Given how much I use medals for Lenten projects, I typically have a bag of 20 or 30 on-hand, so I put them in my purse and brought them in today.
As we were sorting through them looking for St. Michael, I came across one for St. Philomena. I added it to the holy card on my office wall. I look at them constantly, and each time I do, I'm reminded to say a prayer or refocus my attention on God. Finding her medal was a nice bonus.
I actually found three, so I'll wear one and keep the other in the pile for my kids at Lent.
Anyway, I also found one for St. Genesius. I've never heard of St. Genesius! So I did some digging and came up with a pretty awesome conversation story.
During one play which sought to belittle the Sacrament of Baptism, Genesius saw two angels come towards him with a list of his sins. Immediately demanding baptism, his fellow actors thought he was simply acting out the play. However, Genesius insisted that he must be baptized and proclaimed the truth of Christianity.
Upon hearing this, Diocletian ordered St. Genesius to be tortured. This had no effect on Genesius. He continued to proclaim the truth of Christ to anyone who would listen. Confounded by his refusal to deny Christ, he was beheaded. From his martyrdom, a popular devotion to this saint sprang forth.
That's what I call Divine Intervention!
What a great conversion story - very Saint Paul!
Ah well. I'm glad to have been acquainted with a new saint today. I'm always fascinated by the stories of these ordinary people who, unbeknownst to them, are called to be beacons of truth. Just... incredible!
Here's a statue I found of St. Genesius. You'll note that he's clean-shaven and carrying the Cross and the masks of Malpomene and Thalia. He's also clean-shaven in the medal above.
The reason for this is because actors of his time (and through Shakespeare) had to play both male and female roles. As such, you couldn't have a bearded man portraying a lady.
Given his standing as a leading actor, he would have had to remain clean-shaven for his assorted female roles.
It was not considered appropriate for women to be on stage. Go figure.
Ah well. I enjoy this statue. He looks like he could've been my good buddy from English Lit class or something.
I'm really glad I found these two medals today.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, I did end up finding the St. Michael one and handing it off to my coworker. Win-win all around today!