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.

Monday, November 7, 2011

November 7 -- Feast of Blessed Anthony Baldinucci

Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels -- Oakland Chapter
On December 6, 1969, the Rolling Stones hosted a free concert at the Altamont Speedway.  On the recommendation of the Grateful Dead, who were also slated to perform (though they took a pass as the concert descended into chaos), the Hell's Angels were tapped to provide some level of security.  There's a lot of disagreement about what the deal actually was -- the worst version says that they got $500 of beer to sit on the edge of the stage and keep people away -- it is generally considered to have been a bad idea. 

Antonio Baldinucci with the Refugium Peccatorum
Anthony Baldinucci was a seventeenth century Jesuit whose missionary street processions were tremendously popular.  He and his followers would tramp into town, wearing crowns of thorns and scourging themselves as they walked.  Baldinucci, barefoot, chained, and carrying a cross, would climb up on something and preach the old time religion.  Crowds would pack the streets and line the walls to see the show and hear the Word. 

But every town has a bad element, and those folks frequently disrupted these missions.   Anthony's solution was not unlike Jerry Garcia's: hire the toughs to provide security.  He called them his deputati.  At Altamont, eighteen-year-old Meredith Hunter, under the influence of methamphetamine, drew a revolver after being chased away from the stage.  When Alan Passaro, a Hell's Angel near the stage, saw the gun, he rushed forward, parried Hunter's weapon, and stabbed him five times in the back.  Hunter dropped to the ground, where he was also stomped on.  He died of his wounds; Passaro was acquitted of murder charges after the jury was shown film footage of Hunter drawing his revolver.  In Italy, however, there were no reports of the deputati killing anyone.  To the contrary, many of them became quite pious. 

No comments:

Post a Comment