Poem: For Saint Fillan (January 9)

Thou wandering priest, son of a widow,
With glowing armbone to help you to write,
lead us to your well in snowy meadow;
Lash us head first in the splash of your font.
They say, thus, are any madnesses cured;
thus, are demons of delusion cast down.
Treatment of mental illness has matured;
maybe you also have evolved and grown.
Guide us, Fillan, to break through illusion,
and bathe us in waters where health resides
So we’ll stand clean and shining in Christ’s sight.
Make our brains free from troubled division,
and help us find that peace which long abides:
White and Red dancing into God’s own light.

Ok.  Saint Fillan, not my favorite.  Hard to get overjoyed about a monk whose followers practiced water boarding as a cure for mental illness. According to this book, Fillan had a glowing arm-bone that allowed him to write in the dark.  His monastery let people with mental illnesses take a bath in his sacred well, but then you had to be bound to awooden frame in the church with your face deep in the baptismal font’s water.  Hmm.

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