Below is a listing of events at the Community of Jesus, an ecumenical Christian community in the Benedictine tradition located in Orleans MA. Liturgies are held at the Church of the Transfiguration. Also included are events presented by Elements Theatre Company (www.elementstheatre.org) and Gloriae Dei Cantores (www.gdcchoir.org). For more information please call 508-240-2400.
Francis was born in 1182, the son of a wealthy merchant of Assisi. His early youth was spent in harmless revelry and fruitless attempts to win military glory. He soon gave this up for a life of poverty, joyfully and literally following the sayings of Jesus. When Jesus spoke to him from a cross in the neglected chapel of San Damiano and told him to go build up His house, Frances took this to mean repairing the chapel. Over time he realized that God was speaking about the larger Church. He founded the Franciscan Order and devoted himself and his order to serving the poor. Not long before his death he received the marks of Jesus’ wounds, the stigmata, in his own hands, feet and side. He was canonized in 1228 and the great basilica of St. Francis was built over his tomb in Assisi. His great love of nature and for animals led the church to make him the patron saint of animals.
What we know of Simeon comes only from the account in the Gospel of Luke when he took the infant Jesus in his arms in the temple in Jerusalem and spoke the words that are known to us as the Nunc Dimitis. Luke tells us that he was a “just and devout man who awaited the consolation of Israel.” The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not see death before he had seen the Messiah.
The feast of Ignatius is celebrated on October 17th. Ignatius was a lesser-known saint of the second or third generation of Christians in Antioch, until he became the third bishop in that city. We know him as a joy-filled martyr in Rome and from a number of his letters written to the churches along his route from Antioch to Rome. We still have these letters today. They reveal a man so passionately devoted to Jesus Christ that his greatest desire was to be martyred for his Lord.
The feast of St. Luke is celebrated on October 18th. Luke was a beloved Gospel writer, a physician, a Gentile, and a traveler with Paul on his second and third missionary journeys. He wrote the book of Acts and interjects his presence when the pronoun he (Paul) suddenly changes to we without explanation. He writes as if he was an apostle, but we have no record that he actually met Jesus. It appears that he received some of the information unique to his Gospel from spending time with the Blessed Mother.
The feast of St. Simon and St. Jude is celebrated on October 28th. Simon and Jude are comparatively unknown except they are included in the Gospel lists of the apostles. Simon is identified as a Cananean and a zealot, which means he was strict keeper of the law, most likely from Cana. Jude, or Thaddeus as he is sometimes listed, identifies himself as the brother of James and is not to be confused with Judas Iscariot. Simon and Jude are linked because tradition tells us that they were both missionaries to Persia and were martyred there together. It is encouraging that unknown Jude is the most often prayed to saint today, because he is the patron saint of hopeless causes and the namesake of the famous St. Jude’s Children Hospitals.
Clement was a disciple of the apostles and the third bishop of Rome. He was known for his pastoral letters.
He wrote: “The strong must make sure that they care for the weak. The rich must be certain to give enough to supply all the needs of the poor. The poor must thank God for supplying their needs. We all need each other: the great need the small, the small need the great.”
He prayed: “O God, make us children of quietness, and heirs of peace.”
The importance of second place
“Simon Peter’s brother” is the phrase most often used to identify Andrew.”
Peter was a powerful personality and a natural leader whose activity and comments take a prominent position in the NT. Andrew receives mention in only a few places But it was Andrew who brought Peter to Jesus. Andrew’s only concern seems to have been in serving Jesus Christ.”
from Butler’s Lives of the Saints
St. Nicholas is one of the most popular of saints. He is widely recognized as the patron saint of children and of sailors. He is also the patron saint of Russia. But all we know about him historically is that he was a third-century bishop of the Greek city of Myra. An American mis-translation of the Dutch form of St. Nicholas (Sinter Klaus) became our Santa Claus who came to be associated with giving gifts at Christmas time.