Tuesday, June 9, 2015

June 9: Bl. Amy, Diana, & Cecilia, Dominicans

 Today is the feast of the three nuns who were some of St. Dominic's earliest nuns, honored as foundresses just as St. Scholastica may be considered a foundress of the Benedictine nuns, and as Mother Mary Gabriel is the foundress of the Sisters of the Society of St. Pius X. There isn't much (actually, anything) known about Bl. Amata except that St. Dominic gave her the religious name meaning "beloved", and because of that, the modern order has dropped her from official recognition on her feast day, which is sad for Amy's, Aimee's, and girls with all of the other spellings, all over the world.

The reason name days came to be celebrated is an interesting one. The early Church wanted something to celebrate in place of the pagan birthday celebrations, and because people had been encouraged to take the names of saints as Baptismal names, the encouragement to start celebrating one's patron saint became a custom and endured for centuries. I remember reading a book, called My Heart Lies South by Elizabeth Borton de TreviƱo, where she falls in love with, and marries, an amazing Mexican man and chronicles how different everything is to her, a new convert. At that point in time, the adults did not celebrate birthdays. There was a token gift and acknowledgement, but the big party came for one's name day, the feast day of your patron saint. The book takes place in the 1930's; I am no authority on Mexico at all, so I don't know if they still continue this custom. But at least less then a century ago, that was the custom.

Today was, needless to say, not celebrated as a birthday. I did celebrate personally, but Eleanor is too young to understand and Hubby was at work all day. It started out with my daily weigh-in. I'm doing really well on my diet, and that weigh in helped me to not binge eat or "celebrate" (full of regrets later). I also for the first time in 3 weeks measured my waist, and lost 2 inches! That's also encouraging. I had bought some diet desserts, and enjoyed those within reason. Eleanor also rewarded me by standing by herself for an extended period of time without any explicit encouragement from me, although once I caught her at it, I definitely praised her! She is getting to be so much more independent every day. Two weeks ago, she didn't want to stand up by herself at all, and only did it if we distracted her. Maybe in the next month, she'll take a few steps solo.

If you want to draw a parallel between today and my patron saint, I'm sure she would approve. The day was filled with small victories, quiet celebrations, living our lives like Bl. Amy lived hers.