Virgin and martyr, a member of the Holy Family Sister in Congo Kinshasa, martyred by the Simba rebels, December 1
HARRIET ROSS TUBMAN
(10 MAR 1913)
Harriet Ross was born in 1820 in Maryland. She was deeply impressed by the Bible narrative of God's deliverance of the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, and it became the basis of her belief that it was God's will to deliver slaves in America out of their bondage, and that it was her duty to help accomplish this. In 1844, she escaped to Canada, but returned to help others escape. Working with other Abolitionists, chiefly white Quakers, she made at least nineteen excursions into Maryland in the 1850's, leading more than 300 slaves to freedom. During the War of 1861-5,she joined the Northern Army as a cook and a nurse and a spy, and on one occasion led a raid that freed over 750 slaves. After the war, she worked to shelter orphans and elderly poor persons, and to advance the status of women and blacks. She became known as "the Moses of her People." July 20
SOJOURNER TRUTH (26 NOV 1883)
Sojourner Truth, originally known as Isabella, was born a slave in New York in about 1798. In 1826 she escaped with the aid of Quaker abolitionists, and became a street-corner evangelist and the founder of a shelter for homeless women. When she was travelling, and someone asked her name, she said "Sojourner," meaning that she was a citizen of heaven, and a wanderer on earth. She then gave her surname as "Truth," on the grounds that God was her Father, and His name was Truth. She spoke at numerous church gatherings, both black and white, quoting the Bible extensively from memory, and speaking against slavery and for an improved legal status for women. The speech for which she is best known is called, "Ain't I a Woman?" It was delivered in response to a male speaker who had been arguing that the refusal of votes for women was grounded in a wish to shelter women from the harsh realities of political life. She replied, with great effect, that she was a woman, and that society had not sheltered her. She became known as "the Miriam of the Latter Exodus." July 20
Martyrs of Sudan
The Christian bishops, chiefs, commanders, clergy and people of Sudan declared, on May 16, 1983, that they would not abandon God as God had revealed himself to them under threat of Shariah Law imposed by the fundamentalist Islamic government in Khartoum. Until a peace treaty was signed on January 9, 2005, the Episcopal Church of the Province of the Sudan suffered from persecution and devastation through twenty-two years of civil war. Two and a half million people were killed, half of whom were members of this church. Many clergy and lay leaders were singled out because of their religious leadership in their communities. No buildings, including churches and schools, are left standing in an area the size of Alaska. Four million people are internally displaced, and a million are scattered around Africa and beyond in the Sudanese Diaspora. Twenty-two of the twenty-four dioceses exist in exile in Uganda or Kenya, and the majority of the clergy are unpaid. Only 5% of the population of Southern Sudan was Christian in 1983. Today over 85% of that region of six million is now mostly Episcopalian or Roman Catholic. A faith rooted deeply in the mercy of God has renewed their spirits through out the years of strife and sorrow.
From the proposal provisionally approved at the 2006 General convention.
Simon of Cyrene,
The Bearer of the Lord's Cross to Calvary.
All three synoptic gospels mention Simon from Cyrene (an old Greek settlement on the coast of North Africa). Roman guards pressed Simon into service and forced him to carry Jesus’ cross (Matthew 27:32; Luke 23:30). Some have thought Simon was a Gentile, but his name suggests he may have been a Jew (Shimean is a Hebrew name), who had returned to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. There is substantial evidence that Simon of Cyrene was the same individual referred to in Acts 13:1 as bearing the name “Simon called Niger - or Black Simon.” Mark adds an interesting detail and tells us that Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus (Mark 15:21). It has been suggested that Alexander and Rufus were known in the early church, and probably Christians. May 21
Pope St. Victor
African by birth, He condemned and excommunicated Theodore of Byzantium who denied the divinity of Jesus Christ. In a council held in Rome in 196, he fixed the Feast of Easter for the Sunday after the 14th day of the moon of March. He suffered martyrdom under Servus. He was the Church's 14th Pope.
Papa San Miltiades o San Melciades
St. Miltiades was one of the Church's Black Popes. He was born in Africa, but died in Rome in January, 314. Little is known of Miltiades except that during his reign as pope, the Emperor Constant decreed toleration for
Christianity. The classical era of persecution came to an end and the Church had to meet more subtle trails. St. Augustine praised St. Miltiades as a man of moderation and peace. His feast day is December 10th.
SS. Perpetua y Felicity
Martirizadas en Cartago junto a 6 compañeros. March 7
Obishop de Alexandria, Mayo 2
Obrero y catequista congolés mártire por su fé.
San Charles Lwanga y Companeros
(Martir de Uganda)
Jóvenes mártires canonizados por el Papa Paulo VI en 1964. Los 22 sirvientes de la corte fueron martirizados por su fé y creencia por el Rey de Buganda, Mwanga en 1886. Junto a ellos murieron 80 jóvenes Anglicanos. Junio 3
JAMES THEODORE HOLLY
OBISPO DE HAITI Y REPUBLICA DOMINICANA
(13 Marzo 1911)
El primer afrodescediente Obispo de la Iglesia Episcopal & Obispo de Haití. Nació en 1824 en Washington, DC. James Theodore Holly fue descendiente de esclavos libertos. Era activista, anti esclavista en los estados libres de los Estados Unidos y participaba en actividades abolicionista. Su padre, James Overton Holly era un escocés de Detroit, Michigan, y su madre era una negra de nombre Jane. Holly fue bautizado dentro la fe católica pero poco a poco se alejo del catolicismo. En 1852 se convirtió a la Iglesia Episcopal y se traslado a Haití en 1855. Alli en 1874 he became the first Negro Episcopal Bishop and the second bishop of any major white Christian church. During this time Haiti was split with the Vatican and most men of Haiti supported their religious sentiment through the symbolism and observance of the Masonic Lodge. As an experienced Masonic leader and scholar, Holly visited the Masonic temples and made friends among their exclusive members. He was also willing to perform Masonic burial services. In 1856 the Protestant Episcopal Society for Promoting the Extension of the Church Among Colored People was founded by James Theodore Holly of St. Luke's, New Haven. Its membership included four Black clergy and seven congregations. This organization fought the exclusion of Blacks from Episcopal seminaries and diocesan conventions, as well as the refusal of the Episcopal Church to take a stand against slavery. In July 1863 Holly organized the Holy Trinity Church. He later spent 15 years in Washington D. C. and moved to Brooklyn where he became friends with Frederick Douglass. From 1889 to 1891, Holly aided Douglass in a number of his programs. Bishop Holly left the Roman Catholic Church over a dispute about ordaining local black clergy and joined the Episcopal Church. He was a shoemaker, then a teacher and school principal before his own ordination at the age of 27. He served as rector at St Luke’s Church in New Haven, Connecticut and was one of the founders of the Protestant Episcopal Society for Promoting the Extension of the Church Among Colored People (a forerunner of UBE) in 1856. This group challenged the Church to take a position against slavery at General Convention. In 1861 he left the United States with his family and a group of African Americans to settle in Haiti---the world’s first black republic. He lost his family and other settlers to disease and poor living conditions but was successful in establishing schools and building the Church. He trained young priests and started congregations and medical programs in the countryside. In 1874 he was ordained bishop at Grace Church, New York City, not by the mainstream Episcopal Church, who refused to ordain a black missionary bishop, but by the American Church Missionary Society, an Evangelical Episcopal branch of the Church. He was named Bishop of the Anglican Orthodox Episcopal Church of Haiti. He attended the Lambeth Convention as a bishop of the Church. He died in Haiti in on March 13,1911
Founder of monastic life in the desert of Egypt, Feast January 17
Blessed Absolom Jones,
Priest, Jones (ordained deacon and priest in 1795 and 1802) was the first black American to receive formal ordination in any denomination. 'On a Sunday morning in November 1787, Richard Allen and Absalom Jones, with other non-white worshipers, united their affiliation with St. George's Methodist Episcopal Church on 4th Street in Philadelphia. They were asked to stand along walls as white membership increased and give up seats they normally occupied - which they did. On the above morning the sexton was standing at the door and directed them to the gallery (they were told they could see and hear just as well). The meeting had begun with singing. Just as they got to seats the elder said, "Let us pray". They knelt. One of the white trustees told them they "must not kneel here". Mr. Jones said "wait until prayer is over and we will not bother you any more". All left and never returned. They decided they should have their own place of worship. Dr. Benjamin Rush helped them launch a building drive.'(From "Trails of Faith" by Robert Crist, 1976 and notes from Julius Reeves, a former Pastor of Zion Primitive Baptist Church). St. Thomas African Episcopal Church was formed in Philadelphia and from this Church there emerged two groups: The Episcopalians, led by Absalom Jones and the Methodists Led by Richard Allen. In "The Causes and Motives for Establishing St. Thomas's African Church of Philadelphia," the Founders and Trustees of the church stated their intent "to arise out of the dust and shake ourselves, and throw off that servile fear, that the habit of oppression and bondage trained us up in." Feb. 13