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.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

June 9 -- Feast of Saint Vincent of Agen

 Here's an excerpt from "The Wheel"

The wheel is turning
and you can't slow down
You can't let go
and you can't hold on
You can't go back
and you can't stand still
If the thunder don't get you
then the lightning will

Small wheel turn by the fire and rod
Big wheel turn by the grace of God
Everytime that wheel turn round
bound to cover just a little more ground
             -Robert Hunter

Ezekiel's wheels within wheels
Back in the day, Saint Vincent was a deacon in Gaul.  It was so long ago that it was Gaul, not France.  He wandered into Agen, which was a part of the garden that the Christians hadn't much harrowed.  He asked one of the local pagani about an upcoming festival.  The helpful heathen told Vincent all about the big flaming wheel that would be rolled from a temple on the top of the hill down to the river. 

When the wheel was inflamed and released, it backed up and spun around, burning a pattern of the Cross into the hillside before rolling down into the river.  The local officials were impressed, but not in any positive way.  They staked Saint Vincent to the ground, scourged him to the brink of death, and then beheaded him. 

India's Ashoka wheel
Although the body was left exposed, some kindly person eventually buried him.  Decades or perhaps centuries later, his relics were recovered and revered. 

As symbols go, the wheel is a pretty big one.  The Ashoka Wheel in the flag of India seems to be about motion (which is life rather than death) and dharma (law and virtue).  The Roman goddess Fortuna of course turned a wheel which governed the success or failure of individuals.  The prophet Ezekiel saw the "wheels within wheels" that contained all-seeing eyes. 

There's nothing cyclical about a cross.  There was no way of mistaking the interference that Vincent had worked, and having worked it, there would be no surprise in the retribution.  There was no slowing down, letting go, holding on, or going back for Vincent; Robert Hunter might suggest that the same is true for all of us. 

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