This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

October 29 -- Blessed. Thomas Bellacci

A beatus rather than a full saint, Thomas is nonetheless the patron of butchers. His life followed one of the traditional paths to sainthood -- the dissolute youth who is blessed by a deep conversion experience and then leads a life of exemplary zeal. But here's the part I love about his particular biography: he was so dissolute that parents actually warned their children against socializing with him. There's carnal pleasure, and then there's such overindulgence that you actually become a community hazard.

His parents threw him out, but he was taken in by priests who clothed, fed, and taught him. He never took orders (I hope that's unrelated to his never having been fully canonized) but he did become such an effective lay preacher that he was sent on special missions. One was to preach against some radical, heretical Franciscans called the Fraticelli . He was also sent to Syria and Abyssinia to work for reunification of the Church, but was taken prisoner. The Vatican ransomed him, but he died en route to Rome where he planned to request leave to return to the East for more work.

There's lots to wonder about, not the least of which is whether he would have amounted to anything more than cirrhotic liver if his parents hadn't given him tough love and the priests hadn't been there to pick up the pieces.

No comments:

Post a Comment