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Showing posts from October, 2020

St. Denis of Paris

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A perfect hagiography for the month that includes Halloween, St. Denis of Paris is often depicted carrying his own severed head, in reference to a legend that he preached a sermon after being beheaded.
Denis was the first bishop of Paris, sent to convert the Gauls to Christianity (it didn't go well). He is also one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, a group of saints whose intercession began to be sought collectively against the Black Death.

Lifetime: ~200 to ~250
Region: Montmartre, Gaul (modern Paris, France)
Patronages: Headaches; Paris; Rabies
Iconograpy: Martyr holding his own severed head; Bishop's mitre and crosier
Feast Day: October 9
Denis (called Dionysus in his time) is considered the first Bishop of Paris. Though Paris wasn't yet established as a city, he was sent to the area that is now called Paris to preach to the people of Gaul, an area where the early church had once thrived, but had since waned after persecution by the Roman emperor.
Upon arriving, he set up a smal…

St. Francis of Assisi

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This post is a special bonus minifig - there's still another saint coming for October! As such, I'm not going to do a hagiography for St. Francis of Assisi, but I couldn't pass up the chance to get some photos of him.
St. Francis is one of the most well-known Catholic saints, and even secular garden shops are likely to carry a statue of him with some animals. He's also gotten more popular in recent years, as Pope Francis took his name as his papal title upon assuming the office of pope, in part because of his connection to ecology.
Because of a few legends associated with St. Francis, he is the patron saint of animals and pets, and therefore is among those saints who intercession is sought most often.
Lifetime: 1182 to 1226
Region: Umbria, Italy
Patronages: Animals; Ecology; the Franciscan order
Iconograpy: Birds; Franciscan habit; Stigmata
Feast Day: October 4 Prayer of St. Francis(note: no longer believed to be composed by St. Francis, but still an appropriate reflection of …

St. Therese of Lisieux

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Despite her short life, dying at the age of 24, St. Therese is one of only four women Doctors of the Church (alongside Teresa of Avila, Hildegard von Bingen, and Catherine of Siena). Her famous "Little Way" has gone on to inspire many in the century since her death.
Therese also once wrote and performed in a play about Joan of Arc. During Joan's execution by burning at the stake, the set caught on fire, nearly igniting Therese's costume. I don't have anything extra to add about that, it's just a neat story I wanted to share.


Lifetime: January 2, 1873 to September 30, 1897
Region: France
Patronages: Missionaries; France; Florists
Iconograpy: Roses; Crucifix; Habit
Feast Day: October 1
Therese (born Marie Francois-Therese Martin) belonged to an extremely devout family. Her mother had hoped to become a nun, but was discouraged, and her father had similarly tried to join a religious order but was refused as he did not know Latin. After marrying, they went on to have nin…