Friday, 1 November 2013

Hallowing the Big 6 saintly sellers

Maybe there are  lessons for us all not just the Big 6  energy sellers- Scottish Power, Eon, British Gas, N Power, EDF and SSE this  Friday.

November 1st is All Hallows Day or All Saints Day.

The lessons are for any of us who have to 'sell' price rises , not just 'poor' Messrs  Morris, Cocker,  Peters,  Johnson,  Clitheroe, and Lawrence who were under the spotlight at the MPs Energy and Climate Change Committee last Tuesday.

Much as some Charity salespeople ‘fund-raise’ have to ask for increased funds, so some spiritual people ‘evangelise’ and churches have to take 'collections' – of course it is all ‘selling’ in the sense of ‘persuasive communication against resistance. ‘ apart from those who 'happy givers'.

 Here are 6 possible contenders whose lived values you may care to emulate today (3 Laymen and 3 priests) all salespeople of a sort

Amand -persevering and courageous  prospector
Expeditus  - Time focused target beater.
Francis of Assisi – team leader extraordinaire
Homobonus – Good and generous
Nicholas of Myra – secret giver
Secundus of Asti – committed and dedicated

All of the above are patron saints to merchants, dealers and business people. Of course some of their stories may be mythical but the essence of virtue and good conduct can be learnt from their story nonetheless, we go about the business of building trust in our business.

1. The persevering and prospecting traveller Saint Amand

Amandus (c. 584 – 675),  Saint Amand, was a bishop of Tongeren-Maastricht and one of the great Christian missionaries of Flanders.

He was made a missionary bishop in France in 628, without a fixed diocese. (No local fixed sales  territory but national Account responsibility.)

 He evangelised ( prospected )the pagan inhabitants of Ghent, later extending his field of operations to all of Flanders.

Under Amand's supervision monasteries were established at Ghent and Mont Blandin, the first in Belgium ( Sales management skills).

At  70 years old, the inhabitants of the Basque country asked him to return to their country to evangelize, although 30 years earlier he had preached there in vain. ( Long term Account developer)

Returning home, he founded several more monasteries in present-day Belgium with the help of king Dagobert. ( Further Account Growth)

2. ‘Seize the day ‘ Saint Expeditus

Information concerning Saint Expeditus can be found only in martyrologies, so precise details about his existence cannot be obtained.

Saint Expeditus is commemorated on  April 19, , Melitene (now Malatya, Turkey),

The name "Expeditus" which may be a misnomer has  evoked puns, so he has become the saint of rapidity. At first, he was invoked for urgent causes; he has since become the patron of dealers; he is also implored for success in lawsuits.

He is portrayed as a soldier with a crow with the writing "cras" ("tomorrow") underfoot.

In Germanic countries, the saint indicates a clock, whereas in the rest of the world he has a cross with the writing "hodie" ("today") in his hand.

3. The Team builder and inventor of the Christmas Crib - St. Francis

St. Francis of Assisi (born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, but nicknamed Francesco ("the Frenchman") by his father, 1181/1182 – October 3, 1226) was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher.

He founded the men's Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis for men and women not able to live the lives of itinerant preachers followed by the early members of the Order of Friars Minor or the monastic lives of the Poor Clares.

 Though he was never ordained to the Catholic priesthood, Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history.

Francis' father was Pietro di Bernardone, a prosperous silk merchant.( Francis is a patron saint of merchants)
 On a pilgrimage to Rome, he joined the poor in begging at St. Peter's Basilica.

The experience moved him to live in poverty. Francis returned home, began preaching on the streets, and soon amassed a following

The Franciscan Order had grown to such an extent that its primitive organisational structure was no longer sufficient. He returned to Italy to organise the Order. Once his community was authorised by the Pope, he withdrew increasingly from external affairs.

In 1223, Francis arranged for the first Christmas manger scene.

 It is customary for Catholic and Anglican churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day of October 4. e.g. October 13th 2013 All Saints Church Fulham

He is also known for his love of the Eucharist, and for the creation of the Christmas crib or Nativity Scene.

4. Good and honest Saint Homobonus

Saint Homobonus (Italian: Sant'Omobono, German: Sankt Gutman) is the patron saint of business people.
He was canonized in 1199 his feast day is celebrated on November 13.

He was a merchant from Cremona, northern Italy. Born Omobono Tucenghi, he was a married layman who believed that God had allowed him to work in order that he would be able to support people that were living in a state of poverty. His name is derived from the Latin homo bonus ("good man").

He practiced his business at Cremona with scrupulous honesty. He also donated a large proportion of his profits to the relief of the poor. ( generous)

Homobonus was a frequent church attendee that would partake in the Eucharist everyday. Pope Innocent III called him "father of the poor", "consoler of the afflicted", "assiduous in constant prayer", "man of peace and peacemaker", "a man good in name and deed", "this saint, is still like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in our time.

5. The Gift giver St Nicholas

Saint Nicholas (called Nikolaos of Myra, was a historic 4th-century saint and Greek Bishop of Myra (Demre, part of modern-day Turkey) in Lycia

 He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus, whose modern name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas. His feast day is the 6th of December.

Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of, merchants, pawnbrokers  in various cities and countries around Europe.

6. Secundus of Asti ( (died 119) is venerated as a martyr and saint. His feast day is generally celebrated on March 29.

He was a historical figure who was beheaded at Asti under Hadrian. He is said to have been a patrician of Asti and a subaltern officer in the imperial army. It is known that a church was dedicated to him in the area as early as the 9th century

He is patron among other roles of merchants

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