weaktwos: (Saint du Jour)
Here's a little story about a Christian named Symphorian.

Omer Englebert writes:
"Here and there among the people, the Christians were at that time the object of ridiculous slanders and the most childish vexations. They were driven from the markets and the public baths. They were refused the hire of lodgings, to say nothing of oft being put to death under pretence of having disturbed the public peace."

So, we have Symphorian, who, as we are about to see, was an object of ridiculous slanders, childish vexations, and being put to death under the pretence of having disturbed the public peace.

How? Well, like any intelligent person living in a society not open to diverse opinions, he publicly mocked the mother of the gods. Not that I condone curtailing free speech, but I wouldn't call this a pretence of disturbing the public peace."


When taken into custody and put before the magistrate, he did what any intelligent person before people who determine whether he lives or dies, he said what loosely translates to, "Yeah, I mocked the mother of the gods. Furthermore, the Gods of the Empire can suck my left nut. Christ rules and Roman Gods drool! "

Or something like that.

The Romans, being far seeing, and knowing that when the Christians would rise to power they would do similar tactics, figured it best to get their licks in now and behead folks like this for dissin' their deities.

Before he was beheaded, he saw his mother in the distance. She did what most mothers do with their sons who are about to headectomy; she said farewell and reminded him not to cry like a baby before he was beheaded. I believe the words Omer chose were not to "flinch in the face of death".

Thank goodness they upped the standards for being a Saint. If this standard persisted we would run the risk of someone like Fred Phelps being canonized.
weaktwos: (Saint du Jour)
I know I've taken quite a hiatus from SdJ, but I found some time tonight to resurrect the tradition for a we bit.

Today's Saint is Saint Radegunde. She is estimated to have met her great reward in 587 AD.

"She was, some historians say, the most perfect woman of her time, " so says the religious historian Omer Englebert. Truer words could never been used as lies. Or something.

Radegunde as a name comes from the root "rad", which means "cool" and "gund" which means "cute stuffed animal". As you will see, Radegunde lived up to her name.

In 531, when she was 8 or 9 years old, she was kidnapped by the lecherous king Clotaire of Soissons. She was, Englebert writes, "...part of his booty, and while waiting to dispose of her, housed her in one of his villas."

[Sidebar: I have no photographic evidence of what Father Englebert looked like. I imagine, as he penned the aforementioned "booty" line, that he was locked in his chambers, freshly self-flagellated. With a trembling lip and sweat forming upon his brow, he penned this brief history of Radegunde with a flourish. He then disrobed and resumed self-flagellation, of a sort.]

Anyway, 9 years later, he marries Radegunde. Yes, he married his booty. Supposedly she tried to resist marriage and escaped. However, she was retrieved and she spent 15 years being the model wife. Her brother was also taken as "booty". But eventually he was assassinated for no known reason.

At this point the queen looked to her king and asked, "My most potent and wise king, would you please excuse me?"

Clotaire said "Uh, sure. Since I just killed your only remaining family member, you're free to take some time for yourself."

She calmly left court and spent the rest of her days in an abbey praying and reading and conferring with Frankish kings.

And that was Saint Radegunde. Sainted because she married her captor and man responsible for the brutal death of her family, and calmly left him when he murdered her brother. Any queen worth her salt would have poisoined his jerk-ass. Gee whiz.

In other news, Saint Maximus is also celebrated on this day. He was well regarded in the Greek Church. His orthodoxy caused him to have his hand cut off and his tongue slit. He died in exile. I'm going to assume that, since he had is hand severed and his tongue slit, he died fairly early into his exile.
weaktwos: (Saint du Jour)
March 3rd, March 4th, and March 5th

March the Third:
Saint Marinus
Meet Saint Marinus, a Christian and a Roman. He died about 262. He was about to be promoted to Centurion, when a jealous rival “outted” him as a Christian. His bishop Theotecnus talked it over with him and didn’t exactly encourage him not to lose his head over this matter, but Marinus told his chiefs he was not going to give up his faith. So, as was common the government gave him a choice. I’ve decided to utilize some Sacrilegious License to help in dramatizing this decision. I’ve hired the Tweedle Bug Players, last seen on Sesame Street.

Chief: “Saint Marinus, you cannot keep your faith without losing something else. What shall you give up?”
Marinus:”Shall I give up my uniform?”
Chief: No! That’s not it!
Marinus: “Shall I give up my ‘I heart the emperor bikini briefs’?
Chief: No! That won’t work!
Marinus: Well, what shall I give up then?
Chief : Your head!
Marinus: Sweet! I’ll be a Saint! I’ll sure miss those public baths, though.

What followed was the sound of a head being emancipated from its body.


Saint Winwallus
March 3rd was a two-fer, because we also have Saint Winwallus. I’m fighting back the temptation to call him Win-wang-wallawallabingbang, and so far I’ve failed miserably.

He died in 530. He was known by several different names. Englebert says he was known as Winwallus, or Guenole or Guengalaenus. Other references refer to him as Winwaloe. Yup, this man had aliases. It’s amazing how often people changed their names, or went by other identities before there was a standard process of identification. These days, anyone with that many different names is either laundering money or under the witness protection program, or both.

He had monasteries in France and in what is now Britain. Specifically, he had Monastery on the Lizard Peninsula.( http://www.lizard-peninsula.co.uk/) Yes, there is such a thing as the Lizard Peninsula. Reading this factoid has derailed my learning process. Supposedly it is a very lovely part of Britain. And they call it The Lizard. If they could have their pick of reptiles, they had to go with Lizards. Not many lizards are cute, even as babies. Why not Turtle Isle? Turtles are cute. Now I’m imagining some ancient Brit discovering this peninsula saying, “Bly me, it’s beautiful! I shall call this land the Lizard! Even Horny Toadland would have been a step up. All things considered, Lizard does sound a mite better than Plou-Fragan, where Winwallawallawoowoo was born. Is parents were Welsh, so there’s a slight possibility that Winwallakazoo was distantly related to Tom Jones.

Anyway, Winwallywallyoxenfree was a cool fellow. There appear to be no dramatic deaths, no Holy Death Breath fights. He spent the last of his days on the Island of Tibidi, subsisting on rye bread mixed with ash and water. Miracles were attributed to him after his death. But I’m having trouble locating specifics. Hopefully it was more than the miracle of bloating, the miracle of Holy stiffening or the miracle of chunder impelling stench.

His relics seem to be spread around France and Britain. Winwallaby got around. He has no patronage. However, in art, he was probably represented as carrying a church on his shoulders or ringing a bell. Suddenly, I miss the morbid symbolism in paintings of martyred Saints.

March 4th:
Saint Casimir. Third child of Casimir III, King of Poland. He supposedly showed many indications of wanting to be a saint, leading a pious life. His father sent him to fight a Hungarian army. He refused to engage in battle. He was encouraged by some doctors to get married. They supposedly claimed that marriage would cure a lingering illness he had. I can only assume that the malady was related to blue balls. He sounds like he had a really busy life, but he died when he was 23.

He’s the patron saint of bachelors. Shocking. Shouldn’t most saints be patron saints of bachelors? Only a handful of them appeared to have jumped the shark and tied the knot.

March 5th

Saint John Joseph of the Cross (d. 1734)
Not to be confused with Saint John of the Cross, who died a few centuries prior.
He rose among the ranks in the Franciscan order, until, at his request, he was deprived of all office and sent to be director of souls in a monastery in Naples.

That’s it. I’m quitting my job. I’m creating my own faith-based business, and my job title will be “Director of Souls”. But why stop there? I will be the Senior Vice President of Soul Engineering! Scratch that! I will be the Soul Czar! As my first duty as Soul Czar I will commission the transcontinental Soul Train! Chooo! Chooo! I got your one-way ticket to Funky town! Yeah!

Sorry, I got excited there.

This is where JJ of the C’s story stops being fun.

“His body was covered with sores which he carefully kept open with harsh disciplines.”

That’s just gross. Don’t tell me that’s when religious leaders spoke of being more holy, they meant “riddled with holes”? Nah. Annie don’t play that. He was just another dude into pain. Yes, he did great deeds for the sick.

Apparently he also slept sitting on the ground, avoided raising his eyes, and he “…remained 30 years without taking the smallest drink”. The skeptic in my adds, “…in public.”

It was said he was often ravished in ecstasy.

Yup. Pain fetish.

Apparently, there were many witnesses to his miracles and he died with a calm and smiling face.

March 6th:
Saint Colette. She died in 1447. After reading about Saint John of the Cross, I’m spent. She sounded much better by comparison. But it was written that she endured every kind of suffering. But that’s a lie. Why? Because she died before she had to read about Saint John of the Cross. Voluntary open sores! That’s so wrong!

But seriously, she was very much involved in Franciscan reform, was around during the Schism, and helped to resolve the schism between the Vatican and Avignon. Before that, she lived in a cell in Notre Dame for three years.
weaktwos: (Saint du Jour)
Alright, on this second day of March, we've got to catch up from last night.

March 1st:
Saint Albinus, born 469
Saint Al grew up in a wealthy household. He ended up being a Bishop in Angers. He was a big opponent of consanguinary marriages of the first degree, a custom apparently popular among the Franks back then. It was through his efforts that the standards of public morality were raised.

Now, I know consanguine means sharing an ancestor. I'm going to assume that "consanguiary marriages of the first degree" means marrying someone in your immediate family. Initial research did not yield clear results. I wonder what France would have become had folks continued to marry their syblings?

He also had a reputation for a few miracles. He once killed a man...with his breath. The man he killed was a prison guard who was mistreating a woman in debtor's prison. Yes, the prison guard died of Holy Death Breath.

St. Albinus was blessed with good fortune, it is clear. If only that holy benefit was bestowed upon all those Christians who fought in the Crusades. Holy Death Breath would have been a clear advantage over the muslims.

He also freed a bunch of wailing, suffering prisoners who were serving time in some stronghold. He beseached the magistrate to let them free. The magistrate refused and a landslide occurred, opening a way for the prisoners to escape. They followed Saint Al to a church, and thenceforth led more reputable, faithful lives.

March 2nd:
St. Chad (d 672)
Besides sounding like a Bishop who should be dressed in preppy attire, he had a penchant for imitating the apostles and walking around on foot. He eventually died of the plague. A week before he died, a concert of music was heard above his living quarters. Saint Albinus said it was angels. I think it was someone who owns a time machine who read this passage and then travelled back with an iPod and some speakers.
weaktwos: (Saint du Jour)
Soon, midnight will strike, and it shall be the 28th of February first of March. Time to ponder the life of St. Romanus of Condat (now modern day Saint-Claude).

St. Romanus started a monastery in Condat, his siblings also founded monasteries nearby. All of them embrased manual labor and lack of eating meat. It looks like he lived a long life, was fairly easy going, and cured a leper or two.

He was born in a place called Upper Bugey. If that doesn't sound like a place out in the sticks, I don't know what does. There is a lot of geological research opportunities in Bugey, though. Before this night, I had not heard of Bugey. Bugey is known for its wines as well. Then again, what part of France isn't? Any man I meet from Bugey will promptly be called the Bugeyman. And I will inquire about the Bugey Nights and if they know of thees Dirque Diggleur...

Oops, I've digressed with vast quantities of textual hooey!

Since he was a vegetarian, it's no surprise that he is the patron saint of drowning victims, insanity, mental illness, mentally ill people. Just kidding, my non-meat eating friends...if I have any left.

As a side note, there are other saints that are patrons of mentally ill folk:
* Benedict Joseph Labre
* Bibiana
* Christina the Astonishing
* Drogo
* Dymphna
* Eustochium of Padua
* Fillan
* Giles
* Job
* Margaret of Cortona
* Maria Fortunata Viti
* Medard
* Michelina
* Osmund
* Raphaela
* Romanus of Condat
* Veran

So, if you're nuts, you've got 16 Saints to call on.

Wow, just as I believe there is someone for everyone, romantically speaking, there's also a Saint for everyone. Take Benedict Joseph Labre listed up-top. He is the patron saint for: bachelors; beggars; hoboes; homeless people; insanity; mental illness; mentally ill people; people rejected by religious orders; pilgrims; tramps; unmarried men. Wow! What a repertoire of tortured souls! Bachelors, beggars, hoboes, oh my! And let's not forget the people rejected by religious orders. That's gotta hurt. Suddenly it seems like religious orders are as cliquey as fraternities and sororities. These religious orders. They'll be happy to hug a leper, but will they let you into their religious order. Nooooo.

Let the record reflect that if this were a leap year, there would be no saint. No leap year saints! Pshaw! There appears to be no saint for leap year babies, but there is a saint for lead workers (Saint Sebastian who also holds patronage for plague and enemies of religion!).

Source other than Englebert's book: Saint Joseph Software at http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/.
weaktwos: (Saint du Jour)
As this wicked, rainy day winds to a close, it is time to reflect upon the life of Saint Leander, born in Adalusia in 535, died around 596. He appears to be the younger brother of a handful of saints: Saint Florentina, Saint Isadore, Saint Fulgentius. When he became a monk, he brandished a crucifix at the elders of the monastery and threatened to beat the Holy Ghost out of them if they gave him a name remotely resembling "Fulgentius". They settled on "Leander". Leander of the Holy Fields. Okay, the previous two sentences were fibs. Lies. Whatever.

He was made Bishop of Seville in 579. Apparently this was the time when rules of Spain had names like Recared, Leovigild, and Hermengild. Suddenly, Fulgentius was a step up. Of those three rules, two were brothers and son to the third. Leovigild wasn't hip to the Catholic ways, but his sons came around. It was apparently through Leander's work that Spain became so enamored of Catholicism.

Leander was known to engage in warm and frequent correspondence with Gregory the Great. Both had gout and commiserated over their fates, as well as exchanged ideas on how they could expiate their sins with common monastery-hold products. There is some speculation on whether or not they tried to determine if having gout was like extra credit towards sin expiation. Well, at least I speculate that.

Sources are vague as to how frequently Leander visited the local barber.

You can read additional, less silly information here.
weaktwos: (Default)
Okay, some catch-up is required.

February 23rd:
Saint Margaret of Cortona
She was beautiful, she married well. Had a son. Apparently, she had an affair, and her lover was killed. She joined the Franciscan order. She did a lot of penance, and was granted a lot of graces. Thankfully, she wasn't martyred. Apparently, in pictoral representations, she appears with a dog. This dog supposedly found her lover's body.

February 24th
Saint Matthias, d. 1370
After Judas left the band, Joshua and crew needed to allow one more to join the ranks. It was narrowed down to two groupies, Justus and Matthias. I call them groupies because they hung around with the apostles (or the ministry of Jesus). So, Saint Matthias was promoted. So, they drew straws and God made Matthias pick the short straw. He was martyred spreading the gospel somewhere, but they aren't sure which, and there's no support sources to confirm that. I'm going to throw my guess in, which states that he died in a brothel in Palestine.


February 25th
Saint Avertanus and his sidekick Blessed Romeo

Avertanus was a pious boy, and when the time came to choose his avocation, he wanted to enter the Carmelite order at Limoges. His parents begged him to stay. "Have pity on my white hair," his old man said, "I shall die soon and whom will I have to close my eyes?"

Avertanus paused a moment and thought, "I'd rather spend all day praying on my knees until they feel like leather than watch my dad die." So, he replied that "...God never abandons those who do His will, that the happiness of parents consists in that of their children.."

Other sources claim that Avertanus also said, "Serves you right for not having more children. One of them could have stayed behind to 'close your eyes'. Man! All those chores you made me do seriously harshed my pious-time!" *

Apparently, he was a hard-core monk, and he had a desire to take a Pilgrimage to Rome. He was given Romeo, a lay brother (wink wink nudge nudge) of the convent. Apparently they were very good travelling companions. They prayed often and visited every church along the way. However, they had many difficulties, including contracting the plague, which they brought to the town of Lucca, and they died there.

See, kids! Happy endings do happen!

*I'm completely making this up, so you just need to believe that it's true.


February 26th

Saint Nestor, d. 250
Led a congregation of Christians. Helped them flee, but stayed behind to be captured by the authorities. Refused to embrace the pagan gods. Accused magistrate of being possessed by a demon. Was eventually crucified. Lather. Rinse, Repeat.

If the lives of the Saints tell you anything, it's that Churches and States need to be completely separate.
weaktwos: (Default)
Here we are on February 21st. It's Saint du Jour time.

First we have Blessed Noel. Not quite whacky enough to be a saint. He had a penchant for hiding in hospitals. I know, I know, long gone are the days when you can hide in a hospital. He came from Angers. He died in 1794, which seems awfully late to be persecuted for religious fanaticism. Catholic religious fanaticism at that.

St. Severian of Scythopolis
Englebert didn't even go into this guy. But I hereby nominate him has having the worst name AND worst hometown. We'll see who ends up being worse, but Severian? Scythopolis? Severian of Scythopolis? That just screams slasher movie or the gory horror version of Harry Potter. The only town that sounds worse is where the people who put him to death were partisans of Eutyches. Eutyches was also a person, but Englebert speaks of it as a faith, or a spinoff faith (like Frasier was to Cheers), which it appears to have been. On top of not knowing Scythians, or who Eutyches was, I was also stymied on the existence of Nestorians. The things I miss out on by not studying more religious history.

But more interesting is that I've gone my entire life without hearing about the Scythians, Eutychians, or Nestorians. And yet, someone wrote a lovely wikipedia entry about them.

I have a theory, though. It is my theory and mine alone. If you shout out "Scythian! Eutyches! Nestorian!", it sounds like you have wicked allergies.
weaktwos: (Default)
February 19th:
Saint Conrad. He died around 1351 AD He lived a happy wealthy life up until a hunting accident that culminated in him being responsible for setting the area on fire. He let some other poor schmoe take the heat for the crime until he confessed at the last minute. He lost everything after that, except his wife. They lived quiet lives helping the poor and sick. The last lines Englebert writes of Conrad is the best, however:
The austere life did not always shelter him from carnal temptations. Like his father, St. Francis, he had to roll among the thorns to drive them away. God gave him the gift of miracles. Today he is still invoked for the cure of hernia.

Hold up, Father Englebert. Tell us more about this carnal temptations and rolling among the thorns. Don't leave us hangin' here, Padre. But since Englebert isn't talking from the grave, i'll just sum up: St. Conrad takes the responsibility for a stupid hunting accident, confesses, loses his wealth, appears to live a saintly life give or take the random carnal temptation. Then again, when you lose all your wealth, what else can you do?

February 20th:
St. Eucherius. He seemed like a garden variety believer. No grandiose miracles. But, he did stand up to Charles Martel, who tried to drain the church coffers in France to fund his military plans. After pissing off the political world, he laid low in another town. No cool Martyrdom from this one. He died either in 738 or in 743. Take your pick.

All told, a slow day in Saints, folks.
weaktwos: (Saint du Jour)
I need to catch up here.


First off, an icon made by one of my favorite Saintings (or paintings of Saints, if you will) based on this photo:


It's Saint Clement. I just love the perspective on this painting. It looks like Saint Clement is about to fall head first into 2 feet of water. I figure that the anchor around his neck was a needless precaution, because he'll probably break his neck before he drowns. However, I suspect his original killers actually floated farther out to see. In addition, if this painting is any sort of story teller, he was killed near a village of Tweedle Bug sized inhabitants. Perhaps the Lilleputians?

February 15th: Saint Georgia or Georgette, if you're nasty. She died somewhere around the beginning of the 6th century. Don't you love how vagueness lends to veracity? What we know of her we know from Gregory of Tours, and what we know of Gregory of Tours was that he didn't keep track of precise dates.

Saint G was a maiden known for marathon fastin' and prayin' sessions. Englebert doesn't go into her death. Until I do some research to find out more, I'm going to assume she died from fasting.

She died and had a lovely funeral, which Engelbert thought noteworthy, many doves appeared out of nowhere, avoided crapping on anyone, swooped over her corpse and flew up to heaven (also known as "as far as the eye could see"). It is believed the doves were angels. Angels like appearing as doves because they never have to pay to get into fun venues like movie theatres or other theatrical events. Actually, Englebert said they appeared as doves to honour the purity of the dead maiden Georgia. Because, you know, angels aren't pure enough.

February 16th:

Saint Elias
Elias and four friends were traveling to some mines in Cilicia to give comfort to some condemned Christians. Along the way they were apprehended at the gates of Caesarea and questioned.

"Are you a Christian?" the authorities asked.
"Fo' Shizzle!" they said.

They were promptly shackled and sent to the Palestine governor, Firmilian. He asked them questions, they answered in terms Firmilian did not understand. Firmilian got pissed, and Elias and his Posse didn't try to communicate in a common language, so Firmilian had them sentenced to death.

Martyrdom via a failure to communicate.

We also have Saint Juliana of Nicomedia. Not only does she come from a town that sounds like it could be a software company that purveys flash plugins, but she was bethrothed to a dude named Evilase. Now, when hell patents their nasal decongestant, it should be named Evilase. Otherwise, her life was standard issue Christian Martyrdom: flaunt your faith, lose your head.

February 17th:
Saint Silvinus
He skipped out on his marriage to travel through the Holy Land. He lived a life as an exemplary holy man: giving what he could to the poor, living an austere existence subsisting only on fruits and herbs and the joy of converting pagans to Christianity. He always wanted to shed his blood for his faith, whatever that means. But somehow he didn't end up doing that. So he died listening to compatriots singing psalms to him. Depending on how well they sang, this fate could have been as good as shedding blood for the faith.


February 18th:

Saint Angilbert
Who was Charlemagne's secretary? Angilbert was. He ran an abbey, and performed a number of odd jobs under Charlemagne. And then I guess he died. Someone like me is prone to think that Angilbert was sainted because he was well connected to King Charlemagne.
weaktwos: (Default)
Alright, let us go back in time to AD 270 to the "Woman Empiyah"(as I affectionately like to call it). Valentine was a priest who was arrested under Claudius the Goth. He confessed his faith and then spoke disparagingly of Jupiter and Mercury. The Romans were easing up a bit, because probably a few years earlier, that was grounds for killin'. But, maybe like the Goth's modern day representatives, Claudius was more morose than murderous. Valentine was committed a magistrage named Asterius. Valentine converted him and his family via some handy-dandy illness curing. Then Claudius got pissed because healing is so...not Goth. He was beheaded.

Now, around the same time, under the same emperor, there was a Bishop with the same name. I imagine both these Valentines had issues getting each other's scrolls. He was beheaded as well for converting some other folks to Christianity.

Wikipedia reports another Valentine that was located in Africa.

Paganly speaking, mid February was the season for pagan fertility rituals.

Warren Ellis sends us some information about the event, as well, as many of you have posted in your journals today.

Englebert goes on to write that because birds began to pair around February 14th, the custom of sending Valentines was born.

And now, to present day, the legacy of these Valentines is a mixed bag. Those who are in a relationship feel pressure to do something romantic around this date. Those who are not in a relationship feel a need, much like Claudius the Goth, to behead the Valentines. (well, not really, but they do whine a lot).

There are some that feel that Valentine's Day is a female-centric event, because men supposedly do not favor the traditional red and pink confections and treasures. As [livejournal.com profile] darness mentioned, it has been suggested that March 14th become the Atkins friendly Steak and Blowjob day. Which leads me to suggest that while Valentine's day is a day to celebrate love, Steak and BJ day celebrates true love.

S and BJ day was supposedly established by Tom Birdsey in 2002. To Birdsey and his ilk I say, "Up Yours! Keep your chocolates and flowers between your knees, if you have to, and give ME a filet mignon and oral sex, Stud Puppet."

So, where do we go from here? How can you top Steak and BJ day? What shall we celebrate on April 14th? Asparagus and Cuddling Day?

And how do I feel about St. Valentine's day? I've always thought it a disease that happens to other people. I like romantic surprises throughout the year as opposed to a planned commercialized event when the price of flowers likely goes up.

That being said, I love you all, and not just on February 14th or, historically speaking, "Beheadarama".
weaktwos: (Default)
On the eve of St. Valentines, we celebrate St. Martinian, seemingly revered for his ability to resist the sultry, sinful advances of two women to sought him out under the guise of needing food and shelter. The first woman wanted to make an honest man out of Martinian and marry him. But ooooh no. He would have none of that. He was a huge fan of the tome, "The Road to Heaven is Paved with Hermits: A simple guide to holiness through lifelong suffering, contemplation and avoidance of hot, loose women who seem like decrepit peasants at first glance."

Ten bucks says Martinian was gay.

You kids can contemplate that, while I sit over here and wait to be struck by a plague or lightning or both.
weaktwos: (Default)
February 12th's Saint is Saint Eulalia. She was tortured and burned alive at the age of 14. She lived in Spain. There is lore of Eulalia being either Barcelona or Merida. Or both. Both girls. Both torched alive. That's pretty darn tragic. However, what is not so tragic, considering the way in which one or both girls died, was Englebert's opening line about St. Eulalia:

"Eulalia was born of Christian parents, and from her early youth burned with a desire to become a martyr."

There you have it. She was burning in life, and she was burned to death.

Who was Englebert's editor? Who? Give that editor the cane! The cane!
weaktwos: (Default)
I did not sleep in very much, despite having the ability to do so. Rats.

Nothing too terribly exciting going on. Battlestar Galactica was quite a show last night.

Arrested Development was huge. Justine Batemen had a a guest appearance on the show. How cute to behold Jason and Justine acting together. Spoiler )

Today's Saint du Jour:
Saint Adolph, died in 1224. He was the Count of Teklenberg. One day, he visited a Cistercian abbey. Now, me being of limited knowledge in affairs of religion, this means nothing to me. But here's what Englebert writes:
This Cistercian abbey was still in its first fervour, and the influence of St. Bernard, who had recently died, was still making itself felt. In full chapter, old men and youths confessed their smallest faults and in expiation whipped themselves till the blood ran.
Apparently, St. Adolph was into this sort of thing. He left his old life and joined this community and, as Englebert writes, "quickly achieved great perfection".

Now, I don't know what the Cistercians mean by great perfection. Was it that St. Adolph beat himself the most for the smallest of faults? Or did he end up being so faultless that he avoided self-flogging and blood-letting? Furthermore, I want to know if Cistercians were monk-beaters at their onset, where do you go from there? How do you top beating yourself bloody for making the smallest faults? And what type of faults are we talking about? Late to Mass? Making a small transcription error? Also, did any of the Cistercian monks preface their beatings with, "Who's the naughty boy? I'm the naughty boy!"

But it's nice to know that the Cistercians can claim a part of the history of S&M.

Could OCD also stand for Obsessive Cistercian Disorder?

And finally, what was St. Bernard like to have this sort of influence on monks? He must have been a bad mutha. (Shut yo' mouth!) I'm only talkin' about St. Bernard!
weaktwos: (Default)
So, St. Benedict, born in Umbria in 480a.d. had a twin sister, Scholastica. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest she's the patron saint of Elementary School book sales. And yet, I am incorrect. She's the patron saint of convulsive children, nuns, storms, and against rain.

Benedict and Scholastica were very close. Well, as close as a monk and a nun could be. They visited each other once a year. One day she wanted to spend another day with her brother, and he informed her that he never spent a night away from the monastery.

So she looked a little upset, said a little prayer to God asking him to make Benedict stay with her one more night. Suddenly a raging storm rose up and gave Benedict good reason to stay indoors. Supposedly they stayed up all night speaking of pious things, then three days later she died. Not long after that, so did he.

We'll get to Benedict in March.

Today was a reasonably productive day. I have managed to get to the gym during the day for four days so far this week, and this pleases me.

While in the gym, today, I realized that I need noise cancelling earphones. I got a pair of Shure E2c phones. They will block out the crap that people play on the main stereo system.

In addition to bad music, some beast turned the channel to Jerry Springer while I was at work. It had been so long since I have watched that show. It's rancid. They manage to find the crepiest people who somehow need to tell the other some dirty secret involving them sleeping with their boyfriend or girlfriend's mom/sister/brother/brother-uncle/whatever.

And since I saw this spew without audio(the radio was playing), I had no idea what they were saying, but something made the hillbilly cheating boyfriend take of his shirt and leave his tie on.

It was major eye poison. I can't believe Springer is still purveying this stench-plagued program.

Mupdate

Feb. 9th, 2006 12:46 am
weaktwos: (Default)
Guster is coming to San Francisco. And Portland. I've been toying with a pilgrimage to Portland for a while. Maybe it's now time for a road trip in March. Powell's. Guster. What more could a woman like me need?

This past weekend, I noticed a natural gas stench around my gas line going into my home. I thought to myself, "Self, you better call PG&E!"

Well, two days later, I finally remembered. Thankfully, no one in the neighborhood was doing any exotic torch dances around my house. So I called PG&E this morning while at work. They sent a guy out right away. When I got home tonight, I found a note on my door from the PG&E repair person that they fixed a leak from the line NEXT DOOR. So it was my neighbor's gas problem.

And there you have it. I was a good Samaritan, I just didn't know it. And so goes the mystery of the gas stench.

Tonight being the 2nd Wednesday of the month was wine tasting at Ink. The featured Wine: Valley of the Moon. The Pinot Blanc was good. The hors d'oeuvres were excellent.

[livejournal.com profile] taogrl brought some children's books on Saints for me that she picked up at the library. They were a hoot. It was very interesting to note that the different books had different "facts". Like Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. One book said she was bethrothed to a German prince at age 4. Another said age 9. But this is splitting hairs. She died at age 24, a mother of three children and a widow by that age. When I think what I was doing at age 24...

And this brings us to a perfect segue to my Saint du Jour segment!
Let's see, for February 9th, it's St. Apollonia. Gather 'round, kids, for a story!

Once upon a time in Alexandria, during a fucked up night in 249 A.D., there was an uprising against the Christians. Led by a prophet who remains unnamed, some irate Pagans seized an old man named Metras and tried to force him to blaspheme. He said something akin to "ixnay on the asphemblay". So they beat him bloody, poked his eyes out and stoned him.

But he was not made a saint. So let's move on, shall we?

There was another Christian woman by the name of Quinta who was seized by the irate Pagans. They tried force her to worship a pagan idol. She refused. So, they dragged her over pointed cobbles and then stoned her.

But she was not made a saint. So, onward!

Apollonia was a virgin. She too was captured by the irate, murderous Pagans, who just so happened to be having hideously bad luck during their "New Member Orientation" uprising. She didn't get her eyes poked out. She didn't get the pointy cobbles. She was beaten so hard that all her teeth were broken. They built a big bonfire and threatened to throw her on it alive if she didn't convert. She had a moment to reflect and she threw her own beaten self onto the fire. She sure showed those Pagans. Faced with imminent death, she chose death. Now, supposedly this was not her choice, per se. She was compelled by the Holy Spirit to hop on the heaven express via immolation. Which is what the Pagans were about to do, anyway.

All I can say is, thank goodness the Holy Spirit didn't compel her to break her own set of teeth. I'm assuming her jaw was pretty busted, too. How can you break all of someone's teeth without crushing the rest of the face, too? Unless, of course, she only had a few teeth...



And finally, Broke Mac Mountain.

Goodnight to you all, each and every one!

Note: The information for Saint du Jour is from "The Lives of the Saints" by Father Omer Englebert. The smartass commentary, of course, is by yours truly.

St. Jacoba

Feb. 8th, 2006 12:26 am
weaktwos: (Default)
St. Jacoba would not make for an interesting Medieval painting. It sounds like she lived a good life as best buds with St. Francis. Aside from her kinship with the F-dog, she was known to make a confection featuring almonds that St. Francis adored and even requested on his death bed. She apparently outlived the people she loved. This leads me to believe that it wasn't almonds in that sweet treat...they just smelled like almonds.

But seriously. February 8th is without sensational saints. No blood and gore tales for St. Jacoba.
weaktwos: (Default)
Saints fascinate me. I detested Medieval art until I realized that the paintings were telling stories, often about saints who died horrible deaths. For example, the Crocker Art Museum in town has a painting in their collection of Saint Blaise.

Now that I know the painting conveys elements of who that Saint was and how they died, I have a new respect for Medieval art, as well as a new layer of creepiness.

It helps to remind us how cruel we humans can be, even with the pervasive levels of religion which tells us to love one another, be compassionate, and not act like an asshole (some of the ten commandments cover that).

Like Blaise, the patron saint of throats, was attacked with iron carding combs and then beheaded. Isn't that the neatest? The torturers at Abu Ghraib got nothing on the torturers of old. Sure enough, in Saint Blaise's painting, he's holding a lovely little carding comb.

See if you can guess the way the Saints died in this painting called "The Holy Helpers". Yes, before there was Hamburger Helpers, there were Holy Helpers. Check out the dude who is holding his own severed head! No, it's not the Sleepy Hollow dude!

Anyway today's a big day for small Saints.

We have:
Saint Vaast
Saint Amandus (perhaps some knew him as Amandushugginkiss)
Saint Dorothea (this one is a two-fer. Two virgins named Dorothea took one for the Holy Team in ways that this book does not expand upon)
Saint Guarina
Saint Silvanus (Perhaps the Patron Saint of lightbulbs?)

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