Kimberly and I like to sit down together with a cup of coffee and watch reruns of the old, classic TV shows from when we were kids. They remind us of growing up when life seemed much simpler and television programs promoted moral living, family life, and God. One of our favorites is “Leave it to Beaver”.
Leave it to Beaver was a TV series during the late 1950s and early 1960s about a young boy named “Beaver” and his older brother “Wally”. Each episode, Beaver and Wally would make some kind of mistake or use poor judgement and get into trouble. Even their mom and dad struggled at times to make the right decisions on how to handle the situations. By the end of each episode, the boys learned a lesson about virtue.
We all make mistakes. I’ve certainly made my fair share of them and continue to so. Last week, while reading my Magnificat during Adoration, the Lord led me to a short story about St. Asicus who also made mistakes. He is the patron saint of coppersmiths and the Diocese of Elphin in Ireland.
Asicus was married and lived in the 5th Century. He was a disciple of St. Patrick who converted Asicus to Christianity. As a skilled metalworker, he used his talents to craft crosses, patens, and book covers. Eventually, Asicus became the first Bishop of Elphin. He founded a monastery and a school of the arts, where students learned to craft copper and silver into beautiful artwork. A deeply humble man, Asicus never felt totally comfortable as bishop and abbot. When he became aware of a growing scandal, he decided to resign his office and go into hiding. Some sources say Asicus told a lie that scandalized his people. Others say that a serious lie was told about him and spread around. Whatever the case, Asicus no longer felt worthy to lead his parishioners, so he left. Asicus spent 7 years in solitary hiding on an uninhabited island. His monks finally found him and convinced him to come home. By now an old man, Asicus was in poor health and died on the journey home. He is buried in the village of Balintra in Ireland.
Like Beaver and Wally, mistakes and misunderstandings are a part of life that we must learn from and grow so we become a better person because of it. No one knows for sure why Asicus fled his post. Did he make a mistake? Was he scandalized by people speaking falsely about him? What we do know is that Asicus was very holy and never felt worthy of holding such a high office in the church.
May the life of St. Asicus be a reminder for us to be humble and remain close to our Merciful Father, especially when we are misunderstood and disliked. St. Asicus, pray for us.