It is an unfortunate accident of history – insofar as we may speak of accidents, when all things are guided in their providential design by a good and provident God – that today’s feast is connected with one of the more scandalous events in the history of the Church, the massacre that goes by the name of this Apostle, which he would have abhorred.
The sixteenth century, following upon the chaos unleashed by the Protestant revolt against the unity of Christendom, saw a series of ‘wars of religion’, which also involved territorial, national and ethnic claims. As Chesterton once quipped, it

Praise the Lord