Special Sub-Topic: I'm a Saint!
|I was a canon lawyer and Chancellor to Edmund Rich, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who had been one of my professors at Oxford. I became a priest after the Archbishop died. I eventually became a well-loved bishop, but I'm best known for writing a prayer that became a hit song in 'Godspell'. I am|
St. Richard of Chichester. St. Richard of Chichester (1197-1253) wrote the prayer on which the song 'Day by Day' is based. He had other, greater accomplishments, but there's no room to tell you about them here. St. David is the patron saint of Wales, and the smallest city in Britain is named for him. St. Piran was a Celtic monk who brought the gospel to Cornwall. St. John of the Cross wrote one of the great mystical works of Christian literature, 'The Dark Night of the Soul'.
|I was one busy lady! I ran a convent, composed music, wrote poetry, and books on medicine and natural history, and had a lot of visions (about which I wrote a detailed account, with illustrations!). When I wasn't doing any of these things, I was firing off letters to popes and princes, telling them to shape up! I am |
St. Hildegard of Bingen. St. Hildegard (1098-1179) ran the Benedictine convent at Eibingen (now Bingen). She has lately become something of a poster child for the New Age movement, which would probably have made the orthodox Hildegard a little uncomfortable!
St. Anne, according to legend, was the mother of the Virgin Mary.
St. Margaret of Scotland was the wife of King Malcolm II, and far too busy raising the eight children they had to even think of writing a letter to the Pope, and while St. Teresa of Avila ran a convent and wrote books, she was a Discalced Carmelite, not a Benedictine.
|My name is Patricius, but you know me as St. Patrick. I was born somewhere between the Clyde and the Severn in Western Britain in the 5th century, but I wound up in Ireland. How did I get there?|
Kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery.. It's always amused me that Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, because he's probably Welsh (at least that's what we Welsh claim!) and the Irish and the Welsh have some long-standing differences. He was indeed kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery, but he escaped, became a priest and returned to Ireland (with the Pope's permission but by his own volition) to spread the gospel. The shamrock is his symbol because he used the little three-leafed plant to explain the concept of the Trinity. The story about him ridding Ireland of snakes is apocryphal because there were never any snakes in Ireland to begin with.
|My grandmother was a saint (no, really!), and so were two of my brothers. I lived in what is now Turkey (it was Cappadocia back then) and I'm best remembered for my book 'The Life of Moses' and a collection of sermons I gave, based on the Song of Solomon. I am|
St.Gregory of Nyassa. St. Gregory of Nyassa (320-395) was the younger brother of St. Basil the Great and a friend of St. Gregory of Nazianzen. His grandmother was St. Marcina and his other brother is St. Peter of Sebaste. Sainthood seems to have run in the family! Prior to becoming a monk, Gregory was a professor of rhetoric and was married (we don't what happened to his wife - she either became a nun or died, or both).
St. John Chrysostom is one of the four doctors of the Eastern Church (along with Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzen, and Athanasius).
|I was a successful lawyer when, much to my surprise, after a passionate speech I gave at a synod to elect a new bishop, I was the one who got elected. Not only was I a layman at the time of my election, I wasn't even baptized! That was seen to in very short order, however, and my consecration followed immediately thereafter. All this took place in 374. I am most noted for the influence I had over Augustine of Hippo, which brought about his conversion to Christianity. I am |
St. Ambrose of Milan. St. Nicholas was a bishop in Asia Minor and you know him better as Santa Claus.
St. Christopher, according to legend, was the man who carried a child across a river only to find, when he got to the other side, that he was carrying Jesus Christ.
St. Antony of Padua never met St. Augustine, seeing that he was born 735 years after Augustine died.
|I'm responsible for the introduction of the word tawdry into the English language. It's a corruption of Audrey, the Anglicized version of my Anglo-Saxon name. I was an Anglo-Saxon princess who remained a lifelong virgin, despite two marriages! After my second husband died, I founded a monastery at Ely and died there in 679. |
St. Etheldreda. Etheldreda was the daughter of Anna, King of Mercia. When she was a mere slip of a girl, she dedicated her virginity to God, and protested vehemently when dad married her off to the aging Tondbehrt, the Earl of South Gwyras. When he died, she retired to Ely, but dad married her off again, this time to Egfrith, the young King of Northumbria. Somehow she managed to hang on to her precious virginity, and ran away from Egfrith (aided and abetted by Wilfrid, the Bishop of Northumbria) and went back to Ely. Egfrith gave up on the marriage, but not before he exiled Wilfrid for meddling! Oh, the tawdry reference in the question? Etheldreda died of plague, which broke out in huge tumours on her neck. Some said this was divine punishment for her youthful vanity when she wore necklaces designed to show off her beautiful neck. After her death, necklaces made of silk and lace were sold at St. Audrey's Fairs (no, I don't know why she had a fair named for her!) These were usually of such cheap manufacture that they disintegrated very quickly - hence St. Audrey's necklaces became tawdry necklaces and tawdry came to mean cheap and nasty. What a way to be remembered!
The other three were indeed Anglo-Saxon saints, but not all female Anglo-saxon saints were named Ethelsomething - just most of them.
|I was a lawyer, an intellectual, an author (in fact one of my books is still required reading for some university courses), and eventually became the Lord Chancellor to the King. However, he and I fell out over a matter of religious principle, and I lost my head. I am |
St. Thomas More. Sir Thomas More was a profoundly devout Roman Catholic (to the point of wearing a hair shirt at all times to mortify the flesh) and fell out with Henry VIII when he would not recognize Henry as head of the Church in England. Henry, being Henry, had Thomas beheaded. The book that's still required reading? Oh, that's 'Utopia' (it's a bit of a slog for modern readers!)
Thomas a Becket was the Archbishop of Canterbury in the reign of Henry II and he was slain in Canterbury Cathedral by four of Henry's knights, who got the idea to do away with Thomas and win the King's approval after Henry had expressed his annoyance with Thomas (again it was a matter of religious principle!) After that, Henry II wore a hair shirt by order of the Pope. You know, if I was named Thomas, I'd stay away from kings named Henry!
Thomas Didymus (which means the twin) was the fellow who didn't believe that Jesus had appeared to the other disciples after His resurrection, and he has gone down in history as Doubting Thomas, which is so unfair, because, if you read the gospels, Thomas was one of the first to recognize Jesus' divinity!
|I was another Anglo-Saxon princess (one of the few whose name didn't begin with Ethel, it seems). I was ardently courted by a neighbouring prince, but I fled from him. He pursued me, but was struck blind. He regained his sight after I prayed for his sight to be restored, and he was so grateful he left me alone. I went on to found a double monastery (for both monks and nuns) on the site where one of the colleges of one of the two leading English universities now stand. I eventually became the patron saint of that university town. I am |
St. Frideswide. Frideswide founded her monastery where Christ Church College, Oxford, now stands. After her death, miracles were attributed to her, and a shrine was built over her grave. When Henry VIII ordered the dissolution of the monasteries in 1538, St. Frideswide's shrine was desecrated and her bones thrown into a well. When it was safe to do so, the bones were retrieved by the people of Oxford (who were very proud of Frideswide) and she is now buried in Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, along with Catherine Dammartin, a former nun, who had adopted the Protestant faith and had been the wife of a well-known theologian. How come? Well, it seems a surly Puritan type, not enamoured of either Frideswide or Catherine, deliberately mixed their bones together. Since no-one could figure out which bones belonged to which lady, they were entombed together, and remain there to this day. I am not making this up!
The other choices are all male saints. Sorry!
|No one knows very much about my life, but every Londoner and many tourists coming into London by train know my name. I am|
St. Pancras. According to legend, St. Pancras was a Phrygian orphan who was brought to Rome by his uncle. Both uncle and nephew were converted to Christianity, and both were martyred for their faith. Pancras was just a boy of 14. A church dedicated to him was built on the Via Aurelia in Rome, and when Augustine of Canterbury was sent to England by Pope Gregory the Great, he built a church of St. Pancras in Canterbury. Where the station now stands in London was also the site of a church dedicated to the boy saint. The others? Oh, come on, people! They're all railway stations in London...well, Paddington is also a bear, but that's because was named after the station.
|I can't do a quiz about saints without a question about a Welsh saint (the Welsh hills are alive with the sounds of saints' names, believe me. Wales has almost as many saints as it has rugby players!) Here goes: I lived in Flintshire, in North Wales, and I was a niece of St. Bueno. He raised me to life after my head had been cut off by a spurned suitor. A well bubbled up just where my head had fallen and it was the site of many miraculous cures. I entered a convent and took the veil. After my (second) death, a shrine dedicated to me was built there, and it became a place of pilgrimage, called Holywell in English. In the 12th century my relics were moved to Shrewsbury, and it, too, was a place of pilgrimage. I am |
St. Gwenfrewi. Surprisingly, Holywell survived the Reformation, and Dr. Johnson (he of dictionary fame), reported seeing people who were seeking cures bathing there in 1774. In fact, Holywell (in Clwyd which includes part of Flintshire )is still a place of pilgrimage and one of the best preserved medieval sites in Britain.
St. Gwyneth and St. Gwendolen are figments of my imagination.There was a St.Gwladys, however, and if anyone writes a biography of her, it should be a best seller, since part of her religious practice was to walk two miles every morning, winter and summer, in the buff, to bathe in the River Usk (one mile there, one mile back). Of course, that was in the 6th century. She couldn't get away with it today.
You know, looking over the brief bios. of Frideswide, Etheldreda and Gwenfrewi, one realizes that these pious princess types certainly had trouble with men!
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