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, March 28, 2012

March 28 -- Feast of Saint Cyril of Heliopolis and Companions

Sometimes, we just need to revert to brutality.  I don't mean those moments of extreme necessity, when otherwise compassionate and civilized people find themselves cornered in a kill-or-be-killed situation.  I mean sometimes we weary of our tales of compassion and civilization; we long for the sheer brutality of villainy and revenge.  Or at least the stories of it. 

Eating saints causes the other 8%
Even though Christianity had been legalized by the Emperor Constantine, adherents to the faith were not universally welcomed by their polytheistic brethren.  They were, in fact, especially unwelcome when they desecrated temples and demolished idols and icons of the ancient gods and goddesses.  Cyril and his unnamed companions were vandalistically inclined, and for their efforts, they won martyrs' crowns during the reign of Julian the Apostate, when the idolaters got the upper hand again.    Simple story, but without the brutal details, it is hardly worth telling.

Having suffered enough attacks on their religious institutions, an angry mob grabbed Saint Cyril and killed him. Then they opened his abdomen, tore out his liver, and ate it on the spot.  I don't have a painting so you'll have to picture it.  A handful of angry, gore-spattered pagans gathered around a mutilated corpse, each of them with a hunk of still-warm, bloody liver freshly ripped from the abdominal cavity.  For this act of barbarism, their teeth promptly fell out, their tongues rotted away in their mouths, and they all went blind.  Whose laughing now, you liver-eating sons of Dis?

As for the companions of Cyril, their bellies were slashed open and packed with grain.  Then they were tossed to the hogs which gorged themselves on them.  If you watched the pilot of Deadwood, you'll remember that pigs have no problem eating a person, especially one that's chock full of cereal.  No word on whether the pigs lost their teeth, tongues, and vision.

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