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.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

July 21 -- Feast of Saint Arbogast

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.
Abraham: a very laconic saint

That's Abraham Lincoln, but you probably recognized it.  It's from his Gettysburg Address, which weighs in at 271 words and lasts less than one boxing round.  Folks consider it one of the greatest speeches in American history, largely because of the perspective represented by the two sentences quoted above.

Saint Arbogast did not state the same idea, but his memory lingered to demonstrate it.  More on that in a moment.

Arbogast: a very sylvan saint
Born Arascach, an unpronounceable series of letters when assembled within the Gaelic tongue, his name got changed to Arbogast by the Germans whom he was trying to convert.   Dagobert II, King of Australasia,  had once sought shelter from Ard-Righ, the High King of Ireland when the political winds were blowing against him.  Years later, firmly seated on the Australasian throne, Dagobert welcomed Arbogast as the Bishop of Strasbourg.  His royal approval increased mightily when he resurrected the king's son, who had been thrown from his horse and suffered a fatal injury.  The grateful king sponsored the construction of many churches planned and fulfilled by Arbogast.

In his will, Arbogast had left instructions that he was not to be buried in consecrated ground, but rather on the mountainside among the corpses of thieves and murderers.  Arbogast's presence made the spot a destination for local pilgrims, which in turn led to the construction of a church there.  Thus, it is not the living that consecrate land for the dead, but rather the dead that consecrate the land by their presence. I do not equate one dead bishop with eight thousand dead patriots (or even 3,155) -- no two deaths are ever really equivalent.  But Mr. Lincoln's right about consecration and our role in it.

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