Wednesday, July 29, 2020 –
I made it around the sun another time! Woot! More importantly, I am thankful for my mother giving me life and saying “yes” to God’s crazy plan for me. I was not an easy child, nor have I mellowed with age. =)
On a side note: a great Priest once told me I was born on the perfect feast day. Actually, his exact words after learning my birthday saint is Saint Martha and my Confirmation saint is Saint Catherine of Siena was…I kid you not…“Oh! You make so much more sense now!”
I assume he meant I have a stellar personality and go-getter attitude vs. my sky-high levels of anxiety and ability to mouth off to authority figures. Who knows!?
Anyhoo, back to Saint Martha (and ME!). So, I was reading more about Saint Martha, which is difficult to do since there is not much about her in the Bible other than that crazy scene of her wringing her hands and complaining about her sister Mary not pulling her load and just sitting with Jesus after He raised their brother Lazarus from the dead. I mean, what’s going to work? TEAM WORK! And Martha was only trying to get our Lord to make Mary help out, right!? But, I digress…
So, I was reading some myths and legends about my beloved birthday saint, and I came across a right nutter of a myth about Martha…and…a…DRAGON!
Apparently after Christ’s death and Resurrection, Martha got the notion to move to France (or, really, the region we know as France today). Upon arriving in her new digs, the townsfolk tell Martha they are besieged by a dragon named Tarasque, who “was half beast and half fish with a head like a lion, tail like a serpent, and shell like a turtle.” (Catholic SMA) Why the townsfolk went to Martha about their dragon issue is anyone’s guess. I suppose they liked her spunky attitude.
Okay, so there is Martha…in France…with a horde of townsfolk begging her to slay the dragon creature they have endearingly named Tarasque. What’s a girl to do? Well, she hitches her britches, goes out into the woods to track down the fishy-liony-dragon thing and decides to tame it with prayer and singing. Once ‘ole beasty is prayed into submission, Martha parades her new dragon pet into the center of town with the townspeople cheering her on.
Yup, that’s my birthday saint: Martha, the dragon prayer!
Where this tale gets weird—um, weirder—is that apparently Saint Martha taming the dragon Tarasque is a well-known float in the Corpus Christi processions in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, which is where my family owned houses. I visited there often and was even in some of these processions as a kid.
Also, Mr. Flusche wanted to be a dragon when he was a kid. He’s a lawyer now, so totally the same thing! One could even make the argument that I tamed Mr. Flusche, the dragon, even though he is totally German and not French.
So, yeah, Saint Martha and I are tight, even on the uber strange level of dragon conquering.
Saint Martha, pray for us!