Sunday, July 18, 2010

St. Radegunde (518 to Aug. 13, 587)

I'm asked quite often to define a patron saint. To me, it's a protector or guardian of specific things who lives in Heaven and has special powers. They intercede in prayers to Jesus when he doesn't have time.
There are saints that might be mere legends (St. George and the Dragon) or ones who were alive in the 1960s and have children close to my age (St. Gianna Beretta Molla).
And as much as we like to laugh about it, they do come in handy if you are afraid to fly (St. Joseph of Cupertino) or lose a contact lens (St. Anthony of Padua). I hate to admit it, but I actually summoned St. Anthony once while I was in the bathroom trying to locate a feminine hygiene product.
Unfortunately, the saints have no control over what they'll be the patrons of. Currently, it's the job of the Pope.
So as much as I'm sure St. Radegunde is excited that she was canonized, I wonder what she thinks about being the patron saint against scabs.
She was a princess who was born in Erfurt, Germany in 518. Her father, a pagan king, was murdered by his brother.
St. Radegunde was given as a hostage to Clotaire I, who conquered her father's army when she was 12. She converted to Christianity and was forced, against her will, to marry Clotaire I in 540. He was a complete jerk who mistreated and abused her.
Clotaire I had St. Radegunde's brother murdered. She left him in 555 and founded the Convent of the Holy Cross in Poiters, France. St. Radegunde died on Aug. 13, 587 and her feast day is Aug. 13.

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