Monday, February 11, 2013

St. Peter: Not a Docile Apostle (Allegedly)

How about a good ole Catholic ass-kickin story for today? Be careful what you say about Benedict's short, conservative reign, as apostles have a history of appearing in dreams and beating people.

A long, long time ago (in 616 A.D.) in a land far, far away (not really, only England) there was a strange occurrence that involved a bishop, a king and a fairy apostle-father. 

The Venerable Bede (none of the above, but the original narrator of this story) was a detective/monk/writer/father of English history/hard working/scientifically rigorous/inquisitive man who made it his business to document the origins of the English people. One of his accounts tells the tale of King Eadbald, who was King of Kent and leader of a large sect of Anglo-Saxons.

During the Anglo-Saxon occupation of England, after an era of Roman Christianity had ended, the pope was trying to reestablish England with the church. He dispatched missionaries to secure England. If King Eadbald wouldn't convert, what hope did the missionaries have for the rest of the country to follow suit? As anticipated, a nation of Thor-loving, tough Anglo-Saxons was hard to convert and efforts were on the brink of abandonment.

According to Bede, St. Peter, the Prince of Apostles, appeared in a vision to Bishop Laurentius, one of the missionaries who was sent to England. Bishop Laurentius was about to throw in the towel on reconverting England. In a rage, St. Peter appeared and ferociously beat the bishop while reminding him of the parable of the 'Good Shepherd' and insisting that he should not abandon his sheep to the infidel wolves. 

The next day the bishop showed his wounds (that apparently remained from the vision) to King Eadbald who quickly reformed to Christianity and encouraged his followers to do so accordingly. I would too to avoid Freddy Krueger St. Peter.

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