Sunday, June 01, 2003


On this day the memorial of Blessed John Story [or Storey] is kept. Blessed John is one of the many lawyers in the Church's calendar of saints. He was a doctor of law and first regius professor of civil law at what is now Pembroke College, Oxford. He was twice member of Parliament for Hindon, Wiltshire. He was twice arrested for his Catholicism and eventually fled England for Flanders. From there he was kidnapped by Cecil's agents back to England where he was tortured and killed for hatred of his faith.

This is also the feast of St. Ronan, an Irish hermit who left Ireland and came to live and preach in Brittany in the 5th or 6th century. Not much is known of his life but his memory is still alive in Brittany. There is a village of St. Ronan in the diocese of Laon. There is a tradition that every Breton must perform the Great Tromenie of St. Ronan at least once in his lifetime. According to D'Arcy's "Saints of Ireland" The path Ronan used to travel fasting across the rocky countryside has been made into a way of penance, a devotion that is known as the Great Tromenie, Breton for "Tour of Refuge". Every 6 years through the centuries, in a great formal pilgrimage, the shrine containing relics of the saint is born in an immense procession that winds for 10 miles, often over rough terrain, through 5 parishes.

While looking up information on St. Ronan - and not finding much - I found this on St. Ronan's Tattoo at Traquair House instead. I wish I'd been there. If you like pipe bands or brass bands (or liked "Brassed Off") you might've enjoyed it, too.