Though the feast is currently observed on August 11—the anniversary of St. Clare’s death circa 1253—a scheduling conflict on that date pushed the feast back to August 12 until the Catholic Church revised its calendar in 1970. Why is this relevant to television history? Because in 1958, Pope Pious XII declared her the patron saint of television, inspired by the (perhaps apocryphal) tale of Clare seeing and hearing Mass on the wall of her room when she was too ill to attend the service in person.
We here at This Was Television don’t completely understand how the whole beatification thing works, exactly. But given the not-entirely-televisual circumstances that led to St. Clare’s designation, perhaps it’s time for the Church to update the title of patron saint of television with one of the medium’s more accomplished Catholics, such as President Josiah Bartlet, Carla Tortelli, or legendary flying nun Sister Bertrille. -A.D.
Today’s Birthdays: Jim Beaver, Deadwoodian (52); Michael Ian Black, Statesman (41); Yvette Nicole Brown, Human Being (41); Rebecca Gayheart, dead like her (41); Bruce Greenwood, not from Cincinnati (56); Peter Krause, alongside his tag-team partner (47); Maggie Lawson, psyched (32); Jane Wyatt, Spock’s mother knows best (d. 2006).