Today's post will be a smattering of things.
- "Known as a quiet and pious child, it was no surprise when he went to live as a hermit in a cave near the church of Santa Maria dei Giubino in Sicily." I don't care how quiet and pious your kid is. I don't even care if you named him Archangelus, though you're setting him up to be picked on. But as a responsible parent, you need to be dismayed, alarmed, maybe even scandalized, when your kid moves out of your house and into a cave.
- It's pretty common for saints to have tried to decline a bishop's mitre, protesting that they are not up to it. When Bede the Younger (yeah, I only knew about the Venerable one, not a Younger one) said he was inadequate for the task, they took his word for it. I've got to wonder whether he regretted that or was relieved.
- In 869 and 870, pagan Danes swept through England, slaughtering anyone they met. They met (and killed) a lot of monks, including Torthred of Thorney, Hedda of Peterborough, and Beocca & Ethor of Chertsey. At the time, it felt pretty anti-Christian, but the Danes weren't really about replanting Wotan-worship. The next best guess is that they were looking for treasure, but pre-Renaissance monasteries were not centers of opulence. My thinking: just Danes being Danes.
- I've described a lot of tortures and executions, but the way they treated Pompeius of Carthage and about fifty others is pretty disturbing. Before their beheadings, they were locked in a cage with snakes and scorpions. The Romans under Decius must have been real pricks. And yes, the photo is of Snake and Scorpion Wine, product of Vietnam. The Thais also market a Snake and Scorpion whiskey. I agree with bloggers who've noted that it makes a tequila worm seem pretty lame.