Istanbul, 1944: A Bloomingdale’s executive and a future Pope teamed with Jewish intelligence agents to save hundreds of Eastern European Jews. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/history/2014/09/how_ira_hirschmann_and_the_future_pope_john_xxiii_ushered_jewish_refugees.html
I’m not pushing this as the Truth, although it’s so similar to other Western holiday legends that I don’t really doubt it. Anyway, before my devout friends get all upset, let me say that you’re entirely at liberty to publish your Christian-centric version of the myth…on your own blog.
Ever one to ruin the fun, I couldn’t let today go by without making a few comments about Saint Patrick and the annual holiday that’s held in his honor. Most of the people I know will be wearing green in some form today, thinking of all things Irish, drinking green beer, and possibly honoring that ancient Irish tradition of getting drunk and fighting. In other words, Saint Patrick’s day is a good excuse for partying, and few people will put any more thought into it than that. That’s fine. It’s a secular holiday in the United States, even if the day is named after a Catholic bishop and missionary, and so it should all be taken with a grain of salt. Go forth and party. Have a good time. Build for yourself the pending hangover of the gods. That’s what it’s all about, right?