Thursday, April 21, 2016

April 22-30

Couple of heavy hitters this week.  We’ve got St. Mark, the evangelist, as well as St. George, patron saint of England, the Boy Scouts, soldiers, Moscow, Greece, halberdiers, sheep … (see below for more).

#10  Peter of Verona (April 29)
Patronage:   inquisitors

Couldn’t decide if this was for or against …

Peter of Verona, also known as Peter the Martyr, was indeed an inquisitor, active in northern Italy during the 13th Century. He was killed by an assassin hired by the Cathars, a sect that Peter was born into but did most of his inquisting against. His typical representation is with a large knife or axe in his head.


Interestingly, Peter’s assassin, one Carino of Balsamo, would later convert and become himself a beatus (i.e., The Blessed Carino). As for Peter, he became a saint 11 months after his death – the fastest canonization in history. 

#9  Mark (April 25)
Patronage:  against struma

Against strudel?  What? Why would anyone be against strudel?

Ohhh, struma! ... Now, what the heck is that?

Well, according to Wikipedia, a struma is “a swelling in the neck due to an enlarged thyroid gland.” It’s also known as a “goiter.” 

Mark is, of course, one of the evangelists. He was not, however, one of the apostles, and probably wrote his gospel after Peter and Paul were both dead. 

His symbol – all the evangelists have their own – is a winged lion. This supposedly came about from Mark’s being “fed to the lions,” but with the lions refusing to fulfill their part of the bargain.

So, where are the wings?

#8  Paschasius Radbertus (April 26)

Not to be confused with Radbertus Paschasius …

Paschasius began life as an orphan. Left on the steps of the local convent, he was subsequently raised by the nuns. He would later become a monk, abbot, and well-known theologian. All this happened in the 9th Century, in northern France.

#7  Adalbert of Prague (April 23)
Representation:  pierced by three lances and beheaded

“It’s just a flesh wound!”

Born to a Czech prince, Adalbert would become bishop of Prague at a young age. In that role, he raised quite a stink (i.e., berating his flock too strictly for their sins), and was subsequently exiled to Rome by the local rulers. 

He was then asked to return by the pope, got into trouble once again, and then became a missionary in Prussia. He proved even less popular with the Prussians, who were more than happy to help Adalbert on his way to holy martyrdom.

Adalbert’s patronage now includes Prague, the Czech Republic, Prussia, and Poland.

“All right, we'll call it a draw.”

#6  George (sheep, halberdiers, against syphilis) (April 23)

… inquisitors, goiters, against strudel, kitchen sinks …

George was a soldier in the Roman army. Refusing to recant his faith, he was beheaded on the orders of the Emperor Diocletian. He was a mere 23 years old.

And, yes, he is the dragon guy. I’ll bet you didn’t know, though, that that particular legend is as old as civilization, and has echoes  in Perseus, Cetus and Andromeda, and in Germanic, Vedic, Phoenician, and Ancient Egypt cultures.

BTW, George is also the patron saint of butchers, field hands, saddle makers, lepers, Montenegro, Limburg (the city, not the cheese),and Saskatoon, and is also invoked against herpes and skin rashes.

#5  Egbert of Rathemigisi (April 24)

Not a lot out there on ol’ Egbert, I’m afraid. We do know he was English, as well as a monk, priest, and bishop. Some other highlights of his life include:

  • Traveling to Ireland and the Netherlands
  • Recovering from the plague
  • Hanging out with guys with cool names like Wigbert and WIllibrord
  • Living to the ripe old age of 90

I have absolutely no idea why, but most of the images out there for Egbert are of trains

#4  Fidelis of Sigmaringen (April 24)
Representation:  with a hurlbat

Whatever that is …

Fidelis was born Mark Rey, in 1578, in Southern Germany. He took the name Fidelis, meaning “faithful,” when he joined the Capuchins.

He was a teacher, a lawyer, and a missionary. As for that last one, Fidelis helped spread the True Faith during the Counter Reformation. And that’s exactly how he added “holy martyr” to his resume.

Oh, the hurlbat? Sounds like it’s just a club, maybe one that might have been spiked and/or thrown. And, yes, that is the particular way he achieved that holy martyrdom.

And that would be a hurlbat

#3  Ibar of Meath (April 23)

Ibar, also known as Ivor and Iberius, was a disciple of St. Patrick and a contemporary of such famous Irish saints as Kiaran and Declan.

Again, not a lot on this guy, but we do know he was originally a Druid. He would later found a monastery, and become an abbot and bishop.

Meath? It’s a county in Ireland, just northwest of Dublin.

#2  Cletus (April 26)

There is no truth to the rumor that St. Cletus is the patron saint of slack-jawed yokels. 

Cletus was actually the third pope, right after Linus and right before Clement. If those names sound familiar, you’ve probably been to a Catholic mass before and heard the long form of the Eucharistic Prayer. “We honor Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus…” Sound familiar?

Cletus was also known as Anacletus (though there’s some confusion whether these were two guys). He was pope for 12 years. His main accomplishments seem to be dividing Rome into parishes (though that’s also claimed by St. Evaristus). Like most of the early popes, Cletus was martyred, supposedly being buried right next to St. Peter.

#1  Trudpert of Munstertal (April 26)

To distinguish him from Trudpert of Prague, I would presume. Or maybe Trudpert of Verona. Or Trudpert of Meath, or Trudpert of Rathemigisi …

Our Trudpert is a bit on the obscure side, I’m afraid. Therefore, this translated page from the German Wikipedia will have to do:

Trudpert was an Irish missionary im Breisgau, he is to 650 (according to the very poor news) by a count Othbert in a valley of the river Neumagen have received a piece of land to a spiritual foundation. He founded a settlement in this place and built a chapel, and the forecast was slain by one of his servants. Therefore, he was revered as a saint. He developed the Benedictine St. Trudpert in Münstertal / Schwarzwald back.

Trudpert is among the saints Fridolin , Pirminius , Gallus , Othmar , Columban of Luxeuil and Landolin who worked around the Black Forest.  He was konw as the missionary of the Black Forest. According to tradition, he had a brother, St. Rupert , who also worked as a missionary, but this is controversial, Martin Gerbert (1720-1793) writes in detail in his book "History of the Black Forest". After that they had, according to a manuscript from St. Peter to Salzburg from Heinrich Canisius published, a sister or niece called Erindrudis.

Not sure what the ax is all about

Honorable Mention
  • Euflamia
  • Pusinna of Champagne
  • Cynwl
  • Neon of Lydda
  • Gregory of Elvira
  • Endellion of Tregony
  • Dada of Durostorum
  • Gundebert of Gumber
  • Swithburt the Younger
  • Sabas the Goth of Rome

Saturday, April 16, 2016

April 15-21

This week may actually be one of the quieter ones out there. My calendar only lists Ss. Damien and Anselm … and then Friday of the Second Week of Easter, Monday of the Third Week of Easter, Third Sunday of Easter, and so on and so on.

#10  Expeditus of Melitene (April 19)
Patronage:  against procrastination

So, which came first – the name or the patronage?

We don’t know a whole lot about this guy. Sounds like he was a Roman centurion who was martyred in Armenia during the 300s. If he actually existed, that is …

There’s a couple of stories about the name. One is that it’s a misspelling of “Elpidius,” a not unusual name back in those days.  Another is that it’s from the term for a centurion without his pack. This one, however, is my personal favorite:

Many stories circulated about the saint's origin say that the cultus of Expeditus began when a package marked expedite (meaning “be ready” or alternately “loosen”) arrived with unidentified relics or statues. The recipients assumed that the statuary or relics belonged to a Saint Expeditus, and so veneration began.

In addition to procrastination, you can call on Expeditus for help with prompt solutions and legal proceedings. He’s also the patron saint of merchants, navigators, programmers (?), hackers (?!), and revolutionaries (?!?!). He’s particularly popular in New Orleans, Brazil, Chile, and the island of Reunion (right off the coast of Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean). Finally, he also has his very own website.

#9  Ursmar of Lobbes (April 19)

Weird name, meet weird place.

Ursmar was a bishop and abbot who lived around the year 700. Lobbes is an abbey in the city of Hainault, Belgium.

Ursmar, wake up!  It’s almost noon!

Not a whole lot out there on Ursmar either, I’m afraid. In fact, I had to translate a few pages to learn much of anything about him. Some things I did learn through this method were – and I quote:
  • He is in the Roman Catholic Church as a saint venerated.
  • He is patron of children who learn to walk difficult.
  • He is a strict ascetic, zealous missionary and miracle worker described.
  • His biography was of one of his successors as abbot of Lobbes, Heriger, written.

And, yes, I did those particular nuggets from the original German translate.

#8  Alphege of Winchester (April 19)
Representation:  bishop with an axe in his head

Now, that’s gonna leave a mark …

Yup, that is indeed how Alphege was martyred. According to, this was done by “angry, drunken Vikings.” What’s even more interesting is that Alphege just so happened to be Archbishop of Canterbury at the time. Different times back around the turn of the first millennium.

Couldn’t find anything with axe actually in head, so this’ll just have to do

Alphege is also a man of many names, including:
  • Alfege
  • Alphage
  • Alphegus
  • Elphege
  • Ælfheah
  • Aelfheah
  • Elfego
  • Godwine

Godwine? Godwine?? How’d that get in there?

#7  Donnan of Eigg (April 17)

Weird name. With lotts of extra consonnants thrown in seemingly randommly, for good measurre.

Donnan was an Irish missionary to the Picts, an early Scottish people. They didn’t take too kindly to his efforts, however, and subsequently offered their services in helping him become a holy martyr. Eigg is one of the Hebrides, by the way … and supposedly the spot where Donnan was martyred. All this happened around the year 600.

Another man of many names, this guy’s also known as Dounan, Donan, Donnanus, and Domnanus. He’s also often confused with Donnan of Auchterless; Donnan, Son of Liath; and Donnan the Deacon.

#6  Cesar de Bus (April 15)

Sorry, but all I can think of is Tattou saying, “Da plane!  Da plane!”

Actually, this guy is French, so I’m guessing that last name is pronounced more like the word “debut.” My French is notoriously poor, however, so that’s really just a guess.

This guy started out as a soldier, writer, and bon vivant. He would eventually figure out what he wanted to do when he grew up, becoming a priest who focused on poor folks in out-of-the-way rural places. He’s known in particular for “family catechesis,” the idea that an individual gains his first instructor in the faith from his family. 

Interestingly, I also found Cesar on Facebook and Twitter. Oops, wrong Cesar!

Definitely the wrong Cesar 

#5  Drogo (Feb 16)
Patronage:  those whom others find repulsive

“Drogo is a major character in the first season. He is played by starring cast member Jason Momoa, and debuts in the series premiere. Drogo is a khal, or chieftain, of the Dothraki people and is often referred to with his full title, Khal Drogo …”  

Oops, wrong Drogo.

Definitely the wrong Drogo

Our Drogo was no khal. In fact, he actually had a pretty tough life. First off, his mother died at his birth, and Drogo would later blame himself for her death. He would then lose his father, becoming an orphan in his teens.

After that, Drogo gave up all his worldly goods and became a penitential pilgrim. He would later become horribly deformed through some unknown affliction, spending his last 40 years walled up in a cell.

Drogo has quite a lengthy list of patronages, including:
  • Unattractive people
  • Bodily ills
  • Broken bones
  • Deaf people
  • Mute people
  • The mentally ill
  • Against gall stones
  • Against hernias
  • Against ruptures
  • Midwives
  • Shepherds
  • Coffee house keepers
  • Coffee house owners
  • Cattle
And here's my buddy Alessandro's take on Drogo.

#4  Fructuosus of Braga (April 16)

I don’t know about you, but I always get this guy confused with Fructuosus of Tarragona. Yup, probably happens to us all. 

Our Fructuosus, in addition to being from Braga (a city in Portugal), was also archbishop of said city. The son of a Visigothic duke, he got his start as a hermit. He’s also famous as a founder, starting no less than nine monasteries.

He’s usually portrayed with a stag, which he purportedly saved from hunters. Surprisingly, though, I could not find any such representation.

#3  Eleuterius of Illyria (April 18)

It’s like a little poem. Go ahead, say it. See?

Wow, this guy just can’t make up his mind. First of all, he goes by no fewer than 8 names:
  • Eleuterius
  • Eleftherios
  • Eleuterio
  • Eleuterus
  • Eleutherus
  • Liberalis
  • Liberator
  • Liberatore

And claims the following feast days:
  • April 18
  • May 13
  • May 15
  • May 21
  • May 23
  • September 5
  • November 24
  • December 31

Finally, here are some things we know about him “for sure”:
  • Born around the year 100, probably near Messina, Italy
  • Son of Saint Anthia
  • A bishop somewhere in Illyria, in modern-day Croatia
  • Martyred c. 138
  • Patron saint of the wonderfully named Italian town of Civitacampomarano

E and his mum

#2  Anastasius of Antioch (April 21st)

It’s hard to believe, but there were actually no less than 4 of these guys. No, I’m not talking 4 Anastasii. Nor am I talking about 4 saints from the same town – you know, Peter of Antioch, Eleuterius of Antioch, Luella of Antioch …

What I’m talking about is 4 Anastasius of Antiochs. Turns out one was a martyr, and the rest were bishops.

Our guy was one of the bishops, ascending the episcopal throne in 559.  He was later exiled for 20-some years by the Emperor over some theological sticking point.  Our guy was also known as Anastasius the Elder – hey, anything to help separate these dudes apart, right?

#1  Appolonius the Apologist (April 21st)

And you thought Anastasius was off the charts when it came to alliteration ...

We’ve already had a couple of apologists in here. No, they weren’t guys known for their extraordinary politeness. An apologist is simply someone who defends and explains the Christian faith, especially to people who might resist or attack it.

Our guy’s “apology” came when he was accused and then tried as a closet Christian. This was quite a big deal at the time, as Appolonius was a Roman senator, of some influence and very learned in philosophy. He defended himself very well, but not well enough, I guess, as they then chopped off his head.

And furthermore …

Honorable Mention
  • Wiho of Osnabruck
  • Wigbert of Augsburg
  • Theodore of Thrace
  • Turibius of Astorga
  • Perfecto of Cordoba
  • Wando of Fontenelle
  • Cogitosus
  • Frodulphus
  • Huna of Slättåkra
  • Maelrubba of Applecross

Saturday, April 9, 2016

April 8-14

#10  Guthlac of Croyland (Apr 11)

Guthlac. That’s one you don’t see in your typical baby name book …

I’m afraid this guy didn’t start out too saintly. Prior to a conversion experience, he was a soldier. In fact, notes that “the freedom to loot led to him amass a large fortune.”

Guthlac gave that all up to become a hermit in the Fens, a wild, marshy area in the east of England, “rumoured to be the haunt of monsters and devils” ( Croyland is actually an island, and is now the location of a monastery built on the site of Guthlac’s cell.

By the way, Guthlac was the brother of Pega of Peakrik. Remember her?

Guthlac and Pega 
(with those glasses causing no small amount of controversy here)

#9  Walter of Pontoise (Apr 8)
Patronage:  against work-related stress

I think we can all call on Walter at some point …

A surprisingly popular figure on Etsy

Walter lived in 11th Century France, and was a scholar, teacher, and abbot. All he really wanted to be, however, was a simple monk. In fact, he went so far as to run away several times and even submitted his resignation directly to the pope. He also got into hot water taking the clergy to task for their lax ways. All in all, I think you can probably understand the logic behind this particular patronage.

#8  Joseph Moscoti (Apr 12)
Representation:  lab coat

I’m used to robes, and staffs, and lilies, and even eyes on a plate (that would be St. Lucy), but lab coats?

Joseph was indeed an MD – in fact, an internationally known one.  He practiced in Naples, in the first few decades of the 20th Century. He was particularly well known for work he did there during the eruption of Vesuvius.

Continuing our Etsy theme

Joseph was also very pious – doing much of his work without pay, going to mass every day, taking a vow of chastity, and even performing his share of miraculous cures.

#7  Scubilion Rousseau (Apr 13)

As if Guthlac wasn’t bad enough …

Scubilion was a Christian Brother who lived during the 19th Century. Born in France, he spent most of his life ministering to slaves on Reunion Island, a French colony in the Indian Ocean.

It’s the name, of course, that got Scubilion into this blog. Interestingly, this fellow was born Jean, taking the name Scubilion when he joined the Christian Brothers. He probably got that name from a very obscure saint who lived in the same area during the 600s.

The guy here thought Scubilion reminded him of this particular cartoon character

#6  Martin (Apr 13)
Representation:  pope with geese surrounding him

Geese and popes – a natural combination …

Martin I was pope from 649 to 655. He summoned the Lateran Council, which got him in trouble with the emperor Constans. In fact, Constans had him kidnapped, imprisoned, and tortured. Martin died soon after, which makes him officially a martyr.

The geese? says that this might have come from “possible confusion by artist with Martin of Tours.”

What’s the connection between Martin of Tours and geese? Wikipedia explains:

The goose became a symbol of St. Martin of Tours because of a legend that when trying to avoid being ordained bishop he had hidden in a goose pen, where he was betrayed by the cackling of the geese. St. Martin's feast day falls in November, when geese are ready for killing. St. Martin’s Day was an important medieval autumn feast, and the custom of eating goose spread to Sweden from France. It was primarily observed by the craftsmen and noblemen of the towns. In the peasant community, not everyone could afford to eat goose, so many ate duck or hen instead.

Not exactly "surrounded" (and not exactly "geese"), but hey ...

#5  Benezet the Bridge Builder (Apr 14)

This one’s a bit like an onion. The more you peel away, the more layers there seem to be.

So, first thing I did was to type “Benezet the Bridge-Builder” into Google. There, under a Wikipedia link, I found out that Benezet is “considered the founder of the Bridge-Building Brotherhood.” O-k-a-y …

Clicking the Bridge-Building Brotherhood link, I then learned that “a Bridge-Building Brotherhood is a religious association whose purpose is building bridges.” A-l-r-i-g-h-t …

They then go on to say that:

Bridge-Building Brotherhoods reportedly existed during the 12th and 13th centuries. Not much is known about their origins.

They do then point out – finally! – that, back in those days, there weren’t a lot of bridges around. Building one was considered a major benefit to society (and especially pilgrims), and was considered a significant charitable work.

Benezet himself was a shepherd boy in northern France who had a vision to build a bridge across the Rhone River at Avignon (in southern France). Legend has it he built it all by himself. 

Just to increase the mystery, this is the 2nd result on Google Images for “Benezet the Bridge Builder” (and I have no clue about this one)

#4  Zeno of Verona (Apr 12)
Representation:  bishop holding a fishing rod

Not sure what I like better – the crazy name or the crazy representation.

There’s a lot about Zeno that we’re not totally sure about. He may have been African. He may also have been a slave. He may have been a bishop. And he may have been a martyr. We do know he lived in the 300s. Probably.

Hey, that’s just a crozier with a fish on it

The fish? Don’t be surprised that there are two competing explanations. In one, he simply fished to feed himself. In the other, the fishing rod is emblematic of his ability to bring people to baptism (i.e., his being a “fisher of men”).

#3  Barsanuphius of Gaza (Apr 11)

Like there’s another Barsanuphius out there …

Actually, I do see a Barsanuphius of Egypt, as well as a Barsanuphius of Palestine and a Barsanuphius the Great. Wouldn’t you know, though – they’re all the same guy.

Yup, you can find it on Amazon

Barsanuphius seemed to have had something of a split personality. On the one hand, he spent 50 years in the desert as a hermit. At the same time, he also wrote thousands of letters, over 800 of which survive to this day.

By the way, my spell check suggests “balsa nephews” for this one.

#2  Lydwina of Schiedam (Apr 14)
Patronage:  roller skaters

Poor Lydwina is a very unlikely patron saint for roller skaters. She was mostly known for her suffering. Modern-day hagiographers (people who write about saints) speculate that she was a victim of untreated multiple sclerosis. Her suffering did seem to start with a fall while ice skating, though – hence her peculiar patronage.

Schiedam is in The Netherlands by the way.

She's the one with the halo

#1  Symforian Ducki (Apr 11)

Symforian is bad enough. But Ducki?

Symforian’s a modern saint. He was a Polish Capuchin who was martyred at Auschwitz. 

The first return on Google for Symforian is in Polish. Using Google’s automatic translator, we learn that:
  • He May 10, 1888 - born in a family craft
  • 1918 - Capuchins recover Monastery Street. Of honey, deleted by the tsarist authorities in 1864.
  • May 20, 1921 - consists of profession time on your hands this year. Fidelis Kalinowski.

Honorable Mention
  • Hadewych
  • Dotto
  • Acutina
  • Wigbert
  • Tassach of Raholp
  • Eberwin of Helfenstein
  • Phlegon of Hyrcania 
  • Papylus of Pergamus
  • Ardalion the Actor
  • Fronto of Nitria

Saturday, April 2, 2016

April 1-7

This week includes the end of the Octave of Easter (the eight days from Easter to the Sunday after Easter), the Feast of Divine Mercy (also on the Sunday after Easter), and April Fool’s Day (actually not on the liturgical calendar).

#10  Edward Oldcorne (Apr 3)

Edward is actually a Blessed. That’s one step down from sainthood. 

It’s also a common title for English Catholic martyrs from the days when England teetered between being Catholic and being Protestant. I’m really not sure why so few of them never make it to sainthood. It’s not like they didn’t live heroic lives and die terrible deaths. 

Edward, in fact, provides a great example of the latter. He was seized after the Gunpowder Plot was uncovered. This conspiracy to blow up Parliament basically offered an excuse to round up Catholics (and is also the source of Guy Fawkes’ Day). Edward was seized and first put on the rack for 5 days. When he failed to reveal anything (he probably knew nothing about the plot), he was then drawn and quartered.

Edward also left us with a particularly gruesome relic
(in case you don’t read Latin, this is his right eye)

#9  Vilmos Apor (Apr 2)

Possible anagrams for this saint include:
  • Limo vapors
  • Violas romp
  • Air solo MVP
  • Ova rim slop
  • Mr. Poi Ovals
All of which, I’m afraid, make a lot more sense than “Vilmos Apor.”

Sometimes, it seems that all the saints lived hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago. Blessed Vilmos, however, was someone who was very firmly in the 20th Century. A Hungarian baron, he was made bishop of the town of Gyor during WWII. 

He was one of the few churchmen who stood up for the Jews and criticized the Nazis’ treatment of them. He was also martyred, at the end of the war, by Red Army soldiers who were trying to assault some women who had come to him for shelter.

#8  Mary of Egypt  (Apr 1)
Representation:  naked woman clothed with long hair

Sort of like a saintly Lady Godiva …

Mary of Egypt was a woman of extremes. The first part of her life was basically spent partying and sleeping with pretty much anyone. The second part of her life was spent as a hermit in the desert, continuously doing penance for the first part of her life. We’re talking probably the 500s here.

I was pretty sure this image wouldn’t exist, but there you go …

Mary had a surprising afterlife in the arts. She’s in Goethe’s Faust, a novella by Balzac, a poem by John Berryman, a sci-fi novel, and several operas.

#7  Vincent Ferrer (Apr 5)
Patronage:  plumbers

I understand there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that part of Vincent’s representation includes a butt crack.

Okay, that was pretty sacrilegious. Let’s see if I can do a little better here.

Vincent Ferrer was a Dominican who lived roughly around the year 1400. He was a theologian, but was mostly known for his missionary work. In fact, he was something of a jet setter (for the day), preaching in his native Spain, as well as France, Italy, Germany, Flanders, England, Scotland, and Ireland. He worked hard to overcome the Great Schism, when the church had multiple popes.

Hey look, my head is on fire!

The plumbers?  Well, we do know that Vincent is the patron saint of builders, as he did much to help build back up the church. This probably explains the plumbers, as well as his patronage of construction workers, brick makers, tilers, and pavers.

#6  Urban of Langres (Apr 2)
Patronage:  barrel makers

So, for the 20-some guys in the world who are still making barrels by hand … this is your saint!

I see that Urban is also the patron saint of vintners, vine growers, and vinedressers. He’s also invoked against blight, frost, storms, and … alcoholism. So, I’m thinking I’m definitely seeing a theme here. Indeed, tells us the whole story:

During a period of persecution of the Church, Urban hid for a while in a vineyard. There he converted the vine dressers, who then helped him in his covert ministry. Due to their work, and to Urban’s devotion to the Holy Blood, he developed great affection to all the people in the wine industry, and they for him.

Here, have some grapes!

Urban was a bishop who lived in the 4th Century.  Langres is in France, by the way.

#5  Richard of Chichester (Apr 3)
Patronage:  coachmen

Continuing our theme of obscure occupations …

Richard was a 13th Century English bishop. He had a particularly famous shrine, which was – unfortunately – destroyed by Oliver Cromwell. Interestingly, a prayer of his is the basis of "Day by Day," the song from Godspell.

Coachmen? I haven’t a clue.

A modern interpretation
(statue in front of Chichester Cathedral)

#4  Isidore of Seville (Apr 4)
Patronage:  the Internet

So, how does a bishop from around the year 600 become patron of the Internet? (And, no, this has nothing to do with Al Gore.)

Isidore was a Spanish bishop who lived around the year 600. He was a noted author and scholar, often referred to as the “most learned man of his age.”

Hey, that’s not an iPad, is it?

One of his works was the Etymologiae, a compendium of all the world’s knowledge. And that’s what’s probably ties him to Wikipedia, Reddit, Twitter, Snapchat, and Tinder (if he only knew!).

And here's my buddy Alessandro's take on ol' Izzy.

#3  Burgundofara (Apr 3)

Yup, that’s 22 letters, folks!  A new world record.

Not a lot out there on Burgundofara, I’m afraid. We do know she lived in 7th century France, and was a founder and abbess. 

There is a cute story out there about the monastery she founded. Turns out Burgy wanted to be a nun, but her father (who just so happened to be king) wanted to marry her to some prince or something. B was so upset that she made herself sick – deathly sick, in fact.  This upset dad so much that he relented on the marriage thing, allowed Burgs to take her vows, and then went ahead and built her a monastery to boot.

Burgundofara’s bio includes a fair amount of funny names in general, including:
  • Chagneric
  • Leudegund
  • Theudebert
  • Chagnoald
  • Chilperic
  • Theodechilde
  • Ethelburga
  • Agnetrude
  • Chagnulf

She’s also known as the much more reasonable St. Fara

#2  Gandulphus of Binasco (Apr 3)

Surprsingly, Gandulphus and Gandalf (from Lord of the Rings) do not share a common source. Gandulphus is German, and means “the progress of the wolf.” Gandalf is Norse and means “wand elf.” Hmm, I guess they really couldn’t be any more different, could they?

Now, you’re probably wondering how anyone – let alone someone saintly – could be named “progess of the wolf.” Sorry, can’t help you there.

You may also be wondering, “What the heck is a binasco?”  Though it sounds vaguely like a company that makes some sort of obscure widget, or perhaps something you might buy at the drugstore to relieve digestive ailments, it’s really just a town in Italy, close to Milan.

In addition to being from Binasco, Gandulphus was one of the original Franciscans, joining the order when Francis himself was still alive. He died a hermit, in Sicily.

#1  Brychan of Brycheiniog (Apr 6)

Brychan was born in Bryson City, NC. He attended Bryn Mawr College, where he studied botany and biology – bryozoans and bryophytes in particular.  He married a nice girl named Bryanna, and they had a son named Bryan and a daughter named Bryony. He’s a big sports fan, and likes baseball player Bryce Harper and hockey player Ilya Bryzgalov in particular. His favorite hair product is Brylcreem. 

So, what do we really know about this guy? Well, if you haven’t already guessed, he’s Welsh. He was actually king of Brycheiniog (Breconshire in modern parlance). The place, formerly called Garthmadrun, was renamed in his honor. 

Brychan was married three times and fathered 24 children – all of whom became saints. They include:
  • Cledwyn 
  • Cynfran 
  • Dwynwen
  • Endellion of Tregony
  • Nennoc
  • Teath
  • Tydfil
  • Dingad
  • Dogfan
  • Veep

Brychan himself would later retire from his kingly duties, dying a hermit.

Supposedly, those are his kids

Honorable Mention
  • Ulched
  • Agnofleda of Maine 
  • Tigernach of Clogher
  • Cronan Beg of Clonmacnoise
  • Tewdrig
  • Glinglin
  • Aedhan Laech of Cill Aedhain
  • Theodolus of Thessalonica
  • Ferbuta of Seleucia
  • Calliopus of Pompeiopolis

<March 22-30