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, October 22, 2012

October 22 -- Feast of Saint Donatus of Fiesole

Donatus (right) with Jesus, Mary, and John the Baptist (left)
Donatus was raised somewhere in the vicinity of Lough Derg in Ireland.  He was a scholary sort of priest, just as happy to teach metrical composition as to teach about Jesus.  One of those wandering Celtic saints of the middle ages (ninth century), Donatus and his friend, Andrew (incidentally, the brother of Saint Brigid the Younger) betook themselves to Italy to visit the tombs of the Apostles. 

The Italians tacked the nickname Scotus -- meaning Irishman -- on both Donatus and Andrew.  Once they had hit All Spots Holy in Rome, they turned north.  While passing through Tuscany, they landed in Fiesole just as the folks were gathered to elect a new bishop.  Rules were different back then -- sometimes kings appointed bishops, sometimes cardinals or popes picked them, and sometimes cathedral chapters voted to nominate.  I don't know how far into the deliberations they had gone, but when they heard the church bells ringing themselves, they knew something unusual was happening.  They checked the cathedral and found that the candles had lit themselves.  Sure and it was a sign from God Almighty!

Donatus was recognized as the bishop; he promptly appointed Andrew archdeacon.  The two served their adopted home long (forty-seven years!) and well.  Donatus left an impressive body of written work, including a life of Saint Brigid of Kildare and many poems, most notably a a twelve-line verse praising Ireland. 

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