Thursday, 13 August 2020

saint cassian of imola, pray for us

Fourth century tutor and teacher, Cassian—whose martyrdom is venerated on this day (†303), refused to make sacrifices to the gods of the Romans—as was ordered by Emperor Julian the Apostate (the epithet a gift of the church he distrusted)—and so was turned over to his pupils, judging that their education and emendation should be an effective prescriptive. Cassian was bound to a stake and the students tortured him to death, stabbing him with their pointed styluses—eager to get revenge for the punishments and trials that their teacher had inflicted on them. This act is recounted in several contemporary cultural sources including the Annie Dillard novel The Living, John Kennedy Toole’s Confederacy of Dunces and the namesake of a teachers’ lounge at the Bethel College of Liberal Arts in Kansas and the parable open to interpretation. Cassian is the patron of the commune of Bologna, Mรฉxico City, Las Galletas in Tenerife as well as educators, stenographers and parish clerks.