Lesser Feasts and Fasts

RECOMMENDED FEAST DAY TO OBSERVEWednesday, Sept. 15, is the Feast of James Chisolm, Priest (1855).  James Chisholm was the rector of St. Johns Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, Virginia. In 1855, an aggressive yellow fever epidemic swept through tidewater Virginia. James Chisholm sent his family away to safety, staying behind to provide whatever care for the sick he could. Chisholm provided food, amateur medical assistance, and pastoral care. He was even known to have dug graves for those who had died. As the ravages of the plague were beginning to subside, Chisholm, weary to the point of exhaustion from his faithful priestly service, contracted the yellow fever and died. An account of Chisholm’s sacrifice marvels at the inner he discovered that enabled him to stay behind and serve the people many of whom were only waiting to die. When faced with the call of these priestly duties in the face of great hardship, Chisholm showed a strength and courage few knew he possessed.