|St. Torello and the Dropkick Cherub -- wolf in lower right|
Torello (Little Bull?) was born in 1202 in Poppi, Italy. A gambler and bon vivant, he was bowling with some buddies when a rooster jumped onto his arm and crowed three times. Roosters are mean-spirited sons-of-guns; they tend not to act like lapdogs. Still, a Roman auspice might have wondered what it meant, but crowing three times is an unmistakable sign to a Christian. Torello walked away mid-game, made his confession at the abbey of San Fidele, and then set about finding a suitably remote spot for a hermitage. He found a nice little cave and returned to Poppi to sell all his stuff so he could purchase the cave and surrounding land. His affairs in order, he planted a garden and set to praying.
|Saint Urho and a demon grasshopper|
The saint lived until age eighty, which is impressive given his poor diet, lack of rest, and regimen of frigid baths.
Also, don't forget Saint Urho, the spurious Finnish saint who drove the grasshoppers out of Finland, is also celebrated on March 16. Saturday night's St. Urho festivities going into Sunday morning's St. Patrick's brunch -- it's going to be a tough one this year for the Finno-Celtic crowd. And as they say in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, everybody's Finnish on Saint Urho's Day.