St. Aiya

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Arguably the most important saint in Vayan Catholicism, St. Aiya is responsible for the spread of Christianity to the vulpine race. She is recognized as the patron saint of purity, honesty, and courage in the Vayan Catholic faith.

Lifetime

What remains of the sacred texts.

St. Aiya was born in the darkest hour of vulpine cleansing performed by the nation of Nugala, in AD 295-AD300. The daughter of a peasant family, her parents were executed when she was twelve years old and she barely escaped with her life. Weeks later, she was picked up by another peasant family and dropped off in the town of Odul. Though her predicament should have meant taking a job of prostitution to support herself, she refused and instead chose to go hungry, dropping to a deathly thin weight. Despite this, it was well-documented that she kept a calm and peaceful demeanor and would not ask for anything, be it food or shelter. When she turned thirteen, she was on the verge of death. During this time, she reported seeing visions. While most ignored her or believed her to be insane with hunger, there were some who were intrigued, as despite her size she somehow remained alive. The visions increased, and over time she began to reveal more of them and their meanings. The person giving her visions was named Christ and were sometimes given by messengers of him. Both him and his messengers explained to her various things. On the seventh month of the year, the entire town saw a mass-vision, and a voice gave Aiya texts written in their language, explaining what was already recorded from across other worlds. Christianity spread in what is today Vekaiyu and Listonia, and Aiya was told by a messenger from Christ she was to spread the word of God in the region and, with the help of the townsfolk, spread it fast. Various visions and even some miracles were performed from "an unseen hand" (as it was documented) and the new religion gave hope to the people who were in constant fear of death. Her weight returned to an appropriate level as her travels across the vulpine lands increased.

Eventually, however, Aiya received her final vision - she was to travel to the lewd king Nugala, Horos, despite his well-known hatred of her and her people, and attempt to plea for her people's safety. Despite her conviction, her and her escorts were killed. The twenty year old vixen was overpowered and stabbed in the chest multiple times. To bury both her and her fame, the king decided to have her buried in the traditions of his religion. Therefore, her body was mummified in bandages and entombed in a chamber for heretics.

St. Kabuu, one of her early followers, managed to steal her body from the tomb shortly thereafter. Smuggled back to the vulpine homeland, a death mask made of platinum was made for her, painted to her likeness, and was fitted to her expressionless facade, with her body was adorned in various cloths and known Christian symbols. Kabuu participated in all processes. One night, while sitting next to her body and painting symbols on the hardened bandages of her hands, he suddenly had an urge to write, and began writing short stories with moral endings. Eventually, these morphed into prophecy. His prophecies, explained using the imagery of night and day, were written about a vulpine man who would save their people and destroy Nugala. Kabuu died in a plowing accident, and the body of St. Aiya was kept in secrecy in the basement of the Sederi family for almost three hundred years.

Canonization

It was the canonization of St. Aiya, along with the canonization of other vulpine people, that caused a schism to form between the recently-accepted vulpine Catholics with the remainder of the Catholic population. It was at that time the Roman Catholic Church was having difficulty accepting non-human races as saints, since very little (if any) is eluded to them in Biblical passages, and it was unclear how to classify such differences. Frustrations continued when vulpine peoples "tacked on" seven new books of the Bible - four letters by St. Aiya, two by St. Kabuu (including a historical account of St. Aiya's life), and one by St. Ignes of Provinsk. The Roman Catholic Church refused to accept the manuscripts, stating the letters should be separate from the New Testament. The final straw came when a meeting of Cardinals at The Council at Pristina declared vulpines and other "lesser" species to be placed on the same level as humans, but only by a 76% margin. Offended, Vekaiyu officially declared its withdrawal from the Roman Catholic Church in 600 AD, adopted Vayan Catholicism, and named their first Pope, then-bishop St. Vinsent of Eldura, weeks later.

St. Aiya was officially canonized in 605. She was the first saint canonized by the Vayan Catholic faith, and the first that was not officially recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. Attempts by the Roman Catholic Church to officially canonize St. Aiya have been blocked twice: once in 710, and once in 1848, both by groups within the church that believed vulpines should remain a separate entity and have their own separate branch of Catholicism.

Letters of St. Aiya

In the Vayan Bible, four letters are placed in what is now commonly referred to as the Vulpine Addendum, a collection of books and letters added onto the Bible by the Vayan Catholic Church that appear just after Jude. Her four books are as follows: Visions, Prayer of St. Aiya, Provinsk, and Ye'leli.

The Book of Visions are her spoken accounts of various visions she received while in Odul and during her travels as documented by St. Ives. It is believed the final two chapters may actually be written by St. Kabuu, which are indicated by an abrupt change in the writing style between Chapters 7 and 8. The Prayer of St. Aiya is a lengthy verse-style letter in which she pleads for the safety of her kind, of sentient creatures everywhere, for strong faith, deliverance from evil and sin, and finally for hope for the future.

 
 
17It is with my feeble hands

I pray that You transform vulpine kind
To sheep, that we may better serve
You and Your people.
18We led ourselves astray
But You do not give up on your herd,
For You have spread Your hands to
The lesser races, hoping that more
would listen.
19May we never stray too far from
Your love, forever guided by the one
We call Almighty.

 


 

— Excerpt, from The Prayer of St. Aiya 3:17-19

The authorship of this book is unknown, but it is believed to be St. Ives dictating spoken verse from St. Aiya. St. Aiya was known to be very limited in her writing, and was only known in certain instances to read and write for unknown reasons, but these were often rare circumstances. Provinsk was written to the people of Provinsk to answer questions they had about the faith, and to encourage them to remain honest and questioning. Ye'leli, on the other hand, was written to warn the people of Ye'leli the consequences of taking the new faith too lightly and outwardly rejecting it. Both books were scribed by St. Ives.

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