Graham Belmont (gbelmont@hotmail.com)
Sat, 02 Dec 2000 11:54:09 -0600


>Thought there was nothing weird left to discover about the 2000 election?
>
>Think again.
>
>It seems there is a patron saint of disputed elections, and his name is (I
>kid
>you not) St. Chad.
>
>Thirteen hundred years before "dimpled chad" stalled America's transfer of
>power, the name Chad came to mean wrongfully holding office and stepping
>down
>selflessly in the name of unity.
>
>The year was 664, in Dark Ages Britain, just as the Latin and Celtic
>churches
>were uniting after a big fight over the date of Easter. A monk named
>Wilfred
>was named bishop of York and went off to Paris to be consecrated. He
>stayed for
>two years., preferring the city to the desolate moors of his new diocese.
>Possibly thinking Wilfred dead, King Oswy of Northumbria picked a humble
>abbot
>named Chad for the post. Chad was consecrated by the only two bishops left
>in
>the plague-struck area, but because they insisted on the Celtic date of
>Easter,
>they were technically out of communion with the church.
>
>When Wilfred finally returned from Gaul in 666, the archbishop of
>Canterbury
>determined that Chad wasn't a proper bishop and charged him with holding
>office
>illicitly. "I willingly lay down the office, for I have never thought
>myself
>worthy of it," Chad said, according to Bede's medieval history of the
>church
>written in 731. The archbishop was moved at his graciousness and made Chad
>bishop of Mercia.
>
>Some readings of the Chad story paint the saint as a usurper who was
>ordained by
>two shady Welsh bishops and was properly deposed. But most retellings
>dwell on
>the selfless way he stepped aside to preserve peace within the church. The
>plague caught up with Chad in 672. One biographer says he is "best known
>for
>NOT being the archbishop of York."
>
>The prayer for the Feast of St. Chad (March 2nd) starts:
>
>"Almighty God, whose servant Chad, for the peace of the church,
>relinquished
>cheerfully the honors that had been thrust upon him, only to be rewarded
>with
>equal responsibility: Keep us, we pray Thee, from thinking of ourselves
>more
>highly than we ought to think, and ready at all times to step aside for
>others."
>
>St. Chad is still popular in the British Midlands, which is peppered with
>Chadwells and Chadfields and Chadworths. His bones, stored at St. Chad's
>Cathedral in Lichfield, England, were carbon-dated in 1996 and found to be
>from
>the right time period, though there was an extra leg mixed in with the
>relics.
>An ancient well dedicated to St. Chad in London, the waters of which were
>said
>to cure indigestion and hangovers, was destroyed to build King's Cross
>railway
>station.
>
>-Z-
>

Wow, if I didn't know any better I'd say you were my father, being the huge
history buff that he is. Especially when it comes to topics such as this.

This is very keen stuff, where'd you find out about it?

-G
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