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.

Friday, December 30, 2011

December 30 -- Feast of St. Roger of Canne

Wrong Roger -- Wrong Canne(s)
This is a tale of two towns, Canne della Battaglia and Barletta.  The former was the ancient Roman town Cannae, where the Romans met Hannibal's Carthaginians and got rocked.  It was (much) later the episcopal seat of the region.  Barletta was the port town for Canne, much as Ostia was for Rome.  Not familiar with Ostia?  That's my point; sometimes the ports thrive while the inland towns wither.  Rome is the Eternal City, so it was more likely to absorb Ostia than to be overshadowed by it, but in Barletta's case, it evolved from the region's service entrance to the commercial heart.  Had enough similes?  Then on to Roger.

He was a bishop in Canne, and was buried in the cathedral there.  In April 1276, Pope Innocent V ordered an investigation into the translation of some holy relics from Canne to Barletta.  Theobald, the bishop of Canne at that time, had complained that the priests and laymen from Barletta had broken into his cathedral, taken relics from the main altar, and exhumed Roger from the nearby crypt.  They then absconded with the lot.  The investigation supported the claims, so the Pope ordered the restoration of some of the relics to Canne.  Roger's bones, however, were allowed to remain in the Church of Santo Stefano.

Being a savvy bunch, the Barlettans prefer to celebrate his translation rather than his traditional feast; it fell in July, which is a much better time for a commercially successful festival.

Some good folks who maintain a medieval-religion list-serve  sent a photo of Roger's crypt, busted open and looking very CSI, but blogger wasn't cooperating with reproducing it here.  Blogger's fussy about pictures, so I am often stuck with mugs like the one above.  Nice hats in the background,  Inspectors Clouseaux. 

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