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, November 13, 2012

November 13 -- Feast of Saint Mitrias of Aix

Mitrias may have been a cephalophoric martyr
It is not news that I disagree with one bishop or another from time to time.  The threatened excommunication of someone who opposes the institution of church doctrine in civil law is an easy example, though I know of no miracles that bear the bishops out on this.  Bishop Franco of Aix-en-Provence has the miracles on his side, but it still seems wrong to me.  Here are the basics -- please judge for yourself.

When Franco was the bishop of Aix, a count named Childeric seized from him a manor.  Childeric claimed it ought to be part of the royal lands; Franco insisted that it belonged to the Church.  The two took their case to the King's court.  Franco pleaded with King Sigibert to recuse himself from the case, since a curse would fall upon those who conspired to steal from the Church.  The King must have heeded the advice, since Childeric seems to have prevailed on a vote of the others present.  To ice his cake, Childeric fined Franco three hundred gold pieces for having opposed him.

Franco returned to Aix, extinguished all the lamps at Mitrias' tomb, closed the doors, and heaped briars in front of and on top of it.  He then declared that no further veneration would take place until Mitrias had avenged his See and restored the manor.

I'm not one for holding saints hostage or blackmailing them.  I don't think that's what the folks who wrote the Nicene Creed had in mind when the spoke about the communion of saints.  But I am just a blogger and Franco was a bishop.  Moreover, Childeric fell sick with fevers and chills and all kinds of mean, nasty symptoms.  He held out for a year, refusing to concede the manor, but finally gave orders that the property be restored and that six hundred gold pieces be left at Mitrias' tomb.  Although Franco was satisfied by the repentance, Childeric died shortly after. 

Mitrias himself was said to have risen from slave to bishop.  Later, folks said he was martyred, and did the Cephalophore Shuffle.  I find the depiction above to be exceptional in that everyone is taking it so calmly.  The dude just picked up his own severed head, people!  The least you could do is look impressed

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