Wednesday, March 2, 2016

March 1-7

It’s been a quiet week in the Catholic liturgical calendar. Except for Katherine Drexel (an American saint) and Casimir (the patron saint of Poland), it’s basically just another bunch of Lenten weekdays.


#10  Cunegundes (Mar 3)

So, the first thing you need to know is that Cunegundes was a woman. Now, why anyone would want to name their daughter something like that is totally beyond me.

Cunegundes was a royal, the daughter of the Duke of Luxembourg. She would later marry Henry, Duke of Bavaria. When he ascended the throne as Holy Roman Emperor, Cunegundes would become Empress.


After Henry passed away, Cunegundes would give it all up for a cloister of Benedictine nuns. She would die there, 15 years later, in the year 1040.


#9  Non (Mar 3)

Non, the saint who wasn’t there ….

Non was the mother of St. David, the patron saint of Wales. Interestingly, David was actually the product of a rape, with Non being otherwise a virgin. There is a well dedicated to her where the insane are traditionally brought. She’s also called Nonna and Nonita.

Would it surprise you if a Google search for “st non” also brought up the following:

  • Non Stop Flights from St. Louis - Funjet Vacations
  • Non-Credit Courses - St. Charles Community College
  • St. Paul Police: Got a non-emergency problem? 
  • Sea Palms 403, 45th St - non group rental
  • Antithrombotic therapy for non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndromes



Alright, how about this one then?

#8  Chad of Mercia (Mar 2)

Yes, Virginia, there really is a St. Chad.

I always pictured this guy with a tan and shaggy blonde hair, probably the patron saint of surfers or something like that.


Yup, that’s him!

Actually, Chad was a 7th Century Anglo-Saxon abbot, bishop, and miracle worker, originally from Ireland. He had an equally famous saintly brother named Cedd.

There’s quite a lengthy article on Chad on Wikipedia. The following subtitles from that article struck me as rather funny taken together and wholly out of context.

  • The Rise of Cedd
  • The Mission of Wilfrid
  • The Elevation of Chad
  • The Removal of Chad
  • The Recall of Chad


#7  Drausinus of Soissons (Mar 7)
Patronage:  against invincible people

Oh, “invincible”! I thought for sure you said “invisible.”

Drausinus was a bishop in 7th Century France. According to catholicsaints.info:


Medieval legend says that to spend the night at Drausinus’ tomb made one invincible; whole platoons of soldiers used to camp out at the tomb the night before a battle….. Thomas Becket visited the tomb before returning to the treachery he knew awaited him at home.

Hmm, guess it didn’t work for everybody.

And here's my buddy Alessandro's take on Drausinus.


Continuing our beer theme …


#6  Fridolin Vandreren of Säckingen (Mar 6)
Representation:  abbot leading a skeleton by the hand

Can’t decide which is better, the name or the representation.

Fridolin was a 6th Century Irish saint who went to Germany to convert the then-pagan Germans. Catholicsaints.info adds the interesting note that “many thought he was a roaming cattle thief, and chased him away.”

The skeleton? According to “pious legend,” Fridolin once brought someone back to life so he could appear in a court case Fridolin was involved in.


If it would please the court …


#5  Adrian of Nicomedia (Mar 4)
Patronage:  arms dealers

Well, I guess even arms dealers need a little lovin’.

Adrian was an imperial guard who converted to Christianity, then paid the inevitable price. He was martyred with his wife, Natalia.

Supposedly, Adrian was in charge of torturing Christians. The courage that his victims showed, however, made him turn tables. His wife was purportedly apprehended when she snuck into prison dressed as a man to seek Adrian’s blessing (though there are other stories as well).


A modern interpretation

The arms dealers? Well, he was a soldier. He’s also a patron saint for them, as well as for prison guards and butchers, and against plague too. Adrian’s popular enough to have his own medals.


#4  Marie-Louise-Élisabeth de Lamoignon de Dolé de Champlâtreux (Mar 4)

This has got to be a record, right? I mean, we’re talking 50 whole characters here.

MLELDC (for short) was a widow who founded the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis (“for the education of poor and abandoned girls”). And, no, she is not from Missouri. She lived in France, from 1763 to 1825.

The long name? Well, she was a countess.


Mme. La Comtesse
(not your typical holy card)


#3  Chrodegang of Metz (Mar 6)

Thankfully, Chrodegang is indeed a guy.

He was the Frankish bishop of Metz (bit of a tongue twister that), in the 700s. At the same time, he was also secretary, chancellor, and prime minister for Charles Martel, one of the early Frankish rulers. Talk about serving two masters …


French religious comic books – who woulda thunk it?

He’s one of those early saints whose name nobody seemed to be able to agree on. I’ve got him down for no less than 18 variations (which might just be a record):

  • Chrodegang
  • Chrodegangus
  • Grodegandus
  • Grodegangus
  • Grodogangus
  • Chrodogandus
  • Krodegandus
  • Chrodegrangus
  • Chrotgangus
  • Ruotgangus
  • Droctegangus
  • Chrodegand
  • Sirigangus
  • Godegrand
  • Gundigran
  • Ratgang
  • Rodigang
  • Sirigang

Personally, I don’t think you can beat Ratgang.


#2  Quintus the Thaumaturge (Mar 2)

Alright, first of all, a “thaumaturge” is simply a wonder, or miracle, worker. It’s basically Greek for “marvel maker.” The term applies to magicians as well. 

Our guy is also known as Quintus of Phyrigia. He converted to Christianity in the 300s, dedicated himself to the care of the poor, and was subsequently tortured (but not martyred) for his efforts. 


#1  Swithbert (Mar 1)

I can’t remember – is this Dilbert’s dog? Goldfish? Burmese python?

Nah, he’s Swithbert, “Apostle of the Frisians.” You might also know him as Swithbert of Kaiserwerdt, Suitbert, Suidbert, Suitbertus, and Swidbert.

Who were/are the Frisians? They’re the people who live in the islands at very north part of the Netherlands. And Swithbert converted them!


Honestly, I have no idea
(but you can find this on Vine)

Swithbert’s tale includes some other great names as well – Egbert, Withbert, Wilfred, Willibrord, Rathbod, and Pepin of Heristal.


Honorable Mention

  • Paul the Simple
  • Theophlyact
  • Seth the Patriarch
  • Winwallus of Landevennec
  • Cynibild
  • Cheledonius of Calahorra
  • Reinhard of Reinhausen
  • Mieczyslaw Bohatkiewicz
  • Deifer of Bodfari
  • Cele-Christ

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