Commemoration for the Week
Monday, October 23 James of Jerusalem, martyr, died around 62
One of three early-church leaders named James, this man is identified in the New Testament and
by a historian of the time as a brother of Jesus. Scholars are uncertain whether this means a
blood brother. He was a leader of the church in Jerusalem.
Thursday, October 26 Philipp Nicolai, died 1608; Johann Heermann, died
1647; Paul Gerhardt, died 1676; hymnwriters
These great hymnwriters all worked in seventeenth-century Germany in times of war and
plague. Nicolai, a pastor, lost 1,300 parishioners to plague, 170 in one week. He wrote “O
Morning Star, how fair and bright” and “Wake, awake, for night is flying.” Heermann’s hymns,
including “Ah, holy Jesus,” often express the emotions of faith. Gerhardt, perhaps the greatest
Lutheran hymnwriter, was a pastor in Berlin.
Saturday, October 28 Simon and Jude, Apostles
We know little about these apostles. Simon is listed as “the zealot” or Cananean in New
Testament lists. Jude, also called Thaddeus, asked Jesus at the last supper why he had revealed
himself to the disciples but not to the world.