Warning: include_once(/home/tedski/polishmexican.net/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-support/wordpress-support.php): failed to open stream: Permission denied in /home/tedski/polishmexican.net/wp-settings.php on line 305

Warning: include_once(): Failed opening '/home/tedski/polishmexican.net/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-support/wordpress-support.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/local/lib/php:/usr/local/php5/lib/pear') in /home/tedski/polishmexican.net/wp-settings.php on line 305

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/tedski/polishmexican.net/wp-settings.php:305) in /home/tedski/polishmexican.net/wp-content/plugins/wp-super-cache/wp-cache-phase2.php on line 62
St. Chad « Ted's Polish-Mexican Page

St. Chad

Categories: Blatant Romanism
Tags: No Tags
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: November 13, 2014

This is my second political-esque post on here in a row. I am not making this into a political blog.

Note to Chad Campbell: despite the title, this is not about you.

Given the current recount in our congressional election here, it made me wonder, is there a patron saint of such things?

The answer is yes and no. Spolier alert: I lean towards yes.

St_Chad_Church_(5)_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1592962After the 2000 presidential election, a writer for the Baltimore Sun noted that there was a Saint Chad in seventh century Britain. Given that the disputes in that election centered on dangling chads, hanging chads and pregnant chads, it only made sense to declare that this particular Chad was the go to saint.

What also helped was that St. Chad’s holding the office of Bishop of the Mercians and Lindsey People was disputed. He was removed from office after his predecessor, St. Wilfrid, reclaimed his position after being away so long that people thought he had died in a plague.

St. Chad’s manner was to walk everywhere rather than ride a horse, which is why he is sometimes called St. Chad the Pedestrian. This humble style caused a bit of controversy among his fellow church leaders, which goes to show that some things don’t change.

So, is St. Chad as patron of disputed elections official? No.

Snopes has an entry “debunking” the claim and it’s something addressed in other places too (including this nice post about St. Chad’s life).

The trouble is that relying only on the “official” line on St. Chad or any saint fails to recognize that much of the veneration of the saints is populist. Even the process of canonization acknowledges this: popular veneration comes before the church officially recognizes, not declares, sainthood.

Take Father Kino, for example. He is likely a generation, at least, from canonization. Still, he is venerated in parts of northern Mexico and his remains in Magdalena are a shrine. This is despite official recognition. In fact, his eventual canonization would be impossible without his current veneration.

It’s one of the few places where the church has historically followed the lead of the laity.

The same applies to patronages. The church saying that one saint or another is the one to pray for the intercession of in one situation or another means nothing unless people feel that there is a connection, which is why the church grants a patronage recognition. By the same token, if a worshipper invokes the name of a saint in an “unrecognized” situation, do we really think that the saint says “not my department” like a bureaucrat?

Connections to a patronage can be made for all sorts of reasons. I think of the case of St. Fiacre. St. Fiacre was a seventh century Irish holy man (I’m unclear if he actually was a priest, monk or took any orders at all) who built a hospice in what is now France. Because of his popularity in France, things were named for him, including a hotel in Paris. The St. Fiacre Hotel rented carriages, which were eventually called “fiacres.” For that reason, Fiacre is the patron saint of taxi drivers.

It’s a connection made by the people and not the official church, but still valid and who is to say it won’t be officially recognized one day?

So, Ron and Martha, go ahead and invoke St. Chad. The church may agree with you someday.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Comments are closed.

Welcome , today is Tuesday, November 21, 2017