food, fever, fire, storms

Family ancestor saints of the day:

12/12
Saint Edburga (Eadburh) of Minster (-751) generation 45 aunt.

Edburga was the only daughter of Anglo-Saxon King Centwine of Wessex and his wife, Queen Engyth. As a friend and disciple of her royal relative Saint Mildrith (Mildred), abbess of Minster-in-Thanet Abbey, Edburga became a Benedictine nun in 716, and later succeeded Mildrith as abbess.

During her time as abbess, St Edburga was able to secure royal charters for the abbey as well as having a new church (dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul) built there, to provide a shrine for the relics of St Mildrith.

Edburga is known for her talent as a calligrapher, and for letters to Saint Boniface, with whom she corresponded regularly. In his letters to her, Boniface thanks Edgurga for her books, altar vestments, and other ‘tokens of affection’ she had sent him and for the ‘spiritual light’ conveyed in her letters. Her own relics were translated to Saint Gregory’s Church in Canterbury in 1055

12/13
St. Judoc of Ponthieu (Welsh: Iudog; Latin: Iudocus; English: Josse, Jost, Joyce) (600–668), generation 44 uncle.

St Judoc was a son of the Celtic King Juthael of Brittany and the younger brother of King Saint Judicael (Juthael and Judicael are among my ancestral grandfathers).

Judoc renounced his princely position and wealth, become a monk at Ponthieu, and was ordained a priest in 636. However, when his brother Judicael abdicated to become a hermit monk, Judoc accepted the throne and ruled Brittany for some months, before returning to his monastery.

After a pilgrimage to Rome, he left Brittany and became a hermit himself at Runiacum near the mouth of the Canche (later Villiers-Saint-Josse, near Saint-Josse-sur-Mer and Etaples), where he died. He was entombed above ground and his body remained incorrupt. It is said that his hair, beard, and nails continued to grow and that his successors in the hermitage had to cut them occasionally (a similar story is related of Saint Cuthbert).

Charlemagne gave Judoc’s hermitage at Saint-Josse-sur-Mer to Blessed Alcuin to use as a hospice for cross-Channel travellers. An English tradition relates that some of Judoc’s relics were brought to Hyde Abbey, Winchester, about 901 by some refugees from Saint-Josse. Saint Grimbald enshrined them in the new church.

It is interesting to note that Chaucer’s “Wife of Bath” swears by “God and by Seint Joce” and that the popularity of the saint in England is evidenced by the frequency of the Christian name ‘Joyce’ for both men and women. Judoc’s cultus also spread to Flanders (where he is known as Joost), Germany, Austria, Alsace, and Switzerland following the discovery of another part of of his relics at Saint-Josse in 977.

The saint is portrayed as a pilgrim with cockle-shells, staff and wallet, with the crown he renounced at his feet. At times a fountain may be springing under his staff, or he is shown with a book, staff, crown and sceptre near him and birds and fish around him. There is a representation of Saint Judoc in the mausoleum of Maximilian at Innsbruck, Austria.

Judoc is venerated as a patron saint in Brittany, Franconia, Saint Josse-sur-Mer, Villiers-Saint-Josse, and Winchester. He is invoked for good harvest, and against fire, fever, and storms.

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