Monday, February 14, 2011
St. Valentine is, in some historical texts, noted as the Patron Saint of Epilepsy. Here he is, standing over an epileptic child, a sculpture dating from the 1400's in Ulm Cathedral in Germany. Evidently the German word for "fall" could perhaps be associated with the name Valentine, but there is also some indication that Valentine "healed" a person of epilepsy and thus was canonized.
When I researched this a bit on the internet, I found a fascinating medical study of medieval artistic representations of saints and disease, particularly epilepsy. The article stated that the depictions of epilepsy by artists of this period were actually quite comprehensive with real "knowledge" of the various types of seizures and what they looked like. However, I also learned that most of the "victims" were either dressed in rags of a certain color that were directed against demons or meant to protect the victim from the demons inside of him OR were dressed in rags in distinct opposition to the "Saint" in all his Christian "glory," indicative of the appalling ignorance of the medical condition and, sadly, why the disease is still marked by incredible stigma today. Black clothing, like on the child at left, refers to debt, punishment and penance -- the sick person might have burdened himself with debt and has been punished with the "falling disease" as a penance. If a child wears black, his parents are guilty in some way.
What do I have to say about that? Well, let's say the whole Catholic thing has always troubled me a bit and I might just have to discard the notion of celebrating St. Valentine as the Patron Saint of Epilepsy!
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I agree, discard it. Sheesh.
But Happy Love all around day to you dear E.
Oh well, I just like the red hearts. And the dark chocolate.ReplyDelete
The more we know, the less we like it sometimes. And sometimes, the more we know, the less we know.ReplyDelete
I know I love you.
But I do love the top picture, of the tree. I would love to have that in a frame on my wall!
the tree made me catch my breath.ReplyDelete
love to you an this and every day, dear friend.
here i am dressed in black at this very moment sending you and that beautiful daughter of yours immeasurable love.ReplyDelete
thank you for your place in my heart.
OH I love that picture on the blog today...the idea of that is ever so wonderful....ReplyDelete
Now I need to find a recipe for some chocolate love for my Valentines boys.
Those are some very peculiar tidbits of informative arrangements of words.ReplyDelete
I'd drink that, what you have to say about it that is. I have some mead stored in a unique barrel fashioned out of Madrone, a wood normally known and desired for it behavior while burning.
I admire your message of love growing.
There is so much to be troubled by with old Catholicism and ways of thinking, and so much to be said for some of the new.ReplyDelete
Well, you know I love a good patron saint. And you must remember that the medical "knowledge" of the time was that every illness or disease or malady of any kind was thought to be the direct result of having a demon inside you. I mean, I'm pretty sure that somebody with the flu would also have been dressed in black. If I find a St. V prayer card I'll get it for you. Just to cover all the bases.ReplyDelete
Yup, discard the mumbo jumbo bit ..... But I have always thought of valentines day as a children's holiday - and this just sort of confirms that. Funny how grownups may have usurped it with all the mushy kissy stuff ..... And how "the church" may have usurped it with all the mumbo jumbo.ReplyDelete
P.s. Hope your day has some mushy kissy stuffReplyDelete
Quan Yin rules.ReplyDelete
Are you still loving this and are we still going on our date?ReplyDelete
Seriously though,as much as I love my faith,I have never really gravitated towards the Saints thing.Is that considered blasphemy?Hope not.
See you soon ...
I never knew this but I am glad to say things have moved on from there at least, even if they haven't come as far as we would like. JenReplyDelete
I'd never heard this, but I'd say feel free to discard anything that does not serve or empower you and yours.ReplyDelete
Oh, and the name of that past life psychic you were trying to remember is Edgar Cayce. I read him too.
I was raised Catholic and it took me years to overcome the horrors of my childhood. I am happy to report it's much different now! I remember visiting a co-worker in a mental institution and by her bedside she had a holy card. She informs me it was the Patron Saint of Mental Illness. Dear God, I thought. All of those years and I never knew there was a patron saint for everything. How creepy is that?ReplyDelete