Monday, September 29, 2008

St Honorius of Canterbury, Archbishop

Born in Rome, Italy; died at Canterbury, England, on September 30, 653.
Saint Gregory the Great (f.d. September 3) chose the monk Honorius to
evangelize England because of his great virtue and learning. Honorius
succeeded Saint Justus (f.d. November 10) as archbishop of Canterbury,
was consecrated at Lincoln by Bishop Saint Paulinus (f.d. October 10).
He received the pallium sent from Rome by Pope Honorius I, together with
a letter by the Pope's hand stating that whenever the sees of York or
Canterbury became vacant, the surviving archbishop should consecrate
the duly selected successor of the other.

During Honorius's episcopacy, the faith spread throughout the island and
took root in many hearts. He carefully selected and trained his clergy
to ensure their commitment to the Gospel (Bonniwell, Husenbeth).

Having missed the feast of St Michael and All Angels - the 'all angels' being an addition suggested by Bishop Cosin at the time of 1662 revision - it seemed fitting to remind all that there are many saints of the English Church and of Anglicanism in general that are not in the calendars of any of the classical prayer books. Should we forget these worthys? Certainly not. But a calendar can get over stuffed with saints days and there are many things more important than remembering them at the altar, the more especially when many of our churches are unable to provide the daily services, the daily offerings of Morning and Evening Prayer.

So what are we supposed to do? First, after the most important task of teaching Holy Scripture, we need to teach the history of the Church. Both we and our children and our children's children need to know what happened when and who did what. They and we need to know who occupied the important sees and which of those occupants were saints and why. And we need the example of the saints to encourage ourselves and others to seek a like path of holiness. Many of us seeing the example of Jesus in the scriptures know that we could never be him, but we can all aspire to follow the example of the saints in being His servant and soldier until our lives end.

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