Pastoral Notes January 29th, 2017

Different Patron Saints
The patron-saints adopted by countries are not necessarily local heroes. St George was a Christian martyr in Palestine, AD 303, and of the many saints Italy could have chosen, it is the Portuguese St Anthony of Padua (where he lived) who is the best loved,. This Tuesday (31st January) we remember Saint John Bosco, an Italian saint of the 19th century whose religious followers have been much esteemed in India and he remains a very popular saint there. Huge crowds were present in Rome at his canonisation at the time of Italian unification.
At this time of year of coughs and colds we might remember Saint Blaise (3rd February) also an early Christian martyr from Armenia. A special blessing of throats can take place on Blaise’s feast-day, with a prayer for protection from all diseases of the throat.