A hole in the space-time continuum. (Notes by M.C. O'Connor.)
25 April 2008
According to the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar for April, today, the 25th, is the Feast of Mark the Evangelist. Thus it is my Namesday. This fellow Mark is reckoned as the author of the eponymous Gospel, and is revered by Orthodox sects as the first Pope of Alexandria, and thus their Founder, akin to the role of Peter in the Western Church. The image of St. Mark below is by Fra Angelico and dates from the 15th century. He looks like quite the party animal, eh? When my parents were kids, growing up in Irish Catholic Boston, babies were named for saints. In fact, priests would refuse to baptize infants unless they had acceptable saints' names. Michaels and Margarets were everywhere. Nowadays we've got Jareds and Travises and Colbys and Morgans and Chelseas--you're an oddball if you've got a name like Mark. It is a family story, apocryphal perhaps, that your man here, M.C., was almost C.M. My mother wanted to name me Christopher Mark instead of Mark Christopher, but was swayed by the annoying Irish custom of "-y" diminutives. My father, James Michael O'Connor, was "Jimmy" until the day he died. His brothers John, Patrick, and Thomas, were always Johnny, Patty, and Tommy. In Ireland, "Christy" is a common nickname for men named Christopher. Mom was too American to have a boy named Christy. Good call, Mom.