Thursday, August 25, 2011
August 25 -- Feast of Saint Hunegund
Hunegund. It is a very cute name, isn't it? Especially if it is pronounced Honey-gund, as I imagine it, instead of Hoon-ay-goond, or some other twisted way of saying it. "Honeygunnnnnd. Who's my little honeygund? You are!" Who wouldn't want to marry someone named Hunegund, especially if you knew how friggin' rich she was?
Well, poor Count Eudaldus (he was listed as a French nobleman, so I just decided he was count) was pretty excited about marrying her. She was young (having just come of age), rich, good-looking (ignore the picture and use your imagination), and well-mannered. The only quality left to hope for was fertility.
Hunegund told Eudaldus that she wanted to go to Rome before the wedding, see all the holy sites, and maybe even get married by the Pope himself. Eudy should have smelled a rat, but he was willing to give his little Huney just about anything as long as she married him.
They saw all the holy stuff in Rome, ruins and relics and churches and tombs and catacombs and all that stuff. Then they were finally granted an audience with Pope Vitalian, at whose feet she threw herself, pledging her chastity to Christ and begging to be granted a nun's veil. I imagine the Pope was surprised, maybe even a little embarrassed, but what could he do?
Eudy wanted to murder her, of course, but again, what could he do? There were Swiss guards all around, big bastards with razor-sharp halberds. You don't draw your sword in front of these guys, even if you are the Count of Saint Quentin.
They parted immediately after. He packed up the army of servants they had been traveling with and set out for home. On the way, he formed a plan to claim all the land that should have been his dowry. If he couldn't have the girl, at least he could have the money that would have come with her. However, when he got home, he found that she had already gotten there. Moreover, she gave all her property to the Homblieres, a group of nuns living in the area.
Eudy went home and chewed on his anger for a while. Then he realized that she was probably on to something very holy, and he could either ride that train to glory or walk the long hard road to perdition. He apologized, endowed a church, and became her very good friend. One site even says that she appointed him to be her chaplain, though the other site makes no mention of him taking holy orders. Either way, all his worldly possessions were bequeathed to the Homlieres convent.
Posted by Tom Major at 4:00 AM