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.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April 24 -- Feast of Saint Daniel of Arles

As a kid, I had a Burl Ives LP.  The first track was "The Grey Goose."  If you have never heard it, I will summarize it below.  It's also available on youtube, though my link to it failed. 

Dad hunted and shot a grey goose which fell for six weeks
and took nine months to cook
but we still couldn't cut it with a knife or stick a fork into it.
The sawmill wouldn't cut it
and the hogs wouldn't eat it.
The last time I saw it, it was flying over the ocean with a long string of goslings.

After each line of the song, Ives sang "Lord Lord Lord / Lord Lord Lord."

Ives' Grey Goose
Faulkner's Old Ben
There are many stories about the things that can't be killed -- epic antagonists that demand our respect and perhaps even empathy.  Perhaps we hope that in the face of determined opposition would command the same respect.  From Old Ben in William Faulkner's "The Bear" to Catfish Hunter in Grumpier Old Men, [yeah, I saw it -- so what?], that which cannot or should not be slain is firmly fixed in our stories.

Daniel the Prophet, with the lions: sculpture in Arles. 
The details of this particular Saint Daniel are sketchy enough that they might be considered closer to this sort of fiction than to fact, especially since Daniel the Prophet in the Old Testament miraculously survived attempts at capital punishment also. 

Daniel was a hermit somewhere in the East, but felt drawn to head west.  He wound up in Arles at a time when the Proconsul (or maybe praetor, depending on how it was governed) was enforcing the ban on Christianity.  Daniel openly confessed himself a Christian and was sentenced to death.

They threw him into a fire but the flames wouldn't burn him (Lord Lord Lord)
So they tossed him in the river, but the Rhone wouldn't drown him (Lord Lord Lord)
So they gave him to the lions, but the beasts wouldn't harm him (Lord Lord Lord)
so they cut his head off.
And he died and went to heaven.  (Lord Lord Lord)

Sorry, Burl.

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