Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Saint Mamas: saint of the tax avoiders
Yes, for those interested in tax law, there is such a person as the saint of the tax avoiders.
Saint Mamas was a monk living in a cave near the town of Morphou. Once he was arrested by the Ottoman authorities because he was refusing to pay tax, refused to pay his taxes because he was a man who had zero income. The governor ordered his arrest but as he was being taken to prison, a lion leapt out from behind a tree onto a lamb that had been grazing in a field. Mamas commanded the lion to stop the attack; he then picked up the lamb and mounted the lion. The sight of the hermit riding into town astride a lion sufficiently impressed the authorities that he was then exempt from paying any taxes. St Mamas gave the sheep as a gift to the judge.
In Cyprus he is popularly known as the patron saint of tax avoiders and his day is celebrated the end of September. A town is also called Ayios Mamas in his honor.
So the next time you're at tax court....