Today, September 16th, is Rogelio’s “Saint day”. Most Spanish folk are traditionally named after saints or virgins and all have a corresponding day of celebration. So if you chose to celebrate your saint, it is like a second birthday complete with gifts, cake and phone calls from distant relatives.
There are various levels of fame and religious wonderfulness that surround each saint and virgin.
Santiago, or Saint James, who Yago is named after, now his story inspires a trip to the bakery. After Herod had his head chopped off, James managed to sail from the promised land to the shores of Spain, in a boat make of solid rock, and then resurrect himself. Not bad for a guy who must have been decomposing for a few months. For this he is officially “Head Honcho Saint of Spain” and a national holiday ensues on July 25. Cake for everyone.
Saint Rogelio, on the other hand, was a run-of-the-mill 9th century monk from Granada. He had the brilliant idea of barging into the Mosque of Cordoba during Friday prayers to announce he was a big fan of Jesus. As you can imagine, that didn’t go over so well. Annoyed with the interruption, the Muslim congregation tossed him in jail and got on with their holy day.
Eventually, Rogelio was put to death with 47 other Christians who could not resist the fun of charging into Mosques to yell “I love Jesus”. Kind of like the 9th century version of streakers who run naked onto the football field during the game. But back then the stakes were higher. They all got their heads chopped off for their trouble.
Fearless believer, zealot with bad judgement, or village idiot lacking a television audience? I don’t know, but regardless, today the world’s Rogelios get to eat cake.
That’s Saint Rogelio. Nice subtle representation of his decapitation, don’t you think? Besides the 5:00pm shadow, he doesn’t look a thing like my husband.