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St. Patrick and other missionaries

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, so wear green or get pinched.  You may recall my crusade to use this day to honor ALL missionaries. Those of us of European descent had ancestors who also were brought to faith by missionaries no less than our fellow Christians in Africa, Asia, South America, and the rest of the world.  So lift a glass to St. Patrick who brought the faith to Ireland.  And lift a glass to St. Augustine of Canterbury who converted the English.  And lift another glass to St. Boniface who converted the Germans by cutting down the Tree of Thor without getting hammered.  You might get hammered if you lift a glass to all of the missionaries who deserve our thanks.  Those would include St. William Carey of India, St. James Hudson Taylor of China, St. Jim Elliot of Bolivia, and many more, including those who are bringing the gospel to people all over the world today.

Name the missionaries you know and support, and let us all pray for them today.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Dan Kempin

    Fungchatou Lo, currently serving the LCMS in Cambodia.

    Charles Gaye, Salt and Light Ministries, Monrovia, Liberia.

  • Dan Kempin

    Fungchatou Lo, currently serving the LCMS in Cambodia.

    Charles Gaye, Salt and Light Ministries, Monrovia, Liberia.

  • helen

    Pastor James May, Lutheran missionary in Africa

    Three Thai Pastors, whose names I do not have, who went to St Catherines seminary in Ontario, and returned to south Thailand to serve Lutheran missions rooted in the work of Staporn and Herb Gernand, lay teachers.

  • helen

    Pastor James May, Lutheran missionary in Africa

    Three Thai Pastors, whose names I do not have, who went to St Catherines seminary in Ontario, and returned to south Thailand to serve Lutheran missions rooted in the work of Staporn and Herb Gernand, lay teachers.

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  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Let’s not forget St. Ansgar, apostle to the Scandinavians.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Let’s not forget St. Ansgar, apostle to the Scandinavians.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Lars beat me to it. Worth much more of a celebration because he thereby saved Europe from further rape and pillage! The Irish ought to be particularly thankful for that.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Lars beat me to it. Worth much more of a celebration because he thereby saved Europe from further rape and pillage! The Irish ought to be particularly thankful for that.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Those in the 10-40 window, a Muslim occupied area IIRC.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Those in the 10-40 window, a Muslim occupied area IIRC.

  • Darren

    TJ and Kyong Hayes, serving in Tokyo with (I think) the Navigators.

  • Darren

    TJ and Kyong Hayes, serving in Tokyo with (I think) the Navigators.

  • jgernander

    My comment is not about a present-day missionary but in recognition of someone who shares St. Patrick’s Day. On this date in 1565, Alexander Alesius died — a great Scottish Lutheran confessor of the faith. Originally he was born Alexander Alane, and as a student at St. Andrew’s, he argued against those who were expounded the Reformation doctrines. But on February 29, 1528, he witnessed the heroic martyrdom of 24-year-old Patrick Hamilton, a member of Scottish royalty who had studied under Luther and Melanchthon. Alane himself had tried to persuade Hamilton of the truth of the papal doctrines and the error of the Reformation doctrines.

    While burning at the stake, Hamilton said such things as “You come forward and testify the truth of your religion by putting your little finger into this fire in which I am burning with my whole body,” and when asked if he still held to his beliefs Hamilton raised three fingers of a half-burned hand, and held them up until he died.

    Alexander Alane was so overcome by this witness, and by their prior conversations, that he was won over to the Reformation. He himself was imprisoned, then escaped to Germany in 1532 where he signed his name to the Augsburg Confession. Melanchthon gave him a new Latin surname, by which he became known forever afterward. He was excommunicated in 1534, but following Henry VIII’s break with Rome, between 1535 and 1539 he was active in London. He considered Anne Boleyn innocent of the crimes with which she was charged, and in later years communicated with Anne’s daughter, Queen Elizabeth I, about her mother’s final days. He carried on a disputation with the Roman Catholic bishop of London on the nature of the sacraments. Following the fall of Thomas Cranmer he was compelled to return to Germany, where he served first in a theological chair at the University of Frankfurt, and in his final years as twice-elected rector of the University of Leipzig.

    I love the commemmoration of St. Patrick as much as anybody, but blessed be the memory and example of Alexander (Alane) Alesius, a great Lutheran confessor and the fruit of Patrick Hamilton’s martyrdom!

    Pastor Jerry Gernander (ELS)
    Princeton, Minnesota

  • jgernander

    My comment is not about a present-day missionary but in recognition of someone who shares St. Patrick’s Day. On this date in 1565, Alexander Alesius died — a great Scottish Lutheran confessor of the faith. Originally he was born Alexander Alane, and as a student at St. Andrew’s, he argued against those who were expounded the Reformation doctrines. But on February 29, 1528, he witnessed the heroic martyrdom of 24-year-old Patrick Hamilton, a member of Scottish royalty who had studied under Luther and Melanchthon. Alane himself had tried to persuade Hamilton of the truth of the papal doctrines and the error of the Reformation doctrines.

    While burning at the stake, Hamilton said such things as “You come forward and testify the truth of your religion by putting your little finger into this fire in which I am burning with my whole body,” and when asked if he still held to his beliefs Hamilton raised three fingers of a half-burned hand, and held them up until he died.

    Alexander Alane was so overcome by this witness, and by their prior conversations, that he was won over to the Reformation. He himself was imprisoned, then escaped to Germany in 1532 where he signed his name to the Augsburg Confession. Melanchthon gave him a new Latin surname, by which he became known forever afterward. He was excommunicated in 1534, but following Henry VIII’s break with Rome, between 1535 and 1539 he was active in London. He considered Anne Boleyn innocent of the crimes with which she was charged, and in later years communicated with Anne’s daughter, Queen Elizabeth I, about her mother’s final days. He carried on a disputation with the Roman Catholic bishop of London on the nature of the sacraments. Following the fall of Thomas Cranmer he was compelled to return to Germany, where he served first in a theological chair at the University of Frankfurt, and in his final years as twice-elected rector of the University of Leipzig.

    I love the commemmoration of St. Patrick as much as anybody, but blessed be the memory and example of Alexander (Alane) Alesius, a great Lutheran confessor and the fruit of Patrick Hamilton’s martyrdom!

    Pastor Jerry Gernander (ELS)
    Princeton, Minnesota

  • WebMonk

    Have “St. William Carey of India, St. James Hudson Taylor of China, St. Jim Elliot of Bolivia” all been declared Saints in an official manner? (obviously not by the RCC, but by another denomination)

  • WebMonk

    Have “St. William Carey of India, St. James Hudson Taylor of China, St. Jim Elliot of Bolivia” all been declared Saints in an official manner? (obviously not by the RCC, but by another denomination)

  • Kathleen

    Dave and Lois Mahsman, missionaries working in Wittenberg, Germany.

  • Kathleen

    Dave and Lois Mahsman, missionaries working in Wittenberg, Germany.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Of course not, WebMonk, but I am using the term in a non-Roman Catholic sense, by which all Christians are simultaneously saints and sinners. Saint Patrick too, but I don’t begrudge him the title. I am extending it in this case to his fellow missionaries who have also undertaken a holy work.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Of course not, WebMonk, but I am using the term in a non-Roman Catholic sense, by which all Christians are simultaneously saints and sinners. Saint Patrick too, but I don’t begrudge him the title. I am extending it in this case to his fellow missionaries who have also undertaken a holy work.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    What an account of a true saint, Alexander (Alane) Alesius, Pastor Gernander. I did not know about him and am glad that I do now! And also about this other Saint Patrick, Patrick Hamilton!

    When I think about the way so many of us today casually throw away teachings THAT OTHERS HAVE DIED FOR, I am abashed.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    What an account of a true saint, Alexander (Alane) Alesius, Pastor Gernander. I did not know about him and am glad that I do now! And also about this other Saint Patrick, Patrick Hamilton!

    When I think about the way so many of us today casually throw away teachings THAT OTHERS HAVE DIED FOR, I am abashed.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Pastor Al Borcher – Missionary to the Mormons in Provo and Riverton, Utah.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Pastor Al Borcher – Missionary to the Mormons in Provo and Riverton, Utah.

  • http://blodskald.wordpress.com Colin

    I love the tale of Boniface, or Winfred; it is intriguing in its similarities to Elijah’s confrontation with the pagans on Mt. Carmel–high places and the shade of spreading trees.

    Thank you for reminding us to honor all our missionaries: here’s to the Colbournes and Cummingses, current OPC missionaries ministering in Japan and aiding those hit by the recent (and occurring) disasters.

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day from a representative of the Costellos and O’Sheas!

  • http://blodskald.wordpress.com Colin

    I love the tale of Boniface, or Winfred; it is intriguing in its similarities to Elijah’s confrontation with the pagans on Mt. Carmel–high places and the shade of spreading trees.

    Thank you for reminding us to honor all our missionaries: here’s to the Colbournes and Cummingses, current OPC missionaries ministering in Japan and aiding those hit by the recent (and occurring) disasters.

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day from a representative of the Costellos and O’Sheas!

  • rah

    My cousin, JL, and his family, serving in China

  • rah

    My cousin, JL, and his family, serving in China

  • Robert Quiring

    Actually, Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, and Peter Fleming were all missionaries in Ecuador, rather than Bolivia. Their legacy are the present day missionaries of the Waorani tribe whom they sought to reach with the gospel. The Waorani are now sharing the gospel with other indigenous peoples in Ecuador’s Amazon region.

  • Robert Quiring

    Actually, Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, and Peter Fleming were all missionaries in Ecuador, rather than Bolivia. Their legacy are the present day missionaries of the Waorani tribe whom they sought to reach with the gospel. The Waorani are now sharing the gospel with other indigenous peoples in Ecuador’s Amazon region.

  • Pingback: Happy St. Patrick’s Day | The Songs and Tales of a Warrior-Poet

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  • http://www.biteinteractive.com Brant

    My good friend Scott Ryll, currently preparing to serve in Hungary

    http://www.fontandtomb.com/

  • http://www.biteinteractive.com Brant

    My good friend Scott Ryll, currently preparing to serve in Hungary

    http://www.fontandtomb.com/


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