Tuesday 11 March 2008

The saintly way to dispose of rubbish

I have been living in my new apartment in Rome for all but a few weeks, and I keep coming across this small holy card for Saint Andrew (or San Andrea in Italian.)

The strange thing about the holy card is that I keep putting it away, and it keeps popping up in the most unexpected places. I had left it in the basket where we keep some fruit, and then when my friend Andrea was over for dinner the other night, it just popped up on the table... Strange... I asked Andrea if he wanted to keep the card (same name and all) however my friend politely declined. I then put the card back somewhere, not sure what to do with it.

Last night whilst chopping some mushrooms for dinner I saw this San Andrea holy card on the bench next to me! I ran into the other room to tell my bel ragazzo (who is now in Rome with me!) and my colleague that this holy card is a sign as it keeps popping up when I keep putting it away. (My bel ragazzo did not think it was a sign. He thinks I am a little superstitious/over imaginative and think everything is a sign. Not true however as I cannot help it if 'strange' things always happen to me.) Anyway, I was not sure what this holy card could be trying to tell me, and thought it a little eerie that the card kept popping up. I told my bel ragazzo that I did not want the card and that I would throw it out.

"No, devi bruciare!" No you have to burn it, my bel ragazzo says.
"Burn it? What on earth for?" Ask I, the ignorant, non religious foreigner.
Bel ragazzo did not know why, but with regards to holy cards and religious objects, one cannot throw them away but has to dispose of them properly...properly meaning one must burn them.

Upon further investigation I have found out that you can not only burn the holy cards, but you can donate them to the church, give them to someone who will care for them, or as a last resort you can also bury them. I am currently trying to decide which of the above options I will chose.

Further more I am still confused as to what the card is trying to tell me, as Saint Andrew is the patron saint fish. I am a vegetarian so do not eat fish...perhaps he is telling me I should go to the sea? Or to church perhaps? Or perhaps he is thanking me for not eating fish? However if he was a fisherman then maybe he wants me to eat fish? Who knows! Need to do a little more research on this one.


Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

Um, weird but Sant'Andrea (of Avellino, though) has been in my (nonreligious) life lately; my niece is having her First Holy Communion in April and I was asked to get a rosary for the occasion. So I did, and I can get whatever I want in the little medallion part, so I thought about it and decided to put in Sant'Andrea Avellino b/c he is the patron saint of my village in Italy (which is, as you may know, my ancestors' village).

Good luck with your Sant'Andrea!

Leanne was in Italy now in Australia said...

Perhaps saints with the name Andrea have connections with Italian expats who have some Calabrian blood? We would both fall into that category!

Anonymous said...

l definately would see that as a sign. What? lm not sure.

You know St Andrea's relics were taken to Amalfi by a native from there. They are in a tomb in the crypt at St Andrea Duomo.

Leanne was in Italy now in Australia said...

Yes, still pondering on what the sign could be!

Anonymous said...

Ummm, totally from a religious perspective . . . St Andrew was the 1st apostle, the 1st to acknowledge Jesus as the messiah and the one to be martyred on a cross like Jesus. Given that we are leading in to Easter, perhaps it could be a reminder to reflect on Jesus' great love for us. Maybe a gentle reminder to reflect/pray/meditate. Or if you have been praying for something or something weighing on your mind, maybe a sign to let you know that you are never alone? Maybe? Just another viewpoint !

Leanne was in Italy now in Australia said...

Interesting view point Angela...I am not so religious however, so have not been praying for anything - however it is nice to think it could be a sign that we are not alone!

Stef said...

Hi Leanne,

I found your story of San Andrea and his pop up card really interesting. I also have a problem with cards. My problem started maybe 30 or more years ago when the first one came floating down in front of me in a gutter. Ever since that first card, I keep finding others, sometimes one, but more than likely a group, often stuck together, or laying on the ground in front of me layed in order. My cards are Playing Cards.

I finally decided to keep them. You see, each of these cards, has been a foretelling of events which are about to take place within my life - they have never failed. Never the same pack, always different, French, English, Australian, American, German, you name it these cards, cards and more cards had stuck to my shoe or just been there at the required time to tell their story.

Really, who throws away cards? Why would anyone throw away a card or drop a card? There is no logic to it at all, but they continue to inhabit my life, even though I now live in France.

Good luck with your new found patron San Andrea.


Stef said...

Really interesting story Leanne.

I also have a problem with cards that seem to just pop up in front of me continually.

My first card appeared more than 30 years ago and since that time there have been literally hundreds of cards which have floated by me in the gutters or have become stuck to the sole of my shoe. Not religious cards like your San Andrea, but at times equally as beautifully drawn and executed. More than not, a group of them, piled one on top of the other, glued and fixed in time their divination of my future totally exact.

Finally after years of this phenomena I decided to dry them out and keep them. They provide a wonderful tapestry of my travels and the adventured of my life. Marvels in design and execution.

I cannot for the life of me understand, where they come from, for one does not throw away cards and definitely in the strange locations that I have come across mine.

Take care of your patron San Andrea.