Today may be a good day to reflect on all those who never receive proper recognition for their efforts, for this is the feast day of St. Cassian of Imola.
Saint Cassian lived in 4th century Italy and was employed as a schoolteacher, who “taught [his students] the basic elements of literature, that is, how to read and write.”
Unfortunately, Cassian’s activities drew the ire of the local judge who, alliteratively, was “a partisan of the passions of the apostate emperor.”
For any still-summer-vacationing teachers, the ominous thought to contemplate is that the angry judge “could find no means more appropriate to take vengeance on Saint Cassian than to abandon him to his own students.” (shudder)
Cassian was stripped and bound, and his students – some two hundred or so – did their worst – or, depending on your interpretation, their best, for one telling of his martyrdom records that some students “carved their initials carefully on his flesh.” (emphasis added)
Cassian died “bloodied with a thousand little wounds”; yet, surprisingly, this death made him neither patron saint of teachers; nor of penmanship, critics, scholars, or even writers.
A good story seems to lurk here, morbid though it may well be.
Cassian taught 200 boys to read and write: After carving their initials into their master’s flesh, what did they go on to write?