>Feast Days!

>It’s a big weekend around here for feast days. Kind of snuck up on us, it’s been a hectic week.

First we had St. Christopher’s Feast Day, yesterday (Friday, July 25). Now officially, it was the feast day of St. James the Greater. And while I am quite sure he is an awesome guy, I mean, he’s a saint and all, we don’t have a James in our bunch and we are not all that familiar with him – despite him being the first apostle to be martyred (which again, lends itself to the awesome holy guy factor).

St. Christopher, Cologne Cathedral, Germany

But, used to be, yesterday was also St. Christopher’s feast day, until he got booted off the official saint feast calendar. And despite Sister Mary Martha really not being keen on St. Christopher (due to his dubious status), we are kind of fond of him around here. She makes a valid point that he is suspected to be legendary, lived well before tidy historical records, and thus was dropped off the formal calendar of the Church. [She explains it all well, go read.] And that is probably a good thing, as we all want the Church to be as careful as can be about the whole saint thing, making sure T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted and all; and the calendar was way too crowded and so the Church didn’t want any saints on it that couldn’t be historically traced and proven….because the whole communion of saints thing is too terrific to mess up.

But, that being said, we don’t much care if he is legendary or if he existed. I mean, c’mon, I got my graduate degree in Folklore and Folklife from U Penn, I love oral tradition and history and how it traces and carries cultures over eons (and maybe is another reason I talk and type so much…but I digress)! We love the story of this saint and he is the patron of my Buddybug, and his name means “Christ-bearer” and I think that right there is just beautiful….and very apt for my son. He is all too often the Christ-bearer in this house, bringing kindness and gentleness to our home. So, we think that while it might not be traceable that St. Christopher actually was a living man and saint, we think it is not improbable and so we will celebrate St Christopher and the concept of being a Christ-bearer. That is worth a bit of thought and attention on any given day and yesterday was the day to do it in our house.

Saints Joachim and Anne, at the Church Saint Pantaléon, France.

And tomorrow, Sunday, is the feast day of St’s Joachim and Anne. It’s another patron of one of my kidletts: Bannas. These two are considered to be the grandparents of Jesus during His life here on earth, Mary’s mother and father. Anne is also the patron of all christian mothers and Joachim, of christian fathers. And while we don’t know so much about these two, we can presume they were typical grandparents, crazy in love with their grandson and proud of their daughter and her husband (I mean, they are saints, not petty grouchy old folks like some, and no I”m not pointing any fingers). So, tomorrow we will ask them for a few extra prayers on behalf of our sweet girl and for our family – as well as for all the orphans who are waiting for new families across the world.

Some might think it’s nuts or strange to think about saints and feast days, much less have a bit more prayer and/or celebration, but well the communion of saints is the coolest thing. I love having a big old extended family to hit up for prayers and support, whether they are here walking the earth or have moved beyond this world. I have had so many stop me and ask, “what do you mean, asking ‘a saint’ to pray for you….that’s wrong, you should just ‘pray to Jesus.” Well, yeah, I do. And will. But I also tend to ask my close friends and family for prayers, heck I’ve been known to call them up and beg! And it is no different asking a saint for prayers, except that they are closer to God, in the Beatific Vision itself, and no longer all smudged up by our natural tendencies toward selfishness and concupiscence. So, heck yeah, I’ll hit up a saint for prayers, I’ll take all the help I can get.

As for feast days, it’s always nice to remember family on their important days, whether or not they are still with us here. It adds a richness to our lives; it helps us move out of the immediate craziness and think about a bigger time frame, the eternal one. So, we like feast days around here, especially those of our patrons. So we’ll remember them and their lives, look to them for good example and ask for a prayer or two; if we are lucky we can celebrate with a traditional tasty dessert! Life is hard, why not have a bit more fun and enjoyment, another layer of richness woven in, when you can? It works for us!

So, for all those parents, grandparents, and families out there: St’s Joachim and Anne, pray for us!

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