January has been a productive month. I’ve finished five episodes in the new series, The Lives of the Saints – First Series – the 1928 B.C.P. Saints. The first four of these have been uploaded to our You Tube channel and the fifth, for the Conversion of St. Paul, will be uploaded on January 25th.
Each episode includes icons and images from both the Western and Eastern Church traditions, many of which most Christians have never seen (that is, unless they are regular visitors and searchers and are determined!).
The series is intended to offer layman’s language commentary on the 18 men named in the 1928 B.C.P., with an eye toward making their contribution understandable in the context of today’s Church and make their lives familiar to modern people. For each saint, or pair of saints when the B.C.P. pairs them into a single day, I have included a short biographical account, quotations (where possible), commentary on the location of their remains, the Collect for their Holy Day, and the unique text for each in Horatio Nelson’s 1864 hymn, From All the Saints in Warfare in the 1892 Episcopal Hymnal.
For Episode One, the Feast of St. Andrew (Nov. 30), my focus was on the spoken words of Andrew as included in the Gospel of St. John. I’ve included my favorite icons and a 5th C. mosaic at the Church of St. Paul Outside the Wall, Rome, an image I used on this blog last year when I was writing about the accounts of him by St. John. There is also a 14th Byzantine icon from Macedonia that is not often familiar to Western Church readers.
For Episode Two, the Feast of St. Thomas (Dec. 21) I had to work really hard to find images, since so little is actually known of him. Like St. Andrew, he speaks only in the Gospel of St. John. I’ve defended him against the common label “Doubting Thomas,” by pointing out that he was the only person in the Gospel of St. John who actually identified Jesus correctly: “My Lord (Adonai) and my God (Theos).” The icon was made around 1500 A.D. by the Dionysius, whose work is as fine, if not as famous, as that of Andrei Rublev.
For Episode Three, the Feast of St. Stephen, Dec. 26, there are three images not often seen, The Stoning of St. Stephen, from the Pediment above the front door of the Church of St. Etienne du Mont, Paris, c. early 16th C.; an 11th C. Russian Orthodox icon; the Martyrdom of St. Stephen, a Greek Orthodox icon from 1805 A.D.; and a stained glass window somewhere in Europe.
For Episode Four, the Feast of St. John, Dec. 27, I took advantage of the rich record of art featuring John, but included many not usually seen in the Western Church, including an 18th Russian Orthodox icon (above); and an exceptionally imaginative tempera on vellum by the celebrated Rohan Master, from A Book of Hours, a 15th illuminated manuscript at the Biblioteque Nationale, Paris; a stained glass window in England; two oils of John on Patmos (Jacopo Vignale and Hieronymous Bosch); another Russian icon from the 18th C; and a page from Dore’s English Bible.
You can watch any of the videos using the links on the Digital Library page (right hand column) at http://www.AnglicanInternetChurch.net.
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