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, May 30, 2013

May 30 -- Feast of Saint Exuperantius

Stilicho, at right, et filius uxorque
Exuperantius was bishop of Ravenna during some of Italy's worst years.  He took over in 398; you'll probably recall that Alaric sacked Rome in 410.  Alaric's assault on the Eternal City did not come out of the blue; rather, it was the fruit of a decade or more of war between Flavius Stilicho, the Magister Militum from Constantinople, and the Gothic armies in Italy. 

I haven't always said kind things about the bishops of Ravenna.  Some have pontifical pretensions, suggesting an equality with the Bishop of Rome simply by proximity to the western Emperor.  Exuperantius left no record of such pretensions, but he did carefully protect Ravenna from the hazards of his time.  When Stilicho was ravaging Italy in pursuit of the Visigoths, feeding and funding his troops on the loot they could gather from the towns and cities they were ostensibly defending, Exuperantius successfully persuaded the Magister Militum to leave Ravenna unmolested.  That alone seems pretty miraculous. 

It is easy to discuss wars like this, with centuries to distance me from the horrors.  I can praise Exuperantius without necessarily contemplating the suffering that would have followed the Byzantine army's sack of the city, or the suffering that followed Alaric's sack of Rome.  With wars continuing throughout Africa and Asia, let us all pray that the peace and security of Ravenna be spread throughout the world. 

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