23rd March is the Feast Day of Saint Ian the Pagan. Saint Ian was unusual among saints in that he was deeply, unabashedly pagan, and he made sure that everyone knew it. he cut mistletoe with silver sickles, constructed wicker effigies and painted himself with woad and danced among standing stones on every major holiday. However, in his position of Bishop of the Highlands during a particularly bloody age that reflects badly upon organised religion in general and the Church in specific, he was the most popular religious leader in the country. The fact that he did not engage in any of the ways or schisms that were sweeping the countryside was considered so commendable that he was canonised very shortly after his death. The miracles attributed to him are, to be sure, rather questionable, and can largely be explained by either luck or, in one case, excessive drinking, but St. Ian retains his place on the ecclesiastical calendar despite these minor faults.


Episode for 2018-03-23

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