November 1: the Feast of All Saints. This means that if you’re not big enough to have your own day, like St. Thomas Aquinas (January 28) or St. Stephen (December 26) or St. Joan of Arc (May 30), you can claim to be one of the rest of the gang on November 1. It’s a Holy Day of Obligation (with certain exceptions) in the RC Church. Mass, or Mortal Sin: your choice.
I’ve whined in these “pages” about my nondescript birthday, June 3. Here’s another reason I don’t like it: there’s no major feast associated with June 3. It’s listed in the martyrology sometimes as the feast of St. Kevin (who? Bacon? Spacey?) or the Feast of St. Charles Lwanga and Companions (in other words, a Holy Crowd in the Cloud), or in some countries, the Feast of St. Clothilde. See what I mean? Not to disparage those saints, but really.
My name doesn’t lend itself to a major feast day either.
Camille is generally ID’d as a form of Camillus. St. Camillus of Lellis, the patron of doctors and nurses, has his own feast day on July 18, but I can’t relate. Who’s the patron of physicists? Answer: St. No One. Booo.
No wonder I chose Sister Anthony as my nun name. Not only does St. Anthony have his own feast day (June 13) (close enough to June 3), but everyone—regardless of faith, theists and atheists alike—who has ever lost anything, invokes him. He finds your contact lens, your keys, and even your ex if you ask nicely. In the old days, he could find your airline ticket, your bank passbook, and your handkerchief. A very practical saint.
As you see, I don’t embrace all saints equally. With my slippery fingers, I couldn’t live without St. Anthony. But Mother Teresa? Come on. Preaching against birth control? in India? Are you kidding me? She might as well have belonged to the Tea Party. Not that there’s anything wrong . . .
Whatever your name, take today as your Feast Day and celebrate. I’m going to.
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