A Big Day for Saints

Today is St. Agatha’s day. She is one of the most renowned virgin martyrs. You may remember that she’s the young Sicilian girl who had her breasts cut off during Roman persecution. So the Sicilians make a lot of feast day cakes that are shaped like breasts. Because what was meant for humiliation turns to honor when suffered for Christ’s sake, and because dark humor is how we Catholics roll!

Today is also the feast of St. Avitus of Vienne, a slightly later early Christian who is best known for his poems. Alcimus Ecdicius Avitus was baptized and trained by St. Mamertus, the guy who invented Rogation Days, and he continued his mentor’s work among the Burgundians, convincing people to give up being Arians and believe in Christ as true God and true man. He also wrote a long poem based on salvation history, called De spiritualis historiae gestis [On the deeds of spiritual history]. Milton was apparently influenced by him while writing Paradise Lost.

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