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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  March 2011

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION March 2011

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Subject:

Feasts and Saints of the Day - Mar 5

From:

Terri Morgan <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 4 Mar 2011 22:44:42 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Today, March 5, is the feast day of:

Conon the Gardener (of Palestine) (d. 250 or 251) According to the legendary
Bios of St. Conon the Isaurian and to Byzantine synaxary accounts, today's
Conon was a vegetable farmer on the imperial estate at Magydos in Pamphylia
who suffered martyrdom during the Decian persecution. When brought before
the examining magistrate, he is said to have identified himself as being of
Nazareth in Galilee and of the family of Christ. Some interpret that
statement as intended literally rather than metaphorically and identify
today's Conon with the Palestinian martyr of this name commemorated in the
early (pre-Byzantine) liturgical calendar from Palestine preserved in a
Georgian-language version in the tenth-century Codex sinaiticus. In these
sources Conon is further said to have had nails driven into his feet and to
have been forced to run ahead of a chariot until the torture killed him.

Mark the Hermit (d. c400) Mark is reputed to have memorized the entire
Bible. When he was about 40, he became a hermit in the Egyptian desert. One
legend tells that a hyena came to him with her blind offspring, looking for
a miracle. Mark prayed the whelp's sight back.  The next day, the hyena
brought a sheepskin to say thank you, only to be reproached for robbing poor
people's flocks. He is said to have given the sheepskin to St. Athanasius.

Eusebius of Cremona (d. c. 423) Eusebius was a native of Cremona who became
part of Jerome's entourage when Jerome moved to the Holy Land. The whole
crew settled at Bethlehem, where he succeeded Jerome as abbot. He eventually
went back to Italy to raise funds for a pilgrim hostel in Jerusalem. While
in Rome, he got in a dispute with Rufinus, who claimed that Eusebius had
stolen his translation of the writings of Origen - he induced Pope St.
Anastasius to condemn the writings of Origen. Eusebius appears to have
remained in Italy the rest of his life. Legend also makes Eusebius the
founder of Guadalupe in Spain.

Gerasimus (d. 475) Gerasimus was a merchant of Lycia in Asia Minor. He
became a hermit in his native region, but in time moved on to Palestine. He
was a Nestorian for a while, but got over it. Gerasimus ended up building a
monastery with 70 additional cells for hermits in the Jordanian desert. He
seems to be the origin point for the legend that connects St. *Jerome* to a
lion. It was Gerasimus, not Jerome who is credited with pulling a thorn out
of a lion's paw, the lion afterward becoming his companion. There's a tale
that the lion was sent one day to take care of the monastery's donkey.
Traders stole the donkey; Gerasimus accused the poor lion of eating it and
ordered him to carry the monastic water supply in the donkey's place.  But
one day the thief came by again, leading the stolen donkey - the lion chased
the guy off, and led the donkey home by its bridle. John Moschus tells the
tale of how the holy abbot removed a thorn from the paw of a lion, which
thereafter never left his side; when Gerasimus died, the lion stretched out
on his grave, beat his head upon the ground, and would not leave (it died a
few days later).

Piran of Padstowe, abbot (c480) Cornish legend says pagan Irish, jealous of
his miraculous powers (especially his ability to heal), captured Piran in
his old age, tied a millstone around his neck, and threw him off a cliff
into the sea during a storm. As Piran hit the water the storm abated and the
millstone bobbed to the surface like a cork. On his stone raft, Piran sailed
for Cornwall, landed at Perran Beach, built a small chapel on Penhale Sands,
and made his first converts. He lived there for years as a hermit, working
miracles for the locals. He founded a church in Cardiff. Piran is believed
to have been interested in stones and collected various mineral bearing
rocks, one particularly large black one he used as the hearth for his fire
and was amazed when it got very hot a flow of metal came out white in colour
and in the shape of a cross. This appearance of tin not only made him the
patron of tinners but also suggested his flag, a silver cross on a black
ground which is often used as the standard of Cornwall and symbolizes the
Christian Gospel, light out of darkness, good from evil. The find also led
to wealth for the miners in the area, who were so delighted that they held a
sumptuous feast where the wine flowed like water. Piran was fond of the odd
tipple, and this resulted in the Cornish phrase "As drunk as a Perraner". In
the Middle Ages there was a pilgrimage to his tomb, and his cult spread from
Cornwall to the rest of England, Wales, and France. His chapel was
discovered in the sand on the Cornish coast at Perranzabuloe
(=Piran-in-the-Sand) in the late eighteenth century.

Kieran/Ciaran the elder (d c530?) Kieran, who has been called the
"first-born of the saints of Ireland," is one of the mysterious Christian
figures that were active in Ireland before the time of St. Patrick.
According to a much later tradition, Kieran received his belief and baptism
directly from heaven, before the faith came to Ireland. He was then told in
a vision to go to Rome to be baptized and study "under the abbot of Rome."
After 30 years in Rome, the saint was consecrated bishop and sent back to
his homeland. According to some tales, he was consecrated as bishop after
his return, by St. Patrick. He is said to have been born in Ossory and to
have retired to a hermitage, where he lived in the company of a boar (which
cleared the site for the monastery with its tusks as well as cutting and
dragging timber), a fox, a badger, a wolf, a hind, and a fawn. The fox, in a
fit of apostasy, stole Kieran's shoes and ate them. The badger had to dig
the fox out of its lair and drag it to Kieran, whereupon the poor beast had
to do penance for his lapse. In time, Kieran attracted human followers to
his retreat, which then developed into the monastery of Saighir (Seir
Kieran) - which may have been important in pre-Christian religion as there
is said to have been a perpetual fire burning there for centuries, as at
Kildare.

Peter of Castelnau, monk and martyr (A.D. 1209) On January 15th, 1209, Peter
had said Mass, and was preparing to cross the river, when two men
[apparently supporters of the Albigensian cause] ran up, and one of them
pierced him through the sides with a lance.  Peter fell down, exclaiming,
"Lord, pardon him, as I forgive him!" then he said a few words to his
fellows, and died, praying fervently.


happy reading,
Terri Morgan
--
"Nobility depends not on parentage or place of birth, but on breadth of
compassion and depth of loving kindness. If we would be noble, let us be
gret-hearted."  - anon.   [log in to unmask]

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