Jul 01 2009

My Saint’s Day

Photo by Allan Ferguson

Photo by Allan Ferguson

Whaddya know.  I’ve had his name for almost 40 years, and I didn’t even know Moses’s brother Aaron from the Old Testament was a saint.  It turns out today is his feast day.  I guess it’s a minor one, though; he doesn’t even rate a commemoration in my missal. (On the other hand, my middle name happens to belong to the guy who taught Jesus how to use a hammer, so it balances out.)

I don’t think I was named after any particular Aaron; I think my parents just liked the name.  (Incidentally, I’ve never understood why people have a hard time spelling it.  Didn’t everyone read those Bible stories at least once as a kid?  I mean, I’m not named Adam, but I know it’s not spelled Adum.)   I’ve never felt much attachment to Old Testament Aaron, since the main thing the Bible says about him is that he was a good public speaker. He also had to carry around a staff that would turn into a snake when Moses said so.  Sounds like a rough job.

There are other saints named Aaron I could claim as a patron, but they’re even more obscure.  One was a hermit on a French island in the sixth century.  Sounds like my kind of guy.  But so many people came to learn from him that he wound up as abbot of a monastery.  Another was the first archbishop of Krakow, Poland, in the 11th century.   He’s only “blessed,” though: a step away from being canonized as a saint.  Another was marytred under Emperor Diocletian (along with lots of other Christians) in 303 A.D., and may have been the first British martyr.

I think I’ll go with the guy who tried to be a hermit, Saint Aaron of Brettany.  His feast day is June 21, so I’ve got lots of time to prepare for the next one.

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