St Marcellinus

Bishop of Embrun (in southeast France) (entered heaven around the year 374)

Dear Marc,

Since you always forget, I’ll remind you: today is the anniversary of your baptism.  If I weren’t cooped up in this blasted solitary confinement, I would buy you a cake and throw you a party.  I have always wondered why we don’t make as big a fuss over our baptism as we do over our birthday; what good would the latter be without the former?  Anyway, do take some time to visit our Lord in the Eucharist and thank him for that wonderful gift. When the waters of baptism flowed over your tiny little infant forehead, you wailed loudly (I was there), but you were also changed forever: your soul became a dwelling for God himself, whose life you have shared ever since.  I hope the delights of college life haven’t relegated God to the back room of that dwelling. St Marcellinus was a great one for baptizing; he and his other companions from Africa evangelized almost the entire Provence region of France. They got a lot of mileage out of the baptistery they built there (in the old days, they used to have separate buildings reserved just for baptismal ceremonies; a kind of architectural testament to the importance of this first sacrament), especially on Christmas and Holy Saturday, when the baptismal font (the tub that contains the water used in baptism) used to fill up spontaneously and spill over with water that had miraculous medicinal qualities – no joke, we have it on good authority.  So when you throw your baptismal party (and when you throw baptismal parties for your friends), be sure to let the drinks flow freely (but don’t drink them all yourself).

Happy Baptism-day. Uncle Eddy


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