January 28, 2012
January 28th is the present feast day of St Thomas Aquinas. I say present because at one time it was celebrated on what is said to be the day of his death March 7th. He was born in the year 1226 and died in 1274. Placed with the Benedictines at the tender age of 5, he at 17 chose to enter the order of St Dominic. Both priest and doctor, St Thomas Aquinas studied at Cologne under St Albert the Great. While in Paris, known to be a friend of the King, Thomas was also a humble man. When later offered the role of Archbishop, he declined. He was and is known as one of the best theologians of all time.
December 30, 2011
On this day, December 30, 1384, John Wycliffe was in his deathbed yet still shaking things up in the Christian church. Wycliffe, a priest, an Oxford Scholar, and chaplain to the King of England, was not only incredibly intelligent but also outspoken in his beliefs and did not hesitate to vocalize what he viewed as corruption in the church and among his fellow clergy. These very clergy flocked to his bedside as he breathed his last fearing what his last words would be. He spoke not a word. He was instrumental in the very first England language translation of the Bible, believing that the people of God needed the Lord’s Word and needed to understand it. His work was instrumental in later work to make available English translations of the Scripture. Church leaders feared him because he spoke harshly against their theology and their leadership. He urged clerics and church leaders of his day to live lives of simplicity and holiness and to shepherd their people rather than “plunder” them. He died of a stroke.