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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Sunday, July 28, 2013

a cat = a saint's riches

From The Golden Legend, here's a tale about a holy hermit who asked God what saint he was like most.  The answer was St. Gregory the Pope, who had come from a rich family.  And when the hermit pouted about not getting any share in those fine worldly goods, the divine voice pointed out that the hermit had something finer by far. . .
And in that time there was an hermit, an holy man, which had left and forsaken all the goods of the world for God's sake, and had retained nothing but a cat, with which he played oft, and held it in his lap deliciously. (I love that phrase -- curator) On a day it happed that he prayed God devoutly that he would vouchsafe to show to him to what saint he should be in like joy in heaven, because for his love he had left all the world and renounced. Upon this God showed him in a vision that St. Gregory and he should have like joy in heaven. And when he understood this he sighed sore and praised little his poverty, which he had long suffered and borne, if he should have like merit which abounded so greatly in secular riches. Upon this there came a voice to him which said that: The possession of riches maketh not a man in this world rich, but the ardour of covetise. (That is, worldly riches only make you love money more - curator) Then be still thou, darest thou compare thy poverty to the riches of St. Gregory which lovest more thy cat, with whom thou ceasest not to stroke and play, than St. Gregory doth all his riches, for he ceaseth never to give alms for God's sake ? Then the hermit thanked Almighty God, and prayed that he might have his merit and reward with S. Gregory in the glory of paradise. 
-- Jacobus de Voragine, approximately 1229-1298. The Golden Legend, Or, Lives of the Saints. London: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1931, pp. 66-7.

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