View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Honoring Veterans

Because this is Veterans Day, a day we honor those who have honorably served the nation in the military, I will cite two soldier saints.

The first is St. Theodore, after whom my parish is named, and whose feast day was just this past Sunday.

St. Theodore was a martyr. According to the story of his death, he was a recruit in the Roman army at Pontus, on the Black Sea. He refused to take part in a pagan ceremony and he was brought before the legion's tribune and the region's governor. They freed him, but then he went out and set fire to a pagan temple. Arrested again, he was burned to death in a furnace. Other than that, little is known about him.

I find it interesting, though, that unlike some soldier martyrs, he did not die for refusing to take part in pagan rituals, but because he took direct action against paganism.

The second saint has Franciscan ties - St. Louis IX of France, the Patron of the Secular Franciscan Order.

St. Louis had a reputation for being a model Christian king (at least by the standards of his day). He reportedly never tolerated cursing or sinful conversation - a good role model for some veterans I know! He dressed simply and wore the insignia of the Secular Franciscan Order under his outer garments. On special occasions he reportedly even wore a habit.

He was also concerned with the poor. As part of his testament to his son, King Philip III, he said, “Be kindhearted to the poor, the unfortunate and the afflicted. Give them as much help and consolation as you can. Thank God for all the benefits he has bestowed upon you, that you may be worthy to receive greater. Always side with the poor rather than with the rich, until you are certain of the truth.”

As a soldier, he led two Crusades, dying on the second one in 1270.

On this day, let us pray for all the veterans we know, and thank them for their sacrifices.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Richard said...

And, so it was written in the annals of Nutii Vuplus a few years later... Theodore was a neighbor of the senator Baracus Obamanus. Bilubus Orelious and Sejanicus Hanaricus claimed that Baracas was obviously a terrorist.

:-)

1:34 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Aided no doubt by Christofero Mattewus and Kethius Ubermanus.

5:33 AM  

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