Monday, May 14, 2012
Winning the Race
Now that we are on a lighter topic, I would like to ask who is the patron saint of runners? I have been saying a quick prayer to St Sebastian to help me run like the wind, and he does seem to intercede on my behalf. However, I was hoping you might give us some more "meat" around this question please - especially anyone who can help with speed AND endurance....:-)
St. Sebastian certainly had endurance. You are not going to find a depiction of St. Sebastian where he is not shot full of arrows, tied to a tree. The people who did that intended to kill him. He did not die. St. Irene came along and nursed him back to health. Then St. Sebastian back to those people and said, "Ha! Look here! You didn't kill me!" So they clubbed him to death.
Before all of this St. Sebastian had been a soldier. Hearing the words of Jesus made him decide not to wage war any more, but Sebastian was still out there with his battalion, telling them to lay down their arms. That went over like a lead balloon, which is why, eventually, everyone wanted him to just shut up and they tied him to a tree.
Where he was shot full of arrows and didn't die. I'd call that endurance.
I have a hair brained notion about speed. How about St. Peter? Bear with me here. As far as I know, St. Peter didn't run anywhere, unless he was in a hurry, to say, get up some stairs. But he did walk all over the known world, spreading the Word of Jesus.
These were just people walking around talking to anyone who would listen. They didn't have advance publicity and posters on phone poles. They didn't have a Facebook page or event listings. They didn't have cell phones, or regular phones or email. They didn't have a stage, or a hall or a dinner in a hotel ballroom with a podium. They didn't have a church. They didn't have loud speakers, microphones or bull horns.
St. Peter had to walk to a town and stand up on a hill or a berm and talk. Shout, probably. He walked and talked and led by example.
Within 50 years, everyone knew about this Christian idea. People were joining in droves. 150 years later, the spread of Christianity was causing kings and emperors to try to squelch the tide. People died rather than give up their new found faith. 150 after that, the known world was predominately Christian.