Thursday, 20 October 2011

Of Arians and hernias!

How about a little Arianism?  This fine fellow is St Artemius of Antioch, martyr and patron saint of hernias whose festivals is today.  Funny how piety can drive people to acts of immense courage even if it is misguided.  That said, although during the reign of the Emperor Julian the Apostate Artemius was a fanatical Arian, hunting and persecuting monks, nuns and bishops (including Saint Athanasius), prayer and the horror of the persecutions, converted him to Orthodox Christianity. He became a strong supporter of the faith, and turned on pagans, including the Emperor Julian. He was accused by pagans of destroying idols, arrested, taken to Antioch, tortured and martyred.  Just goes to show that there is always hope for even the most aggressively inclined of us.  The enemy of Christ become the martyr willing to die.  Even Qaddafi?  Possibly - who knows?  Well, God obviously.  Judgement, grace and mercy are entirely God's prerogatives and it is not for us to prescribe the boundaries of God's love.  Do that and we might easily put ourselves beyond it's reach.


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