Thursday, September 4, 2014

My Feast Day

My family didn't celebrate our patron saints when we were growing up (just as well, since they "relocated" St. Gregory some time in the sixties), but I was introduced to the custom of celebrating names days at my seminary in Rome. Although I missed out, since the term did not begin by September 3, my feast day, it was normal to put a greeting under the door of a fellow student on the day we celebrated his patron saint.

What's more, my Italian friends and their families marked their "onomastico" with as much festivity as we would celebrate a birthday.

I think that Catholic customs like this are very important and I do my best promote them in the parish. So when I realized that the first Mass of the new school year fell on the memorial of Pope St. Gregory the Great I talked to the students about it, and suggested they find out when their patron's feast occurs so they can encourage their families to mark the day in some way.

Well, I discovered that I may have been preaching to the converted!  Here is the gift that the staff and students gave me at the end of Mass:

To add to my delight, the bottle was no gimmick--turns out it's from an award winning winery in California, owned by an Italian family.  And sure enough--the patriarch was Gregorio!

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