I found a Saint Jude’s medal the other day….and laughed until I could barely breathe. I guffawed until I was bent over, and my sides hurt. Why all the mirth and merriment you ask, at least you’d better, if you know what’s good for me.
At first, I thought that I’d found a dime wedged behind a railing at a French-fry wagon. It was small, round and shiny, with printing on it. Not until I read it, did I realize what it really was. I keep my eye open wherever people handle money, and am often rewarded with a stray coin.
People often won’t bother to bend down to pick up a dropped penny, and now the Canadian penny is on its way to extinction. I also find nickels, dimes, quarters and sometimes even bills. One day I got 40 pennies from the overflow chute of a coin-counting machine. My best day was when I picked up a hundred-dollar bill that two other shoppers had walked on, at my Detroit Meijer’s.
The first irony is that someone lost a St. Jude’s medal. The Catholics followed Church instruction, and, for years, prayed to St. Jude, among their plethora of single-use saints, to help them find lost items. That’s the second piece of irony. St. Jude is not the patron saint of lost things; he is/was the patron saint of lost causes. That’s the third piece of religious irony. If finding your car keys is a lost cause, what good would come from praying to the guy who represents failure?
I was going to use the word final, but will settle for fourth, because the Catholic Church, and all churches, and all religions, are a rich source of irony and hypocrisy. The fourth bit of irony is that, after years – centuries, of mindless Church-ordered supplication to St. Jude, the Catholic Church downgraded him, just like the Astronomical Society did to poor minor-planetoid Pluto.
Despite being the go-to guy for the church, apparently they did some checking on his marriage licence. They found that he didn’t have one. In a time and place where it was common to take a wife without the Official Blessing of the Church, Jude lived with a woman in a common-law relationship. After having centuries to discover that fact, and despite the good that the Church claimed he did, suddenly the Unchanging Church revoked his sainthood. It is now especially ironic that he represented lost causes. Now, if you lose your car-keys, you have to pray to your husband or wife. Sorry Jude, no offence.
From this general area of the planet, the Catholic Church has appointed its first Native American (Indian) saint. A woman, no less, she was born in northern New York, and lived near Montreal. I don’t know what the big rush is, she’s only been dead since 1680, but you know the Catholic Church, always right on top of things.
She is Saint Kateri, AKA Katherine, Catherine and Kateri Tekawitha. I’m not sure what she did to win on the big Church show, “So You Think You Can Bless,”…. or was it, “Anointing With The Stars”? Perhaps she helped Sacajawea get Lewis and Clarke one of those, Buy One Bison, Get The Second One Free, coupons at Wal-Mart. The Church claims that a young man in the 1700s was cured of smallpox, by being touched with a piece of Kateri’s decayed coffin. Of course, the beneficent Church insisted that he renounce Protestantism, and become a Catholic before they would treat him. Sort of the same loving game they played with Pat Morita in 1943.
I’m not sure why, but a local school, full of white kids, was named for this Indian woman, who lived five hundred miles away. The name used to be The Blessed Kateri School. Now that she’s been given a big promotion into management, the local Catholics want to bask in all the reflected glory they can get. Despite her only being “Blessed” when the school was named, and the expenses involved, the Church is upgrading the name to The Sainted Kateri School. I wait for scholastic results to rise.
As you may have surmised, I am greatly underwhelmed by the bureaucratic side of religions. The reason that I take the occasional swipe at them, is that I unthinkingly believe that they deserve it. And we all know that the churches are big on unthinking belief.