A Patronal Festival is where we honour the ones who our churches are named after. St. Cuthbert’s Day falls on March 20th and is often surpassed by the Holy Week preparations.
Cuthbert was born around AD625 and is possibly the most ‘popular’ of the Celtic saints. He was known as a righteous, simple and holy man, very concerned with the spiritual condition of the poor, and one who appreciated God’s natural creation. For a short time he was Bishop of Lindisfarne in the north of England, but eventually left that high office to take up the life of a hermit on Inner Farne island. He died on 20th March 687.
In Yarrawonga, we have celebrated St. Cuthbert’s Day by taking the ‘Paradise Queen’ out on Lake Mulwala, our parishioners have travelled on the River boat for a unique Service, fun night and meal in recognition of St. Cuthbert.
Thomas is the only regular saint of our parish. We know his story well from the post crucifixion experiences. He brings us some encouragement in our own journey of faith. I am sure that there have been times when doubt has crossed our mind concerning faith, times when what others say or tell us bring little comfort. Jesus uses the doubt of Thomas, (note he doesn’t cast him away from the group), to deliver words relevant to us.
Our basis of belief comes through the teaching of the Scriptures, through Christian experience, through the revelation of God’s creation to us. In the words of Jesus, ‘blessed are those who haven’t seen, yet believe’. Our belief comes through faith and trust.
Little is really known of Alban a third century, and the first known British martyr. He was a pagan and converted to Christianity when he sheltered a fugitive priest. When soldiers came in search of the priest, Alban was dressed in priestly garb and suffered martyrdom in place of the fugitive. Though life events are sketchy the evidence for the circumstances of Alban’s martyrdom are strong.
He is an example to us that service is often self – sacrificial, can often seem insignificant, yet it is the everyday things of life that God’s purpose and kingdom are often seen.
Oswald was a king in Northumbria who sought to restore God’s grace to the warring people of the north of England. During his reign as overlord of this region, through Aidan his appointed bishop, the word of God spread. Oswald was a holy king whose great faith was evident in his life. He was killed in battle on 5th August 642 at the age of 38.