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Posts tagged Lives of the Saints (96)
Nos 31 to 40
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Charles Villiers Stanford
Lives of the Saints
St Nicholas and the Empty Granary
The saintly Bishop helped the captain of a merchant ship to cut through the red tape, and save his town from starvation.

IN 333, Lycia suffered one of the worst famines anyone could remember. It was especially bad in Myra, where St Nicholas was bishop, and the granary at the port of Andriaca, built by the Emperor Hadrian, stood empty.

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No. 31
Sir John Blackwood McEwen
Lives of the Saints
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
St Cuthbert and the Phantom Fire
The Northumbrian saint warned of an enemy who would stop at nothing to silence the good news.

CUTHBERT was once addressing a crowd gathered in the street of a small Northumbrian village, when he broke off in mid flow to say:

‘Whatever happens, never let yourselves be distracted by the devil’s trickery.’

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No. 32
2 two-part story
Alexei Fyodorovich Lvov and Maxim Berezovsky
Lives of the Saints
Ottoman Empire (1453-1922)
St Ahmed
A Turkish official was itching to know the secret behind a Russian slave girl’s personal charm.

AHMED was a curator of the library in seventeenth-century Constantinople. He had two Russian slave women, one a beautiful young girl whom he kept at home, and the other an older lady he allowed to go to church.

When she returned, Ahmed noticed, the two women would be closeted together for a time, and afterwards a delightful fragrance would hang around the younger one.

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No. 33
Sergei Rachmaninoff
Lives of the Saints
Roman Empire (27 BC - AD 1453)
Candlemas
A February celebration for which the faithful have brought candles to church since Anglo-Saxon times.

CANDLEMAS is the English name for the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, acknowledging the ancient custom of distributing lighted candles to churchgoers on that day.

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No. 34
George Frideric Handel
Lives of the Saints
Roman Empire (27 BC - AD 1453)
Redeemed for Five Shillings
Elfric, the tenth-century English abbot, suggests a practical way of thinking about the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.
By Elfric of Eynsham
(955-1010)

GOD, in the old law, commanded his people, that they should offer to him every firstborn male child, or redeem it with five shillings. Of their cattle also, to bring whatever was firstborn to God’s house, and there offer it to God. But if it were an unclean beast, then should the master slay it, or give to God another clean beast.

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No. 35
2 two-part story
Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky
Lives of the Saints
Russian Empire (1721-1917)
The Bearded Foreigner
A Japanese swordsman confronts a Russian monk for... actually, he’s not really quite sure.

IN 1860, the Russian consul in Japan wrote home to St Petersburg asking for a missionary to come to Hakodate. The man they sent was a newly ordained priest-monk, Nicholas Kasatkin.

Nicholas spent fourteen hours a day mastering Japanese language and culture by listening to storytellers and Buddhist preachers on the streets of Hakodate.

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No. 36
Sir John Blackwood McEwen
Lives of the Saints
Anglo-Saxon Britain (410-1066)
Cuthbert, the Bridle and the Book
One of England’s most precious artefacts, the Lindisfarne Gospels, was nearly lost at sea.

IN about 882, the little band of monks who cared for St Cuthbert’s coffin boarded a ship at Workington, seeking refuge in Ireland from the Danish invasion. But three miles out a storm arose, washing their cherished, hand-painted copy of the Gospels overboard, and tossing their little ship ashore at Whithorn in Galloway.

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No. 37
Nikolai Medtner
Lives of the Saints
Kievan Rus’ and Russia (862-1721)
St Nicholas the Wet
Two frantic parents implore St Nicholas’s help in rescuing their baby boy.

IN the year 1091, a man took his wife and their baby son from Kiev to Vyshgorod a few miles up the River Dnieper for the feast of St Boris and St Gleb on July 24th.

On the return journey, the little boy’s mother dozed off in the boat, and her child fell into the river. After a long but fruitless search, the desolate parents went home praying fervently to St Nicholas.

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No. 38
Jan Ladislav Dussek
Mediaeval History
Wenceslaus: A Life for a Life
The murder of the ‘good king Wenceslas’ led to a flowering of Christian faith in Europe.

WENCESLAUS succeeded his father Vratislaus as Duke of Bohemia in 921, aged thirteen. At once, his mother Drahomíra reverted to pagan ways, and ruthlessly nullified the influence of her saintly mother-in-law, Ludmilla, by having her strangled.

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No. 39
Johann Baptist Cramer
Lives of the Saints
Aaron’s Rod
The Victorian practice of hanging sugared nuts on a Christmas tree was bursting with Biblical symbolism.
By Elfric of Eynsham
(955-1010)

GOD bade Moses, the leader, take twelve dry rods from the twelve tribes of the people of Israel, and lay them before the holy ark within the great tabernacle: and he would by those rods declare whom he had chosen for bishop.

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No. 40
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Polywords (183)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
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Added on Sunday January 14th, 2018
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Turn one word into another, changing just one letter each time.
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Find one common letter that will turn three words into three new ones.
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Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
See how ingenious you can be in combining three randomly chosen words in one sentence.
Compose sentences showing the difference in meaning, grammar or usage between these words.
Practise your basic arithmetic, from multiplation tables to percentages.
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Take command of English grammar and composition with these traditional exercises.
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From our Archive
Josiah Wedgwood, a village potter whose disability meant he could not use a potter’s wheel, brought about a quiet revolution in English society.
By Cynewulf
(8th century)
The eighth-century English bishop and poet Cynewulf takes us to the threshold of God’s holy city, and gives us a choice.
Britain never knew she was a nation of voracious readers until printing entered the steam age.
In encouraging women into music, Alice Mary Smith thought promises of ‘greatness’ counterproductive.
Based on a sermon by
Elfric of Eynsham
Roman Emperor Julian was ready to destroy an entire Christian community over his wounded pride.

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Polyword ‘Lift’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

More Word Games
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
Do you know ‘stout’ (6 letters), and ‘gloat’ (4 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with TOWN and finish with CITY.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.