02 December 2010

2 December - Saint Bibiana

On the Thursday which falls three weeks before Christmas, one can try to divine the name and nature of one's future husband.  First take onions (your choice how many) and name each one for a man in whom you are interested.  Set them near the chimney, and leave them.  The first one to sprout bears the same name as that of your intended.  [you may have to explain to your mother why there are vegetables lying around near the fireplace]

To determine his nature, go out to the woodpile after the sun has set and the stars have come out, and draw a stick.  If it is straight and even, then your man will be equally straight in body and mild in temper.  If it is crooked and full of knots, then he will be Mr. Crabbypants, with a temper to match. [not to mention your Dad, who will likely not understand why you've pulled apart his carefully stacked woodpile]

Today is the feast day of Saint Bibiana, often mistakenly identified online as the patron of the Diocese of Los Angeles, California, (whose name is Vibiana).  Two different saints, nearly the same name.

Bibiana and her sister, according to tradition, were left destitute orphans when their Christian parents were martyred.  Her sister died, leaving her to face the  Powers-That-Were, and the torture and death which awaited her.  She was scourged to death, and buried with her mother and sister.

Catholic Culture  reminds us that Saint Bibiana lost everything except her faith and suggests that today we say a prayer for those we know who are grieving the loss of loved ones, homes, jobs, health or some other tragedy.