class is over at 7:15!
+ Daily mass is celebrated Monday through Saturday at 12:15 p.m. You and your family members are all remembered by name at the Altar of God every week. Please take an All Saints parish prayer list home with you & remember your fellow parishioners in your prayers.
+ All Saints Men’s Group will meets each Tuesday at 7:00 a.m. in the undercroft.
+ All Saints parishioner may obtain a Mass card from the Church office. A Mass card is a greeting card given to someone to inform him or her that a deceased loved one or friend was remembered and prayed for at a weekly Mass. It is a specifically Christian way to express one’s love. Call Julie McDermott at the Church office (434-979-2842) and she will help you fill out the form. The celebrant will sign the card and we will mail it from the Church to the family of the loved one.