Thursday, May 12, 2016

May 8-14

Not much going on this week … except for my birthday! So, if you don’t feel like celebrating the feasts of Solange of Bourges, Comgall of Bangor, or Amalrius of Metz, go ahead and raise a glass to yours truly.

#10  Amalarius of Metz (May 10)

I don’t know, I think I just like the sound of this one (plus it's my birthday).

Metz is a city in northeast France. Amalarius died there. He also did important things like:
  • Arranging a new Frankish liturgy
  • Replacing Agobard at the Synod of Diedenhofen
  • Getting involved in the theological controversies on predestination raised by Gottschalk
  • Having some of his views condemned by the Synod of Quiercy
Hey, thanks Google!

And, for some odd reason, this is what comes up for him under Google Images

#9  John the Silent (May 13)

We’re not kidding here. John got himself walled up and lived as a silent recluse for 40 years. Overall, he lived alone for 67 years total.

Prior to turning his back on the world, John was actually something of a boy wonder, He established a monastery at age 18 and became a bishop at 28. Interestingly, this boy wonder would pass away at the ripe old age of 104.

#8  Karolina Gerhardinger (May 9)

She was a humdinger, that Karolina.

She was also a modern saint, passing away only in 1879. Like a number of modern saints, Karolina was known in particular for starting her own order (in her case, the School Sisters of Notre Dame). 

She’s a tad on the obscure side, though, so I had to rely on Google Translate for the following:
  • On 16 November 1835 put Karolina Gerhardinger in the St. Gallus chapel to Regensburg, the temporary profession from.
  • Soon recognized Mother Mary Theresa that the small and remote monastery in Neunburg in the long run than vorm Wald their growing community Motherhouse could serve.
  • 1985, Pope John Paul II. Maria Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger blessed.
  • In the fall of 1998 after the decision of the Bavarian government her bust in the Walhalla in Regensburg, the Hall of Fame for outstanding personalities of Germany placed.
So, what with Germans and their verbs is it?

#7  Isaiah the Prophet (May 9)
Representation:  old man sawn in two

Now, that’s gonna leave a mark!

There happen to be very few Old Testament saints. Why is that? Well, saints basically serve as models for Catholics (and other Christians as well). So, seeing as believing in Christ would seem to be a pretty basic part of that formula …

That said, there are a handful of OT saints out there. In addition to Isaiah, we’ve also got the archangels (Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael), plus Habakkuk, Daniel, Elias, Abraham, and King David. Now, why these seven and no others became saints is, I’m afraid, totally beyond me.

The representation? Well, there does so happen to be a tradition in Islam and in Judaism that Isaiah was indeed sawn in two, by the evil King Manasseh. Not sure why Catholics might believe that as well though.

That’s Isaiah on the left.
I have no idea who’s on the right.

#6  Solange of Bourges (May 10)
Representation:  girl carrying her severed head

Ditto, I’m sure!

Solange was basically your poor, devout Medieval virgin (as well as a shepherdess to boot). Unfortunately, she caught the eye of the local randy young lord, resisted his advances, and fell a victim to his rage at being rejected. Sounds like said lord really lost his cool, going so far as to actually lop off Solange’s head with his sword. 

Legend has it that Solange then walked back into town with her head under her arm. There, she (or, rather, her head) denounced her murderer; got a little preaching in, for good measure; then finally, truly expired, once and for all.

#5  Francis Patrizzi of Siena (May 12)
Representation:  Servite with a lily growing out of his mouth

Hard to believe, but I swear I’ve seen this representation before, and that it symbolizes that the saint was a particularly gifted homilist or preacher. 

It seems, though, that I was totally, completely wrong. I was able to find two other examples of this representation, William of Montpelier and Angelus of Jerusalem. For neither of these saints, however, was there anything about their being particularly eloquent. Ah well.

Nor could I find an actual image of this particular representation either

We do know that Francis lived in the 14th Century and was a Servite (an order of monks). He’s particularly well-known for his role as a mediator. The lily probably just comes from his love of Mary, whose symbol it is.

Just to make things interesting, there is also a Francis Xavier Patrizi out there as well. 

#4  Comgall of Bangor (May 10)
Representation:  abbot holding a stone, to whom an angel brings a fish

I don’t know, sounds kinda like something Dali might have come up with. All we need are some ants, some floppy clocks, and some flaming giraffes.

Comgall was an early (6th Century) Irish saint. He founded the monastery at Bangor, one of the more famous ones in the Emerald Isle. 

It sounds, however, like Comgall might have been a little on the strict side:

Food was scant and plain. Herbs, water, and bread was customary. Even milk was considered an indulgence. At Bangor only one meal was allowed, and that not until evening. Confession was in public before the community. Severe acts of penance were frequent. Silence was observed at meals and at other times also, conversation being restricted to the minimum. Fasting was frequent and prolonged. (Wikipedia)

Hey, where’s the stone? And the angel? 
And the fish? And the flaming giraffes?

#3  Dominic de la Calzada (May 12)
Patronage:  Spanish civil engineers

Well, how about mechanical engineers? Or Portuguese civil engineers? Or Portuguese mechanical engineers?

Dominic was a young man in 11th Century Spain who, turned down by the Benedictines, decided to become a hermit along the Camino del Santiago, the main pilgrim route in Europe (and still very much alive today). To benefit the pilgrims, Dominic built a bridge, followed later by a causeway (calzada in Spanish) and a hostel (still in use today).

Dominic was also a man of many miracles. One, which is way too involved for this post, involves a pilgrim, a jilted woman, an unjust accusation, a hanging, and a rooster and hen brought back to life. It’s still commemorated to this day.

Pilgirms! Hikers! Step right up! Get your picture taken as St. Dominic right here!

#2  Tudy (May 11)

No, not Judy. Nope, not Trudy. It’s Tudy.

Also, Tudy’s a guy. Just to make things even more confusing, though, he’s also known as Tudec, Tudinus, Tegwin, and Thetgo. (Thetgo? Honestly? Thetgo??)

Be sure, though, you don’t get him confused with the other Tudy, the one who actually is a female. Needless to say, she’s got her own set of additional monikers as well – Tudius, Tudelyd, Tudclyd, Tybie, Uda …

Today, most search results for “Tudy” point to a town in Cornwall that was named after the guy saint. Said town sounds quite quaint, and is also the birthplace of William Bligh, of Mutiny on the Bounty fame. The town fathers probably should have stopped with him, but do go on to list the following additional “famous sons”:
  • Eddie George, former governor of the Bank of England
  • Richard Lower, early experimenter in blood transfusion
  • Oscar Kempthorne, statistician and geneticist at Iowa State University (Iowa State?)
  • Humphrey Nicholls, MP for Bodmin
  • Vice Admiral Sir Louis Le Bailly who led a campaign for the local pub to be renamed after William Bligh
Hmm, I have this funny feeling the Vice Admiral might have come up with this list himself.

Haven’t a clue what the fish is doing there

#1  Glyceria of Trajanopolis (May 13) 

What’s really ironic here is that Glyceria is from the Greek word for “sweetness.” Not the sweetest sounding names – I mean, if you ask me.

Glyceria was a noble Roman maiden who became a Christian, was found out, and who subsequently became a martyr. She did, however, manage to go out with some major attitude.

Asked to publicly worship Zeus, Glyceria showed up with a cross on her forehead, prayed to Christ instead, and dashed the statue of Zeus to the floor. Needless to say, this did not go over too well with the local authorities. Before eventually succumbing to the inevitable martyrdom, Glyceria also managed to perform more than her fair share of miracles, including getting:
  • Stoned, but without getting hit once
  • Tortured, but having an angel intervene 
  • Thrown in a furnace, but having the fire go out
  • Thrown to the lions, but having the lions turn into puddy-tats

You go, girl!

Honorable Mention
  • Crispoldus
  • Abban of Abingdon
  • Pons of Pradleves
  • Euthymius the Illuminator 
  • Frodoino
  • Arsenio of Mt. Scete
  • Possessor of Verdun
  • Sisinius of Osimo
  • Giusto Santgelp
  • Banban Sapiens

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