Feast Day of St. Gertrude of Nivelle
While today is celebrated by virtually the whole world as St. Patrick's Day, today is also the Feast of St. Gertrude, Abbess of Nivelle, (not to be confused with St. Gertrude the Great) who died in 659 CE, due to probably a severely ascetic life in the monastery at about 30 years old. She is considered as the Patron Saint of Cats (and Cat people!) but this is really pretty new.... staring in the 1980's! Yeah, just a couple of decades ago. Her traditional iconography shows her holding a crosier as an abbess, and with rats and mice climbing her dress and her crosier (see the picture of her and St. John the Evangelist at the upper right... mice are crawling up her crosier). It seems that Gertrude had visions of souls in Purgatory and in medieval art these souls were often pictured as mice or rats. Why? Who knows, but that was the image at the time. Anyway...since she is always shown with rodents it is a natural procession to move to cats to deal with rodents infestation. So St. Gertrude of Nivelle moved from a mystic who prays for the Poor Souls in Purgatory (pictured around her as mice or rats) to the Patron Saint of Cats who deals with mice and rats, and is now pictured almost completely with a cat (see the upper left picture of her with a crosier and a cat). It just kinda makes you wanna go "Huh?"
Mass of Healing and Anointing tomorrow at 11am
Tomorrow at 11am Mass Christ the King OCC is celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation with a Communal Reconciliation during the Penitential Rite and after the Gospel we will celebrate the Sacrament of the Sick with Laying on of Hands and Anointing with Holy Oil and prayer. We do this every 3rd Sunday of each month.
Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, or March 17. I am commenting on this partly because I am American Irish, and can trace both sides of my family to Ireland...particularly Counties Cavan and Roscommon. But the parties that happen tomorrow tend to be parties for fun and frolic and the truth of St. Patrick or his story is pretty much all but forgotten in the wake of a good beer. St. Patrick was stolen while young from a fairly privileged family and put into slavery in Ireland...tending sheep for years. He broke away and fled back to his family but was called...by angel?... to the very Island on which he was enslaved. He studied and became a priest and was assigned to be a missionary to Ireland. For this he has been known as the Apostle to the Irish, Equal to the Apostles, Patrick the Evangelizer, and so on. Patrick was not the first to be Christianity to Ireland but certainly the most famous. The first missionary was St. Palladius. Both Palladius and Patrick used the strategy: evangelize the king's family and Christianize their wives, sons, and daughters. But Patrick's life was not one of fun and games, he was arrested at least twice and in fear of his life more than once. Not everybody like the new religion. Patrick was a strong person with an evidently strong personality, and he knew he had God on his side. His life is an example of determination, sacrifice, and love of the people of Ireland even his former masters. St. Patrick was taken as a token of the new Irish immigrants in the United States when they were hated and reviled. Patrick was taken as a symbol of pride in their former country of Ireland that no one in this new country could take from them. These are only some of the images and ideas we should remember on this Feast of St. Patrick, the source of a good party and pride in Patrick...when it seems on this day that EVERYBODY wants to be Irish.
Hi, and welcome to the Blog page of Christ the King Old Catholic Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We are setting this up to let those interested parties know what we are doing and the religious and spiritual journeys we are on. Please feel free to reed our (hopefully) weekly bulletins and Saints Feasts Days and celebrations in the parish. Enjoy! and keep us in your prayers, please.