Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Orthodox Verve

~by Matthew of the Shrine: From the "Random Things the Orthodox Do So Much Better Than Us" File
They have a real knack for naming holy stuff. Witness St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco (known in life with the plain old name of John Maximovitch), John of Moscow the Fool-For-Christ, the Holy and Bodiless Powers (so much nicer than the plain-vanilla "angels"), the Astoria, Queens institution called the Sacred Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monastery of St. Irene Chrysovalantou, and my new favorite miracle of all time, the Miracle of the Moose, ascribed to the equally baroquely-named Venerable Macarius of the Yellow Water Lake and the Unzha*, the Miracle Worker. The long and short of it is apparently it is possible to catch a moose by prayer, and then enjoy a nice venison dinner afterwards. This is my kind of miracle. Practical and yummy.

The death of the Venerable Macarius of the Miraculous Moose post-dates the final 1439 schism by a few years, unfortunately, making him unsuitable for western veneration, but considering Russian Orthodoxy sort of drifted away from Rome rather than formally breaking with it (at least if you accept Solovyov's line of reasoning--though I understand when the news of the union of the Council of Florence reached Moscow in 1441-ish, people were not amused), maybe we can squeeze him in under the wire. I will see about endowing a chantry dedicated to the Invention of the Miraculous Moose in the Upper Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Flutius in Brooklyn. I think we have a spot between the broom closet and the fax machine. (It's a very small basilica.)
And lest any Orthodox brethren take offense, Matthew makes this qualifier:
[NOTE TO HORRIFIED ORTHODOX READERS: These are supposed to be compliments. Well, pretty much. I would say exactly the same things if this were a western saint. If anything, the Russian aspect ups the P.O.D. factor in some indefinable way. Seriously, we're deficient in moose miracles here in the west; about the best we can do is the time St. Anthony of Egypt is alleged to have run into a centaur.]
Note, if you have no sense of humor, got eat a tub of pistacchio ice cream...I guarantee you'll be smiling at the end.

*Argent on very little sleep and is making hardly a lick of sense*

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