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.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November 2 -- Feast of Saint Eustachius

Albrecht Durer imagined it looked like this.
Or Saint Eustace, if you prefer.  The legend says -- and he's been booted from the Roman liturgical calendar for being fictional, even though other churches still honor him -- the legend says that he had once been a Roman general named Placidus, but he went all Christian during the reign of Trajan and got himself fired.  The converstion itself is celebrated in a lot of art.  Apparently, he was hunting near Tivoli and a deer appeared.  He didn't kill it because it had a golden cross between its antlers.  Instead, he went home, got himself and his family baptized, and told the Emperor of his new faith. 

Find the crucifix between the antlers
Emperor Trajan wasn't keen on the Christians, so Eustachius (his baptismal name) left the City.  A ship's captain kidnapped his wife, Saint Theopistes.  A wolf and a lion each stole one of his young sons, Saint Agapius and Saint Theopistus.  All his wealth was stolen.  Like Job, he was temporally ruined but he never lost faith. 

Dude looks like a lady in this sculpture. 
A new war commenced and the Emperor Hadrian recalled him to lead the troops.  It was a smashing victory and all his losses were recovered: wealth, wife, and sons.  The only hitch was the thanksgiving feast to celebrate the victory.  He couldn't do it, of course.  Hadrian was furious (and although he was a good emperor, his temper was ferocious).  Off to the lions with Eustachius and his wife and his sons. 

The lions just played gently.  Not to be denied a grisly martyrdom, the saintly family was carted off to a bronze bull to be roasted to death. 

Eustachius is the patron of hunters (appropriate for November), firefighters (they can never have too many patrons), and anybody facing adversity. 

Oh, if you want to refresh your knowledge of All Souls Day (or recall my thoughts about ancestor worship), here's a link. 

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