On this date in 2007, Rags to Riches became the first filly in 106 years to win the Belmont Stakes. When asked if she felt self-conscious about beating all the colts, she said, “neigh.”
David Gareji (დავით გარეჯი ) (VI cent.) was one of the Thirteen Assyrian Fathers who moved to Georgia from Mesopotamia, founding monasteries like there was no yesterday. When David and his companions got to Kartli, the place was partly under the control of Persian fire-worshippers, which wasn’t as hot as it sounds. David spent his days on his knees praying for the city, and his nights on the mountain blessing it. (The city, not the mountain.) Once a week he would take his disciple Lucian and go down into the city to preach (fire and brimstone? let’s not go there). To discredit David, the fire-worshippers got a pregnant prostitute to swear he was the father. David touched his staff to the woman’s belly and said, “You in there! Who’s your father?” A voice from the womb named the real father.
After that David and Lucian moved to the wilderness, where wild deer would let Lucian milk them. The first time David passed his hands over the milk and turned it into cheese, Lucian said, “Okay, I’m not going to worry about temporal stuff anymore.” When a wicked serpent moved into the cave next door and started eating the deer, David drove it away (he made it sit in the back seat). Word of these things naturally attracted a monastery’s worth of seekers, resulting in a seeker-filled monastery.
One year David gave Lucian the keys to the monk shack and joined a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. As they neared the city, he suddenly felt unworthy to enter in, and so stayed on the “Ridge of Grace” and prayed. When the others rejoined him, he picked up three rocks as souvenirs and put them in his bag. That night an angel appeared to the Patriarch of Jerusalem and said, “Red alert! A monk has taken the virtue of Jerusalem,” and explained about the stones. The patriarch sent messengers to ask that David only take one stone and leave two behind. The stone that made it back to Georgia is implicated in many miracles, as are David’s relics (whose location I was unable to determine). When his hour came, David told the monks not to fall into confusion. After receiving holy communion, he died in peace.
Anna Maria Taigi (1769 – 1837) moved to Rome as a girl when her parents lost their shop and had to look for work. She became a housemaid for a rich family, married a butler, bought some fancy clothes, had an affair with an older man, and felt guilty about it. (In that order.) In another part of town, Padre Angelo, a Servite father, received a revelation that a woman would come to him for spiritual direction. One day when Anna Maria was walking in St. Peter’s Square, she locked eyes with Angelo, and felt a sense of “impending judgment.” She sought out a nearby confessor (as one does), but the priest there wasn’t taking new patients. A couple of days later she “was led” (by whom? a boy scout?) to Angelo’s confessorium, and he said, “Here you are at last! God loves you and wants your heart” (he did not mention any other organs). She was filled with joy and dedicated her life to the Lord.
Through the years she had seven children, went to daily mass, and kept — and this is important (to our source) — an immaculate house. Somewhere between tending her dying parents and enduring her irritable husband, she became a Trinitarian tertiary. She was subject to having visions at inconvenient times. Once while cleaning house she felt a vision coming on and cried, “Lord, leave me alone! I’m trying to get some work done here. Go bug some virgin somewhere” (I kid you not!). After she died, an acquaintance noted, “If she ain’t in heaven, there ain’t room for nobody.” She is the patron saint of victims of verbal spousal abuse.
Copyright © 2013 Alex Riggle. All Rights Reserved.
June 9 (Wikipedia)
David Gareji (OCA) – Main source
Thirteen Assyrian Fathers (Wikipedia)
Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, Matron (St. Patrick DC) – Main source
Anna Maria Taigi (Wikipedia)
Blessed Anna Maria Taigi (Michael Journal)
Blessed Anne Marie Taigi (SQPN)