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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Today is the feast day of St. Fermin.

You probably don't think you know who St. Fermin is or anything about him, but unless you've lived most of your life under a rock you really do know something about our saint of the day.

What happens every July 6th?

Here's a hint: Ernest Hemmingway. Hah! I bet you wished now that you had paid attention in English Class or read something besides the first three pages of "the Old Man and the Sea"!

Every year in Pamplona Spain a herd of bulls is loosed into the street where anyone fool hardy enough jumps out and runs with them, trying with all their might not to run under them. Or too closely in front of them. And every year people all over the world shake their heads wondering how on earth human beings came up with the idea to unlease long pointy horned hooved tonnage into the streets, let alone jump into the middle of all that weaponized cattle.

They got the idea in the 3rd century when St. Fermin met a martyr's death by having his feet tied to a bull which dragged him to death.

St. Fermin is so holy that the celebration of his blessedness goes on for 204 hours and includes chanting the St. Fermin chant (not sure what that is; perhaps 'please stop'), the running of the bulls in his honor, bullfights and sangria.

We can honor St. Fermin more safely by simply doing our duty. Perhaps someday there will be a festival in your honor based on how well you swept the driveway and set the table.

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