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, February 6, 2013

February 6 -- Feast of Saints Theophilus and Amand

Saint Theophilus Scholasticus got written up a couple years ago in the post of Saint Dorothea.  From subsequent reading, I have learned that I shorted him.  He wasn't just a wiseacre who happened to be hanging around as Dorothea went to her death.  Rather, he was a lawyer in the court where she was interrogated and eventually executed.  To vary the perspective of the story...

Theophilus was a successful, popular, and witty lawyer in the Court of Caesarea.  When the young virgin Dorothea was brought into court, she bravely confessed her guilt and eagerly accepted her death sentence, exclaiming that she'd be joining her divine bridegroom that very day in paradise.  Theophilus asked her to send him some fresh fruit and flowers from paradise, and she readily promised to do so. Then the guards marched her out of court and toward the chopping block.

Amand chases the serpent away.
Theophilus was laughing it up with his lawyer buddies when a child with a bundle walked up.  He opened a small parcel containing three fresh pieces of fruit and three perfect roses.  Astounded, the lawyer asked where these marvels came from.  The child explained that they had been sent specially from paradise, per his request.  Then he vanished.

The other lawyers tried to cajole Theophilus out of his sudden conversion to Christianity.  He pointed out that there was no place to get such fruit in February.  They pointed out that the origin of the produce did not mattered; what was important was not losing one's head (literally) in such a moment.  Theophilus disagreed and before long, there was nothing to do except march him out to the chopping block as well.

Amand tames the serpent
Saint Amand of France was called religiously and lived for a while as a hermit while he was young.  His family could accept that as youthful restlessness (?) but when he entered the monastery at Tours, that was too much.  They kidnapped him and attempted a deprogramming.  He returned, but his gifts called him to an itinerant rather than a cloistered life.  He was commissioned to preach.  He ranged from France, Germany, the Netherlands to the Basque region, and then to the Slavic lands in the east.  He tangled with King Dagobert I, at first getting expelled from the kingdom but later drawing the King's repentance and the forcible baptism of all his subjects.  He was obviously good at the long game.

He can chalk up a couple of miracles to his credit.  One time, a little weather-working calmed the sea at a perilous moment.  Another time, a quick sign of the Cross put a dragon (serpent) back in its place.  Handy fella, this Amandus.

For reasons we might only speculate about, he has been designated as the patron of brewers, vintners, innkeepers, and bartenders.  Wikipedia adds that hops-growers should also be included, which is only fair.  The Feast of Saint Arnulf of Metz might be the big beer festival, but July's a long way off, so it's a good thing that Amand's feast comes along now. 

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