Today, 19 September, is the feast of...
Gennaro, bishop of Benevento, and companions, martyrs (305): Also known
as 'Januarius', is patron of Naples; famous for regularly recurring
miracle of his blood, that liquefies during special masses held three
times yearly (including today).
Peleus and companions, martyrs (310): Died working in mines at Phunon,
Sequanus (or Seine), abbot (c. 580): Built a monastery near the source
of the river Seine, and civilized the people in the area (who were
Last year Jim Bugslag sent the following query:
I'm no hagiographer, but this sounds suspiciously like the
personification of a pre-Christian cult, which, I believe, commonly
focused on the sources of rivers, the river giving its name to the
saint, rather than vice versa, as Butler claims.. And by "cannibals"
presumably Celts are meant. Can anyone shed more light on this?
Francine Nicholson answered:
The goddess who is associated with the river Seine is Sequana and
she is thought to have preceded the Romano-Celtic period. By and large,
goddesses, not gods, are associated with rivers in Celtic mythology and
iconography, although gods may be associated with springs, especially in a
healing capacity. For example, there was the Gaulish god, Grannos, who was
conflated with Apollo in the Roman period. In his healing capacity, Grannos
was associated with the healing facility at Grand. Miranda Green's essay,
"The Celtic Goddess as Healer" in _The Concept of the Goddess_ (ed.
Billington & Green) summarizes the evidence for the association of Celtic
goddesses with rivers and healing springs. It does not address the role of
river goddesses as sources of poetic inspiration.
It's interesting that the goddess Sequana seems to have been
replaced by a male saint, St. Seine. We also see Apollo Grannos being
replaced by a female, Ste. Libaire.
Goericus (or Abbo), bishop of Metz (647): In thanksgiving for miracle
restoring sight to himself, became a priest; his daughter Precia was
first abbess of convent at Epinal.
Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury (690): A Greek scholar, held to be
the first bishop whom the whole English church obeyed.
Mary of Cerevellon, virgin (1290): First nun of the order of our Lady of
Ransom (Mercedarians) from Barcelona.
Theodore, David and Constantine (1299, 1321): Theodore, duke of
Yaroslavl and Smolensk, was father of David and Constantine.
And yesterday, Bill East informed us that 19 Sept is now the
official feast day of Theodore of Canterbury, bishop.
Department of Theology and Religious Studies
University of Bristol
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Bristol BS8 1TB
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