In doing research for my novel, Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century, I had to study Roman Mythology. The Romans stole the gods from the Greeks. The objective of having so many gods was to explain natural phenomena.
There was a god for everything and a festival for every god.
Ironically, the day that Vesuvius erupted was the festival of Vulcanalia celebrating the god of fire, Vulcan. (No, Spock’s planet had nothing to do with it.). During this festival, participants would build large bon fires and throw fresh fish into it as a sacrifice to that god in gratitude for a season without crop-devastating wildfires and hoping for no fires in the next season. And they’d drink a lot of wine.
Pompeiians were probably wondering what they did wrong when Vesuvius erupted. Didn’t they sacrifice enough of their fish to Vulcan? Didn’t they hold enough festivals?
All the Roman festivals reminded me of the festivals of the saints in Puerto Rico. Every town, city or municipality has a patron saint and once a year is their festival. They parade through the streets with a statue of the saint and burn candles and incense. Oh, and they party.
In Naples, Italy, every year they hold the festival of their patron saint who keeps Vesuvius from erupting. Right now, several million people live in the shadow of Vesuvius and though it is dormant, it may wake up and it’s due to wake up soon. The church of this saint has a “relic” vial of the saint’s blood and supposedly, because of the festival and “patronage” to this saint, that’s why Vesuvius hasn’t erupted since the 1940s.
All these saints are just gods. Oh, and the Virgin Mary falls into this category, too. There is only one TRUE God, the Triune God – the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.
Mary and the “saints” are dead. Only Jesus rose from the grave and is alive in heaven. He sent His Spirit to be with His believers and Jesus will come back for His believers in the Rapture.
Dead people can’t be intercessors between you and God. Only Jesus and the Holy Spirit can. Oh, and you really don’t need an intercessor, because you have a direct line to the Father 24/7.
Festivals of the saints are just reasons to party. They mean nothing and go against God’s commandments. Celebrate Jesus every day with gratitude and prayer and remember that He was the ultimate sacrifice so we never have to sacrifice anything to appease a god or hope for a good harvest. God is in control. Trust in Him.