Thursday, December 23, 2010

St. Victoria (? to 250)

   "Behold, I make all things new."  (Book of Revelation 21:5)

  My former landlord, Phil, an older bachelor, died unexpectedly at the end of October from a heart attack. He was a self-proclaimed collector of junk, so it took his family several weeks to empty out his house and storage unit.
  I saw his niece, Amanda, today and she was still devastated and in shock over the loss of her uncle. I told her I understood because when I was teenager, my Uncle Vinnie dropped dead from a heart attack at age 44. When someone close to you dies, they stay with you for the rest of your life.
  Amanda told me that Phil was cremated and it got me to thinking about how as a Roman Catholic, it's against the rules. In part, it goes back to the times of the early Christian martyrs. Roman emperors scattered their ashes to ridicule Christian belief in the Resurrection.
  Nowadays, it is required that, in most cases, the body of the deceased be brought in the church for the Mass of Christian Burial.
  Can you rise to Heaven in a destroyed body? I suppose a cremated person has just as much a chance as a decomposed body. Because St. Thomas the Apostle (Doubting Thomas) felt the wounds of Jesus after he was resurrected, he is convinced that we will all rise to Heaven in the perfect body.
  I recall my dad telling me that we will be around age 33 in Heaven, the age Jesus was when he died. This is considered the best possible age of our life. But, how can we all be the same age?
  It is said that we will have an identity with those we had in earthly life, although we may not be immediately recognized as was the case when St. Thomas the Apostle encountered Jesus.
  For now, I'd like to forget about the whole thing and think happy thoughts. But, I would like to remember St. Victoria whose feast day is today. She was martyred, so there is the possibility her ashes were scattered.
  St. Victoria refused to marry a nobleman so was thrown in prison and starved. (Imagine if that happened today? Half the male population would be behind bars.) She refused to sacrifice herself to pagan gods and was eventually stabbed through the heart at Monteleone Sabino, Italy in 250.

 (The image above is from

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