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.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October 18 -- Feast of Saint Justus of Beauvais

It's tough to share your feast with a Big Dog, especially one as big as Luke the Physician.  It's not as bad as having your birthday fall on Christmas, but there is a similar overshadowing effect.  All the usual sources write about Luke, and the lists don't offer a lot of other choices.  I tried, for example, to look up Kevoca, but I found there was more written about an identically-named character in an on-line Lord of the Rings role-playing game than there was about the Scottish saint, whose feast may actually be in March anyway.  There's Saint Brothen, whose name is both bro-licious and bro-dacious, but nothing else is known about him.  There are two Gwens and a Gwenoline, but that's better grist for an angsty alt-rock song than a blog post. 

But then there's poor little Saint Justus, on his way to Amiens to ransom a relative.  The persecutions are on, but apparently folks with enough money can get a Christian sprung from the prisons before it's feeding time at the arena.  Justus is a mere nine years old, but that doesn't prevent the fear-stricken locals from denouncing him as a sorcerer and a Christian when he arrives with his dad.  The sorcery charge doesn't stick, but that hardly matters because Christianity is a capital crime at the beginning of the fourth century. 

And here's the part I love best.  Cephalophore!  Little Saint Justus' bloody trunk bends down and picks up his pale little head.  The head then begins exhorting the locals -- or at least those who didn't run away screaming or could still hear him over the noise of the others vomiting in revulsion -- to save themselves by accepting baptism.  Some do; others accept the event as evidence that he was a sorcerer after all.  Faith is like that, I guess. 

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