Friday, July 01 - Catherine Winkworth, died 1878; John Mason Neale, died 1866; hymn translators - Neale was an English priest who specialized in the translation of Latin and Greek hymns into English. Winkworth lived in Manchester, England, and devoted herself to translating German hymns. Almost all English-speaking hymnals include many of their translations.
Sunday, July 03 - Thomas, Apostle - Though frequently remembered as "doubting Thomas," this apostle also demonstrated a willingness to suffer and die with Jesus (John 11:16), and finally claimed the risen Christ as "my Lord and my God!" By tradition, he later worked as a missionary in India. Long commemorated on December 21, Thomas's celebration is moved to July 3 in agreement with ecumenical calendars.
Wednesday, July 06 - Jan Hus, martyr, died 1415 - Hus was a Bohemian (present-day Czech Republic) priest who spoke against abuses in the church, and was seen by Martin Luther as his predecessor in the reforming movement. He was found guilty of heresy by a council of the church, and burned at the stake.
Monday, July 11 - Benedict of Nursia, Abbot of Monte Cassino, died around 540 - Benedict is known as the father of the Western monastic movement. Educated in Rome, he went to live as a hermit, and eventually gathered a community of monks around him. He wrote a rule for living in monasteries that is used by Benedictines and adapted by others.
Tuesday, July 12 - Nathan Söderblom, Bishop of Uppsala, died 1931 A winner of the Nobel Prize for peace for his efforts to unite peoples after the First World War, Söderblom also called attention to the revival of early church worship principles, and helped to lay the groundwork for the World Council of Churches.
Sunday, July 17 - Bartolome de Las Casas, missionary to the Indies, died 1566 A native of Spain, Las Casas first came to the Western hemisphere while serving in the military. Granted a large estate with indigenous slaves, he freed them after he was ordained a priest. He worked in the Caribbean and Central America to improve the lives of the native peoples.
Friday, July 22 - Mary Magdalene, Apostle - Sometimes called "the apostle to the apostles" because she told them of her encounter with the risen Lord, Mary was a woman of Galilee who followed Jesus throughout his ministry. She was present at Jesus' crucifixion and his burial.
Saturday, July 23 - Birgitta of Sweden, renewer of the church, died 1373 - Birgitta married at age thirteen and had four daughters. Widowed at age thirty-eight, she gave all that she owned to the poor, and founded a community of monks and nuns led by a woman. Her work is continued today by the Society of St. Birgitta.
Monday, July 25 - James, Apostle - James and his brother John were the sons of Zebedee, fishermen by trade before their call from Jesus. He was the first of the twelve apostles to be martyred, and his death is the only one recorded in scripture (Acts 12:1-2).
Thursday, July 28 - Johann Sebastian Bach, died 1750; Heinrich Schutz, died 1672; George Frederick Handel, died 1759; musicians - These three German-born musicians have done much to enrich the life of the church. Schütz was an early master who focused on settings of biblical texts. Bach wrote over 300 cantatas along with works for organ and instrumental pieces, and has been called the "fifth evangelist" for the way he proclaimed the gospel in music. Handel's great work, Messiah, is a setting of scriptural texts.
Friday, July 29 - Mary, Martha, and Lazarus of Bethany - Friends of Jesus, Mary and Martha are remembered for the hospitality of their home that they offered him—Martha focused on serving their guest, and Mary on listening to him. Their brother Lazarus was raised from the dead as a sign of the greater resurrection to come.
Friday, July 29 - Olaf, King of Norway, martyr, died 1030 - Considered the patron saint of Norway, Olaf went from a life of piracy to becoming Christian and declaring himself king of Norway. He revised the laws and tried to administer them fairly. Driven from Norway in a rebellion, he was killed in battle trying to regain his kingdom.
1 - Patti K
2 - John Micheal J
12 - Lundsay K
13 - Xavier D
27 - James R
29 - Ruby P
31 - Cary T