Tuesday, February 02, 2016 - Presentation of Our Lord - Forty days after the birth of Jesus we mark the day Mary and Joseph presented him in the temple in accordance with Jewish law. There they were greeted by Simeon, an aged priest who offered the song "Lord, now you let your servant depart in peace," as well as by the prophet Anna, who spoke of the redemption of Israel.
Wednesday, February 03, 2016 - Ansgar, Bishop of Hamburg, missionary to Denmark and Sweden, died 865 - A monk who helped bring Christianity to Scandinavia, Ansgar returned to Germany where he was named bishop of Hamburg. He is remembered for his love for poor people.
Friday, February 05, 2016 - The Martyrs of Japan, died 1597 - Christianity was brought to Japan in the sixteenth century by Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries. The religion was suppressed, however, and in 1597 twenty-six missionaries and converts were crucified. Nevertheless, Christianity survived and later prospered.
Sunday, February 14, 2016 - Cyril, monk, died 869; Methodius, bishop, died 885; missionaries to the Slavs - These two brothers from Thessalonika, Greece, were monks and were sent to bring Christianity to the Slavic people. In the course of their work they created a written language, inventing the Cyrillic alphabet for it, and translated the Bible and the liturgy.
Thursday, February 18, 2016 - Martin Luther, renewer of the church, died 1546 - Though he began his adult church life as a simple Augustinian monk, Luther challenged the abuses he saw in the church, and his work eventually led to the Protestant Reformation. Luther's accomplishments included liturgical reform, translation of the Bible, and creation of the Small and Large Catechisms.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, martyr, died 156 - Because he is said to have been known by John, the author of Revelation, as well as the important early church fathers Irenaeus and Ignatius, Polycarp serves as a vital link in church history. He was burned at the stake at age 86 for refusing to renounce his faith.
Thursday, February 25, 2016 - Elizabeth Fedde, deaconess, died 1921 - Born in Norway and trained there as a deaconess, Fedde was asked to come and minister to the poor and to seamen in New York City. She established the Deaconess House in Brooklyn as well as Deaconess Hospital in Minneapolis.
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