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.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December 19 -- Feast of Blessed Guglielmo di Fenoglio

swings a mighty ham
This Carthusian lay brother seems to have had lots of miracles (pre- and post mortem) to his credit, yet there's only one that is commonly told.  I read a teaser about a deal with the Devil to build a bridge, but if the story has been published in English at all, I can't find it.  There's also one about sleeping for a hundred years, yet that too seems lost.

His famous miracle, the one which is the basis of an estimated hundred iconic representations, involves a gang of thieves.  Apparently Guglielmo (or William, as he's called in English) was a simple brother.  So extreme was his simplicity that it was virtuous.  And of course, like every simple monk, he was tremendously hard-working.  One day, as he returned to the monastery from a long day of labor, he was set upon by thieves.

Having no cudgel, club, or staff to defend himself, he pulled the leg off his donkey and began to beat the robbers. When they had fled in pain and terror, he calmly reattached the leg and led the beast home.  One version says that he was so simple that he reattached the leg upside down, forcing the poor creature to limp home.  When this error was pointed out to him by the abbot, he took the leg off and put it back on the right way.  But that version is just silly.

Upon his death, Guglielmo was immediately venerated by his Carthusian brothers.  Although he died sometime around 1205, he was not beatified formally until 1860.  His relics, which had been revered for centuries, were interred in a wall in one of the Charterhouses of the Order so that Napoleonic zealots did not desecrate them.

Some saints lend themselves to action figures more than others.  A figure of Guglielmo and a mule with a detachable leg seems like one of the best possibilities.  I'm not likely to capitalize on it, so if you want to jump into the market, it's yours. 

1 comment:

  1. I liike the idea of a whole cadre of saints, this one the first. How about it?