This past weekend, I went to a confirmation. I helped the bishop carry all his accoutrements. His crosier was quite beautiful. It is made of silver and kept in a protective case to preserve the silver from oxidizing. It came in three pieces and fit in the case quite nicely. I was happy to help Bishop Edyvean to carry everything.
One of the first things Bishop Edyvean did was to fit the crosier together and hand it over to me, to hold it for him. Then he went off to vest. This reminded me of the legend of St. Bridget of Ireland.
The crosier made it into her icons because of an awkward story about an elderly bishop accidentally saying the wrong prayers when she was blessed to become an abbess… he had mistakenly started to bless her to make HER a bishop! Since she was a woman, let alone not-a-priest, of course she never served in the office, and it was a horribly awkward mistake. (Since it WAS a mistake and not an intentional attempt to subversively ordain a woman, no one got excommunicated.) However, technically the mark of it was on her soul, mistake or not, and therefore it is in her icons…
Often confused with St. Bridget of Sweden, but they are two very different saints.
Today at Mass, the celebrant told an interesting story. I can't verify it, though. The gospel was the one about Lazarus coming out of the tomb. The priest was talking about Martha's faith. Jesus asked her, "Dost thou believe?" Then the priest tied "faith" to people's beliefs about death. Martha believed all shall be "resurrected, on the last day." Well, it turns out, that many believe this, no matter what they say.
Father said that in 1982, Leonid Brezhnev died. He was the leader of atheistic, communist, Russia. At his funeral, full of military accolades, accouterments, etc., with his coffin surrounded by soldiers, Leonid's wife, Viktoria, trace the sign of the cross on his chest, just before the lid of the coffin was closed.
Remember, this an atheist, communist country. She did this in public. How's that for witnessing?
Here I am in Ireland with a bunch of religiously impaired people. And today is Sunday. From the plans they were devising I knew Mass wasn't on the schedule. I mentioned going to Mass but they said "We're going to the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock Wednesday. You will have all the church you want then.
So, We were planning on going shopping in Claddagh. We parked along the harbor and we're walking to the shopping district when I saw a Dominican friar at the entrance of a church greeting people!
Suddenly, words came out of my mouth.
"Hey! Look. I'm going to Mass, come back in an hour.