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

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