Monday, October 17, 2011

Today, a dwarf

I freely & unequivocally admit I choose today's saint because of his name.  No, not the Juan part, the other part:  Juan the Dwarf.  I know if you follow the link you will find JOHN the dwarf, but you will also find painting after painting of white Jesus & you all just need to get over that. 

Okay, is everyone forming a picture of a Latin Lord of the Rings thing?  Yes?  Good.

Juan was born to a poor family (surprise, surprise) in Egypt (Juan?).  He had a famously short fuse (waka waka) & while his temper never really went away, with spirituality came humility (so not 21st century, right?) & he stopped getting quite so worked up about offenses, imagined & otherwise. 

So we have a dwarf, who has left his parents hovel to live in an underground cave he dug himself.  It just gets better & better doesn't it?  Lived for a while as a hermit, offering himself as a disciple.  For reasons known only to ancient villagers with ancient pitchforks (in this instance Berbers with swords), he was driven away, wandered a bit & then settled on Mount Qolzum, over in Anthony's neighborhood, to hang with the other hermits.

In the end, the most interesting story about Juan, in my view, is he was directed (by Saint Pambo, a most excellent name) to plant a piece of dry wood & then traveled uphill in both directions twice a day to water it for thirteen years until it sprouted.  The reason I like this is that one of my favorite movies: Enchanted April.  It has nothing to do with dwarves or saints or mountains or anything really, but a dead bit of wood that sprouts does come into it.  & I guess there are some sort-of hermits living together.

Back to our man of the day; he is the patron of nothing, nada, zip.  Not even dwarves.

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