Theodosius the Cenobiarch (ca. 423-529) monk
A native of Garissos, Cappadocia, Theodosius moved to the Palestinian desert at a young age because he was drawn to monastic life. The only wealth he possessed was an exceptionally thorough knowledge of Scripture, on the basis of which he had been ordained a lector while still an adolescent.
Following the advice of Symeon the Stylite, Theodosius opted for the solitary life and went into the Judean desert, where he lived alone in a cave for more than thirty years.
He became known far and wide and attracted great numbers of disciples and pilgrims. Those who came to see him tried to bring him gifts, but he was very reluctant to accept any kind of offering. When he did so, it was only so that he could place everything he had in common with others, and especially with the poor, the sick and travelers, thus revealing that sharing is the most direct way to true Christian poverty.
Theodosius eventually founded a large cenobitic monastery near Bethlehem, where he welcomed hundreds of monks of different nationalities and liturgical traditions. He had four different churches built for them, so that in his monastery it was possible to pray simultaneously in Greek, in Syriac and in Armenian.
Theodosius went to great lengths to relieve the pain of those who suffered. He was especially attentive to patients of mental illness, who in his era were thought to be possessed by demons and were avoided by all.
He was involved in the difficult reception of the Council of Chalcedon, and defended the faith of the Great Church together with his close friend St. Saba. When he died in 529 at over one hundred years of age, the patriarch of Jerusalem chose to preside in person at his funeral because of the courage Theodosius had shown in defending the faith up until the very last years of his life.
2 Cor 4:6-15; Mt 11:27-30
Lambert Beauduin (1873-1960) monk and ecumenical witness
On January 11, 1960 Lambert Beauduin, a Benedictine monk and a pioneer of the liturgical and ecumenical movements in the Catholic Church, died in the monastery he had founded in 1925.
Beauduin was born in Rousoux-lès-Waremme, Belgium, in 1873. At the age of twenty-six he was ordained a priest and given the responsibility of providing pastoral care to factory workers. It did not take him long to realize that a thorough renewal of the Catholic liturgy was needed in order to bridge the gap that had widened over the course of the centuries between the Church's worship and people's daily lives.
In 1906 Beauduin decided to become a monk at the Benedictine abbey of Mont-César. Within a few years' time he had become the leading figure of the nascent liturgical movement, as he founded journals and wrote texts that would prove critical to future liturgical reform. It was his interest in the liturgy that led Fr. Beauduin to take part in the ecumenical dialogue, and he became an expert on the Eastern churches. At the request of Pius XI, he founded the Monastery of Union in 1925. In 1939 the monastery was transferred to Chevetogne, Belgium, and its members still work to promote full communion among the churches.
A famous saying of Beauduin expresses his understanding of the quest for union: "The churches united to Rome, and not absorbed by Rome." Because of this vision and other positions he had taken with regard to the liturgy, he was condemned by the ecclesiastical court in 1931 and forced into exile at the French Benedictine abbey of En Calcat. Only in 1951 was he allowed to return to Chevetogne. Despite this ecclesiastical condemnation, Pope John XXIII declared at the threshold of the Second Vatican Council that the only genuine method of working towards the reunification of the churches was that of Fr. Beauduin.
Like a marvelous basilica, the liturgy offers to all souls, and to people of every condition, an infinite variety of riches and splendors. Yes! let preachers comment upon it, let instructors teach it, let theologians consult it, let people of action transmit it, let mothers repeat it out loud, let children babble it. From it, ascetics will learn sacrifice, Christians will learn fellowship and obedience, people will learn true equality, societies will learn goodwill. May the liturgy be the mystic's contemplation, the monk's peace, the priest's meditation, the artist's inspiration, and may it draw home the prodigal. Let all Christians, together with their priest, their bishop, and the one Father of all the faithful and all pastors, participate fully in the liturgy. Let them draw the genuine Christian spirit from this "first and indispensable wellspring," and as they experience the spirit of the liturgy, may they realize the prayer of the first great liturgy, celebrated by the eternal High Priest: that all may be one. Supreme desire and supreme hope.
This is the liturgical movement; it is nothing other than this.
Lambert Beauduin, from The Worship of the Church
THE CHURCHES REMEMBER...
Mary Slessor (d. 1915), missionary in West Africa
COPTS AND ETHIOPIANS (2 tubah/terr):
Theonas (d. ca. 300), 16th patriarch of Alexandria (Coptic Church)
Abel (Ethiopian Church)
Ernest the Confessor (d. 1546), supporter of the Reformation in Low Saxony
ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS AND GREEK CATHOLICS:
Theodosius the Cenobiarch, monk
2 Cor 4:6-15; Mt 11:27-30