February 6: Vedast, Charmer of Kings and Bigots Alike!

Vedast was young and charming and French, and he lived a sheltered existence until catching the eye of a bishop who made our Vedast a priest and then gave him to King Clovis as a gift (officially, because Clovis wanted a priest to travel with him and help the king to prepare himself properly for communion). Butler simply writes, “Vedast was presented to his majesty for this purpose.”

Vedast was not one of those who were tortured, flailed, or disfigured. He lived his life under the protection of the rich and powerful. Yet Vedast was more than just a pretty face–he was a healer: restoring sight to the blind, enabling the lame to regain their strength, and, perhaps even more astounding, overcoming bigotry! Vedast had a formula for dealing with the 5th- and 6th-century French equivalent of “baskets of deplorables” whom, to use Butler’s words, Vedast frankly found “stupid and obstinate.”

Vedast’s formula? It’s rather predictable, given that he was canonized and all: “patience, meekness, charity, and prayers” were the weapons Vedast employed in confronting stupid, obstinate, bigoted people. Quite possibly his native charm helped as well!

So I take this to mean that Vedast:

  1. Recognized that he had to commit himself for the long run, not a quick, crushing, decisive “victory” (whatever that might mean) = patience;
  2. Chose to respect rather than disrespect the others (even while acknowledging their bigotry, stupidity, and obstinance), and with a respect that was sincere and honest, not haughty–with a recognition that he did not have sole possession of the truth, of all knowledge, or even of the moral high ground = meekness;
  3. Love-infused generosity, nothing less and not doled out in little dribs and drabs = charity; and
  4. Keeping centered and reminded that what these others say or believe is NOT reality and does not mirror who or how he was or how he should or would behave, making time away from the struggle and in communion with his god, his truth, his source of renewal = prayers.

As game plans go, it’s not appealing, perhaps; but, I suspect, it holds attractions for those who seek progress in this, our life.

Leave a Comment.