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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Saints & Angels: The TLB Prime series

Today, according to the calendar up on my wall, is the day of the commemoration of the martyrdom of my favorite saint - Saint John The Baptist.
Though my plight is not technically "martyrdom" literally, I saw on this day quite a few parallels and quite a lot of synchronicity going on there...!
However, such is not the subject of this blog post nor of this recurring sub-series that is a cherished part of TLB Prime...

Hence, more about the saint instead...
He is also known as Joannes Baptista; John the Baptizer; John the Forerunner; Juan Bautista; João Batista
Memorial Dates are most well-known, the first mostly - June 24th (birth) and today, August 29th (death)
Profile ~
Cousin of Jesus Christ. Son of Zachary, a priest of the order of Abia whose job in the temple was to burn incense; and of Elizabeth, a descendent of Aaron. As Zachary was ministering in the Temple, an angel brought him news that Elizabeth would bear a child filled with the Holy Spirit from the moment of his birth. Zachary doubted and was struck dumb until John's birth.

Prophet. Began his ministry around age 27, wearing a leather belt and a tunic of camel hair, living off locusts and wild honey, and preaching a message of repentance to the people of Jerusalem. He converted many, and prepared the way for the coming of Jesus. Baptized Christ, after which he stepped away and told his disciples to follow Jesus.

Imprisoned by King Herod. He died a victim of the vengeance of a jealous woman; he was beheaded, and his head brought to her on a platter. Saint Jerome says Herodias kept the head for a long time after, occassionally stabbing the tongue with his dagger.
He died beheaded circa 30 A.D. at Machaerus; buried at Sebaste, Samaria; his relics are found in Saint Sylvester's church, Rome, Italy, and at Amiens, France - reputedly.

His name means "God is gracious" or "gift of God" (John)
I so do agree with that meaning - my saintly father's a namesake...
His Canonization is one of an elite few that was "Pre-Congregation" - of course.
His Patronage is vast and goes way beyond mere baptism to embrace a whole lot of diverse causes, places, professions and ways of life, such as: bird dealers; the diocese of Charleston, South Carolina; Colletorto, Italy; converts; convulsions; convulsive children; cutters; diocese of Dodge City, Kansas; epilepsy; epileptics; farriers; French Canadians; Fürstenberg, Germany; Genoa, Italy; hail; hailstorms; Jordan; Knights Hospitaller; Knights of Malta; lambs; Leioa, Spain; Macau, China; Maltese Knights; monastic life; Monte San Giovanni Campano, Italy; Monza, Italy; motorways; Palermo, Sicily; diocese of Paterson, New Jersey; Penzance, Cornwall, England; diocese of Portland, Maine; Pozzallo, Sicily; printers; Puerto Rico; Quebec; Ragusa, Sicily; Saint-Jean-le-Blanc, Loiret, France; San Juan Indian Pueblo; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Sassano, Italy; diocese of Savannah, Georgia; spasms; tailors; Teising, Germany; Torino, Italy; Umbria, Italy; Wenden, Germany; Wenings, Germany; Wroclaw, Poland.

Representation: cross in hand; lamb; severed head on a platter; skin of an animal; slender cross. (It is one of the things that I always loved about my faith - its rich and abundant symbolism! Imaginative and creative minds are greater than knowledgeable ones - Albert Einstein himself knew so much!)

As for the angel of the day - or rather of this installment of "TLB Prime's Saints & Angels" really - let's go with go a regular, run-of-the-mill heavenly attendant and nothing too fancy at that, hmm? After all, Jesus Himself stated that "there were no men greater than John - but the smallest of the angels was greater than him" (I paraphrase again, yes!)

The ANGELS are the lowest of all the orders in the heavenly hierarchy and the closest to man. They announce the lesser mysteries and intentions of God and teach people to live virtuously and righteously before God. They are appointed to guard each of us who believe: they sustain virtuous people from fallen, and never leave us though we have sinned, but are always ready to help us, if only we ourselves want it.

Angels such as this one...

An echelon up on "mere angels" are the Seraphim (the closest ones to God), the Cherubim, the Thrones, the middle hierarchy made up of the Dominions, the Virtues and the Powers and then the lowest hierarchy constituted of the Principalities, the Archangels and finally the "common Angel" described above...!



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