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, March 1, 2012

March 1 -- Feast of Saint Albinus of Angers

Albinus could be the patron of those with halitosis, as well as the those desiring help during prison breaks.  (Attica!  Attica!) 

Before making light of his legendary exploits, deeds which might endear him to fans of Robin Hood, let me first describe a fully documented accomplishment that deserves great praise.  In the sixth century (as indeed later), consanguinary marriage (a relative term, I know) was popular with all the best people. One good way to keep the common people out of the upper class was to allow uncles to marry nieces, brothers to marry sisters, etc -- family business stays in the family, right?  So what if Deuteronomy goes on for pages to forbid every possible permutation of incest -- it also has some rules about diet that folks were ignoring.  More like guidelines, really.

Bishop Albinus made no secret about his condemnation of these marriages.  That did not, of course, endear him to the best families, but he didn't care much about that.  When they turned up the heat on him, he called a couple of councils (normally a Pope's privilege, or at least an emperor's, but he was a man of initiative) and got a regional ban on incest in place.

On to the halitosis.  Albinus was a great populist, an advocate for the common people against those with privilege and wealth.  He was once visiting Etheria, a woman who had been sent to prison by King Childebert, for bad debts.  When Etheria flung herself at the Bishop's feet to beg for help, a guard moved to hit her.  Albinus breathed into the guard's face and the man dropped dead on the spot.  Recognizing that one does not argue with The Breath of Death, the officials promptly released Etheria.
On another occasion, Albinus was passing a gaol tower and heard the cries and moans of suffering prisoners.  He knelt and prayed.  Nothing happened.  He continued to pray.  It takes a while.  Still praying.  Crash!  The wall on one side of the tower collapsed, allowing the prisoners to escape.

Finally, he used Diocesan funds to ransom the captives of pirates, which is why his patronage is actually for protection against piracy.   In this wicked cool picture, artist Brian Hartley Sago sees Albinus standing guard against Somali pirates.


  1. SO, if I pray to St. Albinus will I have a miracle? I need a miracle for a couple of kids I am fond of.

  2. Well, I don't pray to saints. It's a little bit confusing with the whole first commandment and all that. The idea is to ask the saints to pray with you. Communion of the saints involves the living and the dead, even the past and the future, if we only knew their names. So just as you might ask me to pray for a couple of kids who might need a miracle, you can ask Albinus to pray for them too. I am sure we both will do so.