Today I took the most important step of settling into Brussels.
Yes, I have found a church. St. Andrews Scottish Prebystarian Church will have to put up with the wilfulness of a Indian Christian every Sunday.
Mallu Christians seem to have a fascination with St. George and St. Thomas. This is evidenced by the countless numbers of St. Thomas (George) Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (Cathedral/Chapel)that dot the landscape in Middle Kerala. Come time for the Holy Qurbana (6:15 AM- 9:30 AM Sundays), the roads are lined for one km with cars. As soon as church is out, there is some serious traffic!
But coming back to the naming conventions, I understand why St. Thomas is used for the names of so many churches- after all, he is the patron saint of India. But the fascination with St. George (For information, he was a soldier who slayed a dragon in Palestine- meant as a moralistic story on how he overcame temptations), I am unable to comprehend. More so, since my father’s family venerates St.George above all. Family legend has it that when my grandfather was going home one night in hilly Munnar, he felt a snake wriggle past. He ran home and prayed to an icon of St.George and he could hear the steady clopping on horse hooves outside. And voila, he felt safe. Apparently, St George keeps you safe from serpents!
And St. Andrew, older brother of St. Peter “The Rock”? He is the patron saint of Scotland, and of fishmongers. On an interesting aside, St. Andrew’s Cross appears on the Scottish flag, and St. George’s cross on the English one.
Guess there are only so many saints to go around in the whole of Christiandom.