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.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Another St. Nicholas grabs my attention

Today is the feast of St. Nicholas of Tolentino, 1246-1305. He is the Patron of Holy Souls, and ... a vegetarian.

There are many reasons to honor him - and many miracles attributed to him - but his vegetarian ways jumped out at me, having been one myself for some 36 years.

(Yes, I know Chesterton's views on vegetarians!)

I love the story of a time when he was served a fowl. He made a Sign of the Cross over the cooked bird, and it suddenly rose and flew out the window.

But given that he is credited with having resurrected more than 100 dead children, resurrecting a bird was probably just chicken feed. (Sorry.)

His parents were Compagnonus de Guarutti and Amata de Guidiani. They were unable to have a child, but after they prayed at a shrine of Saint Nicholas of Myra - the St. Nicholas most of us know - they had young Nicholas, naming him after the saint.

At the age of 18, Nicholas became an Augustinian Friar. He became ill and received a vision of Mary who told him to eat a certain type of bread that had been dipped in water. He started distributing these rolls while praying to Mary. These rolls became known as Saint Nicholas Bread.

St. Nicholas was noted as a peacemaker. He preached, worked wonders, healed people, and visited prisoners. He also reportedly received visions, including images of Purgatory. He had a great devotion to the recently dead, and was noted for praying for the souls in Purgatory.

There are more wonderful stories about him. His vegetarianism just adds to his luster for me.

I know St. David (of Wales) is the patron saint of vegetarians. I've also heard or read that St Francis of Assisi, St Clare, St Therese Neumann, St. Martin de Porres, St John Chrysostom, and St Anthony of Padua were vegetarians.

Good company. I'd happily break bread with them - and maybe enjoy a good salad!


Blogger Lora said...

I love reading about the lives of the saints; I have a feeling I'll be visiting your blog often.


10:21 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home