September 2: The Martyrs of New Guinea, 1942

Welcome to the Holy Women, Holy Men blog! We invite you to read about this commemoration, use the collect and lessons in prayer, whether individually or in corporate worship, then tell us what you think. For more information about this project, click here.

About this commemoration

 New Guinea, the second largest island in the world, is still one of the main frontiers of Christian mission, because of its difficult terrain and the cultural diversity of its peoples, who speak some 500 distinct languages. Christian missionaries first began work there in the 1860s and 1870s, with only limited success. The Anglican mission began in 1891, and the first bishop was consecrated in 1898.

During World War II, the suffering of missionaries and of native people was severe. This feast day, observed in the Diocese of New Guinea and in many dioceses of the Church of Australia, marks the witness of eight missionaries and two Papuan martyrs, who were betrayed by non-Christians to the Japanese invaders. But the day also includes remembrance of the faith and devotion of Papuan Christians of all Churches, who risked their own lives to care for the wounded, and to save the lives of many who otherwise would have perished.

 Collects

I. Almighty God, we remember before thee this day the blessed martyrs of New Guinea, who, following the example of their Savior, laid down their lives for their friends; and we pray thee that we, who honor their memory, may imitate their loyalty and faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

II. Almighty God, we remember before you this day theblessed martyrs of New Guinea, who, following the example of their Savior, laid down their lives for their friends; and we pray that we who honor their memory may imitate their loyalty and faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. 

Lessons
 
I Chronicles 22:11-13
I. Thessalonians 5:21 b – 24
Luke 12:4-12
 
Psalm
126
 
Preface of Apostles
 
Text From Holy, Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints © 2010 by The Church Pension Fund. Used by permission.
 
 We invite your reflections about this commemoration and its suitability for the official calendar and worship of The Episcopal Church. How did this person’s life witness to the Gospel? How does this person inspire us in Christian life today?

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6 Responses to September 2: The Martyrs of New Guinea, 1942

  1. Michael Hartney says:

    New Hebrew and New Testament readings: They seem appropriate, but they are 3 verses and 3 ½ verses long respectively. Why have such short readings? Yes, any reading may be lengthened at the discretion of the officiant – but the assigned reading (the default setting) seems way too short.

    As this commemoration is widely observed in New Guinea and the Church of Australia (according to the bio) there must be more biographical material available than offered here. There is room for three? maybe four more paragraphs on the page. Why not provide more information?

  2. Suzanne Sauter says:

    The Anglician Mission Board of Australia has considerably more information on the 12 Anglicans killed : http://www.ballaratanglican.org.au/uploads/Martyrs_Book.pdf

    There is more at the Project Canterbury site including: http://anglicanhistory.org/aus/png/rowland_faithful1964.html

  3. Nigel Renton says:

    I have no comment, other than to make it clear that I think this is fine as it is.

  4. Michael Hartney says:

    The Anglican Mission Board of Australia information, mentioned above by Suzanne, is excellent. The Q & A section at the end could well replace the bio entry we presently have. Particularly so because it specifically names those who are the martyrs being remembered. Reading about their immense devotion and loyalty to those whom they served is awe-inspiring. These saints need to be remembered more fully.

  5. Leonel L. Mitchell says:

    I first heard of their work from a Methodist ex-army chaplain. The importance of this celebration in the
    south Pacificmakes it important for us to remember also. The propers seem appropriate.

  6. Pingback: September 2 – Martyrs of New Guinea : St. Paul's Episcopal Church

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