Fed up with Valentine's Day? Liz Breslin reckons there are
other saints worth celebrating.
Red roses - yawn! Candlelit champagne on a twosome table next
to lots of other couples? No thanks. Valentine's Day is just
so last Tuesday. I think I decided as much the year that the
guy who was supposed to be cooking me dinner turned up late
with cut-price flowers.
The rationale: if flowers were cheaper, that'd balance out
just one more beer. Right. At around the same time, a friend
spelled out her beloved's name in lollies on her bed. She
ended up stood up and consoled herself by consuming the lot,
sniffing copiously into pink tissues as she chewed.
In the face of the evidence, we decided there have to be
better saints' days out there to celebrate. After all, the
Catholic Church has a saint for every day of the year. All
commemorated on the day they died, except for those who, for
expediency's sake, have been shuffled around somewhat.
Take Saint Perpetua. She was martyred on March 7, but has
been shifted back a day to make way for St Thomas Aquinas. He
was a very learned man by all accounts, but she was better
with the soundbites. The story goes thus: when her father
begged her to reconsider her conversion to Christianity, she
pointed out a pot and said something along the lines of,
''See that pot; it's a pot. No-one can deny it. Just like me
being a Christian''.
So, for Interesting Saint's Day #1, how about keeping March 7
as ''call a spade a spade day'' in honour of St Perpetua and
her blunt truths. That would be fabulous, especially in
dealing with men who leave you distraught and holding candy
Interesting Saint's Day #2 has to be Saint Ignatius of Laconi
on May 11. Three reasons: we all need something other than an
inversion layer and earlier evenings to look forward to, he's
got a great name and, most importantly, he was a simple, good
giver. Apparently converted to religion when almost killed by
his horse (as opposed to selling it to European manufacturers
for meat), he spent his years finding donations for the poor
and giving time and kindness.
Apart from the one time when he was given a bag of symbolic
blood from an evil rich man, that all worked well for St
Ignatius. Might we try it for a day?We'll skip over St Kevin
of Glendalough on June 3. Perhaps the first Kevin in
existence, his other claim to fame is pushing a persistent
lady admirer off a cliff. Neither fact worth spotlighting.
Or taking up in his honour.
But perhaps we could resurrect the legend of St Guinefort,
whose unofficial feast day is August 22. St Guinefort was a
dog (yes, you read that right): a greyhound in fact. I'm sure
you've heard the story the knight leaves the dog and the baby
at home (as you do) and comes back to find the room a wreck
and the baby dead.
In anguish he draws his sword and beheads his faithful pup.
And then he sees the dead snake under the overturned cot ...
Not sure exactly what actions we could put in place to
celebrate the day. But still, perhaps St Guinefort's
followers could Twitter-storm the new pope for official
recognition and we could all be more trusting of our pets on
Interesting Saint's Day #3? Other ideas include going
op-shopping to celebrate St Vincent de Paul's Day on
September 27 and really getting into the All Saints' Day on
November 1 by sitting in candlelit cemeteries and partying
with our dead relatives, like they do in Poland or Mexico. So
much inspiration ... so much more atmospheric than saccharine
hearts and flowers. Time for some new saints to come on
- Liz Breslin is a Hawea Flat writer