June 07th - Meriadoc of Vannes
Let me just start by saying that today is a day of names! I am reminded of Tolkien's (what I thought of as at least) unusual so named hobbit. I know that most authors choose their names carefully (as you can definitely see in the Harry Potter series) so I will choose to think that Tolkien had a special affinity for this Meriadoc (or someone of the same name). But in addition, today is a cavalcade of names! I am sure they all sounded great in their day but today I would pity the child named for them! Deochar, Gotteschalk, Wallabonsus, Landulf, Basilissa, Wistremundus, Sabinian, Demosthenes, Habentius, Aventinus, Vulflagius, Lycarion, Potamiaena (the younger, no less), Odo, Quirinus, Sergius, Candidus, Herkumbert. I do not mock but want to point out that as well as Meriadoc each of these saints affected someone, some place, some moment in history by their lives - that is why they are saints. I pray for all their intercessions today.
Meriadoc was a very wealthy lord of a large manor. He renounced his title, he sold off his property, and gave the proceeds to the poor. He then became a hermit. Eventually he was appointed the bishop of Vannes, France, which again only goes to show that a life dedicated to Christ, even as a hermit, binds you to Christ and his Church, not separates you. Legend says that if placed against the head of the sufferer, a bell from his church in Stival, Brittany would cure deafness and migraines - hence he is the patron of such suffers. Today I ask his intercession for the many I know who suffer migraines.
Again he left the district of Tyre and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, into the district of the Decapolis. And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”) And [immediately] the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly. He ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it. They were exceedingly astonished and they said, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and [the] mute speak.”
-- Mark 7:31-37
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