2017 Christian Holidays -
Ecumenical Mysticism/Wisdom Tradition
* 1/1: World Peace Day--Day to meditate for peace throughout the world. [Universal Hour of Peace: 7:00-8:00 a.m. EST.]
* 1/1: Day the first woman was ordained an Episcopalian priest in the U.S. (1977). [Rev. Jacqueline Means]
* 1/1: Day Pope John Paul II exhorted Christians to respect Nature, to preserve natural resources, and to stop environmental destruction (1990). [Citing Genesis, the Pope said that, because responsibility for Creation was entrusted by Deity to humankind, the ecological crisis is a moral issue of human responsibility. He believed the ecological crisis was caused by a lack of respect for life. He said that it implicates planetary peace as well as the quality of life of all. He was concerned about the depletion of the ozone layer, massive urban concentrations, vastly increased energy needs, industrial waste, the burning of fossil fuels, unrestricted deforestation, and the use of certain types of herbicides, coolants and propellants. He also expressed concern about genetically-modified plants and animals. He exhorted governments to cooperate internationally, and to internally adopt internationally-accepted standards, to ensure preservation of the environment.] [This was expressed in "Peace with God the Creator, Peace with All of Creation: Message of His Holiness Pope John Paul II for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace".]
* 1/4: Day ethnic discrimination was outlawed world-wide (1969); day to mourn all manifestations of racism. [Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination: signed/adopted 3/7/1966; entered into force 1/4/1969.] [Text of Convention] [The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) monitors implementation of the Convention. For more information, see Human Rights Watch website.] [Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Article 2 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) also prohibit discrimination on account of race.] [The U.N. has designated 3/21 to 3/27 Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling against Racism and Racial Discrimination.]
* 1/6 (OC 1/19): Epiphany--Christian feast recalling the adoration of Child Jesus by the Magi, and the beginning of Rabbi Jesus' ministry of love to humanity - when He changed water into wine at Cana. [See Glory Be prayer and Epiphany prayers.] [Orthodox Christians celebrate the Baptism of Jesus.] [a/k/a Epiphany of the Lord, Three Kings Day, Theophany]
* 1/7: Orthodox Christian Christmas. [a/k/a Nativity of the Savior]
* 1/7: Beginning of 3 days of Islamic terrorists attacks, killing 17 people at the office of Charlie Hebdo magazine, at a Jewish market, and elsewhere in/near Paris, France (2015). [A Muslim police officer was among those who were killed at the office, and a Muslim man secreted patrons at the market to protect them.] [Following the attacks, Muslim governments and organizations condemned the attacks. Also following the attacks, 50+ anti-Muslim incidents occurred in France.] [While 4 Muslims participated in these attacks, and while some Muslims have participated in and supported other acts of Islamic terrorism, most Muslims are horrified by such acts done in the name of their religion. It is immoral to hold all Muslims responsible for the acts of a few.] [It is moral and laudable to condemn those who commit evil acts, including killings, torture, persecution, and discrimination. However, using "freedom of speech" as a justification for inciting hatred or violence against all Muslims (or Jews or Christians), or for bullying Muslims (or Jews or Christians) by ridiculing non-harmful aspects of their religion or culture, particularly when they are a disempowered minority group in one's country, is immoral, even if it is legal. Though legally-protected speech should not be censored or the source punished, when such incitement or bullying occurs, all moral people should use "freedom of speech" to reveal the hate speech for what it is and publicly condemn it. But regardless of the provocation, violence against noncombatants is illegal and immoral.] [See Wikipedia article on Charlie Hebdo Shooting and RT News article on the anti-Muslim aftermath.]
* 1/8: Death day of Galileo (1642), astronomer; day to mourn the persecution of scientists by religious authorities. [Birthday 2/15/1564]
* 1/12: Day genocide was outlawed world-wide (1951); day to mourn all victims of genocide. [Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide: signed/adopted 12/9/1948; entered into force 1/12/1951.] [Text of Convention] [For more information, see Prevent Genocide International website.] [In the name of Jesus Christ, and for love of Jesus Christ, Christians should condemn all past genocides and, to prevent future genocides, should demand an end to persecution on account of any nationality, ethnicity, "race" or religion.]
* 1/13: Death day of George Fox (1691), founder of the Quakers. Quakers experience Deity within and practice egalitarianism, social activism, and peacefulness. [Born 7/1624: exact date unknown]
* 1/15: Feast of the Black Christ. [Originated in Guatemala and celebrated by Catholics in Central America and the Caribbean and immigrants and African-Americans in the U.S. Pilgrims travel to the Church of the Black Christ of Esquipulas annually during the week leading up to the feast.] [a/k/a Feast of Christ of Esquipulas, Fiesta Del Senor de Esquipulas]
* 1/15: World Religions Day--Day to contemplate all religions as different paths to the one universal Deity of many names and aspects.
* 1/15 (Obs. 1/16): Birthday of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929), Baptist preacher and non-violent advocate for the rights of African Americans. [Death day 4/4/1968]
* 1/15: First appearance of Our Lady of Banneux, Virgin of the poor, the sick, and the suffering (Belgium 1933). [See The Eternal Blessed Mother.]
* 1/19: Theophany--Orthodox Christian celebration of the Baptism of Jesus. [See prayers and litany from the Great Blessing of Water.]
* 1/29: Birthday of Vladimir Soloviev (1853), Orthodox Christian mystic who bewailed humanity's alienation from Holy Wisdom and from Nature, Her manifestation. [Death day 8/12/1900]
* 1/31: Birthday of Fr. Thomas Merton (1915), Catholic mystic and poet, who found Deity in stillness and silence. [Death day 12/9/1968]
* 2/1 to 2/28: Ethnic Equality Month--Time to honor all peoples and their positive traditions; time to meditate on the equality of all peoples, on the respect due to them, and on God-Goddess manifesting as African, Asian, Oceanic, Middle Eastern, European, Hispanic, and Native American. [Expands idea of African-American History Month a/k/a Black History Month.]
* 2/11: First appearance of Our Lady of Lourdes, Lady of healing waters (France 1858).
* 2/11: Day the first woman was consecrated an Episcopalian bishop in the U.S. (1989). [Bishop Barbara Harris]
* 2/18: Death day of Michelangelo (1564), painter of the Vatican's Sistine Chapel (where Our Father is shown embracing Our Mother while reaching out to humanity). [Photo] [Birthday 3/6/1475]
* 2/22 to 2/28 (OC 2/13 to 2/19): Carnival/Meat Fare--Christian time of feasting, dancing, and revelry. [For Western Christianity, ends on Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras, final day before Lent.]
* 3/1: Day the production and use of landmines was outlawed world-wide (1999); day to mourn their victims. [Protocol on Prohibition or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps, and Other Devices a/k/a Convention on Landmines a/k/a Mine Ban Treaty, amending the 1980 Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects: Treaty signed/adopted 10/10/1980; entered into force 12/2/1983; Protocol signed 12/3/1997; entered into force 3/1/1999.] [Text of Convention] [Russia and Cuba may still be manufacturing landmines. Russia, Cuba, and the U.S. have not ratified the Protocol.] [Landmines maim and kill civilians, including children. Those that survive endure a lifetime of hardship.] [In the name of Jesus Christ, and for love of Jesus Christ, Christians should renounce the production and use of landmines, and should demand removal and destruction of all existing landmines.] [For more information, see International Campaign to Ban Landmines (I.C.B.L.) website; Landmine Monitor website.] [The U.N. has designated 4/4 International Day for Mine Awareness.]
* 3/1 to 3/31: Gender Equality Month--Time to honor both genders; time to meditate on the equality of women and men, on the respect due to both women and men, and on Goddess-God manifesting as woman and man. [Expands idea of Women's History Month.]
* 3/1 to 4/15 (OC 2/27 to 4/7): Ash Wednesday (Pure Monday) and Lent--Christian time of purification by self-reflection, peace-making, reparation for harm done, and helping those in need. [On Ash Wednesday or Pure Monday, a fast day, a cross of ashes is imposed on foreheads of Christians. They are reminded of their mortality and exhorted to repent of their sins. Some observe a Lenten "fast" and abstain from meat on Fridays throughout Lent.] [See prayers for Ash Wednesday and prayers for Lent.] [Lenten “fasts” in atonement for sin take many forms. Some use Lent to give up an unhealthy or undesirable habit (e.g., drugs, alcohol, smoking, snacks, or desserts). Some use Lent to start a healthy or desirable habit (e.g., exercise routine, dance work-out, yoga, or tai chi). Some use Lent to improve relationships (e.g., reach out to estranged family members, take an anger management class, or start marriage counseling). Others use Lent to help others (e.g., volunteer at a soup kitchen or lobby for a social justice issue). And others use Lent to help the environment (e.g., participate in “clean-ups” or lobby for an environmental issue).] [For most Protestants who observe Lent (including Anglicans/Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Lutherans), Lent ends on Holy Saturday. But for Catholics, Lent ends on Holy Thursday; and for Orthodox Christians, Lent ends on the Friday before Palm Sunday. Even in denominations where Lent ends before Holy Saturday, Holy Week fasts continue until the Easter Vigil.] [Lenten Truce (through Easter): Time to cease all forms of conflict (at least temporarily), extend a greeting to your adversary, and share a meal for peace.] [a/k/a Clean Monday and Great Lent (OC)]
* 3/8: International Women's Day--Day to mourn victims of gender-based oppression and misogyny (past and present), make peace, and celebrate women's empowerment. [See U.N. website on International Women's Day; A history of International Women's Day.]
* 3/8: Vigil for peace, democratic government, and respect for the human rights of all in Syria. [The 2011 unrest that grew out of the "Arab Spring" revolution became a civil war between the government and various factions, including both pro-democratic and Sunni Islamist groups. In the course of this war, the Syrian government has committed human rights abuses and used chemical weapons against civilians. See Wikipedia article on Syrian Civil War.] [Following subjugation of areas in Iraq and Syria, on 6/29/2014, the organization that now calls itself the "Islamic State" (p/k/a Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad/Organization of Monotheism and Jihad), led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badri), declared a world-wide Islamic caliphate. However, it has not been recognized as a government or an Islamic caliphate. (To be recognized as an Islamic caliphate, it must be recognized by Islamic clerics and the Muslim populace throughout the world. The caliph must be chosen by Allah and elected by the Muslim people.) "Islamic State" has committed human rights abuses against civilians (primarily against Christians, Yazidis, Druze, Shabaks, Mandeans, and Shi'a Muslims). Thousands have been massacred, tortured, and forced to convert. Non-Muslim women and girls have been raped and sold into sexual slavery (forced "marriages"). It has imposed an extreme form of Islamic law on those under its control and has killed civilian Sunni Muslims who refuse to pledge allegiance to it. And it has committed war crimes against Syrian and Iraqi combatants.] ["Islamic State" has allied itself with militant groups, and claimed territory, in Libya, Sinai, Algeria, and elsewhere. It has also threatened international attacks.] ["Islamic State" violates Islam's prohibition against taking innocent life, violates Islam's mandate to tolerate Muslims who hold other views, violates Islam's mandate to protect "People of the Scripture", and violates Islam's mandate to treat women with respect.] [See Wikipedia article on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. For information on the human rights situation in Syria, see Human Rights Watch report: Syria; Amnesty International report: Syria.] [3/8 is Syria's national holiday. March 8 Revolution Day celebrates the day the Baath Party seized power by coup d'etat in 1963.]
* 3/12: Day Pope John Paul II, in the name of the Catholic Church, asked Deity's forgiveness and apologized: to Christians of other denominations for intolerance to them, to Jews for anti-Semitism, to peoples of all non-Christian religions for intolerance and contempt for their religious traditions, to women for their humiliation and marginalization, and to the poor and the powerless for indifference to them (2000). [On the first Sunday in Lent in the Jubilee Year, as a part of the liturgy of the Mass inside St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Pope John Paul II made this public confession with the aid of seven cardinals and bishops. See Transcript of Confession and Request for Forgiveness.] [While the Catholic Church instigated the Crusades, forcibly converted non-Christians, and killed Christian dissidents, ordinary Catholics at the time had no say in it. Nor did any Christian alive today. While it is appropriate to expect atonement from the Catholic Church, it is immoral to blame all Catholics/Christians for the past abuses committed by the Church.]
* 3/13: Birthday of Joseph Priestley (1733), Unitarian who found Biblical basis for belief in a unitary Deity, and believed Jesus to be Deity's Great Prophet. [Death day 2/6/1804] [See Wikipedia article and UU World article on Joseph Priestley. See also Wikipedia articles on Unitarianism; Unitarian Universalism. And see Unitarian Universalist Association website.]
* 3/16: Day Pope John Paul II expressed remorse for the failure of Christians to prevent the murder of six million Jews during World War II (1998). [This was expressed in "We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah".] [Pope Pius XII, who became Pope in 1939, was silent about the Nazi persecution of Jews, other than a 1942 Christmas message that acknowledged that "hundreds of thousands of persons...because of nationality or race, have been consigned to death".] [However, Pope John Paul II planned to beatify Pope Pius XII, until protests dissuaded him. And, in spite of protests, on 9/3/2000, he beatified anti-Semitic Pope Pius IX (who, on 7/14/1555, revoked Jews' previously-recognized rights and required Jews to live in a walled ghetto).]
* 3/19: Christian feast of St. Joseph, partner of Blessed Mary and foster-father of Blessed Jesus - honors him as nurturer, teacher, protector, and guide of all fathers. [a/k/a St. Joseph's Day, Feast of St. Joseph, Solemnity of St. Joseph]
* 3/20: Day Pope Francis urged members of all religions and those who have no religion to unite to defend peace, justice, and the environment (2013). [He said: ''We must do much for the good of the poorest, the weak, and those who are suffering, to favor justice, promote reconciliation, and build peace." We must recognize our joint responsibility "to our world, to all of creation, which we have to love and protect."]
* 3/21: World Forest Day--Day to celebrate the complex living community of trees, plants, birds, and mammals that live in forests world-wide; day to give thanks for forests for cleaning the air of pollution. [Forest once covered 50% of the world. Today, forest covers only 30% of the world. Since 1600, 90% of the original forests that once covered the lower 48 states of the U.S. has been cleared away. Most deforestation of North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia occurred before 2000 and has stabilized. Deforestation continues to accelerate in South America and Africa. The rate of world deforestation averaged 5.2 million hectares per year between 2000 and 2010.] [For information about conservation of forests, see American Forests website; Forests.org website; International Union for Conservation of Nature (I.U.C.N.) website; World Wildlife Fund (W.W.F.) website; Greenpeace website. See also Statement of Principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests; Our Forests, Our Future: Summary Report of the World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development.] [In the name of Jesus Christ, and for love of Jesus Christ, Christians should demand an end to deforestation, and should demand universal observance of sustainable management practices of the world's forests.] [a/k/a World Forestry Day]
* 3/24: Feast of Angel Gabriel, the Messenger.
* 3/25 (OC 4/7): Annunciation Day--Christian feast commemorating Blessed Mary's fiat - choosing to conceive Child Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit and to become catalyst of liberation and redemption. [See Hail Mary prayer.] [a/k/a Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, Annunciation of the Lord]
* 3/26: Christian feast of Blessed Mary, partner of St. Joseph and mother of Blessed Jesus - honors her as nurturer, teacher, protector, and guide of all mothers. [a/k/a Mothering Sunday, Laetare Sunday, Rose Sunday]
* 3/26: Day production and use of biological weapons was outlawed world-wide (1975); day to mourn their victims. [Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction a/k/a Biological Weapons Convention: signed 4/10/1972; entered into force 3/26/1975.] [Text of Convention] [Russia is believed to currently have a biological weapons program in spite of the Treaty's prohibition. Russia has ratified the Treaty.] [In the name of Jesus Christ, and for love of Jesus Christ, Christians should renounce the production, acquisition, and use of biological weapons, and should demand destruction of all existing weapons.] [For more information, see Wikipedia article on Biological Warfare. See also U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs (U.N.O.D.A.) website; Federation of American Scientists (F.A.S.) Biological and Chemical Weapons Main Page.]
* 4/1: Vigil for freedom of religion in Iran. [Shi'a Islam is the official religion. While some other Muslim sects and non-Muslim religions are officially recognized, some are not. Those that are not recognized (particularly Baha'is) and even some that are recognized (particularly Sunni Muslims, Sufi Muslims, Zoroastrians, and evangelical Christians) are discriminated against, harassed, or persecuted. Jews are vilified.] [See U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2015: Iran.] [Articles 2 and 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Articles 2 and 18 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) guarantee freedom of religion and prohibit discrimination on account of religion.] [4/1 is Islamic Republic Day, the day the Iranian people voted in 1979 to become an Islamic Republic.]
* 4/1: Day that same-sex marriage was first legally recognized (2001). [The first countries to legalize same-sex marriage were: Netherlands (2001), Belgium (2003), Spain (2005), Canada (2005), South Africa (2006), Norway (2009), Sweden (2009), Portugal (2010), Iceland (2010), Argentina (2010), Mexico (Mexico City marriages are recognized throughout Mexico) (2010), Denmark (2012), Brazil (2013), France (2013), Uruguay (2013), New Zealand (2013), the U.K. (except Northern Ireland) (2014), Luxembourg (2015), and Ireland (2015). The first U.S. states to legalize same-sex marriage were: Massachusetts (2004), Connecticut (2008), Iowa (2009), Vermont (2009), New Hampshire (2010), Washington, D.C. (2010), New York (2011), Washington (2012), Maine (2012), California (2008/2013), Maryland (2013), Delaware (2013), Minnesota (2013), Rhode Island (2013), New Jersey (2013), Hawaii (2013), New Mexico (2013), and Utah (2013). Many states have legalized same-sex marriage since then, primarily through court orders finding the state bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.] [Some countries and some U.S. states have long recognized same-sex civil unions or domestic partnerships.] [The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), enacted in 1996, banned same-sex marriage under federal law and allowed states to not recognize same-sex marriages contracted elsewhere. However, the Supreme Court struck down DOMA on 6/26/2013, finding that barring tax benefits to a surviving lesbian spouse violated the spouse's equal protection and liberty interests under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.] [United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. _ (2013)] [Text of case] [For more information, see Wikipedia article on same-sex marriage.] [Christian denominations that perform same-sex marriage ceremonies include the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Metropolitan Community Church, and the Ecumenical Catholic Church. Some Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) meetings also perform same-sex marriage or blessing ceremonies.]
* 4/7: World Health Day--Day to pray for healing of all those chronically and seriously ill; day to advocate for adequate health care for all. [Day the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) was founded in 1948.] [For information on World Health Day, see World Health Organization website.] [For information on the World Health Organization, see World Health Organization website.]
* 4/9 (OC 4/9): Palm Sunday--Christian feast marking Savior Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem to teach love and justice for all humanity and to sacrifice Himself for the liberation and redemption of all. [See prayer from the Liturgy of the Palms & Sanctus prayer.] [See also The Beatitudes.] [a/k/a Passion Sunday, Sunday of the Passion] [Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week (a/k/a Passion Week a/k/a Great and Holy Week), which commemorates the last week of the earthly life of Jesus.]
* 4/11: Day Pope John XXIII called for world peace, recognition of human rights, and justice under law (1963). He recognized that peace will only be realized when social justice is realized. [The Pope believed that it is the function of government to create a juridical order, in harmony with the moral order. He recognized that each person is vested with rights and duties that are universal, inviolable, and inalienable. The Pope said that each person has: the right to live, the right to the means necessary for life, the right to freedom of speech, the right to pursue the profession of choice, the right to an education and to receive information about public events, the right to religious freedom, the right to found a family, the right to work, the right to a just and living wage and work conditions conducive to family life, the right to own property, the right of meeting and association, the right to emigrate and immigrate, the right to participate in public life, and the right to legal protection of these rights. He indicated that government, with due regard for the equality of all, has a duty to accommodate the rights and duties of all, preventing the rights of some to impede the rights of others. Government must be particularly concerned with the welfare of the weak, minority groups, and refugees. The Pope believed that governments should, in their international relations, also act with truth, justice, and respect. He also believed that wealthier countries should aid the poorer ones. He encouraged countries to work together through the United Nations and other international entities. The Pope condemned the arms race and the development of nuclear weapons, and said that disarmament is necessary for world peace. He disapproved of war, recognizing that weapons of mass destruction could not serve justice.] [This is expressed in Pope John XXIIIs Encyclical on Peace on Earth.]
* 4/13 (OC 4/13): Maundy Thursday/Last Supper of Savior Jesus--He washed the feet of His male and female disciples, gave them bread and wine as His body and blood, told them to love one another, and told of the Paraclete who would come after Him. [See Maundy Thursday Collect and The Gospel Accounts of the Passover Seder: the Feet-Washing, the Love Commandment, the Eucharist & the Paraclete.] ["Paraclete" means "Comforter" and "Advocate" and is identified with the Holy Spirit. See Acts 1:5, 1:8, 2:4, 2:38. Christian mystics believe the apparitions of Our Lady at Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fatima, etc., were manifestations of the Holy Spirit as the Paraclete.] [a/k/a Holy Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, Christ's Passover Seder] [The holy Triduum (a/k/a Paschal Triduum, Easter Triduum) are the Three Sacred Days from the Night of Maundy Thursday to Easter night.]
* 4/14 (OC 4/14): Passion Friday--Fast day to mourn the torture and killing of Savior Jesus by civil and religious authorities, and to contemplate the sacrifice made for the liberation and redemption of all. [See Collect for Good Friday, Compassion prayer, and Prayer to Jesus Christ.] [See also prayers at the Stations of the Cross.] [While a few Jews (and Romans) were instrumental in the crucifixion of Jesus (who was also a Jew), most Jews at the time had nothing to do with it. And no Jew alive today participated. It is immoral to blame all Jews for the acts of a few, committed in the distant past.] [a/k/a Good Friday, Holy Friday, Great and Holy Friday]
* 4/15 (OC 4/15): Holy Saturday--Vigil remembering Savior Jesus in His cave tomb. [Some fast during the day. In the evening, fire and water are blessed, and the Holy Spirit is entreated to bring about regeneration and renewal. Baptisms are then performed. At the climax of the ritual -- traditionally at midnight -- the resurrection is proclaimed.] [See Easter Eve Collect, Lighting of the Paschal Candle, Liturgy of the Word Creation Readings, and Thanksgiving Over the Water.] [a/k/a Easter Vigil, Easter Eve, Great and Holy Saturday]
* 4/16 (OC 4/16): Easter/Pascha--Christian celebration of Lord Jesus' resurrection by the power of the Holy Spirit. [Eggs are blessed and distributed.] [See Gospel Accounts of the Resurrection and Easter Collect.] [a/k/a Great and Holy Paskha]
* 4/16 to 4/22 (OC 4/16 to 4/22): Easter Week/Bright Week--Christian celebration of the resurrection and rebirth. [See Prayer for Easter Virtues.]
* 4/22: Earth Day--Day to honor the Earth and to meditate on Deity manifesting as Mother Earth. [For information about Earth Day activities, see Earthday Network website; Envirolink website; U.S. E.P.A. website for Earth Day.] [a/k/a International Earth Day, National Earth Day]
* 4/22: Day the world's nations guaranteed asylum to those persecuted in their homelands on account of their ethnicity, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group (1954). [Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees: signed 7/28/1951; entered into force 4/22/1954.] [Text of Convention] [For more information, see United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (U.N.H.C.R.) website; Human Rights Watch website.]
* 4/24: Day the genocidal massacres of Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians began in Ottoman Turkey (1915); vigil for true peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in Greater Anatolia. [During and after World War I, 1.5 million Armenians, 500,000 Greeks, and 300,000 Assyrians were killed. Able-bodied males were summarily executed or conscripted into forced labor. Women, children, the elderly, and the infirm were forced on death marches into the Syrian desert. The Ottoman government and the "Young Turks" were motivated primarily by ethnic nationalism to rid Turkey of non-Turks, but they also used religion to foster hostility against the Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians. Most Turks were Muslim, while most Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians were Christian.] [The government of Turkey refuses to acknowledge the deaths to have been an "ethnic cleansing", genocide, or a crime against humanity.] [On 4/24/1915, 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders were detained in Constantinople; they were later executed.] [a/k/a 1915 Genocide, Armenian Genocide, Medz Yeghern, Greek Genocide, Assyrian Genocide, Seyfo] [See Genocide 1915 website; Wikipedia article on Armenian Genocide; Wikipedia article on Greek Genocide; Wikipedia article on Assyrian Genocide; BBC article "Q&A: Armenian Genocide Dispute".] [Defining a country by its ethnicity or religion is contrary to international law. Using mass deportations or systematic murder to rid a country of another ethnic group or religion is also contrary to international law. It is also immoral, regardless of whether it is committed by or against Muslims, Christians, Jews, or another religious group.]
* 4/29: Day production and use of chemical weapons was outlawed world-wide (1997); day to mourn their victims. [Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons a/k/a Chemical Weapons Convention: signed 1/13/1993; entered into force 4/29/1997.] [Text of Convention] [The U.S. and Russia are currently in the process of destroying their chemical weapons in compliance with the Treaty.] [In the name of Jesus Christ, and for love of Jesus Christ, Christians should renounce the production, acquisition, and use of chemical weapons, and should demand destruction of all existing weapons.] [For more information, see Wikipedia article on Chemical Warfare. See also U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs (U.N.O.D.A.) website; Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (O.P.C.W.) webpage; Federation of American Scientists (F.A.S.) Biological and Chemical Weapons Main Page.] [a/k/a Day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare] [See U.N. website on Chemical Warfare Victims Remembrance Day.]
* 5/1: Christian feast celebrating the sacred marriage of Blessed Mary and St. Joseph. [Also honors St. Joseph as the Laborer.]
* 5/1: Birthday of Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881), Catholic mystic and evolutionary who experienced the union of consciousness with all Nature. [Death Day 4/10/1955]
* 5/1: Day Pope John Paul II affirmed that capitalism must be tempered by social justice and restrained by human rights and environmental laws (1991). [Pope John Paul II rejected communism and totalitarianism, as well as consumerism and unbridled capitalism. He reaffirmed the fundamental rights of workers to their own labor, to dignity in work, to reasonable working conditions, to humane working hours, to a just and living wage, to a family life, to associate with other workers for their collective good, and to participate in a democratic process of governance under the rule of law. He indicated the government has an obligation to seek full employment of all workers through its economic policies, to provide social security for those unable to work, and to provide unemployment insurance and retraining for the unemployed. He also reaffirmed the right to private ownership of property, including technology, but cautioned that the government should not favor the wealthy over the poor. Rather, it is the responsibility of the government to protect all people, but especially the poor and the vulnerable, from exploitation by rich and powerful companies, particularly in times of economic and industrial change. He also indicated that governments should not allow companies, in the name of capitalism, to exploit the natural resources of the Earth irresponsibly and destroy the environment.] [Expressed in Pope John Paul II's Social Encyclical, issued on the 100th Anniversary of Rerum Novarum, the Social Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII, which it strives to reinterpret.]
* 5/4: National Day of Prayer--Day to pray for freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and separation of religion and government throughout the world. [Freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and separation of religion and government is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment. For text and information on the First Amendment, see Cornell University's Legal Information Institute website. For domestic organizations that advocate for freedom of religion, see Americans United for Separation of Church and State website; American Civil Liberty Union website. For information on religious freedom in countries around the world, see U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report; Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief website.]
* 5/8: Christian feast of St. Julian of Norwich (d. 1419), mystic who believed Deity to be Father and Mother, everywhere in everything.
* 5/9: Day the world's nations committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which are causing climate change (1992); day to mourn the failure to reduce these emissions. [Due to these emissions, the planet has already started to experience the impacts of climate change: increased extremes of summer dryness (heat waves, droughts, and wildfires) and winter wetness (flooding); an increase in extreme weather (hurricanes and tornados); an increase of sea level (loss of coastline and loss of fresh water); a decrease in glaciers and polar ice caps; an increase in volcanic eruptions and earthquakes; loss of human habitat; loss of food availability (increase in food costs); and loss of plant and animal species (on land, in the oceans, and on the ice caps).] [Framework Convention on Climate Change: adopted 5/9/1992; signed 6/4/1992; entered into force 3/21/1994.] [Text of Convention] [The Kyoto Protocol, which includes mandatory reduction goals, was adopted by 180 nations 12/11/1997, signed 3/16/1998, and entered into force 2/16/2005.] [Text of Protocol] [The U.S. has refused to ratify the Protocol. Total U.S. emissions have increased by 11% from 1990 to 2010. They have been increasing at an annual average rate of .5%. The U.S. is the biggest polluter on the planet. 25% of the planet's carbon dioxide emissions is emitted by the U.S.] [For more information, see U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change website; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change website; Center for International Environmental Law website; Greenpeace website; EarthJustice website; U.S. E.P.A. website on U.S. emissions 1990-2010; Columbia University website on Assessments of Impacts and Adaptations to Climate Change in Multiple Regions and Sectors. See also Wikipedia article on the Kyoto Protocol.] [In the name of Jesus Christ, and for love of Jesus Christ, Christians should demand universal observance of practices that effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions.]
* 5/18: Day Fr. Matthew Fox nailed his own 95 Theses to the door of the church where Martin Luther nailed his theses, to spur an eco-egalitarian Christian reformation (2005). [A mystic, theologian, and teacher of Creation Spirituality, he recognizes Deity to be Mother and Father, immanent and transcendent.] [See Matthew Fox's 95 Theses.] [See also Friends of Creation Spirituality website; Creation Spirituality Communities website.]
* 5/22: Biological Diversity Day--Day to recognize that the survival of humanity is dependent on the survival of the many diverse species on the Earth: The extinction of other species will bring about our own extinction. [There has been a 40% loss of species between 1970 and 2000 due to habitat destruction, over-harvesting, and pollution. Our unsustainable consumption exceeds the biological capacity of the Earth by about 20%.] [See U.N. website on International Day for Biological Diversity.] [And see the Convention on Biological Diversity: signed 6/5/1992; entered into force 12/29/1993.] [Text of Convention] [And see the Convention on Biological Diversity website.] [The Convention on Biological Diversity was contracted to ensure conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of biodiversity, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.] [For more information, see Center for International Environmental Law website.] [In the name of Jesus Christ, and for love of Jesus Christ, Christians should demand universal observance of practices that effectively preserve all species of life, and should demand an end to habitat destruction, over-harvesting, and pollution of all kinds.] [a/k/a International Day for Biological Diversity, World Biological Diversity Day, Biodiversity Day]
* 5/22: Day to mourn Pope John Paul II's edict barring women from the priesthood in the Catholic Church (2004). [See Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Letter on Holy Ordination. On 11/18/1995, the Vatican declared that the Church's ban on women's ordination was an infallible teaching. See New York Times article. However, Catholic women still advocate for women's ordination. See the Women's Ordination Conference website and the Women Priests website.]
* 5/22 to 5/24: Rogation Days--Christian days of prayer for bountiful crops, sustainable development, and healing of environmental abuses. [See prayers for Rogation Days.] [See also A Song of Creation.]
* 5/25: Day Pope John Paul II reaffirmed the Catholic Church's commitment to ecumenism (1995). [He asked for mutual forgiveness and reconciliation amongst the various Christian denominations, in spite of continuing differences and a painful past. He called for continuing dialogue, cooperation, and solidarity in the service of humanity.] [This was expressed in Pope John Paul II's Encyclical on Commitment to Ecumenism.]
* 5/29: Vigil for peace, freedom of religion, and respect for the human rights of all in Nigeria. [Secular law protects freedom of religion in central and southern Nigeria, where the population is Muslim, Christian, and traditional Yoruba. But in northern Nigeria, where Muslims predominate and Christians are a minority, despite constitutional protections, Islamic law (Sharia) has been imposed in 12 states, beginning in 2000.] [Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram (a/k/a Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati Wal-Jihad/People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad), has also been attempting to overthrow the secular Nigerian government and impose its extreme form of Islam on the population since 2009. Boko Haram was founded by Mohammed Yusuf and, since his death in 2009, has been led by Emir Abubakar Shekau. Boko Haram opposes the "westernization" of Nigeria. It has taken control of many northern Nigerian towns. It has destroyed churches, mosques, and schools. It has abducted and killed thousands of civilians, both Christians and moderate Muslims, many of whom are children. Non Muslims under their control have been forced to convert. Unmarried women and girls have been sold into sexual slavery (forced "marriage"). Since 2013, Boko Haram has also made incursions into Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. In 2015, Boko Haram pledged allegiance to "Islamic State".] [See Wikipedia articles on Sharia in Nigeria and on Boko Haram Insurgency. See also Human Rights Watch report: Nigeria; Amnesty International report: Nigeria.] [Boko Haram violates Islam's prohibition against taking innocent life, violates Islam's mandate to tolerate Muslims who hold other views, violates Islam's mandate to protect "People of the Scripture", violates Islam's mandate to treat women with respect, and violates Islam's mandate to promote the pursuit of knowledge.] [5/29 is Nigeria's Democracy Day. Military rule was replaced with constitutional democracy on 5/29/1999.]
* 5/31: Christian feast of Our Lady, Queen of Heaven. [See Queen of Heaven prayer.]
* 6/4 (OC 6/4): Pentecost/Whitsunday--Christian feast celebrating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the male and female disciples of Lord Jesus; honors Her as the Paraclete, Grace, Wisdom, Justice, and Providence. [See prayers for Pentecost.] [Christian mystics identify the Holy Spirit (Hebrew "Ruach") with Holy Wisdom (Hebrew "Hokhma"), who aided the Heavenly Father in Creation of the Universe. See Genesis 1:1-2, 1:26-27, Job 38:4-11; 38:28-30; Psalm 104:24-30; Proverbs 3:19-20; 8:22-31; Wisdom of Solomon 8:2-6; 8:21-9:4; 9:9-11; and Ecclesiasticus 1:1-5; 24:1-6. Because Jewish mystics consider Ruach and Hokhma to be feminine, Christian mystics consider the Holy Spirit to be feminine. However, most mainstream Christians consider the Holy Spirit to be masculine.] [a/k/a Holy Pentecost]
* 6/5 (OC 6/5): Day of the Holy Spirit--Christian celebration of the Holy Spirit. [See prayers to the Holy Spirit.] [Wisdom of Solomon 7:22-27 describes Holy Wisdom (Hokhma) -- The Holy Spirit: "In Wisdom there is a Spirit intelligent and holy, unique in its kind yet made up of many parts, subtle, free-moving, lucid, spotless, clear, invulnerable, loving what is good, eager, unhindered, beneficent, kindly towards humanity, steadfast, unerring, untouched by care, all-powerful, all-surveying, and permeating all intelligent, pure, and delicate spirits. For Wisdom moves more easily than motion itself, She pervades and permeates all things because She is so pure. Like a fine mist, She rises from the power of Deity, a pure effluence from the glory of the Almighty; so nothing defiled can enter into Her by stealth. She is the brightness that streams from everlasting light, the flawless mirror of the active power of Deity, and the image of goodness. She is but one, yet can do everything; Herself unchanging, She makes all things new; age after age She enters into holy souls, and makes them Deity's friends and prophets...."] [a/k/a Whitmonday, Whit Monday, Monday of the Holy Spirit]
* 6/6: First appearance of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Compassionate Mother who answers all pleas (France 1830). [See Mother of Perpetual Help prayer]
* 6/8: World Oceans Day--Day to recognize the world's dependence on the oceans for food and medicine; day to advocate for the sustainable management of all ocean resources and for an end to the pollution of the oceans with toxins and trash. [See U.N. website on World Oceans Day.] [For information on ocean pollution and fisheries conservation, see Greenpeace website; EarthJustice website; Natural Resources Defense Counsel (N.R.D.C.) website.] [Fish stocks have collapsed in almost one-third of all ocean fisheries. The rate of decline is accelerating and total loss of fisheries could occur by mid-century. Fishery decline is caused by overfishing the stock, the loss of marine biodiversity associated with the stock, pollution, and climate change. Establishing core protected areas for each surviving stock and preventing the stock from being fished above the maximum sustainable yield are crucial for its survival.] [For information about the collapse of fishery stocks, see U.N. Environment Programme report "In Dead Water"; National Center for Policy Analysis article; Wikipedia article on Overfishing.] [In the name of Jesus Christ, and for love of Jesus Christ, Christians should demand an end to pollution of the oceans, and should demand universal observance of sustainable management practices of ocean fisheries.]
* 6/11: Trinity Sunday--Christian celebration of the one universal Deity as Holy Heavenly Father, Holy Spirit Mother, and Holy Christ Child. [See Trinity Sunday prayers.] [Christians consider the Trinity to be a singular Deity with three distinct aspects - not three Deities. Christian mystics identify the Holy Spirit as "Mother" and consider the Holy Spirit Mother coequal with the Holy Heavenly Father and the Holy Christ Child. However, most mainstream Christians do not.]
* 6/12: Vigil for respect for the human rights of all in Russia. [For information on the human rights situation in Russia, see Human Rights Watch report: Russia; Amnesty International report: Russia.] [6/12 is Russia Day, commemorating the day the Russian parliament declared Russian sovereignty from the U.S.S.R. in 1990, creating the Russian Federation.]
* 6/13: Christian feast of St. Anthony (d. 1231), guardian of the poor and the powerless, and guide of social justice activists.
* 6/15 (some transfer to 6/18): Corpus Christi--Christian day for veneration of Christ Immanuel in the Host - divine immanence in the grain. [See Hail Divine Child prayer.]
* 6/16: Birthday of Fr. Sergei Bulgakov (1871), Orthodox Christian mystic who believed the one universal Deity to be Father and Mother, Spirit and Matter. [Death day 7/12/1944]
* 6/18: Day Pope Francis challenged the world to make the necessary changes in lifestyle, consumption, and production to avoid climate change and its expected harm (2015). [Pope Francis issued this challenge in his encyclical on climate change: "Laudato Si'" (a/k/a "On Care for Our Common Home").]
* 6/24: First appearance of Our Lady of Medjugorje, Queen of Peace, Mother of All Peoples (Yugoslavia 1981).
* 6/25: Day the first woman was ordained a Universalist minister in the U.S. (1863). [Rev. Olympia Brown] [See Wikipedia article and UU World article on Olympia Brown. See also Wikipedia articles on Universalism; Christian Universalism; Unitarian Universalism. And see Unitarian Universalist Association website.]
* 6/26: Day torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment were outlawed world-wide (1987); day to mourn their continued existence. [Torture is an illegal, immoral, and ineffective means of interrogation and punishment. All officials have a legal duty and moral obligation to refuse an order to commit torture and to prevent it from occurring. Anyone who attempts, conspires, or commits torture is legally culpable. All acts of torture should be investigated, prosecuted, and punished. Neither war nor civil strife nor emergency justifies torture.] [Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment: adopted 12/10/1984; signed 2/4/1985; entered into force 6/26/1987.] [Text of Convention] [The Committee Against Torture monitors implementation of the Convention. For more information, see U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights website; Human Rights Watch website.] [Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Article 7 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) also guarantee freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.] [See U.N. website on Torture Victims' Day.] [In the name of Jesus Christ, and for love of Jesus Christ, Christians should condemn torture, and should demand an end to the use of torture - of anyone for any purpose.] [a/k/a International Day in Support of Victims of Torture]
* 6/30: Vigil for peace, religious freedom, the end of slavery, and respect for the human rights of all in Sudan. [About the Darfur crisis] [For more information on the Darfur conflict, see Global Security website and Wikipedia article on War in Darfur. And for information on the conflict between north and south Sudan, see Wikipedia article on the Second Sudanese Civil War (which ultimately resulted in the secession of South Sudan on 7/9/2011). See also BBC News Sudan Profile. For information on the human rights situation, see Human Rights Watch report: Sudan; Amnesty International report: Sudan; U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2015: Sudan.] [6/30 is Sudan's Revolution Day, the day in 1989 when Colonel Omar al-Bashir led a military coup d'etat against Prime Minister Sadiq al Mahdi. The military government suspended political parties and introduced Islamic law.]
* 7/1: Day the world's nations committed to stop proliferation of nuclear weapons (1968); vigil to protest the production and use of all nuclear weapons world-wide. [Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons: signed 7/1/1968; entered into force 3/5/1970.] [Text of Convention] [The U.S. used 2 atomic bombs on Japan in 8/1945: over 270,000 civilians died from the bombs and radiation. The original nuclear powers (including the U.S., the U.K., France, and Russia) have failed to destroy their nuclear weapons in spite of the Treaty's requirement that they work towards disarmament. 9 countries are known to currently possess nuclear weapons, and other countries are attempting to develop or acquire them, in spite of the Treaty's prohibition.] [In the name of Jesus Christ, and for love of Jesus Christ, Christians should renounce the production, acquisition, and use of nuclear weapons, and should demand destruction of all existing weapons.] [For more information, see Wikipedia article on Nuclear Warfare. See also U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs (U.N.O.D.A.) website; International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.) website.]
* 7/1: Day endangered species became internationally protected (1975); day to celebrate all the world's creatures. [Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora a/k/a C.I.T.E.S.: signed/adopted 3/3/1973; entered into force 7/1/1975.] [Text of Convention] [For more information, see U.N. Environment Programme C.I.T.E.S. website; World Wildlife Fund (W.W.F.) website; Endangered Species Coalition website; National Wildlife Federation website; Defenders of Wildlife website; EarthJustice website; Natural Resources Defense Counsel (N.R.D.C.) website.]
* 7/2: Visitation Day--Christian feast marking St. Elizabeth's recognition of Blessed Mary's divine destiny as catalyst for human liberation and redemption. [See Magnificat prayer.]
* 7/2: Day discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, gender, and religion was prohibited in public accommodations, employment, and education (1964). [The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson.] [Pub. L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241, 42 U.S.C. 2000a et seq.] [Text of statute] [Title II prohibits discrimination in public accommodations, Title III and Title VI prohibit discrimination by local governments, Title IV and Title IX prohibit discrimination in education, and Title VII prohibits discrimination in employment.] [For information on fighting discrimination based on "race" and "color", see U.S. E.E.O.C. website, and for information on fighting discrimination based on national origin, see U.S. E.E.O.C. website. For information on fighting discrimination based on gender (including sexual harassment), see U.S. E.E.O.C. website. For information on fighting discrimination based on religion, see U.S. E.E.O.C. website.]
* 7/10: Day Pope John Paul II acknowledged the evil of sexism and apologized for the Catholic Church's past oppression of women (1995); day to mourn the continued subordination of women by the Church. [See Letter to Women.] [See also Catholic Perspective on: Women in Society and in the Church. And see the Catholic feminist response: "Feminist Christology" by Elizabeth Johnson; "Heart of Flesh: A Feminist Spirituality for Women and Men" by Joan Chittister O.S.B.; "Equality: A Radical Democratic Ekklesial Vision" by Elisabeth Schssler Fiorenza; "Feminist Theologians Speak Encouragement to Women"; and the Catholic Network on Women's Equality website.]
* 7/11: Day Srebrenica, Bosnia, fell to attacking Serbs (1995), beginning a massacre of thousands of civilians because of their ethnicity and religion; vigil for true peace, justice, religious tolerance, and respect for the human rights of all in the Balkans. [Though it was declared a U.N. "safe haven," Srebrenica, Bosnia, was attacked and fell to Orthodox Christian Serb aggressors on 7/11/1995. 8,000-15,000 civilian Muslim Slavs were killed there from 7/12-7/17/1995 because of their ethnicity and religion. On 8/2/2001, Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic was convicted of genocide for his part in the massacre.] [For more information, see Report of the Secretary General Pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 53/35 (1998).] [Between 1992 and 1995, motivated by ethnic nationalism, the Bosnian Serb government attempted to rid all areas under its control of non-Serbs, targeting both Muslim Bosniaks and Catholic Croats in a campaign of "ethnic cleansing". See Wikipedia article on the Bosnian Genocide; Peace Pledge Union article on the Bosnian Genocide.] [Defining a country by its ethnicity or religion is contrary to international law. Using mass deportations or systematic murder to rid a country of another ethnic group or religion is also contrary to international law. It is also immoral, regardless of whether it is committed by or against Christians, Muslims, Jews, or another religious group.] [While some Orthodox Christians participated in the massacre and the "ethnic cleansing" campaign, most Orthodox Christians then and now were horrified by it. It is immoral to hold all Orthodox Christians (or all Christians) responsible for the acts of a few.] [For information on the human rights situation today, see Human Rights Watch report: Serbia; Human Rights Watch report: Bosnia-Herzegovina; Human Rights Watch report: Croatia; U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2015: Serbia; U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2015: Bosnia-Herzegovina; U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2015: Croatia.]
* 7/12: Anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne (1690); vigil for true peace, justice, religious tolerance, and equal rights for all in Northern Ireland. [The Battle of the Boyne, which marked the defeat of Catholic James II by Protestant William III, occurred on 7/12/1690. Following this defeat, the law discriminated against Catholics.] [Protestants annually celebrate their victory over Catholics on this date, providing an impetus to civil strife. Day to demand the end of hostility between Protestants and Catholics and for religious tolerance of all Christians by all Christians. While some Protestants oppressed Catholics, others actively opposed it. While some Catholics participated in terrorism against Protestants, others actively opposed it. It is immoral to hold all Protestants/Catholics responsible for acts committed by some Protestants/Catholics.] [Protestants and Catholics committed to peaceful coexistence, power-sharing, and disarmament by signing the Good Friday Peace Agreement on 4/10/1998.] [For a history of the conflict, see CAIN Web Service: The Northern Ireland Conflict 1968 to the Present; BBC News website: The Troubles.]
* 7/16: Birthday of Mary Baker Eddy (1821), founder of Christian Science, who honored Deity as Father-Mother God. [Death day 12/3/1910]
* 7/22: Christian feast of St. Mary Magdalen, disciple and priestess--Savior Jesus made her His priestess by purifying her seven times; she anointed Him in preparation for His sacrifice and witnessed His torture, death, and resurrection.
* 7/23: Vigil for peace, democratic government, freedom of religion, and respect for the human rights of all in Egypt. [The unrest that grew out of the "Arab Spring" resulted in the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi was democratically elected president in 2012. Protests against Morsi's authoritarianism led to a 2013 military coup d'etat, and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was elected president in 2014. Mubarak and Morsi supporters have been prosecuted and many have been executed.] [See Wikipedia article on Egyptian Revolution of 2011.] [For information on the human rights situation in Egypt, see Human Rights Watch report: Egypt; Amnesty International report: Egypt.] [Sunni Islam is the official religion. Christianity and Judaism are also legally recognized. However, Christians are subjected to attacks, harassment, and discrimination. Shi'a Muslims, Ahmadi Muslims, and Baha'is are not recognized; they are also subjected to harassment and discrimination.] [See U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2015: Egypt.] [Articles 2 and 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Articles 2 and 18 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) guarantee freedom of religion and prohibit discrimination on account of religion.] [Though it is officially unlawful, most women in Egypt have been subjected to female genital mutilation. See U.N.I.C.E.F. data.] [7/23 is Egypt's Revolution Day. It celebrates the 1952 revolution that overthrew and abolished the Egyptian monarchy, ended British occupation, and established a republic.]
* 7/26: Christian feast of St. Anna, mother of Blessed Mary and grandmother of Blessed Jesus; guide of grandmothers and elderly women.
* 8/1: Day the production and use of cluster munitions was outlawed world-wide (2010); day to mourn their victims. [The Convention on Cluster Munitions a/k/a C.C.M.: Treaty adopted 5/30/2008, signed 12/3/2008; entered into force 8/1/2010.] [Text of Convention] [See Convention on Cluster Munitions website; Wikipedia article on Convention on Cluster Munitions.] [See also U.N. Charter Article 26, which gives the U.N. Security Council authority to regulate armaments.] [Text of U.N. Charter, chapter V, article 26] [The treaty was opposed by countries that produce or stockpile significant quantities of cluster munitions, including the U.S. and Russia. For more information, see Cluster Munition Coalition (C.M.C.) website; Cluster Munition Monitor website.] [Cluster bombs disperse smaller bomblets over a wide area. They are inherently inaccurate, making civilian casualties more likely. Unexploded cluster bombs remain a life-threatening hazard for civilians long after conflict ends.] [See Wikipedia article on Cluster Munitions.] [In the name of Jesus Christ, and for love of Jesus Christ, Christians should renounce the production and use of cluster munitions, and should demand removal and destruction of all existing cluster munitions.]
* 8/2: Feast of the Black Madonna. [a/k/a Feast of the Virgin of the Angels]
* 8/5: Day that six women were excommunicated for failing to renounce their claims to the priesthood (2002). They had been ordained Catholic priests without Vatican authority on 6/29/2002. [See Declarations issued by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.]
* 8/6 (OC 8/19): Transfiguration Day--Christian feast celebrating the revelation of Lord Jesus as the Cosmic Christ and friend to all humanity. [See Transfiguration Day Prayer.] [See also The Lord's Prayer & Hail Holy Father prayer.] [a/k/a Transfiguration of the Lord]
* 8/8: Vigil for continuing progress in Burma's democratic evolution, religious tolerance, and respect for human rights. [On 8/8/1988, a pro-democracy demonstration opposing the authoritarian military government was attacked by government troops.] [Burma (a/k/a Myanmar) became independent in 1948. However, a military ruler dominated Burma from 1962 to 1988, and a military junta took control in 1988. Despite her National League for Democracy Party being elected in 1990, Aung San Suu Kyi was never allowed to serve in office. Instead, she was held under house arrest for almost 15 years. And for 20 years, the military junta suppressed democratic efforts and violated human rights. However, since 2008, the military junta has been making efforts towards reform. In 2010, the first elections since 1990 were held. Though that election was not considered to be free and fair, the military-supported civilian government that was elected has been instituting reforms.] [90% of the population is Theravadan Buddhist. Christians and Muslims constitute the primary religious minorities. The government has favored Buddhism. Non-Buddhists are subjected to discrimination and pressure to convert.] [Rohingya Muslims are being persecuted because of their ethnicity and religion. Though they are indigenous to Rakhine State (Burma), they have been treated as foreigners and denied citizenship since 1982. Mobs, sometimes aided by the military or police, have targeted them with violence since 2012. Defining a country by its ethnicity or religion is contrary to international law. Excluding an ethnic or religious group from a country is also contrary to international law. It is also immoral, regardless of whether it is committed by or against Buddhists, Muslims, or another religious group.] [For information on the human rights situation in Myanmar/Burma, see Human Rights Watch report: Burma; Amnesty International report: Myanmar; U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2015: Burma.]
* 8/10: Remembrance day for Nicholas of Cusa (d. 1464), Christian mystic who believed all Creation to be the unfolding of Deity. [Birthday & death day unknown]
* 8/11: Christian feast of St. Clare of Assisi (d. 1253), guide of environmentalists.
* 8/12: Day Pope Pius XII proclaimed the theory of evolution to be consistent with Catholic teaching and Christian faith (1950). [See Encyclical Humani Generis.] Pope John Paul II concurred. [See Message to Pontifical Academy of Sciences (10/22/1996).] Pope Francis also concurred. [See Pope Francis' speech on the Big Bang theory and evolution (10/27/2014).]
* 8/15 (OC 8/28): Assumption Day--Christian feast commemorating Blessed Mother Mary rising into Heaven and being crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth. [See Hail Holy Queen prayer.] [Christian mystics believe she was transformed into Our Lady, the Paraclete - the Holy Spirit - who appears everywhere to comfort and aid those in need, and who advocates the cause of the departed in heaven.] [a/k/a Assumption of the Virgin Mary]
* 8/17: Vigil for peace, justice, religious tolerance, and respect for the human rights of all in Indonesia. [The Indonesian constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the government officially respects the religious freedom for 6 recognized religions: Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism. However, other religions are not recognized (Sikhism, the Baha'i Faith, Judaism, and the traditional Aliran Kepercayaan), and some are deemed "deviant" (Ahmadiyya Islam and Shi'a Islam). In addition, the government allows members of the majority Sunni Muslim religion to persecute minority religious groups, including Christians, Ahmadi Muslims, and Shi'a Muslims. Members of minority groups are targeted for forced conversion to Sunni Islam, their places of worship are destroyed, and they are prosecuted for "blasphemy".] [See Human Rights Watch report: Indonesia; Amnesty International report: Indonesia; U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2015: Indonesia.] [Articles 2 and 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Articles 2 and 18 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) guarantee freedom of religion and prohibit discrimination on account of religion.] [8/17 is Indonesia's Independence Day.]
* 8/22: Christian feast of Our Lady, Queen of Angels.
* 8/27: Birthday of Mother Teresa (Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu) (1910), Catholic nun who served the poorest of the poor and saw Deity in each person. She witnessed her faith by example, rather than by proselytizing, and respected those of other faiths. ["We are supposed to preach without preaching, not by words, but by our example, by our actions." Quoted from "Mother Teresa, Words to Live By" p. 72 (Ave Maria Press, 1983).] ["There is only one God and He is God to all ... everyone is seen as equal before God. I've always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim.... I have never found a problem with people from different religions praying together." Quoted from "Mother Teresa: A Simple Path" pp. 31-32, 59, xix (Ballantine Books, 1995).] [Death day 9/5/1997]
* 8/28: Day of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s peaceful march on Washington, D.C., for recognition of the rights of African Americans (1963). [Rev. King made his inspiring "I have a dream" speech at this rally.]
* 8/28: Opening of the Second World Parliament of Religions (1993), attended by members of all the world's religions. A Global Ethic was adopted that condemns hatred, aggression, oppression, and environmental abuses committed in the name of religion. [Text of Global Ethic] [See also website for the Parliament of the World's Religions.]
* 9/1: Day to pray about, commit to, and act on, lifestyle and consumption changes to stop extinction, waste, overharvest, pollution, and climate change. [In 1989, Ecumenical Patriarch Demetrios established 9/1 as a day for all Orthodox Christians of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to offer prayers for the preservation of Creation. His successor, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, has continued the practice and has said: "For human beings...to destroy the biological diversity of God's Creation; for human beings to degrade the integrity of the Earth by causing changes in its climate, by stripping the Earth of its natural forests or destroying its wetlands; for human beings to contaminate the Earth's waters, its land, its air, and its life these are sins." In 2007, the World Council of Churches asked that member Protestant churches recognize the period from 9/1 to 10/4 (the feast of Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the environment) as the Time for Creation, to be observed with prayer and action for the environment. In 2015, Pope Francis designated 9/1 as World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation for the Catholic Church. Quoting his encyclical on climate change (Laudato Si'), Pope Francis said: "Living our vocation to be protectors of God's handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience."]
* 9/3: Day gender discrimination was outlawed world-wide (1981); day to mourn all manifestations of sexism. [Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women: adopted by U.N. General Assembly 12/18/1979; signed 3/1/1980; entered into force 9/3/1981.] [Text of Convention] [The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) monitors implementation of the Convention. For more information, see U.N. Women: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women website; Feminist Majority Foundation website; Human Rights Watch website.] [Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Article 2 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) also prohibit discrimination on account of gender.]
* 9/3: Day Pope John Paul II beatified symbols of progressive religious authority (Pope John XXIII) and autocratic religious authority (Pope Pius IX) (2000). [Pope John XXIII instigated the reforms of the Vatican II Council in 1962, and advocated freedom of religion, peace, and social justice. Pope Pius IX adopted the doctrine of papal infallibility at the Vatican I Council in 1870, and rejected the doctrines of separation of church and state, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech in his Syllabus of Errors in 1864.] [See articles by American Catholic (about Pope John XXIII) and National Catholic Reporter (about Pope Pius IX).]
* 9/6: Day Latin American Catholic Bishops espoused Liberation Theology (1968). They believed that the Gospel requires Christians to aid the poor and oppressed in the struggle for economic and social justice. [The Second Latin American Bishops Conference was held in Medellin, Colombia on 9/6/1968.] [See "A Concise History of Liberation Theology" by Leonardo and Clodovis Boff, "Liberation Theology: Religious Response to Social Problems. A Survey" by Marian Hillar, and Liberation Theology website.]
* 9/8 (OC 9/21): Birthday of Blessed Mary, catalyst of liberation and redemption. [See Hail Mother of God prayer.] [a/k/a Nativity of the Virgin Mary]
* 9/8: Death day of Mother Ann Lee (1784), mystic and founder of the Shakers, who worshipped with ecstatic dance and song, and believed Deity to be Father, Son, Mother, and Daughter. [Birthday 2/29/1736]
* 9/9: Christian feast of St. Joachim, father of Blessed Mary and grandfather of Blessed Jesus; guide of grandfathers and elderly men.
* 9/10: Birthday of Thomas Thayer (1812), Universalist who believed Deity to be at work in evolution and continuing Creation. [Death day 2/12/1886]
* 9/11: Day terrorists killed over 3,000 innocent civilians of many ethnicities and religions from 86 nations (2001); day to mourn all victims of terrorism. [Al-Qaeda terrorists, using passenger planes, struck the World Trade Center (in New York, N.Y.) and the Pentagon (outside Washington, D.C.). Because passengers on a fourth plane resisted, to prevent it from being used as a weapon, it was crashed near Shanksville, P.A.] [For statements by Muslims around the world condemning the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 as horrific and un-Islamic, see Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism; Islamic Statements Against Terrorism; Muslims Condemn Terrorist Attacks.] [Fatwas (religious edicts) condemning terrorism have been issued by Muslim clerics. Saudi Arabia's leading Islamic authority (the Permanent Committee of Religious Research and Ifta) issued a fatwa against terrorism on 6/7/2004, contending that terrorism is forbidden under Islam and constitutes a severe form of injustice. The Spanish Islamic Commission issued a fatwa condemning terrorism on 3/11/2005, and called Osama bin Laden an apostate. The U.K.'s Sunni Council issued a fatwa against terrorism on 7/17/2005, indicating that killing others is a sin and that suicide bombers will go to hell. The British Muslim Forum issued a fatwa condemning terrorism on 7/18/2005, indicating that terrorist acts are contrary to Islam. The Fiqh Council of North America issued a fatwa against terrorism on 7/28/2005, indicating that all terrorist acts targeting civilians are forbidden in Islam.] [Al-Qaeda terrorists have struck other targets. See list of Al-Qaeda's terrorist attacks.] [For international efforts against terrorism (which constitutes a crime against humanity), see U.N. Action to Counter Terrorism.] [For incidents in which governments have used the fight against terrorism as an excuse to suppress civil liberties, see Human Rights Watch website.] [While some Muslims commit terrorist acts, most Muslims do not; and most Muslims do not authorize or approve of the terrorist acts committed. While it is appropriate to hold accountable the individuals, organizations, and governments that commit or fund the terrorists acts, it is immoral to blame all Muslims for the acts of a few.]
* 9/13: Day Israelis and Palestinians committed to peaceful coexistence (1993); vigil for true peace, justice, religious tolerance, and human rights for all in the Middle East. [Declaration of Principles (a/k/a Oslo Accords) was signed by Israel & the P.L.O. on 9/13/1993.] [See Wikipedia article on the Oslo Accords. See also The History of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.]
* 9/15: International Day of Democracy--Day to celebrate democratic systems of government throughout the world, bound by rule of law, principles of human rights, and civilian control. Day to affirm democracy's compatibility with all peoples, all cultures, and all religions. [In a democracy, both military and police are subject to rule of law and subordinate to civilian government. The military exists to protect the lawful civilian government and civilians; the police exists to enforce the law and protect people from criminals.] [See U.N. website on International Day of Democracy.] [a/k/a Democracy Day]
* 9/15: Day the first woman was ordained a Congregational/Unitarian minister in the U.S. (1853). [Rev. Antoinette Brown Blackwell] [See Wikipedia article and UU Biography on Antoinette Brown Blackwell. See also Wikipedia articles on Unitarianism; Unitarian Universalism. And see Unitarian Universalist Association website.]
* 9/17: Christian feast of St. Hildegard von Bingen (d. 1179), mystic who sang praises to the Holy Spirit as Grace (Caritas) and Wisdom (Sapientia). She recognized the Holy Spirit to be the feminine aspect of the Holy Trinity, and found Her everywhere in Nature.
* 9/19: Appearance of Our Lady of La Salette, Mother of the Harvest (France 1846).
* 9/21: International Day of Peace--Day to demonstrate for peace with justice throughout the world. [Peace can be realized where there is recognition of sovereignty/autonomy, compliance with just law, respectful behavior, responsible sharing of resources, cooperation to attain common goals, and reasonable compromise to enable all to meet lawful goals.] [See International Day of Peace website; International Day of Peace Vigil website.]
* 9/25: Day Pope Francis called for Christian evangelizing to focus on service to humanity - rather than conversion (2014). [See Pope Francis' speech to the Conference of the Evangelization of Peoples Congregation.]
* 9/29: Feast of Michael, Angel of Protection, and Uriel, Angel of Justice.
* 9/30: Christian feast of Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom), Soul of the Universe, and source of faith, hope, and love. [See Hail Holy Spirit prayer.]
* 9/30: Birthday of Elhanan Winchester (1751), Universalist who exhorted people to lives of personal ethics and social reform. [Death day 4/18/1797] [Trinitarian Baptist Universalist Restorationist] [See Wikipedia article and UU Biography on Elhanan Winchester. See also Wikipedia articles on Universalism; Christian Universalism; Unitarian Universalism. And see Unitarian Universalist Association website.]
* 10/1: Vigil for freedom of religion in China. [China only recognizes 5 official religious organizations and controls their religious expression. Though its intensity waxes and wanes, persecution of independent Christians has been ongoing. China also persecutes Tibetan Buddhists, Uyghur Muslims, and Falun Gong practitioners.] [See U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2015: China. See also U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2015: Tibet.] [Articles 2 and 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Articles 2 and 18 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) guarantee freedom of religion and prohibit discrimination on account of religion.] [10/1 is China's National Day.]
* 10/1: Day Russia enacted the Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations (1997); vigil for the end of persecution of Protestants and Catholics by Orthodox Christians and for religious tolerance of all Christians by all Christians. [Though the law endorses freedom of religion and separation of religion and government, it also requires religious groups to register with the government and allows government officials to decline to register disfavored groups.] [The Russian Orthodox Church was persecuted under Communism, but it has been made the de facto official religion of post-communist Russia, and has been instrumental in the persecution of non-Orthodox Christians. Russia has forced some non-Orthodox churches to close and given their property to the Russian Orthodox Church. Though Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism are identified as "traditional" religions, adherents of these faiths are also targeted for discrimination and harassment. Adherents of religions deemed "non-traditional" (e.g., Jehovah's Witnesses and Scientology) are persecuted or harassed.] [See U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2015: Russia.] [Articles 2 and 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Text of Declaration) and Articles 2 and 18 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) guarantee freedom of religion and prohibit discrimination on account of religion.]
* 10/2: Feast of the Guardian Angels; day to honor one's personal guardian and guide.
* 10/2: Birthday of Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi (1869), Hindu advocate for human rights and self-reliance, who practiced active non-violent resistance to injustice. [Gandhi envisioned a world where women and untouchables would be empowered and respected. Gandhi envisioned a world where members of all faiths (including Hindus, Muslims, and Christians) would live harmoniously together.] [Death day 1/30/1948] [a/k/a Gandhi Jayanti]
* 10/4: Christian feast of St. Francis of Assisi (d. 1226), and Animal Blessing Day. [See Prayer of Saint Francis.]
* 10/9: Vigil for peace, justice, and respect for the human rights of all in Uganda. [Following the military coup d'etat by Yoweri Museveni and his National Resistance Army (N.R.A.) in 1986, the N.R.A. attacked ethnic groups in northern Uganda. The Lord's Resistance Army (L.R.A.), was founded by Alice Lakwena in 1987 to defend the Acholi people there. It has been led by Joseph Kony since 1987. The L.R.A. is a Christian extremist organization that wants to overthrow the Museveni government and install a "Christian" government in Uganda. (Christianity is the predominant religion in Uganda, though there is a significant Muslim minority.) In addition to attacking the Ugandan military, the L.R.A. has attacked Ugandan villages, killing and mutilating civilian adults, raping and forcing women into sexual slavery, and forcing children to serve as soldiers. In 2005, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Joseph Kony and his top commanders. They were charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, rape, sexual slavery, and recruiting child soldiers. However, Kony has eluded capture. Between 2006 and 2008, peace talks occurred, but failed. The L.R.A. was weakened by coordinated attacks on its camps in late 2008 and forced to relocate to the remote border areas of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C.), the Central African Republic (C.A.R.), and South Sudan. Though fewer in number, attacks continue.] [See Wikipedia articles on the National Resistance Movement and on the Lord's Resistance Army.] [For information on the human rights situation in Uganda, see Human Rights Watch report: Uganda; Amnesty International report: Uganda.] [Though the Lord's Resistance Army purports to be Christian and wants to enforce the 10 Commandments as law in Uganda, it violates the commandment "thou shalt not kill" and Jesus' commandment to "love your neighbor as yourself".] [10/9 is Uganda's Independence Day. Uganda became independent from Britain in 1962, and became a republic in 1963. Milton Obote took control following independence. He was deposed by Idi Amin in 1971, who committed many atrocities. Milton Obote returned to power in 1979, but was deposed by General Tito Okello in 1985, who was in turn deposed by Yoweri Museveni.]
* 10/11: Opening of Vatican II Council, during which the Catholic Church committed to ecumenism, freedom of religion, and social justice (1962). [The Council met from 10/11/1962 to 12/8/1965.] [For information about the Vatican II Council and its aftermath, see Wikipedia article and National Catholic Reporter articles. See also Documents of the Vatican II Council.]
* 10/12: Day the first woman was ordained a Methodist minister in the U.S. (1880). [Rev. Anna Howard Shaw]
* 10/13: Final appearance of Our Lady of Fatima, Lady of Oracles and Miracles (Portugal 1917).
* 10/15: Christian feast of St. Teresa of Avila (d. 1582), mystic who loved Deity passionately.
* 10/18: Day the Clean Water Act was enacted (1972); day to give thanks for the water we drink. [Pub. L. 92-500, 86 Stat. 896, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.] [Text of statute] [For information on water pollution, see U.S. E.P.A. website; Clean Water America Alliance website; Clean Water Action website; EarthJustice website ; Natural Resources Defense Counsel (N.R.D.C.) website; American Rivers website.]
* 10/21: Day military attacks on civilians were outlawed world-wide (1950); day to mourn all civilian victims of war. [All soldiers have a legal duty and a moral obligation to refuse an order to attack a noncombatant. Anyone who plans, orders, or carries out such an act is legally culpable. All attacks on noncombatants should be investigated, prosecuted, and punished.] [Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War a/k/a Fourth Geneva Convention: signed 8/12/1949; entered into force 10/21/1950.] [Text of Convention] [See Wikipedia article on Fourth Geneva Convention.] [In the name of Jesus Christ, and for love of Jesus Christ, Christians should condemn all attacks on noncombatants, and should demand an end to them.]
* 10/24: Feast of Raphael, Angel of Healing.
* 10/24: Day the first woman was ordained a Presbyterian minister in the U.S. (1956). [Rev. Margaret Ellen Towner]
* 11/1: All Saints Day--Day Christians remember all the virtuous dead, known and unknown.
* 11/2: All Souls Day--Day Christians remember all the beloved dead. [See Collect from the Mass for the Dead & All Souls Day Prayer.]
* 11/2: Day the first openly gay man was consecrated an Episcopalian bishop (2003). [Bishop Gene Robinson]
* 11/3: Christian feast of St. Martin of Porres (d. 1639), healer and advocate of social equality and inter-ethnic harmony; guide of healers and human rights activists.
* 11/3: World Community Day--Day for celebrating the unity behind diversity and remembering we are all one people - all children of the one universal Deity of many names and aspects.
* 11/7: Anniversary of the first Re-Imagining Conference, where worship of Holy Spirit Wisdom was introduced to mainstream Christianity (1993). [This conference was organized by the Women's Ministry Unit of the Presbyterian Church USA. 24 other Christian churches and organizations also participated. 2200 Christian leaders, scholars, clergy, and laity attended the conference between 11/4/1993 and 11/7/1993 to address the problem of patriarchy in the church and in society. Following the conference, there was backlash against its organizers, who were accused of heresy.] [See Wikipedia article on the Re-Imagining Conference.]
* 11/8: Birthday of Dorothy Day (1897), activist for peace, economic justice, and workers' rights. [Founder of the Catholic Worker Movement.] [Death day 11/22/1980]
* 11/9: Birthday of Fr. Thomas Berry (1914), Catholic priest, eco-theologian, and cosmologist, who advocated for deep ecology and eco-spirituality. [He believed the Universe, our Solar System, and planet Earth, in themselves, and in their evolutionary emergence, constitute the primary revelation of the ultimate Mystery from which all things emerge into being.] [See Thomas Berry's Twelve Principles for Understanding the Universe and the Role of the Human in the Universe Process. See also Thomas Berry's website. And see Thomas Berry's Earth Spirituality and the "Great Work" and Thomas Berry and a New Creation Story.] [Death day 6/1/2009]
* 11/10: Birthday of Martin Luther (1483), Christian reformer who rejected blind obedience to religious authority and recognized the priesthood of all believers. [Death day 2/18/1546]
* 11/11: Death day of Lucretia Mott (1880), Quaker preacher and non-violent advocate for the rights of women and African Americans. [Birthday 1/3/1793]
* 11/12: Birthday of Sr. Juana Ines de la Cruz (1651), Catholic nun and feminist poet. [Death day 4/17/1695]
* 11/16: Tolerance Day--Day to promote harmony in diversity through mutual respect and understanding of all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, nationality, or economic status. [Despite international and domestic laws providing for equal rights, freedoms, and protections, members of minority groups are still harassed and discriminated against because of societal intolerance arising from fear and ignorance.] [Intolerance often results from projection of "collective guilt": it is immoral to blame an entire group for the acts of a member unless the entire group empowered the member who acted or endorsed the acts.] [See U.N. website on International Day for Tolerance; Wikipedia article on Declaration of Principles on Tolerance.] [a/k/a International Day for Tolerance]
* 11/16: Fast for an Abundant World Harvest--Day to fast and commit to action to help prevent deaths from malnourishment world-wide. [For more information, see Oxfam America website.] [a/k/a Fast for a World Harvest]
* 11/20: Remembrance day for Meister Johannes Eckhart (d. 1328), Christian mystic. He taught the four ways of the mystic's journey - the creating, positive, negating, and transformative ways. [1260-1328: Birthday & death day unknown]
* 11/23: Thanksgiving Day--Day to give thanks for the abundance of our land and for our food, clothes, shelter, and health.
* 11/26: Death day of Sojourner Truth (1883), Christian preacher and non-violent advocate for the rights of women and African Americans. [Born 1797: exact date unknown]
* 11/28: Day the Women's Ordination Conference opened, advocating for ordination of women priests in the Catholic Church (1975). [See Women's Ordination Conference website.]
* 11/29: International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People--Vigil for recognition of the state of Palestine, for recognition of all human rights of all its citizens (whether Muslim, Jewish, or Christian), and for peaceful coexistence with the state of Israel. [See U.N. website on Solidarity with the Palestinian People Day. See also The History of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. And see U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report for 2015: the Occupied Territories.] [The Palestinian Authority formally requested full membership in the U.N. -- and recognition of statehood -- on 9/23/2011.]
* 12/1: World AIDS Day--Day to pray for healing of all those suffering with AIDS and HIV. [For information on World AIDS Day, see World AIDS Day website. For information about the global fight against AIDS, see UNAIDS website.]
* 12/3 to 12/24 (OC 11/28 to 1/6): Advent/Festival of Lights--Christian vigil for the birth of the Cosmic Christ. Advent candles are lit; Christmas carols are sung. [Also during Advent, some fast; others give to those in need.] [See Advent Evening Hymn and Collects for Advent. And see Christmas Carols.] [Advent is observed by Protestants (including Anglicans/Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Lutherans), Catholics, and Orthodox Christians.] [a/k/a Christmas Lent, Nativity Fast]
* 12/6: Christian feast of Old St. Nicholas/Santa Claus, who leaves gifts for all good children.
* 12/8: Christian feast celebrating St. Anna's conception of Blessed Mary.
* 12/10: Birthday of John Murray (1741), Trinitarian Universalist who believed that Jesus died to save all humanity, not just Christians. [Death day 9/3/1815]
* 12/10: Day the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted, and fundamental rights were recognized world-wide (1948). [The U.N. General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (U.D.H.R.) in Resolution 217 A(III).] [Text of Declaration] [For information on the history of the U.D.H.R., see Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute website. The U.D.H.R. is generally recognized as binding customary international law: all countries are required to respect the rights within it. In 1966, the concepts of the U.D.H.R. were expanded and drafted into two binding international treaties with enforcement mechanisms. The Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Text of Covenant) is enforced by the Human Rights Committee. The Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (Text of Covenant) is enforced by the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. For more information, see U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights website; Human Rights Watch website; Amnesty International website.] [In the name of Jesus Christ, and for love of Jesus Christ, Christians should demand universal observance of all rights enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - for all people.] [a/k/a International Human Rights Day]
* 12/10: Day the Catholic Church prohibited Catholics from attempting to convert Jews, concluding it is "theologically unquestionable" that Jews have been granted salvation by God without belief in Jesus (2015). Jews are to be considered the elder brothers and sisters of Christians. Catholics (and other Christians) should respect their religion and fight their persecution. [Up until modern times, Jews were persecuted by Catholics (and other Christians) in Europe. One aspect of the persecution was their forced conversion to Christianity.] [See "The Gifts and Calling of God are irrevocable: a Reflection on Theological Questions Pertaining to Catholic-Jewish Relations on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of ‘Nostra Aetate' (No.4)" issued by the Vatican's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews.]
* 12/12: First appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of God and Mother of the Oppressed, at the former shrine of Aztec Moon Goddess Coatlicue (Mexico 1531).
* 12/14: Christian feast of St. John of the Cross (d. 1591), whose suffering - for advocating church reform - generated mystical union with Deity.
* 12/15: Day the Bill of Rights became part of the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing fundamental rights to all (1791). [Text of Bill of Rights] [For more information about the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution, see U.S. National Archives & Records Administration website and the Bill of Rights Institute website. For information on organizations that advocate for enforcement of rights and liberties in the Bill of Rights, see Center for Constitutional Rights website; American Civil Liberties Union website.] [a/k/a Bill of Rights Day]
* 12/15: Death day of Fr. Pavel Florensky (1943), Orthodox Christian mystic who taught that Holy Wisdom is Our Mother, the Holy Spirit, third part of the Holy Trinity. [Birthday 1/21/1882]
* 12/15: Day the Catholic Church silenced Fr. Matthew Fox for teaching Creation Spirituality (1988); day to mourn the silencing of all religious dissenters and reformers. [He was ordained a priest in the Catholic Church in 1967. Due to his controversial teachings, he was forbidden to teach theology by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (a/k/a Pope Benedict XVI) in 1988, and he was dismissed from the Dominican order in 1992. He was received into the Episcopal Church in 1994, and continues to teach and write.]
* 12/16 to 12/24: Christmas Novena/Las Posadas--Christian remembrance of the journey of Blessed Mary and St. Joseph to Bethlehem and their taking refuge in a cave-stable. [See Christmas Novena prayer.]
* 12/17: Day the Clean Air Act was enacted (1963); day to give thanks for the air we breathe. [Pub. L. 88-206, 77 Stat. 392, 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.] [Text of statute] [For information on air pollution, see U.S. E.P.A. website; American Lung Association website; EarthJustice website; Natural Resources Defense Counsel (N.R.D.C.) website.]
* 12/19 to 12/25: Christmas Truce--Time to cease all forms of conflict (at least temporarily), extend a greeting to your adversary, and raise a glass for peace. [In the midst of World War I, during the week leading up to Christmas in 1914, British, French, and German soldiers exchanged seasonal greetings and songs from their trenches, and some even ventured into no- man's land between the trenches to bury the dead, exchange food and drink, and play football.]
* 12/23: Birthday of Joseph Smith (1805), founder of the Mormon Church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). He promoted a religion that was egalitarian and communitarian, and worshipped Deity as a Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. [Death day 6/27/1844]
* 12/24 eve: Mother Night--Christian vigil for the laboring Blessed Mary. [See Christmas Carols.]
* 12/25 (OC 1/7): Christmas--Christian celebration of Blessed Mother Mary giving birth to Child Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. [See Christmas Carols.] [a/k/a Feast of the Nativity]
* 12/28: Day the first woman was ordained a Catholic priest - without Vatican authority (1970). [Mthr. Ludmila Javorova was ordained by Catholic Bishop Felix Maria Davidek in Czechoslovakia. Her ordination is not recognized by the Vatican.] [See Wikipedia article on Ludmila Javorova. See also "Out of the Depths: The Story of Ludmila Javorova, Ordained Roman Catholic Priest" by Miriam Therese Winter.]
* 12/28: Day the Endangered Species Act was enacted (1973); day to mourn those creatures already extinct. [Pub. L. 93-205, 87 Stat. 884, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.] [Text of statute] [For information on endangered species preservation, see U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website; Endangered Species Coalition website; National Wildlife Federation website; Defenders of Wildlife website; EarthJustice website; Natural Resources Defense Counsel (N.R.D.C.) website.]
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
[The Christian holy scripture is the Bible, which includes the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible) and the New Testament (the Gospels of Jesus and the Letters of the Apostles). Some denominations also recognize the Old Testament Apocrypha as a canonical or instructive text. Christian beliefs are reflected in the Nicene Creed and the Apostles Creed. Some denominations also recognize the Athanasian Creed. Christians believe in the existence of one Deity manifested as a Trinitarian Godhead, and believe in the divinity and humanity of Christ Jesus.) Christians follow the Ten Commandments and Jesus' instruction: to love Deity with all one's heart, soul, and mind; and to love one's neighbors throughout the world as oneself. Christian communal worship occurs on Sunday for most denominations, though some denominations hold communal worship on Saturday or other days. Christians attend churches to hear Biblical readings and interpretation, and to partake of the Eucharist/Lord's Supper. While theological and ritual differences exist among the various denominations, it is not the intent of this calendar to prefer one over another. Rather, it is our intent to be inclusive and ecumenical.]
[Christianity encompasses mystic Christianity (also known as Christian mysticism or the Wisdom Tradition), based on the Wisdom Literature of the Bible and writings of Christian mystics. Christianity also includes progressive social interpretation: the Social Gospel (embracing social justice), Liberation Theology (embracing social equality, economic justice, and empowerment of the oppressed), and Feminist Theology (embracing gender equality, empowerment of women, and recognition of the femininity of the Holy Spirit), and is sometimes called Liberal Christianity, Progressive Christianity, Humanistic Christianity, and Vatican II Catholicism. Christianity also includes environmentalist interpretation (Creation Spirituality, deep ecology, and Christian stewardship). Christianity also is reflected in ethnic interpretation (such as Celtic Christianity and Hispanic Christianity) and in the interfaith dialogue of ecumenism.]
[This Christian calendar is an ecumenical calendar (interfaith calendar). It includes Eastern Orthodox holidays, Catholic holidays, Episcopal holidays, and Protestant holidays. Thus, it constitutes an Eastern Orthodox Christian calendar, a Catholic calendar, an Episcopal calendar, and a Protestant calendar. Not all Christian denominations observe all the Christian holidays reflected in this calendar. For example, while Eastern Orthodox Christians, Catholics, Episcopalians (Anglicans), and some Protestants celebrate the feasts of many saints (saints days or feast days), they do not recognize all the same saints. And some Protestants do not recognize saints. Dates for Christian holidays may vary from denomination to denomination, with Eastern Orthodox dates at variance with Catholic, Episcopal, and Protestant dates because of the difference between the Julian and Gregorian calendars. Holiday dates may also vary because of a difference between a traditional date and a recent Church reform.]
[Please note: Because this calendar is a multifaith calendar, the term "God" is used only when referring to a male deity. The term "Deity" is used to refer to the Universal gender-neutral Deity that encompasses both male and female characteristics and all Gods and Goddesses.]
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About the Feminine Aspect of Deity...
Biblical & Apocryphal Sources:
The Suppression of Asherah
The Feminine Holy Spirit
Eloah/Hokhma/Shekhinah/Ruach/Holy Spirit as Supernal Co-Creatrix
Eloah/Hokhma/Shekhinah/Ruach/Holy Spirit as Life & Bounty
Eloah/Hokhma/Shekhinah/Ruach/Holy Spirit as Wisdom & Understanding
Eloah/Hokhma/Shekhinah/Ruach/Holy Spirit as Justice & Mercy
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Permission to use and distribute these excerpts is granted for non-commercial purposes, provided the following information is included:
THE MYSTIC'S WHEEL OF THE YEAR 2017
A Multifaith Calendar Reflecting Eco-Egalitarian Spirituality
© 2016 Marija Miovski