Today is St. Fabian’s Day! A little known holiday to everyone but most Fabienne’s (and Fabians) around the world. He is, as you might guess, my patron saint, and also the patron saint of leadworkers, which makes him just ideal as an object of supplication for hit men.
He was a pope and martyr who died in the year 250, the last pope to be beheaded by the Roman emperor Decius. His crime was to bring back the bones of a controversial holyman to Rome and thereby stir up the populace against the State. Decius had had enough of this energetic prelate, and struck his head off and earned him the palm.
Fabian’s origins were somewhat Cincinnatian. He began his life as a farmer around Rome who was supposed to have gone to that city looking for entertainment, hearing that the election of a pope had caused a lot of debate among the priests and higher ups in The Church establishment. Fabian gained entrance to the election audience and when another round of voting commenced, a dove flew in the window out of no where and settled on Fabian’s head. Everyone, tired from so much contention, decided that was a celestial sign and immediately carried Fabian out of the voting area and into the community declaring him to be the new Bishop of Rome, the pope!
During his reign, Fabian was supposed to have been a great organizer. He made quite a few changes in the church structure so that things could get done and unnecessary bureaucracy was done away with,
He was buried in St. Calyxtus’ Cemetery where his massive gravestone still resides (it was featured in the Roman episode of Rick Steves’ Travels in Europe). Now his remains are in St. Sebastian’s Church outside Rome, purportedly Fabian’s head is the object of veneration there.
I have always been aware that Fabian has lacked a cheering section, which I (of course) thought was a great pity and thoroughly unfair. I have set about to change that by first painting a picture of St. Fabian which somehow lacked the popularity of Mantegna’s St. Sebastian. So, I decided to attempt to immortalize him in my current medium, perfume. I make a blend, called St. Fabian, and present it to the public for one day only during the year, and then it is put away again until next year. Rose and resin are the two main features of it, and it is meant to echo the idea of the odor of sanctity which is said to be roseate. Here it is. And I must say I did a better job in perfume than I ever did in paint!
So, have a great St. Fabian’s day. Go organize something, mind the birds, and don’t get in trouble.