Wilgefortis, also known as Liberata, Kummernis in Germany, in England as Uncumber, and in France as Livrade, among other names, her story is a pious fiction more folktale than religious, according to which she was one of nine daughters of a pagan Portuguese King. When her father wanted her to marry the King of Sicily, despite her vow of virginity, she prayed for help in resisting the marriage, whereupon she grew a beard and mustache and the suit was withdrawn. Her father was so furious he had her crucified. Father Charles Cahier, S.J., wrote, for my part, I am inclined to think that the crown, beard, gown and gown and cross which are regarded as the attributes of this marvelous maiden (in pictorial representations), are only a pious devotion to the famous crucifix of Lucca, somewhat gone astray. This famous crucifix was completely dressed and crowned, as were many others of the same period. In course of time, the long gown caused it to be thought that the figure was that of a woman, who on account of the beard was called Vierge-forte. We may add that the crucifix of Lucca was shod with silver to prevent the wearing away of the wood by the kissing of the feet by pilgrims. This also has been turned to the glorification of St. Wilgefortis. For it is said that a poor minstrel playing an air before the saint's statue was rewarded by her giving him one of her precious shoes. St. Wilgefortis' feast day is July 20.
When St. Mamertinus was Abbot of the monastery which St. Germanus had founded at Auxerre, there came to him a young man called Marcian (also known as Marian), a fugitive from Bourges then occupied by ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
With the lives of so many early martyrs shrouded in legend, we are fortunate to have the record of the courage of Perpetua and Felicity from the hand of Perpetua herself, her teacher Saturus, and others who knew them. This account, known as "The Martyrdom of ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
When the father of this Italian saint died, his good mother brought up her twelve children well, even though they were very poor. "Oh, if I could only have the joy of seeing one of you become a ... continue reading
By Rev. Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D.
This model of Christian manliness recommends himself to us not for any strange or exciting things he did (because he really didn't) but for the daily listening to and heeding the voice of Almighty God - in the home, in the synagogue and Temple, in the ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes