Thursday, August 12, 2010

St. Fortunato (? c.400)

   Almost every afternoon, when I get home from work, there is a delivery of fresh flounder and sweet corn to my house by Mr. Pitcher who runs the old-fashioned garage down the street. It's not something I order, but I live in a summer place that seems frozen in time.
   People still walk down the street carrying transistor radios, the automobiles like Mr. Pitcher's old pickup truck are from the the 1950s and 60s, and the neighbors invite you over for cocktails, music, or family game night.
   And there are no strange looks when I breeze by the trout hatchery, cow pastures, and, Hank, who sells hanging plants in his front yard, on my new classic Huffy bicycle. I fit right in. Except for one thing. I simply will not eat fish (for an explanation check out St. Neot). So, when the flounder arrives, I give it to
my friends.
  And they always question how I cannot love seafood, just like the locals that I met in Camogli, Italy. Because it is in that town, on the Italian Riviera, that they honor St. Fortunato, a patron saint of fishermen with Sagre del Pesce, the festival of fish.
  On the second weekend each May, the world's largest frying pan is used to cook tens of thousand of fish donated by the local fish cooperative. The meal is free to all who attend.
  There were many saints called Fortunato. And, the St. Fortunato in Camogli is one of legend, said to have been a martyr from Rome, as told in this translation. Please click here.
  St. Fortunato who was born in Spoleto, Italy. He devoted his life to helping the sick and poor. He was martyred c.400. St. Fortunato's feast day is on June 1.
  His bones are clearly visible under the altar at Convento di San Fortunato near Montefalco, Umbria.

(Happy Feast of St. Clare of Assisi!)

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