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, February 13, 2012

February 13 -- Feast of Blessed Archangela Girlani

Archangela and friend
Eleanor Girlani took the name Archangela when she became a nun.  I don't know much about the taking of names on receiving holy orders, but Archangela seems pretty presumptuous to me.  Maybe it is a cultural thing --  I was somewhat aghast when my son said his name in Spanish class was Jesus -- but when I got confirmed I opted for John.  Seemed appropriately filial and not too ostentatious. 

Anyway, Archangela was a fifteenth century girl, which explains why she was blessed with levitation, ecstasies, and miracles.  The latter two may still happen, but saints don't fly much anymore. 

Agabus sees a bad moon rising.
Archangela probably wouldn't have been levitating much if she had become a Benedictine as originally intended.  Fortunately for her, a minor miracle prevented her from joining that hard-working, practical Order.  She mounted up but her horse refused to budge.  Recognizing a sign when she knew one, she dismounted and considered her options.  She opted to join the Carmelites and enjoyed the lifetime of mysticism that resulted in her beatification a few centuries later. 

There's not much more to say about her, but lest certain persons feel that I am mailing it in, I will supplement with Saint Agabus, who shares this feast day.  Agabus is mentioned in Acts 11:28-29.  He predicted a famine during the reign of Claudius; the disciples responded by sharing food with the faithful in Judea.  A little later in Acts (21:10-11) he predicted the imprisonment of Paul. 

Clytemnestra gave Cassandra the axe.
Agabus might have been blessed with the gift of prophecy, but his foresight was not fore enough to do much good.  Joseph warned of the seven lean years that would follow the seven bountiful harvests.  Now this was news they could use.  By stashing the surplus, they could limp through the lean years without too many deaths.  But Agabus warned just before the famine struck -- hardly time to conserve anything -- and he predicted Paul's arrest one chapter before the Romans came for him.  Cassandra had the curse of predicting things that no one would believe.  Aeschylus and Euripides found her a compelling character for their plays.    I think a play (story? poem?) about a prophet like Agabus who sees things with too little time to offer any useful tips could be both comic and tragic. 

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