Friday, October 11, 2013

Vidit ergo Lesus. . .

By Capt. Fogg


Yes, yes, we've all heard, Pope Francis may be infallible but the guy who mints the medals isn't. Somebody substituted an L for an I (which can look damned similar in certain typefaces) and somebody else didn't notice and so it went out the door as Lesus instead of Iesus. I'm an old man, I can sympathize about reading small print and at least it didn't say Lexus. We have too many of those on the road as it is.

Of course growing up in the Galilee, the name was יהושע or Yehushua but we won't quibble. The sign on the Cross said IHS, not LHS and of course the J is not part of the Roman alphabet.

Vidit ergo Iesus publicanum et quia miserando antque eligendo vidit, ait illi sequre me. says the Gospel of Matthew. If we're going to be talking about alphabets of course, it's really מַתִּתְיָהוּ Matityahu or 'gift of Yahoo' (you see, the Bible predicts the Internet) and it's a story about how Jesus didn't despise the tax collector and so the tax collector became a follower, or so I think. My latin has become a bit like a Toyota after ten winters in Chicago. But anyway, like most Bible stories, there's good advice there: "Don't get too chummy with the man from IRS lest he followeth you around, asking questions.

Anyway, I don't know how many have already been sold in Rome. I don't see any on eBay yet, but I'll bet collectors will bid them up if he faithful can part with them. Will we see money changer's booths in Vatican Square exchanging new medals for old, or will they find their way out the back door and onto the collector market? Inquiring minds and maybe pious minds want to know but if you flip these things for a profit, don't forget that publicanus cognoscere cupit nimis -- the tax man wants to know too.

(Cross-posted from Human Voices.)

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