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   Автор  Тема: Кошки и Церковь  (Прочитано 1918 раз)
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Kurt
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Кошки и Церковь
« В: 12/28/05 в 23:22:25 »
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"I presume, from the Swiss Guards' reactions, that cats aren't allowed in the Vatican. With the growing number of stories about the Pope's love for cats, his housekeeper and editorial assistant finally had to come out to deny that he owned a cat.
 
Which probably isn't surprising, because the Catholic Church has been quite ambivalent about cats. Early Christians identified cats with pagans, but also recognized the cats were useful for pest control. Some of the early popes were known to keep cats. St. Gregory the Great was said to have owned nothing except a cat.
 
During the Middle Ages, cats were sometimes burned to death because they were feared as possible witch familiars, i.e., pets that witches kept and from which they drew some of their occult powers. (Filipinos have similar fears about cats, identifying them with the "aswang" [local ghoul].)
 
Again, there seemed to be ambivalence here. The powerful Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642), Louis XIII's chief minister, kept dozens of cats, even building a cattery at Versailles for his wards and leaving money to maintain the cats after his death.
 
But the popes seemed to keep their distance. Leo XII, pope from 1820 to 1829, had a cat named Micette, described as grayish-red with black stripes and born in the Vatican. But other than Micette, I couldn't find any other references to contemporary papal pets. In fact, when you think about it, you never see popes being photographed with pets-cats, dogs, birds, fish, whatever.
 
Saints
 
Cats do make it into Christian folklore and art. One folk tale has the Virgin Mary asking animals in the stable if they could help put the newborn Jesus to sleep. None of the animals could help, but a gray tabby kitten, itself just born, was said to have climbed into the manager and purred Jesus to sleep. The Virgin Mary rewarded the tabby kitten by allowing all tabby kittens, from that day forth, to wear the letter "M" on their foreheads.
 
Is there a patron saint for cats and cat lovers? Most Filipinos know of San Roque as the patron saint of dogs (you see his statues in many churches, a festering sore on one leg and a dog standing by his side with a "pan de sal" bun in its mouth). Apparently at age 20, this nobleman gave up his riches and decided to minister to the sick. While doing this, he became ill himself and as he lay dying, a dog from a nearby villa found him and would bring him a fresh roll of bread everyday. The dog's master, intrigued by his pet's strange behavior, eventually found St. Roche (that's San Roque) and nursed the man back to health. The dog eventually stayed on with his new master, until San Roque died in prison, falsely accused of spying.
 
Apparently there are two patron saints for cats and cat lovers. One is St. Agatha, an early Christian virgin-martyr. Her connection with cats isn't clear, except that she is said to appear in the form of a cat to punish women who don't stop working on her feast day. Nope, she doesn't sound too nice.
 
St. Gertrude of Nivelles comes through as kinder, a noblewoman who refused to marry and ended up as abbess of a convent. Again her life doesn't seem to have anything to do with cats, but she was invoked during the bubonic plague and she's sometimes depicted with rats. She's also the patron saint of gardeners.
 
St. Ives, the patron saint of lawyers, is often depicted with a cat or, strangely, as a cat himself. Now what does that tell us about lawyers?
 
There's always St. Francis of Assisi, a patron saint of all animal lovers and who once said, "All creatures are created from the same paternal heartbeat." Gender-correct language wasn't in place yet then; he was referring to God. Not surprisingly, there's a cat story for him as well: During the bubonic plague, he was saved by a cat that sprang miraculously out of his sleeve.
 
 
http://news.inq7.net/common/print.php?index=2&story_id=36599&sit e_id=25&col=81
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