So God imparts to human hearts

by chuckofish

Phillips Brooks (December 13, 1835 – January 23, 1893) was an American clergyman and author, who briefly served as Bishop of Massachusetts in the Episcopal Church during the early 1890s. In the Episcopal liturgical calendar he is remembered on January 23.

Phillips Brooks memorial by Augustus Saint Gaudens, Trinity CHurch, Boston

Phillips Brooks memorial by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Trinity Church, Boston

Under his inspiration, architect Henry Hobson Richardson, muralist John La Farge, and stained glass artists William Morris and Edward Burne Jones created an architectural masterpiece in Trinity Church, Boston.


A favorite building of mine, this picture of the beloved church in Copley Square hangs in my flyover university office.


Brooks died in 1893, after an episcopate of only 15 months. His death was a major event in the history of Boston. One observer reported: “They buried him like a king. Harvard students carried his body on their shoulders. All barriers of denomination were down. Roman Catholics and Unitarians felt that a great man had fallen in Israel.”


Remembered today mostly as the man who wrote “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” he must have been quite the guy.

Collect of the Day: Phillips Brooks, Bishop of Massachusetts, 1893

O everlasting God, you revealed truth to your servant Phillips Brooks, and so formed and molded his mind and heart that he was able to mediate that truth with grace and power: Grant, we pray, that all those whom you call to preach the Gospel may steep themselves in your Word, and conform their lives to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Have a good weekend!