This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Tuesday 30 December 2014

Adopt a saint!

I have just come across a program that assigns you a random saint. Of course I had to try it, and out came St Gotthard of Hildesheim, who was new to me, as I presumably am to him too.

St Gotthard

My saint.

From now on, we expect to be better acquainted, but Gotthard (if I may call him that) seems to have his hands full looking after travelling merchants; he is also invoked against fever, dropsy, childhood sicknesses, hailstones, the pain of childbirth, and gout; not to mention those in peril of the sea. It is unlikely that I shall ever suffer the pain of childbirth, unless it means my own birth, which was a distinctly rough experience, what with the doctor, who had never even met me before, thumping me on the back and then cutting my umblical cord. No wonder I hated the experience.

Hailstones are another matter - these are presumably a meteorological condition, rather than a medical one (that's gallstones), and like almost everyone else I am occasionally troubled by them. Saying "Hail, Mary" doesn't seem to be quite right here.


Pray to St Gotthard! Or alternatively, just go indoors.

In a previous piece I adopted a cardinal - Ouellet, who does not seem to have acknowledged the gifts I sent him: Eccles cakes, a statue of myself, and a copy of my autobiography Eccles, the man of destiny. Part 1: the unsaved years. Later, I adopted a deacon, and then a pope: in this case, Hyginus, the first pope never to have been canonized. I'm still working on that one,

So now I have to think of ways of supporting St Gotthard. Obviously a few preliminary prayers are in order, of the "Hello, Gotthard. I'm your patronized human; may I invoke your help some time?" sort. Then perhaps one day I shall make a pilgrimage to Hildesheim, which is not far from Hanover. He'd like that.

Basilica in Hildesheim

On my way...

For a saint, Gotthard had a relatively dull and uneventful life. He was a monk first, then became bishop of Hildesheim in 1022. During the fifteen years of his episcopal government, he won the respect of his clergy, as Wikipedia puts it: a custom that has long since died out in Germany. He also got some thirty churches built, which is something of a miracle in itself.

All in all, I am quite happy with my adopted saint. Presumably he will accept prayers in English: everyone understands English IF YOU SPEAK LOUDLY ENOUGH. Or maybe Latin - how nice to have a universal language available for all purposes to do with spiritual nourishment. I'd better start now: is that a touch of gout coming on, or is it just pins and needles? Salve Gottharde...

St Gotthard Pass

Hospice in the St Gotthard pass.


  1. Thanks! I got St Ivo of Kermartin, which I found most apt. I'd never heard of him before. Will do some reading about him and apply his services to many legal issues that need to be dealt with for the protection of fundamental morals and the salvation of souls.

  2. I have been assigned St Genesius, patron of "Actors; Attorneys; Clowns; Comedians; Converts; Dancers; Epileptics; Musicians; Printers; Stenographers; Torture Victims." (Is there ANY connection between these people?) Must be a mistake in the program. Doesn't seem to include Rabits.

  3. I got St Brigit or Brigid, patron of widows. Hmm.....

  4. I got good old Santa Nick -- St. Nicholas : Against Imprisonment; Against Robberies; Archers; Bakers; Boys; Brewers; Brides; Children; Fishermen; Grooms; Judges; Lawsuits Lost Unjustly; Mariners; Merchants; Penitent Murderers; Newlyweds; Pharmacists; Pilgrims; Prisoners; Students; Travellers; Unmarried Girls ; I understand that the Post Office will accept prayers to him, if you affix the correct postage, and that sometimes he even replies by the same method !!

  5. ... I've even been to his church in Bari where his relics are kept, so I've personally visited my Saint !!!

  6. I got St. Stephen, patron saint of deacons, horses, coffin makers, and headache suffers! Interesting combination. Is there a deacon you know of who could use a Saint?

  7. Well, he's new to me: I got St. Conrad of Piacenza, invoked against hernias. I hoping one could ask non-hernia-related assistance...

  8. Thanks, mine's St. Peter Orseolo, a nobleman in Venice in the late 10th - early 11th centuries.
    A swashbuckling commander of the navy at 18, that cleaned the northern Adriatic coast of slave-hunting pirates. Married at 20, one son. Reportedly led a revolution that killed the Duke and burned down half of the city, including a good portion of St. Mark's basilica. Took over the dukedom, restored the city and the basilica, made reparation to the duke's widow, and ruled the city with prudence and magnanimity, building hospitals and orphanages and other installations out of his own pocket.

    Then without saying goodbye, not even to his wife and son, ran off to enter a Benedictine monastery up in the Pyrenees. Died a hermit and a penitent.

    Okay, I have absolutely nothing in common with this saint except the Faith. Wait, yes, I do have. It is reported that he went to the Holy Land and secured a golden altar cloth for the basilica. Dressing up our TLM altar is my volunteer pride and joy and right now, I have our altar wrapped up in golden frontal cloth, with an appliqued vesica of the Madonna-and-Child, for Christmastide.

    St. Peter Orseolo's feast is coming up on January 10, in time for me to start a novena. I hope he will be happy to be my friend and intercessor, and I, his client.

    BTW, from what I gathered, St. Peter Orseolo is honored as a saint by both the Roman Catholic Church and the Satanic church of Venice. Whoa! Don't they cancel each other out?

    1. I'm impressed by your saint---and by you! I'll bet your altar cloth is beautiful. And your saint may be happy to hear of it too.