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The Church Year - January


The list shows holy days with fixed calendar dates in January.  Dates in bold red are Principal Feasts.  Those in red are FestivalsLesser Festivals are shown in green and Commemorations are shown in grey italic.

Use your mouse to click on the date for a little information on the Holy Day.  The information has been gleaned from various sources on the Internet and may not be completely accurate.

Jan 1 The Naming and Circumcision of Jesus

Jan 2 St. Basil the Great, Bishop, Teacher of the Faith, 379

Bishop of Caesarea, and one of the most distinguished Doctors of the Church. Born probably 329; died 1 January, 379. He ranks after Athanasius as a defender of the Oriental Church against the heresies of the fourth century.

Jan 2 St Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishop. Teacher of the Faith,389

Doctor of the Church. Born at Arianzus, in Asia Minor, in 325 and died in the same place in 389.

Jan 2 Seraphim, Monk of Sarov, Spiritual guide, 1833

Monk of Sarov, Spiritual Guide, 1833

Jan 2 Vedanayagam Samuel Azariah, Bishop in South India, Evangelist, 1945

Bishop in South India. Evangelist 1945

Jan 6 The Epiphany

Jan 10 William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury,1645

William Laud, born in 1573, was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1633 to 1645 in the days of King Charles I. It was a turbulent time throughout, one of violent divisions in the Church of England, eventually culminating in the English Civil War.

Jan 11 Mary Slessor, Missionary in West Africa, 1915

Born in Aberdeen in 1848, Mary Slessor spent her early life working in a factory. In 1875 she went to Africa, where she was successful in bringing to an end many tribal abuses (twin murder and human sacrifice). She fought all her life against witchcraft and human cruelty. She died in 1915.

Jan 12 Aelred of Hexham, Abbot of Rievaulx, 1167

Abbot of Rievaulx, homilist and historian (1109-66). He was born at Hexham, but at an early age made the acquaintance of David, King of Scotland. He become a Cistercian monk and later Abbot in the abbey of Rievaulx in Yorkshire.

Jan 12 Benedict Biscop, Abbot of Wearmouht, Scholar, 689

An English monastic founder. He spent his youth at the court of the Northumbrian King Oswy. Benedict was the first to introduce into England the building of stone churches and the art of making glass windows.

Jan 13 Hillary, Bishop of Poitiers, Teacher of the Faith, 367

Bishop, born in that city at the beginning of the fourth century, exiled to the distant coasts of Phrygia, fought against heresy through his writing and preaching.

Jan 13 Kentigern (Mungo), Missionary Bishop in Strathclyde and Cumbria, 603

Bishop, founder of the See of Glasgow, born about 518; died at Glasgow, 603. Consecrated as bishop, about 540 and for some thirteen years he laboured in the district, living a most austere life in a cell at the confluence of the Clyde and the Molendinar. He spent some time in Wales founding a large monastery at Llanelwy, now St. Asaph's. He was known as Mungo which means “Dear One."

Jan 13 George Fox, Founder of the Society of Friends, 1691

Born in Fenny Drayton, Leicestershire, in 1624. Apprenticed to a Nottingham shoemaker. He formed a group called the Friends of Truth, later known as the Society of Friends. In 1661 he founded the American Quaker Colony of Pennsylvania. He continued as a travelling preacher until his death in 1691.

Jan 17 Antony of Egypt, Hermit, Abbot, 356

The son of wealthy Christian parents. He was influenced by the text, "Sell all that you have, and give to the poor, and come follow me." Having provided for the care of his sister, he gave his land to the tenants who lived on it, and gave his other wealth to the poor, and became a hermit. In 305, he became the head of a group of monks. They did not simply renounce the world, but were diligent in prayer for their fellow Christians, worked with their hands to earn money so that they might distribute it as alms, preached and gave personal counselling to those who sought them out.

Jan 17 Charles Gore, Bishop, Founder of the Community of the Resurrection, 1932

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1878. He helped to found the Christian Social Union. He founded the Society of the Resurrection, an association for priests, aimed at a deepening of the spiritual life, which became the Community of the Resurrection, a religious order for priests. He was appointed Bishop of Worcester and afterwards Bishop of Birmingham. He was transferred and became Bishop of Oxford. He was known as a great speaker and preacher.

Jan 18-25 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Jan 19 Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester, 1095

When William the Norman conquered England in 1066, he replaced most of the native Anglo-Saxon bishops with clergy from his own. The most conspicuous exception was Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester, who had been a supporter of King Harold, but who submitted to William after Harold's death, and became one of the King's most trusted advisors. He is best remembered for his opposition to the slave trade in western England.

Jan 20 Richard Rolle of Hampole, Spiritual Writer, 1349

Yorkshire-born mystic and writer. After leaving Oxford at the age of 19, he lived as a hermit and poured out devotional works in Latin and English, and biblical translations which anticipated Wyclif. In his mystical writing he describes his ascent during four years to the highest point of divine rapture. A number of his works, already well-known in manuscript, were later printed by Wynkyn de Worde.

Jan 21 Agnes, Child Martyr at Rome, 304

Agnes was a Christian martyr who died at Rome around 304 in the persecution of Diocletian. Her name means "pure" in Greek and "lamb" in Latin. She is said to have been only about twelve or thirteen when she died, and the remains preserved in St Agnes' Church in Rome are in agreement with this. It is said that her execution shocked many Romans and helped bring an end to the persecutions.

Jan 22 Vincent of Saragossa, Deacon, first Martyr of Spain, 304

of Saragossa, Deacon and first martyr of Spain, 304

Jan 24 Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, Teacher of the Faith, 1622

Bishop of Geneva. Teacher of the Faith, 1622 Born at Thorens, in the Duchy of Savoy, 21 August, 1567 died at Lyons, 28 December, 1622. A prolific writer and champion of the poor.

Jan 25 The Conversion of Paul

Jan 26 Timothy and Titus – Companions of Paul

Timothy and Titus appear in the New Testament writings as missionary companions of, and co-workers with, the Apostle Paul. Titus is mentioned as a companion of Paul in some of his epistles Timothy is mentioned in Acts 16-20, and appears in 9 epistles either as joining in Paul's greetings or as a messenger. Timothy has two New Testament letters addressed to him, and Titus one. From these three letters (called the Pastoral Epistles), it appears that Paul had commissioned Timothy to oversee the Christian community in Ephesus and its vicinity, and Titus to oversee that in Crete.

Jan 28 Thomas Aquinas, Priest, Philosopher, Teacher of the Faith, 1274

In the thirteenth century the works of Aristotle, largely forgotten in Western Europe, began to be available. These works offered a new way of looking at the world. Many students of Aristotle adopted him as an alternative to Christianity. The response of many Christians was to denounce Aristotle as an enemy of the Christian Faith. A third approach was that of those who tried to hold both Christian and Aristotelian views side by side with no attempt to reconcile them. Aquinas had a fourth approach. While remaining a Christian, he immersed himself in the ideas of Aristotle, and undertook to explain Christian ideas and beliefs in language that would make sense to disciples of Aristotle. Aquinas's insistence that the Christian scholar must be prepared to meet other scholars on their own ground, to become familiar with their viewpoints, to argue from their premises, has been a permanent and valuable contribution to Christian thought.

Jan 30 Charles, King and Martyr, 1649

King at the time of the English Civil War after which he was executed for treason. Born in 1600 he became king at the age of 25. Martyred in 1649

Jan 31 John Bosco, Priest, Founder of the Salesian Order, 1888

Priest, Founder of the Salesian Teaching Order. Worked as a tailor, baker, shoemaker and carpenter while attending college and the seminary. He was ordained in 1841. A teacher who worked with youth, finding places where they could meet, play and pray, teaching catechism to orphans and apprentices. Chaplain in a hospice for girls.

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