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, January 25, 2012

January 25 -- Feast of Saint Bretannio

Now this is a rug that could really tie a room together. 
Saint Bretannio (or Vetranion, or any variation that sits on a spectrum between those two names) was the author of the very first letter known to have been composed on Romanian soil. The letter, which accompanied the relics of Saint Sabas the Goth, might have said something like "Here are the holy bones you requested. There should be two hundred twelve. Please keep them away from your dog until Judgment Day." It might have, but probably not. I tried (briefly) to find the text of the letter, but instead I came up with Vasiliki M. Limberis' argument that Bretannio didn't even necessarily write the letter.

Whether or not he wrote the letter is immaterial to us, though it would affect his place in the Romanian literary canon. His place in the list of canonical saints is safe.  As a staunch defender of the Nicene Creed against Arianism (a trinitarian creed that subordinates the Son to the Father), he was exiled until the people rebelled against the Emperor and forced him to permit Bretannio's return.

And this is the part that I find funny. His episcopal see (bishop's bailiwick) was Tomi, city on the Black See. I am not sure where he went during his exile, but since the Roman poet Ovid was exiled to Tomi, and complained bitterly about it for the remainder of his life, it is hard to know what to think about being exiled from Tomi. Anyone who willingly returns to Tomi to serve as its bishop has surely earned his spot in the canon. Well, the Church canon, anyway. I'll leave the Romanian literary canon to Andrei Codrescu.

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