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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Summer Rain

St. Swithun,
along with Batman, has a whole new fan club of people new to the bandwagon.

Thanks for that introduction to St. Swithun, Sister! I didn't know anything about him. I also love the picture of him standing in the rain! Any chance the artist would sell more copies of it?

That painting was done by a fellow Esty artist, B Meg Designs. I'm sure she would be more than happy to accommodate you. I told her there were no real pictures of St. Swithun from which to draw and I told her his story. She came up with that wonderful plaque which hangs right by the door so I can at least pretend it might be raining.

I'll bet you could ask her to paint just about any saint you'd like for that matter. What else is she doing with her time? She's an artist!

Dear Sister: Could you tell me who drew the picture of St. Swithin that you posted at the top of this post? The one with the geese. It looks very much like something my son, Ben Hatke, drew. Ben is a pretty well known artist and illustrator and I can usually recognize his work. Thanks! Mrs. Hatke

I'm sorry I can't. Why don't you show it to Ben and ask him. I can't see a signature on there. Your son is very handsome. My father liked breakfast the best, too. When he wouldn't eat we could always tempt him with eggs.

Long time reader, first time petitioner: I'm trying to find a patron saint for camping. A group of friends and I are going camping next week and I wanted to get a head-start looking for assistance for good weather and a happy camping trip.

You could always go with St. Joseph. I'm sure he did plenty of camping on his way from Nazareth to Bethlehem, from Bethlehem to Egypt, and finally from Egypt to Nazareth. I'll bet he has some fabulous camping tips. Oh, the stories he could tell. Scarey Herod stories around the campfire! And he didn't even have a car!

I'd also have to throw in a word for St. Anthony the Hermit. Anthony was the original hermit monk. He invented hermit monking. He found he just couldn't be holy around other people all the time. Back then they weren't even talking on their cell phones all the time or text messaging constantly or any of that superlatively annoying stuff. So he packed up to go live in a cave.

Unfortunately, people followed him. So he moved to a farther cave. And on and on. I don't think the people that followed him were as good at being holy or camping as St. Anthony was. They found it necessary to live a little bit near each other. They formed a hermit monk support group.

The hermit monk support group eventually came to be called a "monastery".

And now you know...the REST of the story. Thank you Paul Harvey. My father loved him, too.

In February 2006, I visited St. Swithun's (or Swithin's, as they spelled it on the historical markers) original burial site and his reconstructed shrine at Winchester Cathedral in England. Unfortunately, during the Reformation, his relics were pulled from his second tomb and thrown into a big pile of other saints' relics that had been in the Cathedral, in the yard outside the Cathedral. After the mob that desecrated the relics had left, monks came back and collected all the bones, placing them in large chests that are now inside the Cathedral. So St. Swithin is still there, but nobody knows where exactly among all the jumbled bones. Some of his relics (head, arms) had also been sent to other places (for example, Canterbury had his head), but I don't know if they were similarly desecrated (probably, the mobs were very thorough) and lost. And, although my visit was in February and in July, it was raining cats and dogs. But only in Winchester. Not raining north of there, or south of there, just in Winchester. I guess he's still upset about all the mistreatment.

Yes, I knew about that. I didn't want to bring it up. It upsets people. Hope your vacation wasn't ruined by all the rain or saint parts.


Good Remedy said...

One more saint request, please! We are part of a Catholic Homeschool co-op. This year we will be teaching our elementary group about "Continents" and sharing a Saint from each one. Except we can't find one for Antartica? Or one for the oceans? Any suggestions? Thank you!

bill7tx said...

I hope I didn't upset anyone. The English today regret the losses, and they definitely remember St. Swithun. When I visit my sister in London, I like to visit all the pre-Reformation churches I can get to. It's sad to think what happened there, and it's also still a powerful experience.

Besides all the saints in the chests, Winchester is also the burial place of Izac Walton (the fly-fishing guy) and Jane Austen. When I was there, someone had left flowers on St. Swithun's original tomb site (outside in the rain), and someone had placed flowers on top of Jane's burial place (inside the cathedral). Something for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sister,

Could you please recommend a saint for me? I need all the help I can get. My 83-year-old mother-in-law needs cataract surgery and can barely walk. She also can't drive any longer. My husband (who works 10-12 hours a day and owns his own business) and I are the only nearby adult children, so her needs will largely have to be taken care of by us. We also have two children, ages 7 and 10 and I have a part-time business out of my home. We are trying to discern how best to help my mother-in-law. We don't mind (too much) being stressed or making sacrifices, but we do worry about the impact on our time with our own children (who also have a lot of needs to be met) as her needs increase. Can you recommend a saint who I can ask to pray for us when I feel overwhelmed? And one I can ask to pray for the health and well-being of my mother-in-law? Thanks in advance. Oh, and would you please pray for us, too? Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

Sister, Blessed Pier Giorgio is also an excellent person to pray to for camping! He and his friends would go on hiking adventures all the time, and in the morning he loved to rock climb to get to a shrine to Mary where he prayed! He was very athletic and youthful, which is why when he is a saint (it will happen) he will be a patron saint of youth...

I also have a question: My mom is a huge catholic zealot, and I happened to notice a bag of random religious items like crucifixes, and something called the Matrix Medal. Do you have any idea what that is?

expat said...

Thanks for the link to B Meg Designs, Sister!!

kim* said...

that's super adorable

bill7tx said...

re the "Matrix Medal" -- there are some real issues/questions about this medal, which is connected with some "unapproved" apparitions. Some bishops have apparently forbidden any use of the Matrix Medal or publication of any information about it. See http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=43900

Anonymous said...

When I was in England, I learned about all the Catholic -bashing during the Reformation (not from official English sources, although they're not downplaying it as much as they used to). It made me feel sad, but also kind of proud of the Catholics who hung on during all this, ordaining priests (I think they had to send them to France for that), attending Mass, "telling their beads."

Paul Hatke's Mom--I love your son's drawings! I have some Sophia Institute Press books, which have his illustrations


Anonymous said...

Way cool mention of St. Swithun on a *gasp* secular blog (The Medieval Garden Enclosed)

from NYC:

St. Swithuns Day

A most fascinating blog, from the Met's Cloisters, if you like gardening.

Angela said...

So THAT'S who draws "Zita the Space Girl"!

That is so cool!