Wednesday, January 20, 2010
No, not the teen heart-throb of the 50s. St. Fabian, Bishop of Rome.
Although, I do find it humorous that Fabian, the teen idol of American Bandstand Fame ("Turn Me Loose" and "Tiger") had his star on the Walk of Fame installed on the Feast of St. Fabian, 2002. For his Italian momma, no doubt. (His surname is Forte.)
I confess that I could barely stifle a giggle when I learned that Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, had a crush on Fabian when she was a young girl. She has also admitted she was the "president of the Fabian fan club." "There were 3 of us in it. But we took it very seriously," she said.
St. Fabian seems to have been the reason for others to have swooned.
After Pope Anterus died in 236, a council was called to elect his successor. A crowd gathered 'round and in that crowd was a farmer named Fabian (Fabianus). According to the story told by ancient historian Eusebius, a dove flew into the building and lighted on Fabian's head.
The crowd, in their infinite wisdom, determined that this was a sign that Fabian should be the next bishop of Rome. He was then ordained - deacon, priest and bishop - all in one day.
That may not exactly qualify him as a bone fide heartthrob but it does give him pretty good credentials as a 'charismatic figure'.
Fabian apparently did many good things and turned out to be a pretty good bishop, even for a farmer. It was he who gave us the parochial system that is still in place today.
Perhaps some of the common sense required to organize and run a farm is the best preparation for organizing and running a diocese.
I'll leave the obvious connections to your imagination.
Alas, Bishop Fabian was martyred when Christian persecutions began again in a widespread state effort to blot out those troublesome religious folk.
You can still catch Fabian on tour with other stars from the '60s - like Bobby Rydell, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Vee and the Vees, the Chiffons and Chris Montez.
Fame is fleeting, but martyrdom, apparently, is forever.