Today we celebrate the Feast of Saint Symphorian. My Saint-A-Day guide describes him as a "mother-encouraged martyr". Insert your own Catholic Guilt joke here.
In the town of Autun, France (then the Roman province of Gaul) this Christian schoolboy staunchly refused to participate in the pagan rites honoring the harvest goddess Cybele. Symphorian carried on an edifying theological debate with the local magistrate while being flogged and was then escorted outside the town and beheaded while his proud mother stood on the walls and shouted encouragement to her son.
Okay. On a personal note, Lotta swam with swim team this summer and turned out to be pretty good. It was hard not to overdo the, shall we say, parental encouragement. But what I can say for certain is that I would not stage-mother her into a beheading. Whack.
Symphorian is the Patron Saint of children (I suggest a re-vote) and students; is invoked against syphilis. (Does it seem to you that an inordinate amount of Saints get invoked against sexually transmitted diseases? Particularly when the Christian Fundamentalists would have you believe that extra-marital sex was invented right after the birth control pill? Just wondering.)
If Symphorian were alive today he would not be a saint, he would be that even lesser-talented Lohan chick or Jamie Lynn Spears.