St Quintinus

Martyr (entered heaven probably some time in the third century)

Dear Quincy,

Have you ever wondered why everybody likes to celebrate Halloween so much?  I’m not talking about the origins of the holiday – there are as many legends about that as there are languages to tell them in.  Rather, I am curious as to why so many people like to dress up in costumes.  Probably nothing to it, really, just an excuse for a party.  Speaking of parties, I hope you and your friends are continuing the tradition you began last year of offering alternative parties – where the laughter is sincere, the fun is clean, the light is bright, and the music intelligible.  I can hardly think of a better contribution you could make to social life on campus.  The devil has succeeded in convincing too many people that a “good time” requires sin.  The truth is just the opposite.  The best times are had by the saints, believe it or not, whose joy not only fills their own hearts and minds, but overflows into everyone around them.  That happened to be the downfall of today’s saint, by the way.

Quintinus embraced Christ and the Catholic faith in Rome, then joined St Lucian of Beauvais on a trip into Gaul (modern France) where they set to evangelizing the pagan natives.  Quintinus, with his deep spirituality and outgoing personality, was so successful in winning converts to Christ in the city of Amiens and its surrounding area that he was rounded up by the authorities.  The prefect used bribery then threats to try and get him to compromise his faith and sacrifice to idols, all to no avail.  Finally he was subjected to hideous tortures, but remained placid and refused to abjure, so they cut off his head.  The legend says that a dove emerged from the severed neck and flew up into heaven.  Perhaps not true in fact, it is still quite true, since the holy martyr’s spirit remained vigorous and lively even while they tormented and destroyed his body.

So keep on spreading smiles as the best way to spread the faith.  And as you pursue holiness, never forget that, as St Theresa of Avila put it, “a sad saint is a bad saint.”

God bless.

Uncle Eddy

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