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

No comments:

Post a Comment