Saint's Day

The Catholic religion is a strange thing. One of the stranger nuances is the concept of a saint day. That is, "a day in the church calendar commemorating a particular saint". The day of your birth will coincide with some saint, and thus, that is your "saint's day." There is a day for Mary, the mother of Jesus, and a day for St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. But then there are some very bizarre saints known for some really whacked out things. June 12 honors many saints: Aeschilus; Amphion; Antonina; the group of Basilididea, Cyrinus, Nabor, and Nazarius; Christianus; Cominus; Cunera; John of St. Facundus; Leo III; Odulph; Olympius; Onuphrius; Ternan. The following is one of the more interesting:

Onuphrius (d. c. 400)
While on a visit to the hermits of Thebaid in Egypt to find out if the eremitical (meaning: reclusive because of religious vows) life was for him, Abbot Paphnutius met Onuphrius, who told him he had been a monk in a monastery but had left to follow the eremitical life, which he had done for seventy years. During the night the abbot (meaning: the head of a monastery) stayed with the hermit; the next morning, after food had miraculously appeared the previous evening, Onuphrius told Paphnutius that the Lord had told him he, Onuphrius, was to die and that Paphnutius had been sent by the Lord to bury him. Onuphrius did die, Paphnutius buried him in a hole in the mountainside, and the site immediately disappeared, as if to tell the abbot that he was not to remain there. The story was put into writing by one of his monks and was already popular in the sixth century.

from Dictionary of Saints by John J. Delaney (copyright 1980)

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