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obscure saints

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:43 pm
by nix
befor any one starts this is NOT FOR ANY ONE TO TAKE MIC OUT OF ANY CHURCH just fort id put that so i didnt get in trouble

been reading bernard cromwell herritic series again and wondered if any one else new of any other obscure saints like st guenfort(a dog that was matred) or if this st was real? even if they are specific to certain area, everyone noes the big ones, i think a couple have been decatergerised by the recent pope but not sure about that ither

i also wounderabout st`s for us, archers have got sabastian, is there one for cavalry? infantry and the such?

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:46 pm
by Jim
There is Saint Nabisco, patron saint of Baked Confectionary.

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:58 pm
by Dave B
St Dysmas, patron saint of Thieves and undertakers (I think in the states, prison chapels are still traditionaly dedicated to St Dysmas)

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 3:48 pm
by m300572
Trawl round Cornwall and they have any number of obscure saints (Ives, Just ect).

Then there is St Mirren, the patron saint of Scottish football :lol: :lol:

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:01 pm
by Brother Ranulf
In the 1960s the Catholic Church simply "dumped" a whole host of previously venerated saints. Very respectful. Medieval England had three kinds:

1) those saints with their own shrines (Thomas Becket was top of the list)

2) saints recognised fairly universally by the Church, for example St Benedict and martyrs like Crispin and Crispinian, the Apostles, Archangels and so on

3) local saints who were almost unheard of outside their own area - St Winifrid of Wales (later Shrewsbury) is one example. Wales and Cornwall have a large number of obscure saints who are preserved in placenames -
St Austell, St Veep, St Enoder, St Endellion are a few of the Cornish ones.

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:02 pm
by Jim
Brother Ranulf wrote:In the 1960s the Catholic Church simply "dumped" a whole host of previously venerated saints. Very respectful.
Haven't they just dumped the idea of Purgatory as well?

Re: obscure saints

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:07 pm
by Karen Larsdatter
nix wrote:i also wounderabout st`s for us, archers have got sabastian, is there one for cavalry? infantry and the such?
Cavalry's got St. George or St. Martin of Tours; infantry's got St. Martin of Tours or St. Maurice. Artillery has St. Barbara.

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:17 pm
by Fillionous
Interstingly some of these local saints can trace some of thier names and deeds / miricals and assosiated shrines, holy places, wells etc back into earlier sometimes pre christian mythologies.

There is quite a lot of evidance for at least some being Pagan Divinities that were absorbed or over layed with Christian themes when the local tribes were converted, esspecally in Roman times. Posibally to ease the convertion or to hide or legitamised continuing Pagan worship.
I know of a couple of digs where artifacts dating back to pre history have been found deposited as offerings (certian wells / springs now named after saints) indicating at the very least a long history of worship and an overlaying of mythologies and justifications for a places special status.

In a similar way other spirits and Gods were demonised and blended with the Christian concept of the Devil.

Be bright, be bold

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:26 pm
by Brother Ranulf
The idea of a sanctified dog (St Guenfort) intrigued me and I did some digging. The Catholic encyclopedia doesn't mention him/her, but that's no surprise (as I mentioned, the Church has dumped many obscure saints).

It would be almost impossible for an animal to fulfil the modern requirements for sainthood, which include "living an heroically pious life"; how would anyone know? In the past, other evidence was used: St Fabian was sanctified partly on the basis that a dove flew down and sat on his head during the election of a new Pope (he instantly got the job).

On balance, I guess St Guenfort is a fiction ... but who knows?

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:31 pm
by Jim
Brother Ranulf wrote:St Fabian was sanctified partly on the basis that a dove flew down and sat on his head during the election of a new Pope (he instantly got the job).
You can't make someone a saint just because some common avian decides to perch on his skull cap!

Inducting some bloke to the higher echelons of the church, all because some scrawny chicken-relative crash-lands on the bonce of some jumped-up papal candidate is no way to run a church!

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:39 pm
by Brother Ranulf
Had it been a chicken I am certain the cardinals would have eaten it - but a dove symbolised the Holy Spirit, and therefore the Hand of God. Apparently Fabian made a very good Pope, despite having been a common servant at the time of the pigeon-dropping.

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:49 pm
by nix
i may have spelt the name wrong on guienford/font, the joys of not being able to spell! would be nice to get hold of some badges for soldiers st`s only erver see sabastians, and the guys i spoke to at the local monestry only no of a few and sell medalions of even less, and it would be good for publiuc to see how religion played a part in soldiers lives.

jim did hussites go in for that sort of thing?

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:45 pm
by Brother Ranulf
For the Normans, at least, St Michael was the favourite soldier-saint. He led the armies of Heaven so was a good angel to keep on side. Not sure about later medieval, though.

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:53 pm
by Malvoisin
Read a very touching artical this evening about Franz J├Ągerst├Ątter an Austrian peasant farmer who refused to fight in Hitlers war, citing his duty to Jesus above that to Hitler.
I'm not religious but that must have taken real belief. Ultimatally he paid with his life, being beheaded in 1943.
He is to beatified tommorrow in fact, which is I understand the first step to becomming a saint.

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 11:17 am
by nix
are there any up and coming st`s still alive or do they have to be well dead to be up for it, is st hood only granted after death?
would look good on a cv(unless your a cars salesman)
did mother teresa get one in the end?

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 11:32 am
by ViscontesseD'Asbeau
I saw a programme about a priest who was caught up in the 9/11 - and they were already making moves towards getting him made into a saint. The biggest hurdle seemed to be proving he'd performed a miracle which is a prerequisite, apparently. There had to be all sorts of corroboration; everything verified by x number of witnesses, etc. Very intriguing.

As for the animal saints maybe they're direct from the Roman - as opposed to Celtic - tradition - thinking of in Suetonius, with the bonkers Caligula making horses senators, etc?

There is an obscure tradition in a village near here where on a certain saint's day, they decreed that any dogs wandering loose could be killed in the street. Apparently, some naughty dog once did something unspeakable in a local cathedral on that saint day, and ever since, on that certain day, dogs caught wandering in the village could be put to death, as revenge. A couple of Victorian historians mention it. Technically it's never been 'repealed' as such.

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 11:35 am
by gregory23b
St Seb, out of pure interest was a popular saint against the plague, as well as connections with archery, quite a few plague sheets with St Seb and an invocation to not catch the lurgy survive.

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 11:54 am
by Brother Ranulf
Nix, regarding "up and coming saints", the process is seriously long these days. Quoting from an article on Canonisation:

"Formal canonisation is a lengthy process often taking many years, even centuries. The first step in this process is an investigation of the candidate's life, undertaken by an expert. After this, the report on the candidate is given to the bishop of the area and more studying is done. It is then sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome. If they approve it, then the person may be granted the title of "Venerable", further investigations may lead to the candidate's beatification and given title of "Blessed." At a minimum, three important miracles are required to be formally declared a saint. The Church, however, places special weight on those miracles or instances of intercession that happened after the individual died and which are seen to demonstrate the saint's continued special relationship with God after death. Finally, when all of this is done the Pope canonises the saint."

Many cases are currently being processed, including the late Pope John Paul II, the priest mentioned by ViscontesseD'Asbeau and more, but do not hold your breath.

The Catholic Church has at various times recognised around 10,000 Saints, but I can find no mention anywhere of animals being included at any period. Still looking!

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 12:01 pm
by Mr Dreadful
My personal favourite obscure saint is St. Isidore of Seville who is patron saint of the computers, the internet and students. His feast day is on my birthday.

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 12:13 pm
by DeviantShrub
My favourite (not that obscure, but not really venerated in England to the best of my knowledge) is St Leoba.

I had a soft spot for her since reading her 'life' when studying hagiography some years ago, so much so that I took the name for my own internet pseudonym. I think more friends know me as Leoba than as Helen (or DeviantShrub).

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 1:48 pm
by nix
what did she do?

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 1:52 pm
by nix
some one told me about the st of surfers, dont think its patric but may be wrong, he went somewere by foalting on stone or some such and im sure it was irland? and isnt there a st for chickens of all things?

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 2:00 pm
by DeviantShrub
Leoba? The link in my previous post is to her "Life" written by Rudolf of Fulda.

She was a nun, born in Wessex in the 8th Century. She was part of Boniface's missionary party in Germany, where she founded several nunneries, eventually ending up as Abbess of Bischofsheim. She was learned woman and a leading evangelizer and a friend to Hildegard (wife of Charlemagne).

Having claimed that she's not venerated in England, a bit of googling has just thrown up a Wiki entry suggesting that there's a shrine to her in a hamlet close to Beetham on the Cumbria/Lancashire border. I wonder why?

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 2:09 pm
by Brother Ranulf
She was English, in the sense of Anglo-Saxon, so probably had more regional devotees than just in her Wessex home area:

"Her birth date is unknown, but she was born Leofgyth in Wessex to a noble family. Her mother was related to Boniface, and Boniface was a friend of her father's. She entered Wimborne Minster as an oblate and corresponded with Boniface. Four lines of Latin verse in imitation of Aldhelm survive from a letter she wrote to Boniface, where she reminds him of her connection to him. Apparently, she was seeking even then to be part of Boniface's upcoming missionary work, because he invited her, along with other Anglo-Saxon nuns, to come to Germany. Her acta derives largely from Rudolf of Fulda, who indicates that she arrived in Germany around 748 (likely some time before)."

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 2:38 pm
by DeviantShrub
Cumbria just seemed to be to be a fair old way from Wimbourne, that's all. I would love to know if anyone else discovers churches or shrines or anything linked to her over here.

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 2:46 pm
by Karen Larsdatter
nix wrote:some one told me about the st of surfers, dont think its patric but may be wrong, he went somewere by foalting on stone or some such and im sure it was irland?
I think it's St. Christopher, actually.
nix wrote:and isnt there a st for chickens of all things?
St. Bernard of Montjoux, maybe? (St. Brigid of Ireland gets the chicken-farmers, though.)

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 3:30 pm
by nix
well dont no about loda, one but theres a st boniface down on the isle of wight with an old light house, and i mean old, medievil lighthouse, that was run by monks if i remember.

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 3:34 pm
by nix
all i remember is the nick name of it (the pepper pot) it might be on st cathrines down(who i have no idea is) and st boiface is the next one over(abouve ventnor ,iow)
the island has quite a few sts names, st hellens, boniface,cathrine,lawance, none of which are saints that i no of but then my education in religous matters is quite non egistance(and sow is my spelling)

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 6:40 pm
by Brother Ranulf
Deviant Shrub;
"Cumbria just seemed to be to be a fair old way from Wimbourne, that's all."

Saints' remains, either entire or in part, were regularly moved around the churches and monasteries even before the Norman conquest (but it was under Norman rule that this practice seems to have become widespread).
As an example, the Saints and parts of Saints held at Canterbury Cathedral included:
St. Dunstan, St. Thomas of Canterbury, St. Alphege, St. Anselm, St. Wendreda (from Ely), St. Ethelhard, St. Ouen, St. Oda, St. Ethelbert, St. Wilfred II (of York), St. Furseus (head), St. Austroberta (head), St. Swithun (head), St. Blaise (head & arm), St. Simeon (arm), St. Bartholomew (arm), St. George (arm), St. Wulfstan (arm), St. Richard (of Chichester) (arm), St. Romanus (arm), St. Gregory the Great (arm), St. Hugh (arm), St. Mildred (arm) & St. Edburga (of Minster) (arm).

Some of these are fairly local, others come from all over the country (and beyond). It is entirely feasible that at least a part of St Leoda or some secondary relic of her life ended up in a small church in Cumbria.

Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 12:01 am
by Hraefn
John Schorne a local Bucks saints my fav does all the usual stuff, strikes a pure spring from the ground with his staff etc but also cures a fellas gout by exorcising a devil from a boot. it is reputed that at his shrine in North Marsden for the edification of the pious was an automaton of boot from which ,by the use of ropes and pulleys used to emerge a devil, other shrines had 'moving statues too and I can't find me bloody notes on them.....bummocks!
There used to be quite a few pubs in Bucks called The Boot or The Devil and Boot with yer man on the sign, sadly, most have been closed, renamed or the sign changed for summat more secular eg some kids fishing a boot from a pond or just a boot sans devil.
His shrine at North Marsden was so popular that when they found out how much cash it was making it was 'relocated' (late 15thC) to St Georges chapel Windsor, where a boot was provided for the pilgrim to put on to take away the pain as well as Genry VIs to take away headaches. can't have provincial churches making more than royal ones can we.
Tucked away on the edge of Milton Keynes is Bradwell Abbey which is unusual in that it has 14/15thC wall paintings showing pilgrims bringing votives of body parts to the shrine, remote healing for those that couldn't travel, go see it if your close/passing it's lovely
Marlow church still has what is s'posed to be St James' hand in a glass reliquary box that was at Reading. They don't like to mention it though, as it's very CofE.