IN the spirit of the season, I’d like to pay tribute to that treasured Christian saint, Saint Buddha. Well, he wasn’t exactly called that—he was known as the duo saints, Baarlam and Yosaphat.
Baarlam and Yosaphat were popular and revered in the Middle Ages. They even had feast days–honored in the Greek Orthodox Church on August 26 and in the Roman Martyrology in the Western Church on November 27.
The Legend Grows
They figured in the casket scene in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice and even the King of France claimed to have a holy relic—the finger of one of the saints.
“The popularity of the Greek version of this story is attested to by the number of translations made of it throughout the Christian world, including versions in Latin, Old Slavonic, Armenian, Christian Arabic, English, Ethiopic, and French,” explains scholar Douglas B. Killings. Continue reading