BY NOREEN FAGAN – From
now on there will be only one way to celebrate Oct 7 and that is by singing
hallelujah to saints Sergius and Bacchus.
Same, an Australian gay website, led me to
the official website of the United Order of Sergius and
Here’s the scoop:
The boys were high-ranking Romans and legionnaires in the
army of Emperor Maximian, the 52nd emperor of the Roman Empire. Sergius and Bacchus, both Christians,
were stationed in Syria in the fourth century, where they attempted to spread Christianity. That did not fly well with the emperor, who believed that
the old gods ruled all.
The two were stripped of their military attire and dragged
through the streets wearing women’s clothing, while they chanted, “You have made us your bride with these women’s gowns. And you
have joined the two of us together through our faith in you.”
In prison they began calling each other “brother” and
claimed they were united as one being.
Bacchus died after being severely tortured. While Sergius
struggled to stay alive, Bacchus came to him in a vision and promised they
would be lovers in heaven. Sergius was later decapitated.
They were later honoured as Saint Sergius and Saint Bacchus because of
their martyrdom. Their tomb became a famous shrine. They were the heavenly
protectors of the Byzantine army and a church was commissioned in their honour.
When it passed into the hands of the Muslims it became a mosque, and the two
came to symbolize the connection between Islam and Christianity. During the
Middle Ages their relationship was considered an example of “compassionate
union” based on brotherly love.
But that was then and this is now. So it is no surprise that
the two have been largely forgotten by the modern church, which is where the
United Order of Sergius and Bacchus fits in.
According to its website, the order “has an open and
accepting attitude towards homosexuality. While welcoming all seekers after
Truth, we have a special mission to spiritual seekers of same-sex orientation.”
Happy gay saints day, y’all.