"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
It was almost worse than if God had died. Not very many people know God, after all. But saints are another story; often they are local boys who had made good. Thus when word came out of Rome last month that some saints had been dropped from a new liturgical calendar (TIME, May 16), both their devout followers and a surprising number of nondevout allies were outraged. The Vatican apparently viewed the new calendar as a routine liturgical change, hardly noticeable in an age of guitar Masses. But the Pope might just as well have issued an encyclical against baseball.
… A truck driver in Boston took his St. Christopher statue off the dashboard, had his first accident in 35 years, and ruefully put it back. An international fraternity of Christopherphiles with headquarters in France reported that enrollments were climbing. Columnist Art Buchwald, a Jew, speculated that good old St. Christopher would go right on protecting travelers, calendar or no, because he's "that kind of guy."
He is, indeed. On his rightful feast day, let's raise, with Hilaire Belloc, a toast to St. Christopher:
…Belloc was seldom a bore. With his grave devotion to his religion went a fanatical belief in wine, which he liked to drink "to the Glory of God and the confusion of my enemies." He was not halfhearted in his piety toward the stuff. Off and on, over 20 years, he polished a poem in praise of wine. He found it a symbol of the good things of life denied by Puritan religions or by "Islam, furtive enemy of the soul." He said: "May I reach the Kitchen in Heaven and drink with St. Christopher"—although he believed St. Christopher to be a "pure legend."
May all of us reach the kitchen in heaven and do likewise!