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of virginity, she prayed for help in resisting the marriage, whereupon she grew a beard and mustache and the suit was withdrawn.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.
St. Bernardino Realino was born into a noble family of Capri, Italy in 1530. After receiving a thorough and devout Christian education at the hands of his mother, he went on to study medicine at the ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Genevieve was born about the year 422, at Nanterre near Paris. She was seven years old when St. Germain of Auxerre came to her native village on his way to great Britain to combat the heresy of Pelagius. The child stood in the midst of a crowd gathered around the ... continue readingMore Female Saints
Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... continue reading
There is a saint called Benedict the Black or Benedict the Moor. He was born a slave near Messina, Italy. He was freed by his master and became a solitary, eventually settling with other hermits at Montepellegrino. He was made superior of the community, but when he was ... continue reading
Imagine being able to sit at the feet of the apostles and hear their stories of life with Jesus from their own lips. Imagine walking with those who had walked with Jesus, seen him, and touched him. That was what Polycarp was able to do as a disciple of Saint John the ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
This great defender of the faith insisted on the central claim of Christianity: God can be known and loved-indeed, that is why He came into our midst in the person of His Son; so that through a relationship with Jesus Christ, man could participate in the very ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes