This festive holiday traces its origins back to the pious deed of St. Hopswald of Aleyard, the first man to buy his priest a beer. The legend goes that St. Hopswald, a master brewer by trade, was a Teutonic pagan who was converted and baptized by a zealous Catholic priest.
One day, St. Hopswald committed a grievous sin. Without wasting a moment, he ran quickly to his priest and confessed. Later that day, as he was particularly enjoying the peace of a clean conscience, St. Hopswald was so filled with gratitude for his priest’s sacramental ministry that he rushed to the rectory and offered to buy his priest a beer.
Okay, if you haven’t figured it out by now, St. Hopswald wasn’t real, but your priest is, and without priestly ministry, getting to heaven would be well nigh impossible!
Believe it or not, priests are real people, and they enjoy socializing over good food and drink as much as anyone. They also have a thankless and difficult job, a job that we couldn’t get to heaven without. Priests are the lifeblood of the Church, and they deserve some appreciation.
Even if you aren't able to buy a round or two for your favorite priest today, raise a pint today in honor of the men who devote their lives to the Church.
|Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI celebrates his birthday last April|