Sunday, July 10, 2016

July 8-14

Couple of heavy hitters this week – Ss. Augustine and Benedict – with the latter actually making it into the top 10.

#10  Agigulf (July 9)

Not a lot out there on this guy. We do know he was active in the 8th Century, in what is now France. He was a monk, the abbot of the interestingly named Stavelot-Malmedy, and the archbishop of Cologne as well.

He also just so happened to be murdered by the king of France. An advisor to one king, Agigulf made the bad move of advising against the guy who would eventually become the next king. So, when the old king died, Agigulf paid the price. That’s kinda the way things worked in the 8th Century.

About the only other thing I can say about Agigulf is that typing his name into Google generated some rather interesting search results:

#9  Benedict of Nursia (July 11)
Patronage:  servants who have broken their master’s belongings

I sure do hate it when that happens. I’ll definitely have to remember this Benedict guy for the next time that happens.

Benedict is actually famous for a little more than that particular patronage. In fact, he’s considered the father of monasticism. He’s known in particular for his “Rule” and of the order he founded, the Benedictines.

Available on Zazzle

In addition to those servants, Benedict is also looking out for:
  • Dying people
  • School children
  • Farm workers
  • Architects
  • Civil engineers
  • Coppersmiths
  • Spelunkers
  • Italian architects
  • Italian farmers

If you hadn’t guessed it from those last three, Nursia is in Italy, and is where Benedict was born. Ben was active in the 5th and 6th Centuries.

#8  Menulphus (July 12)

Oh, what might have been… Menulphus’s main claim to fame was being bishop of the wonderfully named French town of Quimper. Can you imagine it? … Menulphus of Quimper. I would’ve probably had to bump him up to #1.

About the only other things we know about this guy was that he was born in Ireland and died on the way back from a pilgrimage to Rome. I believe we’re talking 7th Century here. Sorry – not that much about him.

Somehow or other, though, we do have a photo of his final resting place (?!?!)

#7  Hidulf of Moyenmoutier (July 11)

Another pretty obscure guy, Hidulf was a monk, abbot, and bishop who lived in the 7th and 8th Century and was active in Germany and France. And that’s about it …

Poor guy, Wikipedia isn’t even sure of some of the basic facts:

A contemporary view is that he was not a diocesan bishop, nor abbot of Saint-Dié Abbey in France.

I do know, though, that he was also a man of many names:
  • Hidulphus
  • Hildulph
  • Hydulphe
  • Idulfo
  • Idolfo

Looks like we’ve also got a picture of his final resting place as well (!?!?)

#6  Grimbald (July 8)

More obscurity. 9th Century, born in France, moved to England. Benedictine, monk, abbot, tutor to King Alfred. May have been first divinity professor at Oxford. AKA Grimbald of St. Bertin.

Also appears to be a character in some video game

#5  Hroznota of Bohemia (July 14)

I think this might be as obscure as you can get. I only found one site that talks about this guy (and that was good ol’, who talk about everybody). There, however, we do learn a thing or two about him. 

First, Hroznota was a guy. He was born in the 12th Century to a family of Bohemian nobles. He married and had kids, but when his wife died, he founded a monastery and retired as a monk there. Somehow or other (it’s all a little hard to follow), he got thrown into a dungeon by some robbers, and subsequently starved to death there.

The thing I really like about that page, though, is all the great Czech names that it contains:
  • Bozena
  • Hroznetin
  • Karlovarský
  • Stáry Kynsperk

Like I said, obscure

#4  Everild of Everingham (July 9)

The obscurity continues …

Everild was also known as Everilda and Eoforhild (though that last one just looks like a spelling mistake). It means “wild boar” … which is rather unfortunate, as Everlid was indeed a lady.

Everild was born in the 7th Century of a noble Anglo-Saxon family. A convert, she would run away to become a nun, eventually founding an abbey.

There are two churches dedicated to Everilda, one in the eponymous Everingham and the other in the wonderfully named Nether Poppleton.

#3  Amalburga (July 10)
Representation:  woman standing on a giant sturgeon

The patron saint of surrealism, I would imagine …

Finally, a saint whose bio has a little meat to it. In fact, I can even explain that particularly odd representation. Turns out one of her “pious legends” has her riding across a lake on the back of said fish.

Apart from that, she was another married saint. In fact, it sounds like she raised quite the holy family. Three of her daughters – Gudula, Emebert, and Reineldis – were saints as well. And both she and her husband retired to Benedictine houses after their youngest was old enough to fend for herself.

She also seems to have been the inspiration for this “Indonesian Deathcore” band 
(Repunt the Amalburga in case you couldn’t read that font)

Alternative representations for Amalburga include geese and a sieve. I’m afraid I don’t know the “pious legends” behind those ones. (By the by, “pious legend” is really just politically correct terminology for “cute story that we’re pretty sure was made up.”)

#2  Agnes De (July 12)

Maybe you have to be Catholic to really appreciate this one.

The Agnus Dei is a central part of the mass. It means, “Lamb of God,” and the rest of the prayer goes something like this:

Agnus Dei (Lamb of God)
Qui tollis pecata mundi  (Who takes away the sins of the world)
Dona nobis pacem (Give us peace)

Agnus Dei (Lamb of God)
Qui tollis pecata mundi  (Who takes away the sins of the world)
Dona nobis pacem (Give us peace)

Agnus Dei (Lamb of God)
Qui tollis pecata mundi  (Who takes away the sins of the world)
Miserere nobis (Pray for us)

As for our saint here, well, I’m afraid we’re back to obscurity again. Searching on “agnes de,” pretty much all I got was results for Agnes De Mille, a “famous” dancer and choreographer (I, at least, never heard of her).

Searching for “st. agnes de” doesn’t help much either. Doing that gets me hits for:
  • Blessed Agnes de Jesus Garland
  • St Agnes of Rome
  • St. Agnes of Bohemia
  • St. Agnes of Montepulciano

I did get a few real hits, though, so at least we know our poor Agnes wasn’t a typo. 

Perhaps, though, you know her as Anê Lê Thi Thành or maybe even Bà Ðê. And if you couldn’t already tell from all those funny things on the letters, Agnes was Vietnamese. 

She is, in fact, one of the Martyrs of Vietnam. This group of over 100 saints and beati met their end during the 19th Century, when the French were busy taking over Indochina and spreading the Catholic faith.

Pretty much all the Martyrs of Vietnam get this illustration on
(as you can imagine, they’re each pretty obscure individually)

#1  Ansbald of Prum (July 12)

So, let’s wrap this thing up with one more really obscure saint, shall we? Now, Ansbald does seem to definitely have some sites out there. Unfortunately, they all appear to be in German.

Running them through my handy-dandy Google translatin’ machine, though, does allow me to learn that:

As the Prüm Abt Egil (Egilo) 860 voluntarily resigned the office was Ansbald Abbot in Prüm and built by the Normans destroyed on 6 January 882 Abbey again. He gained, inter alia, with the support of Emperor Charles III. (Charles the Fat) the confirmation of old and new privileges. So he reached among other things that in Rommersheim a market and a mint was established in favor of the Abbey.

And, just in case you need a translation for that , here’s all they list on the only English site I could find (, of course):

Monk at Prüm Abbey near Trier, Germany. Abbot of Saint-Hubert in the Ardennes. Abbot of Prüm Abbey in 860. Prüm was burned by Vikings in 882, but Ansbald managed to re-build.

Honorable Mention
  • Proclus of Ancyra
  • Proculus of Bologna 
  • Totnan of Thuringia
  • Glyceria of Heraclea
  • Idus of Ath Fadha
  • Mancius Araki Kyuzaburo
  • Thurketyl 
  • Martyrs of Orange
  • Dogfan
  • Priscilla the Tent Maker

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