Frederick Denison Maurice (1st April)
F. D. Maurice was born in 1805, the son of a Unitarian clergyman. He studied civil law at Cambridge, but refused the degree in 1827 rather than declare himself an Anglican. However, he was later converted, and in 1834 was ordained to the priesthood. In 1838, he published his major work, 'The Kingdom of Christ', a discussion of the causes and cures of divisions within the Christian Church. He was much concerned with the role of the Church in speaking to social questions. Together with his friends John Ludlow and Charles Kingsley, he organized the Christian Socialist Movement. Soon after his ordination Maurice became Professor of English Literature and History at King's College, London, and in 1846, Professor of Theology as well. However, his book Theological Essays, published in 1853, was regarded by many readers as doubtfully orthodox, and the resulting furore cost him his professorships. In 1854, he founded the Working Men's College, and became its first head. He was professor of Moral Theology at Cambridge from 1866 until his death in 1872.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (9th April)
Dietrich Bonhoeffer -
William Law (10th April)
Born in 1686, became a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1711, but in 1714, at the death of Queen Anne, he became a non-
William of Ockham (10th April)
George Augustus Selwyn(11th April)
Selwyn was born in London in 1809, educated at Eton and Cambridge and ordained in 1833. In 1841, he was made first Bishop of New Zealand. He diligently studied the Maori tongue on his long sea voyage, and was able to preach in it on his arrival. He laid the foundations of the Church, not only in New Zealand, but throughout the islands of Melanesia. (This was the result of a clerical error. The northern boundary of his diocese was supposed to be the parallel of latitude 34 degrees south of the equator. The official document read "north" instead of "south," and Selwyn cheerfully accepted responsibility for the vast Pacific regions of the Melanesian and Polynesian islands as well as New Zealand. In 1957 the Islands became a separate Province of the Anglican Communion.) In the ten-
Isabella Gilmore (16th April)
Born in 1842, Isabella Gilmore, the sister of William Morris, was a nurse at Guy's Hospital in London and in 1886, was asked by Bishop Thorold of Rochester to pioneer deaconess work in his diocese. The bishop overcame her initial reluctance and together they planned for an Order of Deaconesses along the same lines as the ordained ministry. She was ordained in 1887 and a training house developed on North Side, Clapham Common, later to be called Gilmore House in her memory. Isabella herself retired in 1906 and, during her nineteen years of service, she trained head deaconesses for at least seven other dioceses. At her memorial service, Dr Randall Davidson predicted that "Some day, those who know best will be able to trace much of the origin and root of the revival of the Deaconess Order to the life, work, example and words of Isabella Gilmore." She died in 1923.
Alphege (19th April)
Archbishop and "the First Martyr of Canterbury." He was born in 953 and became a monk in the Deerhurst Monastery in Gloucester, asking after a few years to become a hermit. He received permission for this vocation and retired to a small hut near Somerset. In 984 Alphege assumed the role of abbot of the abbey of Bath, founded by St. Dunstan. Many of his disciples from Somerset joined him at Bath. In that same year, Alphege succeeded Ethelwold as Bishop of Winchester. He served there for two decades, famed for his care of the poor and for his own austere life. King Aethelred the Unready used his abilities in 994, sending him to mediate with invading Danes. The Danish chieftain Anlaf converted to Christianity as a result of his meetings with Alphege, although he and the other chief, Swein, demanded tribute from the Anglo-
Anselm (21st April)
The father of medieval scholasticism and one of the most eminent of English prelates was born at Aost Piedmont in 1033. Anselm died at Canterbury on April 21, 1109. When he was about twenty-
George (23rd April)
Martyr, Patron Saint of England c.304
Mellitus (24th April)
Bishop of London and third Archbishop of Canterbury, d. 24 April, 624. He was the leader of the second band of missionaries whom St. Gregory sent from Rome to join St. Augustine at Canterbury in 601. It is thought he may have been Abbot of the Monastery of St. Andrew on the Coelian Hill, to which both St. Gregory and St. Augustine belonged. The consecration of Mellitus as bishop by Augustine took place soon after his arrival in England, and his first missionary efforts were among the East Saxons. Their king was Sabert, nephew to Ethelbert, King of Kent, and by his support, Mellitus was able to establish his see in London, the East Saxon capital, and build there the church of St. Paul. On the death of Sabert his sons, who had refused Christianity, gave permission to their people to worship idols once more. Moreover, on seeing Mellitus celebrating Mass one day, the young princes demanded that he should give them also the white bread which he had been wont to give their father. When the saint answered them that this was impossible until they had received Christian baptism, he was banished from the kingdom. Mellitus went to Kent, where similar difficulties had ensued upon the death of Ethelbert, and thence retired to Gaul about the year 616. After an absence of about a year, Mellitus was recalled to Kent by Laurentius, Augustine's successor in the See of Canterbury. Matters had improved in that kingdom owing to the conversion of the new king Eadbald, but Mellitus was never able to regain possession of his own See of London. In 619, Laurentius died, and Mellitus was chosen archbishop in his stead. Mellitus was buried in the monastery of SS. Peter and Paul, afterwards St. Augustine's, Canterbury.
Mark the Evangelist (25th April)
Christina Rossetti (27th April)
Christina Georgina Rossetti was born in London December 5, 1830, to Gabriele and Frances (Polidori) Rossetti. In 1848 she became engaged to James Collinson, one of the minor Pre-
Peter Chanel (28th April)
The first martyr of the South Seas, St. Peter Chanel was born in 1803 at Clet in the diocese of Belley, France. Entering the diocesan Seminary, Peter won the affection and the esteem of both students and professors. After his ordination he found himself in a rundown country parish and completely revitalized it in the three years that he remained there. However, his mind was set on missionary work; so, in 1831, he joined the newly formed Society of Mary (Marists) which concentrated on missionary work at home and abroad. To his dismay, he was appointed to teach at the seminary at Belley and remained there for the next five years, diligently performing his duties. In 1836, the Society was given the New Hebrides in the Pacific as a field for evangelization, and the jubilant Peter was appointed Superior of a little band of missionaries sent to proclaim the Faith to its inhabitants. On reaching their destination after an arduous ten month journey, the band split up and Peter went to the Island of Futuna accompanied by a lay-
Catherine of Siena (29th April)
Catherine Benincasa, born in 1347, was the youngest children of a wealthy dyer of Sienna. At the age of six, she had a vision of Christ in glory, surrounded by His saints. From that time on, she spent most of her time in prayer and meditation, and at the age of sixteen she joined the Third Order of St. Dominic where she became a nurse, caring for patients with leprosy and advanced cancer whom other nurses disliked to treat. She began to acquire a reputation as a person of insight and sound judgement, and many persons from all walks of life sought her spiritual advice, both in person and by letter. She persuaded many priests who were living in luxury to give away their goods and to live simply. In her day, the popes, officially Bishops of Rome, had been living at Avignon in France, where they were under the political control of the King of France. Catherine visited Avignon in 1376 and told Pope Gregory XI that he had no business to live away from Rome. He heeded her advice, and moved to Rome. She then acted as his ambassador to Florence, and was able to reconcile a quarrel between the Pope and the leaders of that city. She then retired to Sienna, where she wrote a book called the 'Dialog', an account of her visions and other spiritual experiences, with advice on cultivating a life of prayer. After Gregory's death in 1378, the Cardinals, mostly French, elected an Italian Pope, Urban VI, who on attaining office turned out to be arrogant and abrasive and tyrannical. The Cardinals met again elsewhere, declared that the first election had been under duress from the Roman mob and therefore invalid, and elected a new Pope, Clement VII, who established his residence at Avignon. Catherine worked tirelessly, both to persuade Urban to mend his ways and to persuade others that the peace and unity of the Church required the recognition of Urban as lawful Pope. Despite her efforts, the Papal Schism continued until 1417. It greatly weakened the prestige of the Bishops of Rome, and thus helped to pave the way for the Reformation a century later.
Pandita Mary Ramabai (30th April)
Mary Ramabai was born in 1858, the daughter of a Sanskrit scholar, who believed in educating women. She became well known as a lecturer on social questions, becoming the first woman to be awarded the title 'Pandita'. She spent years working for the education of women and orphans, founding many schools and homes. She lived in great simplicity and was a prominent opponent of the caste system and child marriage. She died in 1922