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.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

February 14 -- Feast of Saint Abraham of Carrhae

Since it is also St. Valentine's Day, February 14 is not commonly associated with frugality.  Saint Abraham of Carrhae (modern day Haran, in Syria) also has this feast, however, and ought to incline us more toward generosity than extravagance.

Free samples.
Abraham was a desert hermit who decided to proselytize a town on Mount Lebanon.  He sold fruit there, and offered a little fruit of the spirit on the side.  Folks were glad to hear about lemons and cherries, but less interested in salvation. More showing, less telling, they told him.  Of course then the tax collector rolled through town and picked everyone clean.  Those with too little to be picked were destined for prison if they didn't come up with some money, so Abraham borrowed a bundle and paid their levies.  Suddenly, this Christian charity thing was making more sense; baptisms followed.  Abraham hung around another three years to get his debt paid off and the town church up and running.  Then he hied himself back to the hinterlands for more hermitting. 

Hair shirt of King Louis IX
When the episcopal seat of Carrhae opened up, Abraham was elected.  He didn't live large, preferring the simple discomforts of a monk's life to the luxuries that some bishops enjoyed.  His sincerity was an inspiration to the souls in his diocese, many of whom accepted the Word as a result of his effort.  He also established a good reputation with the Emperor.  In fact, he was in Constantinople to advise His Majesty Emperor Theodosius II when he (Abraham) died.  Theo kept (and sometimes wore) Abraham's hair shirt, a reverence which further attests the frugality. 

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