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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  November 2004

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION November 2004

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Subject:

saints of the day 16. November

From:

Phyllis Jestice <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 15 Nov 2004 17:35:59 -0800

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Today (16. November) is the feast day of:

Eucherius of Lyons (d. 449)  Eucherius was a Gallo-Roman, the father
of two bishops, who became a monk at Lerins in 422 (his wife became a
nun at the same time).  E. left the monastery to be a hermit, but was
made bishop of Lyons in c. 434.

Margaret of Scotland (d. 1093)  Margaret was the daughter of the
English prince Edward the Exile and a German princess; she was
probably born in Hungary and was raised at King Stephen (of
Hungary's) court.  At the age of 12 she was brought to the English
court of Edward the Confessor, but fled with her mother and siblings
after the Battle of Hastings.  They took refuge at the Scottish court
and in 1070 M. and King Malcolm III were married.  She was very
pious, ascetic, generous to the poor, and supportive of reforms of
the Scottish church.  She died in the middle of a rebellion, shortly
after learning that her husband and son had been killed.  M. was
canonized in 1250 and declared patroness of Scotland in 1673.

Edmund of Abingdon (d. 1240)  Edmund Rich (or "of Abingdon") was an
English scholar and eloquent preacher.  He was elected archbishop of
Canterbury in 1233.  E. was a royal advisor, but fell foul of Henry
III because Henry supported a papal legate whom E. regarded as an
interloper on his archiepiscopal rights.  Things seem to have gotten
rather exciting, with E. going to Rome and then excommunicating 17
Canterbury monks on his return---only to have the excomm. lifted by
the papal legate.  Rome wouldn't support E. in his fight and he ended
up leaving England in 1240, retiring to the monastery of Pontigny,
where he died.  He was canonized in 1247.  St. Edmund's Hall at
Oxford is named in E's honor, and tradition says it's built on the
site of his tomb.

Agnes of Assisi (d. 1253)  Agnes was the younger sister of St. Clare.
She joined her sister at age 15 and resisted all familial attempts to
make her return home.  She was made abbess of the Poor Clare convent
at Monticelli (near Florence) and established several other convents.

Mechtilde of Hackeborn (d. 1298)  A noble Saxon who was sent off to
be a nun at age seven.  She moved with the other nuns to Helfta in
1258, and the child Gertrude (the future "Great") was placed in her
care.  The two became close friends, both enjoying mystical
experiences and collaborating in the composition of prayers.  M. was
never formally canonized, but is honored in Benedictine convents.

Gertrude the Great of Helfta (d. c. 1302)  Clearly a good day for
female saints.  Gertrude was handed over to Helfta at the age of 5.
At age 26 she started having visions.  She finally recorded them in
the *Book of Extraordinary Grace*, and also wrote down Mechtild's
visionary experiences.  Although never formally canonized, Pope
Clement XII ordered the observation of her feast throughout the
church in 1677.  She's patroness of the West Indies, for no reason
that I can fathom.

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