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.

Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30 -- Feast of Saint Adjutor

Cadfael -- former Crusader, then monk
Adjutor was the third son of a French lord, Jean de Vernon.  Jean's oldest son, Richard, was part of William the Bastard's invasion of England.  [That's really what he was called.  Look it up if you don't believe me.]  The second son, Matthieu, succeeded his dad; Adjutor took two hundred men with him on the first Crusade to Palestine.
Lifted by saints and carried home

They were somewhere outside Antioch, on the edge of the desert, when the ambush began to take hold.  Adjutor remembers saying something like, "Saint Madeleine, if by your help the Lord grants us victory, I will donate my mountain house and all the tenant-lands to my teacher, Bernard of Tiron, and his monastery.  And I will build you a chapel.  A very well furnished chapel."

As he rose to rally his troops, flashes of lightning crashed across the sky, throwing the attackers into a panic.  Adjutor and his men counter-attacked, drove off the ambush, and claimed to kill a thousand of the 1500 Saracens.

Phelps -- no patron necessary
He continued on to Jerusalem, but his luck didn't hold.  Eventually, he was captured and locked in a dungeon until he converted to Islam.  When he continued to offer Christian prayers, he was secured with increasingly heavy chains.  But just as escape seemed impossible, Saint Madeleine and Saint Bernard busted into his cell, scooped him up by the arms, and carried him from there to his mountain home in Vernon, France.

He made good on the dedication of his home to the monastery and the construction of a chapel dedicated to his liberator, Saint Madeleine.  He settled in the area himself, living as a monk.  At one point, an especially dangerous whirlpool or eddy in the nearby river was wrecking boats and killing swimmers.  Adjutor got in his boat, let the current take him into the abyss, and then tossed in the heavy chains in which he'd been wrapped when imprisoned.  The chain sank, but the whirlpool was stilled and never again threatened yachtsmen or swimmers, for whom Adjutor is the patron saint.