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, September 12, 2012

September 12 -- Feast of Saint Autonomus

He Ought to Have Included a Unit on Neighborliness in the Catechism

Saint Autonomus lived during the reign of Diocletian, but he did not meet the fate that we might have expected.  He was evangelizing in the area of Bithynia -- very successfully too.  He recruited so many new Christians that he was able to open an entirely new church, which he dedicated to Michael the Archangel.  That is no small accomplishment during the largest, most lethal of the twelve Roman persecutions of Christians.  

Part of his success was good relations with his pagan neighbors.  Another part was he willingness to bugger off when the execution wagon rolled into town.  He had come to Bithynia from Italy, and when things got hot there, he lit out for Claudiopolis, way up on the Black Sea.  Eventually, he returned to Bithynia, which was once again peaceful and (relatively) pluralistic.

 Some of the recent converts to Christianity took it upon themselves to liberate some temple space from its idolatrous occupation.  They entered the temple and smashed the idols, burning the wooden parts and pulverizing the marble.  Wood and stone, said one source, became the means by which the idolaters would have their revenge.  They entered the church with sticks and stones, beating and battering Autonomus to death.  So wood and stone answered the desecration of wood and stone. 

Let's all play nice and give the other folks their temple space, shall we? 

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