Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FKA Santa Maura

Lots & lots of saints today, including Saint Andrew (not the patron saint of golf) & Saint Trojan (not the patron saint of condoms).  But enough about them & what they are not.  This afternoon, lets get to know Saint Maura.  Don't worry, there isn't much to know.

First let me say that a friend of mine wanted to choose Maura as her confirmation name but the priest would not let her becasue there was no saint named Maura & she chose Margaret instead.  There are slews of Margarets.  As it happens in this post-google era we can all know there is indeed a Saint Maura.  She was a virgin (so much more appropriate than a few of the Margaret-ilk I would think but there you go).  She was martyred.  End of story.  Well not quite.

Apparently a kinda-sorta cult sprang up around Maura & for a while there she was very big in the east.  We don't know why exactly because one of Emperor Constantine's brothers (1/2 brothers?  I get confused) divided his time between being emperor & putting down christians generally, & when he had a little extra time on his hands he would go round repressing devotions to Saint Maura specifically.  & that was more or less all I could find about Maura until....

It turns out there is an island named after her.  Originally  I couldn't find the island, even with google but eventually I learned it was renamed Lefkas (in English).  I'm sure they had their reasons

Naturally I got curious what those reasons might be.  While trying to find out (I never did but I did not look that hard) I learned  it was the birth place of that well-known Greco-Irish writer Patrick Lafcadio Hearn.  Don't worry if you have never heard of him, apparently he was mostly big in Japan. 

So there was a Saint Maura, not too much remains known except they named an island for her & then they renamed it & then a guy who was named for the island went on to change his name.  Which brings us to the end of this story & the end of November.

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