Today, 2 June, is the feast of ...
* Pothinus and companions, martyrs of Lyon and Vienne (177) - Pothinus
was bishop, and according to his successor St Irenaeus, he had 'listened
to those who had seen the Apostles'
* Erasmus or Elmo, bishop and martyr (303?) - popularly represented with
a large aperture in his body through which his intestines have been
wound around an instrument of torture next to him; invoked against cramp
and colic, especially in children - also patron of mariners; 'St Elmo's
fire' is name given to blue electrical discharges around the masts of
ships (under certain atmospheric conditions)
* Marcellinus and Peter, martyrs (304) - Constantine built a church over
their tomb; they were translated in 827, sent by pope Gregory IV to
Eginhard (Charlemagne's former secretary) and deposited at Seligenstadt,
* Eugenius I, pope (657) - named pope about a year after pope St Martin
I had been carried off from Rome; Martin approved the appointment before
* Stephen, bishop in Sweden, martyr (1075?) -
Three years ago Jonas Carlqvist informed us of the following:
Adam of Bremen tell us that Stephen was a bishop consecrated in Bremen.
Stephen was active in Helsingland, north of Uppsala (In confinio Sueonum
vel Nortmannorum contra boream habitant Scritefinni, quos aiunt cursu
feras preterire. Civitas eorum maxima Halsingland. Ad quam primus ab
archiepiscopo designatus est Stenphi episcopus, quem ipse mutato
nomine Symonem vocavit. Qui etiam multos earundem gentium sua
predicatione lucratus est).
In Sweden Stephen is known under the name Stenfinn which is a nordic
name, maybe he was from Sweden. Johannes Vastovius says in "Vitis
aquilonia" that Stephen during a time was a brother of Korvey, but this
is surely not true. It is probably just an attempt to find a connection
with Saint Ansgar, the Nordic apostle.
Stephen, or Stenfinn, was killed in a forest and buried in
Norrala. This is told in the so called "The Prose chronic". A legend
tells us that when Stephen was dying he decided that his body should be
bound to the tail of an untamed horse and he wanted his body to be
buried on that place where the horse stopped running. The horse halted
at Norrala where a church was built (the church is rather neat and worth
a visit when you are on your way up to the midnight sun).
The swedish cult of Stephen is mixed with the cult of Stephen,
protomartyr, and with the legendary Stephen, stableman of Herodes. The
swedish bishop was never officially canonized. No "vita" is
* Nicholas the pilgrim (1094) - a pious and simple Greek who wandered in
Puglia; used to bear a cross in his right hand as he went along,
chanting 'Kyrie eleison'
* Sadoc and companions, martyrs (1260) - while sitting in the refectory,
the lector suddenly announced, as from a martyrology, 'At Sandomir
[where they were, in Poland], forty-nine martyrs'; the next day, they
were all killed while singing the 'Salve Regina'
* medieval-religion - the first test message was sent to the nascent
list on this date in 1995
Dr Carolyn Muessig
Department of Theology and Religious Studies
University of Bristol
Bristol BS8 1TB
e-mail: [log in to unmask]