#10 Bernardine of Feltre (Sept 28)
So, this is who Chumlee prays to every night?
That’s Chumlee, by the way – not Bernardine
Bernardine was a 15th Century Italian preacher. He was famous for his “bonfires of the vanities,” where people would toss in things like playing cards, dice, cosmetics, wigs, and fine clothes.
The pawnbrokers? Well, Bernardine was famous for starting a rival institution, called “mounts of piety,” which charged a lot less than the regular ones. You know, kind of like a Vatican version of Pawn Stars.
#9 Sadalberga (Sept 22)
So, what’s with all the bergas? We’ve got Notaberga and Sexaberga … and now Sadalberga.
The story of Sadalberga is a pretty common one – young noble with religious leanings but forced to marry. She and her hubby eventually separate to live the religious life, with mom, dad, and kids all ending up as saints.
What’s really cool about Sadalberga’s story, though, is all the great medieval names involved. In addition to Sadalberga, we’ve got Blandinus, Anstrudus, Fulcrus, Gundoin, Richramn, Saretrude, Gaulbert, Waldebert, Dagobert, and Bodo.
I have absolutely no clue what this is all about
(but it was the 3rd result on Google Images for “sadlaberga”)
#8 Cleopas (Sept 25)
Wasn’t that the name of the yokel character in the Simpsons?
Nope. That was Cletus. I’m pretty sure Cletus has a cousin named Cleopas though.
Actually, are you familiar with the Road to Emmaus? That’s where the risen Jesus appeared to two of his disciples in disguise. Well, one of those disciples just so happened to be Cleopas. No one knows what the other one’s name was. I’m pretty sure it was not Cletus though.
I had no idea the Road to Emmaus was also a South Park episode
Apart from the Gospel story, Cleopas doesn’t really get much press. He may be the same person as Clopas, believed to be the brother of St. Joseph. Just to muddy the water further, he’s also referred to as Cleophas, Cleofa, Cleopatros, and Alphaeus (Alphaeus?).
#7 Gabriel (Sept 29)
Patronage: television workers
I’m sure we’re all pretty familiar with Gabriel. Like the other archangels, he appears in both the Old and New Testatments (as well as the Koran!). He’s famous for being something of a heavenly messenger service, including doing such bigtime gigs as Daniel’s visions, the Annunciation, and dictating the Koran to Muhammad.
And that may be what’s behind his association with television, as well as with:
- Communications workers
- Telecommunications workers
- Postal workers (and philatelists as well)
Here he is lookin' kinda hunky
#6 Michael (Sept 29)
Patronage: Greek Air Force
Another archangel, another weird patronage.
Once again, though, there’s some logic behind this one as well. Turns out two of Michael’s main duties include (www.catholic.org]:
- Escorting the faithful to heaven at their hour of death
- Calling men from life on Earth to their heavenly judgment
As for Michael’s other 30-some patronages, I’m not so certain. Some of the odder ones include:
- Barrel makers
- Ambulance drivers
- Dying people
- Police officers
- Spanish police officers
#5 Theodota of Thrace (Sept 29)
I love Theodata’s bio on catholicsaints.info:
Repentant prostitute. Convert. Tortured and martyred for refusing to sacrifice to Roman idols during the persecutions of Agrippa.
Short (less than 20 words), sweet – but speaks volumes.
By the way, Thrace is in modern-day Bulgaria.
#4 Martyrs of the Theban Legion (Sept 22)
No, these guys are not Marvel Comics characters.
What they were were a crack regiment in the Roman army. Originally from the Egyptian city of Thebes, they were all Christians. When posted to what is now France and forced to worship the pagan gods, they refused. Eventually, all 6,666 would be martyred.
This is their leader, Maurice
By the way, “Martyrs of the Theban Legion” would also be a great name for a (heavy metal?) band.
#3 Herman the Cripple (Sept 25)
Things weren’t so PC, oh, way back in the 11th Century.
Alternate names for this guy, unfortunately, include Hermann von Reichenau (which makes him sound like some Nazi) and Herman Contractus (which just sounds weird).
Herman was actually quite the interesting fellow. Severely crippled from birth and dumped on the local abbey, he would remain there the rest of his life. He would also become a monk, compose hymns and poetry, write histories and math treatises, study astronomy, learn a number of languages, and correspond with other scholars all over Europe. He was something of the Stephen Hawking of his day, I guess.
#2 Maria Carme Fradera Ferragutcasas / Maria Magdalena Fradera Ferragutcasas / Maria Rosa Fradera Ferragutcasas (Sept 27)
Do you think they’re related?
And indeed they are. They were all sisters (i.e., nuns), who just so happened to be sisters in real life as well. Tragically, though, they all died a martyr’s death.
Their martyrdom was not, however, hundreds of years ago. Nor was it in some faraway pagan land. In fact, they were all martyred during the Spanish Civil War, in the 1930s.
Actually, it’s rather shocking how many martyrs there were from that particular conflict. Catholicsaint.info lists over 1400.
That should be Maria Carme
#1 Coprio (Sept 24)
How are your Latin and Greek roots? Familiar with “copro”? As in “coprolite,” “coprolallia,” “coprophagia,” “coprophilia”?
Here, I’ll let catholicsaints.info explain:
Abandoned as an infant on a dungheap (Greek: koprìa) by his parents, the boy was found and rescued by monks of the nearby monastery of Saint Theodosius in Bethleham. The monks named him Coprio, and raised him as their own. He grew to become a model of holiness, living his 90 years in the monastery. Monk.
Yup, that's pretty much everything you get on Google Image for "st coprio"
- Willigod of Moyenmoutier
- Hilary the Hermit
- Lupus of Lyons
- Callistratus of Constantinople
- Amalia Abad Casasempere de Maestre
- Zama of Bologna
- Purificación Ximénez y Ximénez
- Pau Bori Puig