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.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

July 8 -- Feast of Saints Killian, Colman, and Totnan

Chillian in Wurzburg
Killian was an Irish monk and wandering bishop who took off for Germany to convert pagans.

Wurzburg Cathedral
Chillian is an alternate spelling of his name, and is frankly an even cooler handle than Killian.  

He and his eleven companions had some success in Germany, working through Franconia and Thuringia, parts of modern Bavaria.  If we were in Wurzburg today, we'd be celebrating a big festival in his honor.

One way to celebrate
His luck ran out after he converted Duke Gozbert, a Thuringian lord.  Having converted him, he broke the bad news about Leviticus 20:21, i.e. it is forbidden to marry your brother's widow.   Poor Gozbert didn't have access to a Bible, let alone, so he could come back with Deuteronomy 25:5-6, i.e. a man is obligated to marry his brother's widow if she is childless.  I don't know if Geilana, Gozbert's wife and sister-in-law, had children from her first marriage, but even if she didn't, Deuteronomy 25 opens the door to debate the flexibility of Leviticus 20.  If an exception can be made for the perpetuation of a name, why not for the perpetuation of peace?  

Irish-German unity in spite of the guy waving the sword

Sadly, neither Gozbert nor Geilana knew enough about Christianity to counter Bishop Chillian's edict.  Geilana, however, did know how to handle the situation in local fashion.  A couple of guards made short work of the offending bishop and his companions, Colman and Totnan.  Their skulls, inlaid with jewels, are preserved in Wurzburg Cathedral and are paraded on July 8.

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