Monday, August 17, 2009
As Old as Methuselah
We've had quite a lot of patron saint matching requests. I'm working on it! Meanwhile some questions to catch up:
Sister, Why did people in the Old Testament live so long? I understand that we don't have to look at things from a highly literal, Fundamentalist perspective, but it still baffles me why they would inflate the ages like that.
I've heard a couple of different explanations. As far as I can tell, the Catholic church doesn't worry about it one way or the other. It might even be along the lines of a "Sacred Mystery"*, although it's not really a 'sacred' mystery. A "Bible Mystery", perhaps.
This is my personal take on the matter. At first the world was a perfect place. There weren't any diseases to spread around because Adam and Eve didn't have anything to pass on or spread. Virus? What virus? If Adam who lived, according to the Bible, for 900 years managed not to get eaten by a lion, he's home free. He doesn't have a ton of stress. The environment is clean as a whistle. Food is plentiful and he's not competing with other tribes or people for food and shelter. He doesn't have to concern himself with sewage and waste.
If Adam who lived, according to the Bible, for 900 years managed not to get eaten by a lion, he's home free
You might also take note that people have shorter and shorter life spans every generation as life on this earth becomes harder and harder to live. As the Old Testament goes on, people are only living for 600 years, and 400 years and 300 years and on down.
Or...they were vampires and someone finally stuck stakes in their hearts.
I really don't think much about it. I don't think much about vampires, either.
Can you tell me how to pronounce Dymphna?
Interesting. I never really thought about how to pronounce it. I've always pronounced it "Dimf' -nah", but maybe I've been saying it wrong all this time. I am notorious for mispronouncing the names of flora. I have a habit of looking at words I am unfamiliar with and just taking them in. I know what the word is and what it means but I've never bothered to say it. When I am finally called upon to use the word I say what I think it looked like and I'm wrong a lot. Maybe it's supposed to be "Dime-f- nah". And who even knows where the accent goes. It must go on the first syllable, don't you think, with that "nah" on the end there. Who would put the accent there? Heathens, maybe.
I would like to suggest St. Helen (Constantine's Mother and finder of the Cross) she is obscure; in that we don't hear much about her and yet a good saint for the stay at home mom - maybe??
Well, I have to respectfully disagree. First, I don't think she is obscure at all. She is, after all, the finder of the Cross (among other things she found). And she isn't much of a stay at home anything. She was quite the traveler.
She was the wife of the Emperor. He dumped her for the new model, as so often is the case even now. But when he died her son Constantine became the Emperor, tossed out his step mother, and restored Helena to her rightful place in the world, now "Mother of the Emperor".
So I would put her as the patron saint for people who come out on top of a hideous divorce, women who are dumped for the new model and the like.
At this point, Helena is no spring chicken. But she embarks on a world tour, mostly to the Holy Land, where her dreams (actual REM sleep dreams, not her old ambitions) lead her to find the True Cross. I think she also found the pillar on which Jesus was scourged and the crown of thorns and whatnot. Nails...
So she is also the official patron saint of archeologists.
I recently had a customer at the shop who requested a custom order of St. Nicholas for her home school. I think he would be a lovely patron saint for the stay at home mom. You have to like children a lot to hang around with them 24/7.
You know who else might be lovely? St. Elizabeth Seton! She had to drag her kids everywhere with her all over the Europe and everything. I believe her daughters became part of her order. Let's look into her a bit.