Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Nov. 8-14

This week seems to be a good one for B-level saints.  These are folks that you’ve probably heard of only if you’re Catholic – Martin of Tours, Leo the Great, Frances Xavier Cabrini …

The ten below?  Well, to have heard of them, you’d probably have to be 1) seriously Catholic and 2) possibly also a little odd yourself.

#10  Vitonus of Verdun (Nov 9)

Very vierd.

Vitonis was a French saint who lived in the 5th and 6th centuries. He was a missionary to the region of Lorraine (where Verdun is located). There, he would become bishop, miracle worker, and founder of a seminary and abbey. The latter would be subsequently named after him, and is known today as St. Vanne (other alternate names of his include Vaune and Vitone).

#9  Cunibert of Cologne  (Nov 12)


In addition to the awesome alliteration, Cunibert was also a man of many names. In addition to plain ol’ Cunibert, we’ve also got Cunipert, Kunibert, and Honoberht (?!?!). For the second part, we’ve also got Keulen, Köln, Trèves, and Trier. Put those two together, and we’ve got 16 different permutations and combinations.

Whatever you might call him, he lived in the 600s, was the bishop of the German city of Cologne, acted as co-regent for the Frankish kingdom of Autrasia, and founded many churches and monasteries.

His typical representation is “bishop with a bird (usually a dove or pigeon), often speaking in his ear or leading him somewhere.” This comes from a pious legend where said bird helped Cunibert find the long-lost grave of St. Ursula.

#8  Homobonus of Cremona (Nov 13)

As far as I can tell, that first name is not pronounced “homo bonus.” It seems to be more correctly rendered as “huh-MAH-buh-nis.” Too bad.

Our guy Homo (I’m assuming that’s what his friends called him), was actually born Omobono Tucenghi in 12th Century Italy. That first name means “good man” (“Homobonus” is merely the Latin version). I have no idea what that last name means (but can guess it’s a bear to pronounce properly).

Interestingly, Homobonus was very much a man of this world – he was married, and a well-off merchant as well. That last part explains his patronage of tailors, shoemakers, clothworkers, and business people in general. In fact, Homo’s been something of a hot commodity lately in business circles (if we can believe Wikipedia, that is):

In recent years, statuettes of Saint Homobonus are being sold as novelty items or executive toys in the United States. As the patron saint of business people, Homobonus has become a relevant figure in corporate culture. There is even a digital marketing agency that takes the saint's name. Omobono Ltd is based in Cambridge, UK. A priest was one of the founders of the organization. Another digital company in Texas, specializing in webhosting, combines Sheen (as in Fulton Sheen) with Omo to form Sheenomo [Sheenomo.com].

Now, Homobonus was also a very devout person and gave most of his riches away to charity. So, you got’s to do ‘em both – okay, you MBA types?

#7  Aedh Mac Bricc (Nov 10)

Odd as it may seem, this is not how someone clears their throat in Gaelic.

Aedh lived in 6th Century Ireland. He was a bishop, founded monasteries, and cured headaches. As for that last bit, he actually cured a particular doozy of St. Brigid’s – making him forever one of about two dozen patrons you can call on when you’re suffering from cephalalgia.

There’s a curious story out there about Aedh:

He frequently visited settlements of holy virgins who received him with the respect due to a man of his position. On one occasion, when he perceived that the girl serving him was pregnant he fled from the building both to avoid the pollution and to shame her. She confessed her sins and did penance. Áed was not one to leave someone under his care in a difficult situation; he blessed her womb and the baby disappeared as if it had never been there.

Not sure what this says about Church doctrine regarding abortion.

#6  Pavel Dzjidzjov (Nov 11)

I’m guessing no one knows how to pronounce this one.

Supporting me in this regard is how Google insists on “showing results for Pawel Dziedzic.” Heck, they are the same guy, right?

Pavel/Pawel is one of our modern saints, martyred in 1952 by the Bulgarian Commies. He’s actually only a beatus, or Blessed. One more miracle, though, and he’ll truly be a saint.

#5  Josephat Chichkov (Nov 11)

You gotta wonder why there aren’t more cute little baby Josephats out there. Got a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

You’re not going to believe this, but Josephat was actually a companion of Pavel. Other companions include Kamen Vitchev and Eugene Bossilkov. Nice try, you two, but I’m afraid your gonna have up your game a little if you want to appear on this list with Pawel/Pavel and Josephat.

#4  Josaphat Kuncewicz  (Nov 12)

It was a good week for Josaphats …

Interestingly, this Josaphat was not pals with all those other guys. In fact, this Josaphat lived back in the 16th and 17th Centuries. He was born a noble in what is now Ukraine. A monk and then a priest and archbishop, his main claim to fame was getting caught in between the Catholic and Orthodox churches and ending up a martyr.


#3  Livinus (Nov 12)
Representation:  bishop holding his tongue with a pair of tongs

But why? Why was he holding his tongue with a pair of thongs?

Well, as it turns out, said tongue was torn out as part of Livinus’s martyrdom. Interestingly, though, that didn’t stop it – Livinus’s tongue kept right on preaching.

Livinus lived in the same rough time as Vitonus, Cunibert, and Aedh. Another Irishman, he would head to the Low (or Benelux) Countries as a missionary (and subsequent martyr).


#2  Five Polish Brothers  (Nov 12)

Also happens to be the name of a polka band as well.

Okay, I’m making that up.

Get this though … These guys happened to be neither Polish nor brothers. Instead, they were Benedictine monks, from Italy, who just so happened to have been martyred in Poland. We’re talking the year 1005 here, by the way.

It's on!

#1  Maria Crucified Satellico (Nov 8)

I’m particularly thankful spell check didn’t correct that last part as “satellite.”  As that would have been weird.

Maria was born in 17th Italy and was raised by her uncle, who just so happened to be a priest. Quiet ambitious, as a child, Maria declared, “I want to become a nun, and if I succeed, I want to become a saint.” She would eventually become a Poor Clare and an abbess, but – unfortunately – not a saint (she’s only a beata).

Two other interesting things about our Maria – she was very musical and also suffered from demons. Not that those two are related, of course …

Honorable Mention
  • Jucundus of Bologna
  • Deodat of Rodez
  • Chillien of Aubigny
  • Rhediw
  • Warmondus of Ivrea
  • Adeltrude of Aurillac
  • Nonnus of Heliopolis
  • Narses of Subagord
  • Veranus of Vence
  • Ymar of Reculver

No comments:

Post a Comment