St. Cristina/Christine

St. Christina[Another installment of “How Do My Family and Friends Compare With Their Patron Saints?” Posting Tues. & Thurs. Will you be next?]

According to the website for Saint Christine Parish in Marshfield, Maine, there is archeological evidence that St. Christine was of the famous Bofena family of Italy, and was venerated in a church there after her death, although her relics are said to be in Palermo, Sicily. St. Christine suffered a great deal for being Christian: floggings, being thrown in a furnace, being locked in a tower with snakes, and being  thrown into a lake with a rock chained around her neck. Angels are said to have rescued her until she was tied to a stake and killed with multiple arrows in 295 AD. Sadly, her tortures were at the hands of her father Urban, a wealthy pagan and palace official and, after his death, his successors. Her feast day is July 24th.

My late aunt was named Cristina, as is one of my sisters (the Italian spelling omits the h and ends in a.) I also worked with a second-grade teacher named Christine, and had the best Supervising Teacher in the world when I student taught in speech-language pathology under Christine Endres. None of these women were born into royalty and none had fathers who were cruel. All were Christians (the origin of their names). One practiced her faith as devoutly as her brother, a priest. Two were active in their parishes and taught for years in their parish schools although they could have worked elsewhere. And then there was my Aunt Cris.

If you knew my Aunt Cris, well, you know she didn’t practice the faith in terms of going to Mass or receiving the sacraments; but she made certain we got to Mass on time whenever we stayed with her. She had, shall we say, a lively way with words, but she never talked against God. Her house was like a castle to the fourteen of us kids, and she was generous, supportive, and loving to each of us and our friends.

In other words, all my Cristina’s/Christine’s show their Christianity in action. I suspect that Saint Christine is proud to share her name with all four of them.

[imaged accessed 07 Nov 15 at]