Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Saints of Afon-Bedd

There's a Medieval Saint named Saint Aidan. He was an Irish monk called by King Oswald of Northumbria to spread the message to the increasingly heathen Northumbrians. As a young man Oswald had surprised his family by becoming a Christian, and what with the troubles he was having with Pagan Mercian tribes it was probably easier for a Northumbrian King to seek guidance from the Lord in Ireland rather than from Rome. Mind you Aidan wasn't Oswald's first choice. The Irish first sent an austere, overly pious, very dull sort of Bishop, his name was Corman, who didn't mix with the more happy go lucky mindset of the Northumbrians. Nor did it really help that Corman didn't speak the local languages of Northumbria. But Saint Aidan was a gentler sort of character, very patient man, with a good, non-pompous smile, very positive attitude toward his work and when Oswald discovered that Aidan couldn't speak any of the local languages, Oswald agreed to offer his services as translator. In time as the Northumbrians warmed to the Lord, Oswald gave the Island of Lindisfarne to Bishop Aiden, and there are many who will tell you that while "Saint Augustine was the Apostle of Kent, Saint Aiden was the Apostle of the English." Doesn't sound like much, perhaps a little obscure as so many things are but trust me, it's fighting talk up there along the lines of "Esau was an hairy man, but I am an smooth man." It's kind of Like a British Isles Battle of Karbala. There's what they call a "Whole Thing" happening between Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne and Saint Augustine of Cantebury.

Yesterday Afternoon while Pressure Canning seven quarts of Green Beans, and I fully intend to repeat the Pressure Canning part until such time as the Tri-State Devil's Advocate can be persuaded that we Pressure Canners should all be on the list for Sainthood owing to our regular contact with a potential for martyrdom, it occurred to me that having two Saint David's in Afon-Bedd served little purpose to the The Rabbit of Usk. The thing is this, Saint David of Wales was a vegetarian, he was very short and he was very polite and in the original draft of Vestry of Monnow I must have succumbed to the idea that Two Saint David's quarrelling at meal times had merit. Now when I think about our hero's suspicion of Kent, his less than pluralist attitude toward the Romney Marsh, his horrible experience with Kentish Backpackers in Monda's fair city of Zagreb, it might well be the case that for Action at Meal Time purposes there should only be one Saint David in Afon-Bedd. Much better to take a new tack. And the other thing is this, King Oswald, who was badly defeated by the Mercian Tribes near Oswestry which is right there on the English side of Offa's Dyke, had a bit of a following after his death. More like a cult type following than something recognized by Rome, yet this following qualified in the Medieval Period as Sainthood by Popular Acclaim. So there you have it, Saint Aidan, Saint Augustine, Saint Oswald, Our hero and The Rabbit in his disguise as Saint Timothy, all of them at the Thursday breakfast of Poached Eggs on Toast. Bound to be fireworks!


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