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.

Friday, June 28, 2013

June 28 -- Feast of Saints Potamiaena and Basilides

In the Catholic tradition, these two saints are separated on the calendar, which might seem fitting since they were killed on different days.  The Orthodox tradition has them linked on the calendar, which is more fitting since Potamiaena did not abandon Basilides, even though she had died.  Saint Potamiaena was condemned as a Christian in Alexandria, Egypt in 205.  For reasons which might be imagined but are not recorded, the praetor did not fall in love with her and offer her a life of luxury if she would apostatize and marry him.  He did, however, tell her she would be handed over to a gang of gladiators to be raped if she did not apostatize.  She didn't cave in, and the praetor decided that slow immersion in boiling pitch was more of a crowd pleaser.  On the perp walk to the pitch, the crowd got menacing, but Basilides, one of the soldiers escorting Potamiaena, shielded her.  She promised that she would not forget him once she got to heaven.  They arrived at the cauldron and she was duly executed in the slow, painful, and messy way, much to the crowd's delight.

A few days later, Basilides unit was making a routine sacrifice and oath.  His comrades called on him to do his part.

"I can't," he replied.  "I'm a Christian now."

Everybody laughed at the joke.  Then it slowly dawned on them that he wasn't joking.  He explained that for three nights, Potamiaena had come to him in a dream, carrying the palm and crown for martyrs.  The others marched him off to jail, where some Christians who were waiting to die gave him the SparkNotes version of the catechism and baptism, and then he was beheaded.

See?  Isn't it better that they have a shared feast?

Marcella, the mother of Potamiaena, is also venerated on June 28, but as anyone who has ever taken a son or daughter to a school event knows, your kid's more or less obliterate your identity.  Having finally packed my kid off to college a couple year's ago, I recovered my own name at last.  It was shocking, therefore, to find myself walking along 14th Street in Columbus, Ohio and hear an inebriated young woman call out from a sorority house balcony, "Hi Noah!  Hi Noah's dad!"   Since Saint Marcella is apparently otherwise undesignated, I will here propose that she be the patron of Parental Selflessness, helping mothers and fathers to check their egos as their children develop and emerge.

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