Today, December 1st, is Saint Agericus’ day.
His parents, ordinary poor people, had prayed for a child for many years. Their baby was born in 521. His mother named him Agericus (links to the word agricultural) because she was in the fields working the crops when he was born. He grew up with his family on a farm.
Agericus was known for his kindness and generosity to the poor. He became a priest and a pastor and eventually in 554 became the 10th Bishop of Verdun in North East France. Throughout his life he cared for the ordinary local people. He died in 588.
It’s also ‘Pinch, punch, first of the month’ day. There are various stories relating to the origin of this saying including traditions of dealing with witches in the Middle Ages.
The story I like best is that of the American President George Washington who met local Indian tribes on the first day of each month. He would give them fruit punch with an added pinch of salt. It became known as “pinch and punch on the first of the month”.
…kindness to ordinary people…French… American Indians… people unknown, unrecorded.
Most of the news is about:
- The powerful – politicians, decision makers and their decisions.
- The victims – deaths, suffering, anger, fear, anxiety, mental ill-health, family trauma.
- The victors – heroes who come through despite the crises – the ‘Captain Tom’s.
- The celebrities – providing escape and distraction – Football, ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, ‘I’m a Celebrity get me out of Here’…
And in amongst all this come the ordinary, the everyday, the unspectacular and unnoticed…you and me.
…Musing that during Advent Christians reflect on God coming to ordinary people in everyday situations: being with them, helping them to survive, giving hope; providing a way to be peace-makers, neighbour-lovers and joy-creators. Moving from ‘survive’ to ‘thrive’.
This is the God that Agericus humbly followed.