Thursday, 10 July 2008

St Perpetua, Patron Saint of Cows

The Daily Register of The Times informs me that today is the Feast of St Perpetua, patron saint of cows. As a good smells and bells Anglican and general cow enthusiast, I was rather charmed by this, even if her qualifications for taking heavenly responsibility for all things bovine remain something of a mystery. A 22 year old Roman noblewoman martyred in 203, she was slain by the sword after sustaining injuries from a wild bull set on her in the gladiatorial arena, perhaps indicating that God has a sense of irony. Her heavenly vision of the paradise that awaited her after martyrdom did, however, include sheep.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find a picture of her with an actual cow, so this late antique mosaic from Carthage will have to do instead. You have to imagine the cow.

1 comment:

cronsterponster said...

If you want to read about St Perpetua, her Passio is available in the UL (Passio sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis, ed. J. W. Halporn et al. (Bryn Mawr, 1984)). She had a vision of her brother in the afterlife, it's quite interesting! :o) Really not sure where the cows come from though, but the Passio might tell you...