October 9, 2018 – St. Denis’s Day, patron saint for those who have lost their head


Dear Reader: My apologies. As Cecil might say, we’ve been fighting ignorance since 1974, and it’s taking longer than we thought.  My hopes to retire this post have not been realized.  Heck, it doesn’t even need much editing from past years. Saints save us, please!

We might pause to reflect, too:  Recent years have seen the media rise of actual beheadings. This practice, which now strikes many of us as barbaric, occurs in reality as well as memory and literature; unlike St. Denis, those beheaded do not usually carry on to do anything at all; like St. Denis, they are martyred. Vote well in your local elections, and national elections. Your vote should be directed at preventing anyone’s losing their head, even just figuratively.

October 9 is the Feast Day of St. Denis.

Who? He’s the patron saint of Paris (and France, by some accounts), and possessed people. Take a look at this statue, from the “left door” of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris: portail de gauche). He was martyred by beheading, in about 250 C.E.

A later painting of the martyring of St. Denis. Though I can find a couple copies of this painting, neither lists who was the painter, nor where the painting is.

A later painting of the martyring of St. Denis. Though I can find a couple copies of this painting, neither lists who was the painter, nor where the painting is.

Our trusty friend Wikipedia explains:

According to the Golden Legend, after his head was chopped off, Denis picked it up and walked two miles, preaching a sermon the entire way.[6] The site where he stopped preaching and actually died was made into a small shrine that developed into the Saint Denis Basilica, which became the burial place for the kings of France. Another account has his corpse being thrown in the Seine, but recovered and buried later that night by his converts.[2]

Clearly, he is the guy to pray to about Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Rush Limbaugh, Todd Akin, Paul Ryan, intelligent design, and the Texas State Board of Education, no? In 2013, we added Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Louis Gohmert, the entire Tea Party, and the entire GOP crew of the House of Representatives. You catch my drift. In 2018 we could add a raft of people: Marsha Blackburn, Ryan Zinke, Sid Miller, Denny Marchant, Jeff Sessions, Sarah Sanders, Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham. We’ve left 253 Republicans off for lack of space.

Perhaps you can use this factoid to some advantage, enlightenment, and perhaps humor.  In Catholic lore, St. Denis is one of the “14 Holy Helpers,” and his aid is sought to help people with headaches, or who have been possessed.

Crazy GOP members who I suspect of having been possessed give me and America a headache. St. Denis seems to be our man. Or saint.

Who else do you know of in this modern, vexatious time, who keeps talking after losing his/her head?

As Rod Stewart sang, just “let your imagination run wild.” Maybe St. Denis is listening.

More:

Statue to St. Denis, in Cluny

Another portrayal, in sculpture, of St. Denis. Notice how this one’s face doesn’t really look like the one above? Ouvre du Musée de Cluny, Wikipedia photo by Guillaume Blanchard (Aoineko), June 2001, FinePix 1400Z.

Yes, this is mostly an encore post. I had hoped to have to retire this post someday.  I still hope.  Perhaps this will be the last year we’ll have so many wackaloons running loose. Pray to St. Denis.

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5 Responses to October 9, 2018 – St. Denis’s Day, patron saint for those who have lost their head

  1. haha. as the new yorker cartoon goes, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog”.

    just somebody who is curious and has no sense of what is worth spending time on or needs to be done and would rather look things up

    it is nice to have a site where such comments are appreciated. on the more prolific blogs such statements tend to be met with disgust – “off-topic” “who cares” etc.

    here’s another useless one
    the harry ransom center at UTA has a section on teaching poe
    http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/educator/modules/poe/teaching/
    i found that when looking up The Vulture parody of The Raven which is reported to have been first published in Graham’s Magazine in Dec 1853, probably based on http://sites.utexas.edu/ransomcentermagazine/2009/09/01/poe-mania-parody-poe-for-the-chance-to-win/
    But it isn’t to be found there but instead at the Comic Almanack https://en.calameo.com/read/0001070442bcd2ad3e492

    Like

  2. Ed Darrell says:

    I have this vision of Mr. (?) Higginbotham looking at a post, knowing exactly where to go to get the answer to a question, and spending less than a minute doing so.

    Your findings always are spot on. Thank you.

    Like

  3. Artist
    Jean Bourdichon (1457–1521) and /or workshop
    Title
    Horae ad usum Parisiensem, dites Heures de Charles VIII.
    Description

    Illuminated manuscript of the Horae ad usum Parisiensem (Book of hours for Parisians), or “Book of Hours of Charles VIII” King of France (1468 – 1498). The folio shows Saint Denis, first bishop and patron of Paris, walking with his head in the hands, after his execution.
    Date between circa 1475 and circa 1500
    Medium illumination on parchment
    Current location
    Bibliothèque nationale de France Blue pencil.svg wikidata:Q193563
    Department of manuscripts
    Accession number
    Latin 1370, folio 212 verso
    Object history
    belonged very probably to king CHarles VIII
    Notes Ne doit pas être confondu avec le / not to be confused with the fr:Livre d’heures de Charles VIII de la / from the Bibliothèque Nationale d’Espagne / Spanish National Library
    Source/Photographer Bibliothèque nationale de France
    upload, manual stitching and restoration by Jebulon 2016-12-14

    Like

  4. This is hilarious and wonderful! I must have missed this encore post in the past. Yes, Saint Denis is our man!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. No, you can’t retire yet! We need your voice! I will vote and pray to St. Denis. (Trump is rather like him in that he just keeps talking and insulting people when a normal politician would have fallen by the wayside.)

    Liked by 1 person

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