This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September 14 -- Feast of Saint Notburga

Leftovers for the poor
 Notburga was working for Count Henry of Rattenberg (Austria), not far from Innsbruck.  A very pious Christian, she believed in helping the poor.  In fact, she helped them to the food of her employer.  Too often, in fact.  Henry's wife Ottilia ordered the girl to give the leftovers to the swine rather than the poor.  Notburga complied with the order, but saved much of her own food to give to the poor.  Frustrated, Ottilia fired the girl, who went to work for a peasant farmer about eight miles away.

Part of the deal she struck with the farmer was that she could have Saturday evening off to attend Mass.  She could also have the eve of major feasts.  Once the farmer disputed whether something constituted a major feast.  She agreed to flip her sickle (since she obviously wouldn't have a coin) to decide, but the sickle hung in the air.  While it was suspended, she took the opportunity to go to Mass.

After Ottilia died, Henry recruited Notburga back to his household.  More miracles followed, including this one, which they tell about a lot of saints.  She was working as a servant but very generous to the poor.  Once, when she was sneaking out of the house to give some of her master's food to the needy, she got busted.  The master demanded to see what she had bundled in her apron.  When she opened it, the food and wine had turned to wood shavings and vinegar.  (Often, the apron is full of flowers, usually something that doesn't grow around there, guaranteeing the recognition of a miracle).

Notburga requested that upon her death, her body be laid on a wagon drawn by two oxen.  Wherever the oxen stopped, that's where she wanted to be buried.  Count Henry did this and the oxen walked straight up to the Chapel of Saint Rupert.  Visit her there if you want, especially if you are a farmer or a waiter or waitress as those are among her patronages. 

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