Friday, 19 September 2008

The people of Naples are happy today as the twice a year phenomenon from their Patron Saint has happened. Today being the feast day of St Januarius, Bishop and Martyr, the relic of his blood was taken out of the place where it is kept by the Cardinal Archbishop of Naples, Crescenzio Sepe. Generally the blood is still solid but after turning the reliquary it melts. Today, as has happened at times, the blood was already liquefied when the aumbry was opened at 0843 our time. This means that all will be well for the city and that their heavenly Patron is pleased with them. When the phenomenon does not take place some calamity seems to follow.

We Anglicans look at these things with some hesitation, but it is not our place to pass judgement on the religious sensibilities of fellow Christians, for the Neapolitans this means so much. Personally I am pleased that they are pleased. If for the people of Naples this was a good day, it was not a good one for traditional Anglicans. A traditional bishop in America has been “deposed” by the Episcopalian bishops. Bishop Duncan has stood up for the Gospel and so he has been persecuted. I remember of that Man of Galilee who stood up for what is right and true and the religious establishment crucified him. Bishop Duncan you are in good company! Our prayers are with you and your diocese. You can read more on this here and here.

Here at St John’s, after Lauds and Mass (we kept St Theodore today and prayed for the Church in England), Fr Mark went to administer the Home Communions and I went to the Hospital. I had a really useful pastoral conversation with a member of staff.
This was followed by the joys of Sacred Space. Stuart came to do the pew sheets and this was followed by Office of Readings, Vespers and Benediction.
Banns of Marriage prepared and Baptism certificates issued bring to a close another joyful day here at Sevenoaks.
I look forward for the Mass and baptism practices tomorrow as also for the second meeting of our parents and toddlers group called “First Words”. In the evening off to Bickley for the Forward in Faith quiz night. Three cheers for the winning (ours of course) team!

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