Lucia, martyr

​One of the victims of the great persecution under the Roman emperor Diocletian, Lucia met her death at Syracuse on the island of Sicily in the year A.D. 304, because of her Christian faith. Known for her charity, Santa Lucia (as she is called in Italy) gave away her dowry and remained a virgin until her execution by the sword. The name Lucia means light, and, because of that, festivals of light commemorating her became popular throughout Europe, especially in the Scandinavian countries. There her feast day corresponds with the time of year when there is the least amount of daylight. In artistic expression she is often portrayed in a white baptismal gown, wearing a wreath of candles on her head.

Published in: on December 13, 2016 at 8:29 am  Leave a Comment  

August 27 – Monica, Faithful Mother

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A native of North Africa, Monica (A.D. 333-387) was the devoted mother of Saint Augustine. Throughout her life she sought the spiritual welfare of her children, especially that of her brilliant son, Augustine. Widowed at a young age, she devoted herself to her family, praying many years for Augustine’s conversion. When Augustine left North Africa to go to Italy, she followed him to Rome and then to Milan. There she had the joy of witnessing her son’s conversion to the Christian faith. Weakened by her travels, Monica died at Ostia, Italy on the journey she had hoped would take her back to her native Africa. On some church year calendars, Monica is remembered on May 4.

Source: www.LCMS.org Commemorations Biographies

Published in: on August 28, 2015 at 8:14 am  Leave a Comment  

Calvary hosts Life Line Screening

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Published in: on August 11, 2015 at 9:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Lawrence, deacon and martyr, August 10th

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Lawrence Deacon and Martyr

Early in the third century AD, Lawrence, most likely born in Spain, made his way to Rome. There he was appointed chief of the seven deacons and was given the responsibility to manage Church property and finances. The emperor at the time, who thought that the Church had valuable things worth confiscating, ordered Lawrence to produce the “treasures of the Church.” Lawrence brought before the emperor the poor whose lives had been touched by Christian charity. He was then jailed and eventually executed in the year AD 258 by being roasted on a gridiron. His martyrdom left a deep impression on the young Church. Almost immediately, the date of his death, August 10, became a permanent fixture on the early commemorative calendar of the Church.

Prayer

Almighty God, You called Lawrence to be a deacon in Your Church to serve Your saints with deeds of love, and You gave him the crown of martyrdom. Give us the same charity of heart that we may fulfill Your love by defending and supporting the poor, that by loving them we may love You with all our hearts; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Published in: on August 10, 2015 at 9:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Faith’s Fight

The great art and power of faith consist in seeing that which is not seen and in not seeing that which is nonetheless felt, aye, which oppresses and depresses a person; just as unbelief sees only what it feels and does not at all like to cling to that which it does not feel.

Therefore God does not confront faith with trivial things but with such things as all the world cannot bear, like death, sin, the world, and the devil. For all the world is not able to stand up against death but flees from it, is frightened by it, and is overpowered by it. But faith stands fast and battles with death, which devours all the world, and gains the victory over it and devours the insatiable devourer of human life.

Is not faith, which can hold its own against such mighty enemies and attain the victory, an almighty and unspeakably grand matter? Therefore St. John well says 1 John 5:4: “This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.”

-Martin Luther

Published in: on July 9, 2015 at 10:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Frederick the Wise,

Frederick the Wise, Christian Ruler

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Frederick the Wise, elector of Saxony from 1486 to 1525, was Martin Luther’s sovereign in the early years of the Reformation. Were it not for Frederick, there might not have been a Lutheran Reformation. Born in Torgau, Germany, in 1463, Frederick became so well known for his skill in political diplomacy and his sense of justice and fairness that he was called “the Wise” by his subjects. Although he never met Luther, Frederick repeatedly protected and provided for him. In all likelihood, he saved the reformer from a martyr’s fate when he refused the pope’s demand to extradite Luther to Rome for a heresy trial in 1518. When Emperor Charles V declared Luther an outlaw in 1521 at the Diet of Worms, Frederick provided sanctuary for Luther at Wartburg Castle. On his deathbed, Frederick received the Lord’s Supper in both kinds—a clear confession of the evangelical faith.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, You provided wisdom and skill to Frederick the Wise as elector of Saxony during the early years of the Reformation, using his rule and authority to protect Martin Luther and preserve the preaching of the Gospel. Graciously regard all Your servants who make, administer, and judge the laws of this nation, and look with favor upon all the rulers of the earth. Grant them wisdom and understanding that they might provide sanctuary for Your Church to continue to proclaim the true faith; for You live and reign with the Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Published in: on May 1, 2015 at 7:24 am  Leave a Comment  

A Spark in the Ocean

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The good God permits such small evils to befall us merely in order to arouse us snorers from our deep sleep and to make us recognize, on the other hand, the incomparable and innumerable benefits we still have. He wants us to consider what would happen if He were to withdraw His goodness from us completely. In that spirit Job said (2:10): “Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” . . . [Job] said (Job 1:21): “As God wills, so let it be; the name of the Lord be praised.” He did not simply look at the evil, as we would-be saints do; he kept in sight the goodness and grace of the Lord. With this he comforted himself and overcame evil with patience.

We also are to look at our misfortunes in no other way than that with them God gives us a light by which we may see and understand His goodness and kindness in countless other ways. Then we conclude that such small misfortunes are barely a drop of water on a big fire or a little spark in the ocean. Then we understand and love the words: “O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His steadfast love endures forever!”

—Martin Luther

Published in: on February 21, 2015 at 8:59 am  Leave a Comment  

February 14, Valentine, Martyr

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A physician and priest living in Rome during the rule of Emperor Claudius, Valentine became one of the noted martyrs of the third century. The commemoration of his death, which occurred in AD 270, became part of the calendar of remembrance in the Early Church of the West. Tradition suggests that on the day of his execution for his Christian faith, Valentine left a note of encouragement for a child of his jailer written on an irregularly shaped piece of paper. This greeting became a pattern for millions of written expressions of love and caring that now are the highlight of Valentine’s Day in many nations.

Prayer

Almighty and everlasting God, You kindled the flame of Your love in the heart of Your holy martyr Valentine. Grant to us, Your humble servants, a like faith and the power of love, that we who rejoice in Christ’s triumph may embody His love in our lives; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Published in: on February 14, 2015 at 10:09 am  Leave a Comment  

February 13, Aquila, Priscilla and Apollos

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Aquila and his wife, Priscilla (Prisca), Jewish contemporaries of St. Paul, traveled widely. Because of persecution in Rome, they went to Corinth where they met the apostle Paul, who joined them in their trade of tentmaking (Acts 18:1-3). In turn, they joined Paul in his mission of proclaiming the Christian Gospel. The couple later traveled with Paul from Corinth to Ephesus (Acts 18:18), where the two of them established a home that served as hospitality headquarters for new converts to Christianity. Apollos was one of their numerous Jewish pupils in the faith. An eloquent man, Apollos, “being fervent in spirit . . . spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus” (Acts 18:25). He later traveled from Corinth to the province of Achaia, “showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus” (Acts 18:28). Aquila, Priscilla, and Apollos are all remembered and honored for their great missionary zeal.

Prayer

Triune God, whose very name is holy, teach us to be faithful hearers and learners of Your Word, fervent in the Spirit as Apollos was, that we may teach it correctly against those who have been led astray into falsehood and error and that we might follow the example of Aquila and Priscilla for the good of the Church You established here and entrusted into our humble care; for You, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, live and reign, one God, now and forever.

Published in: on February 13, 2015 at 7:42 am  Comments (1)  

Music

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A mighty fortress

I would certainly like to praise music with all my heart as the excellent gift of God which it is and to commend it to everyone. . . . Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise. She is a mistress and governess of those human emotions—to pass over the animals—which as masters govern men or more often overwhelm them. No greater commendation than this can be found—at least not by us. For whether you wish to comfort the sad, to terrify the happy, to encourage the despairing, to humble the proud, to calm the passionate, or to appease those full of hate—and who could number all these masters of the human heart, namely, the emotions, inclinations, and affections that impel men to evil or good?—what more effective means than music could you find? The Holy Ghost himself honors her as an instrument for his proper work when in his Holy Scriptures he asserts that through her his gifts were instilled in the prophets, namely, the inclination to all virtues, as can be seen in Elisha [II Kings 3:15]. On the other hand, she serves to cast out Satan, the instigator of all sins, as is shown in Saul, the king of Israel [I Sam. 16:23].

Thus it was not without reason that the fathers and prophets wanted nothing else to be associated as closely with the Word of God as music. Therefore, we have so many hymns and Psalms where message and music join to move the listener’s soul, while in other living beings and [sounding] bodies music remains a language without words. After all, the gift of language combined with the gift of song was only given to man to let him know that he should praise God with both word and music, namely, by proclaiming [the Word of God] through music and by providing sweet melodies with words.

—Martin Luther

Published in: on December 21, 2014 at 9:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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