Saints, pigs and the Bishop of PNG

Stepping over a pig about to be slaughtered while accompanying the relic of a potential saint may seem a somewhat unusual piece of Church business.

But for Bishop of Papua New Guinea’s Kimbe province Capuchin Bill Fey such events are not especially unusual.

“On that instance, I was part of a procession carrying a relic of Blessed Peter To Rot, martyred by the Japanese during World War Two for opposing their planned legalisation of polygamy,” he said.

“We were carrying the relic throughout parishes in my diocese which is on the western side of the island of New Britain.

“The occasion was the one hundredth anniversary of his birth.

“The tradition in the villages is that important people have to step over a pig which is then speared to death to make a welcoming banquet for the guest.

“So the relic of Blessed Peter was lifted over the waiting pig.”

Bishop Fey wanted to diffuse any tendency to superstition that the arrival of the saint’s relic might create.

“So I would joke that this guy’s a hundred years old but can still jump over pigs,” he said with his typical quiet chuckle. Continue reading.

Source: Catholic Leader

Image: Catholic Leader

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