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, June 4, 2012

June 4 -- Feast of Saint Walter of Servigliano

A staple topic for stand-up comedians is how disappointing they are to their parents.  They've got nothing on the saints and beati.

Southern Cross tattoo
Sometime in the thirteenth century, a kindly but aging Italian couple were busy praying for God to grant them a child.  They had been trying for so long, and while the effort itself was a blessing, the need for results were increasingly pressing.  Praying must not have been all they did, because the Lord blessed them with a healthy and handsome young son.  As a sign of God's blessing, Walter had a birthmark of stars in the shape of a cross on his shoulder.

Still has the stars embroidered on his cloak
The proud parents took him to the Pope for baptism.  Locals could do that back in the day.  They also embroidered the little star cross on all his clothes so that everyone could see that he was favored by God.  They probably shouldn't have done that. 

Dad was lining up a marriage to the governor's daughter, a hottie with an eye for Walt.  It was perfect, except that Walt was thinking about chastity and service to the Lord.  When he got wind of the nuptials, he did a runner for the woods with the help of his parish priest.  The intended wasn't flattered, but his parents took it harder than she did. 

He lived in the woods, attracting disciples and flies and praying a lot.  Eventually his parents learned where he was.  They showed up at the hermitage to talk to him about coming home.  He welcomed them and talked about salvation.  Here comes the happy ending...

They went home, sold all their stuff, and moved into his little hermit's village.  There they lived out their days in peaceful contemplation of the Divine mysteries and the blessing they had received.  He survived them for a long time and even got a heads-up for his own mortality, which is nice if you want to write instructions to your disciples.

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