medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Today (1. May) is the feast day of:

"Joseph the Worker" (1st cent.)  The principal feast of Joseph, 
foster-father of Jesus, is March 19.  Today's feast is a creation 
that dates back only to 1956, as Pius XI sought to christianize Labor 

Amator of Auxerre (d. 418)  Amator was a zealous missionary in the 
Auxerre region, who continued his work as bishop.  He was credited 
with healing miracles.

Brioc (6th cent.)  Brioc was born to an aristocratic Welsh family. 
He converted to Christianity, founded a monastery, and apparently 
made his way to both Britanny and Cornwall during his life.  His 
later legends reflect his mobility, such as the tale that he set out 
with 168 monks in a ship, which was attacked by the devil posing as 
an enormous sea monster.

Sigismund of Burgundy (d. 524)  Sigismund was a Burgundian king who 
converted to catholic Christianity.  He lived the typical life of an 
aristocratic layperson until his second wife convinced S. that his 
son (by marriage #1) was plotting against him and needed to be 
strangled.  Then S. was sorry and engaged in serious penitence until 
he was defeated by the Franks, killed, and had his body thrown down a 
well.  S's main claim to holiness appears to be his foundation of the 
monastery of Agaune.

Mafalda of Portugal (d. 1257)  The Portuguese princes Mafalda, after 
her diplomatic marriage was annulled (when she was about nine), went 
off and became a nun at Arouca.  She used her private fortune to 
rebuild Oporto cathedral, build a bridge, and found a hostel and 
hospital.  M's cult was confirmed in 1793.

Peregrine Laziosi (d. 1345)  Pellegrino was a native of Forli who 
grew up to be a strong supporter of the (anti-papal and therefore 
ineligible for canonization) Ghibelline party.  But he got over it, 
struck with remorse when he assaulted St. Philip Benizi and Philip 
had the fortitude to turn the other cheek.  P. joined Philip's 
Servite order, working as a zealous friar for the rest of his life. 
P's cult was approved in 1609 and he was canonized in 1726.
Dr. Phyllis G. Jestice
Associate Professor & Chair
History Department
University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Dr. #5047
Hattiesburg, MS  39406
(601) 266-5844

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