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.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

December 22 -- Feast of Blessed Bertheid of Münster

If this feast was in late October rather than December, you would be justified in saying that I made this up.  Justified, but not correct.  

There's not much to say about Bertheid, but as I trolled the hagiographic interwebs for content, I learned that she was the sister of a bishop.  Her brother established a school where the daughters of nobles could live under religious law without needing to take the veil.  Such young women are called Canonesses, as they are living under Canon Law. 
That's Bishop Hermann to you, pal!

Not very remarkable yet, right?  Fair enough, but consider that her brother's name was Bishop Hermann of Münster.  If you didn't chuckle at the thought of Fred Gwynne stomping around a sound stage with a mitre and a crosier, you didn't watch enough sitcoms from the 1960s.

But wait, there's more.  I turned to my good friends at Den Katolske Kirke to get more info on Blessed Bertheid and her munstrous brother, and then to Google Translate to see what learn what the Kirke had told me.  Regarding Herman's provisions for his sister, I was told, "He founded the parish Liebfrauenpfarrei (church called the Church of Our Lady or Überwasserkirche) and connected to a monastery for canoe goblins ("korfruer"), which he gave to her."  Ah, that makes it all clear, huh?

Is that Blessed Bertheid on the left or the right?
Canoe Goblins?  It sounds like the premise of a Munsters episode.  Eddie might want to join the Canoe Goblins instead of the Cub Scouts, but there is no local den.  Herman decides to start one, recruiting in the neighborhood, leading to all sorts of hilariously terrifying mishaps.  

A little more digging revealed that Kanonwisser were Canonesses, not Canoe Goblins.  

Bertheid died in 1042 and probably deserves a better memorial than this.  For better or worse, this is what she's got.

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