Callinicus of Cernica (1787-1868) monk and pastor
In 1868 Callinicus of Cernica, who served as bishop of Rimnicului Valcea, Romania, died in the monastery where he been igumen for many years.
Born in Bucarest in 1787 and baptized Costantine Antonescu, he received an excellent academic and spiritual preparation in the city's best schools. At the age of twenty, when he was on the threshold of a successful career, he decided instead to enter the monastery of Cernica, which he had visited many times as a child.
There he took the monastic name Callinicus, and was soon esteemed for his love of prayer, his humility, and his balanced spiritual life. He was assigned important missions for the community and was able to visit the great Moldavian monasteries of his time. At the young age of twenty-six he was named confessor and spiritual father of his monastery, and about four years later he became igumen.
During the thirty-one years of his leadership, the monastery of Cernica became extraordinarily vital. In guiding the community, Callinicus relied on the teachings of Basil the Great, the Church father he loved the most. He became bishop of Rimnicului Valcea in 1850, and worked to lead his church out of decadence, achieving success in just a few years in a seemingly desperate undertaking. When his strength began to fail he returned to Cernica, and lived there in joyful anticipation of his definitive meeting with the Lord who had been the center of his life. Callinicus is the most popular saint in the Romanian Orthodox Church.
I have not stored up gold or silver for myself. I have not desired to possess anything beyond what was necessary, whether clothes or belongings of any kind.
I leave nothing, neither for my burial nor that I may be remembered: in this way people will see that it is in God that I believed.
I believe that if I leave nothing to distribute after my death, this will please God more than if many alms were given in my name, after my departure.
From the Spiritual Testament of Callinicus of Cernica
Heb 7:26-8:2; Jn 10:1-16
George Augustus Selwyn (1809-1878) pastor
In 1878 George Augustus Selwyn, New Zealand's first bishop, died in Lichfield, England.
George was educated at Cambridge and ordained parish priest of Windsor. In 1841 he was named New Zealand's first bishop, despite his young age. He spent twenty-seven years travelling through his diocese, risking his life in dangerous conditions and setting foot on almost every one of the Melanesian islands. Following his intuition and obeying ethical principles that are now considered fundamental to ecumenical dialogue, he avoided all competition with other churches' missionary endeavors so that no proclaimer of the Gospel, whatever his denomination might be, would impede the free course of the word of God.
In a time of open conflict between New Zealand's Maori population and English colonial forces, Selwyn defended the rights of the island's indigenous peoples, but he was never completely welcomed by them during his lifetime because of his British origins. Later generations of New Zealanders, however, recognized him as a father not only of their church, but of multiethnic New Zealand itself.
Because of his breadth of vision, he served as one of the principal organizers of the Lambeth Conferences, which still bring together the world's Anglican bishops to discuss the problems of their respective churches.
Selwyn's intentions and methods seem not to have been fully understood by everyone, and he was eventually summoned back to England. He spent the last ten years of his episcopal ministry in the diocese of Lichfield.
Mal 2:5-7; 2 Cor 4:1-10; Mt 11:25-30
THE CHURCHES REMEMBER...
George Augustus Selwyn, first bishop of New Zealand
Stanislaus (d. 1489), bishop and martyr (Roman and Ambrosian calendars)
COPTS AND ETHIOPIANS (3 barmudah/miyazya):
Michael V (d. 1146), 71th patriarch of Alexandria (Coptic Orthodox Church)
Matthäus Apelles von Löwenstern (d. 1648), poet in Slesia
Antipas of Pergamum (1st cent.), martyr; Gemma Galgani (d. 1903)
ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS AND GREEK CATHOLICS:
Antipas, bishop of Pergamum, hieromartyr
Callinicus of Cernica, monk (Romanian Church)
EAST SYRIAN ORTHODOX:
Leo the Great (d. 461), pope (Malabar Church)