The Scandinavians never pass up a chance for a good bonfire. Midsummer Night, or St. John’s Eve as it’s sometimes called in Denmark and Norway, is the perfect occasion. The holiday has little to do with St. John the Baptist, other than falling just before his saint day. In the 10th century Baltic and Scandinavian countries replaced the traditional names of Midsummer with allusions to the feast of St. John the Baptist, which …Read more
Saint Anthony of Padua
Cities and countries around the world celebrate St. Anthony’s Day, from Lisbon, Portugal to Wilmington, Delaware, not to mention cities in Brazil, Mexico, Italy, and even India!
The Brazilians get the jump on the celebrations by commemorating June 12, the day before his feast, as Día dos Namorados, or Day of the Lovers, a Brazilian Valentine’s Day, in honor of the matchmaker saint.
St. Anthony was born in Lisbon, Portugal in …Read more
In New Orleans, Carnival season doesn’t end with Mardi Gras, it just gets going. On the heels of the Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day comes St. Joseph’s Day, one of the biggest celebrations of the year.
Saint Joseph is the Patron Saint of Italy; he’s particularly revered in Sicily, where prayers to the saint are believed to have ended a deadly drought in the Middle Ages. His Feast Day is celebrated by …Read more
I’m tired of these @#$%! snakes on these #$%@$! Irish plains! – St. Patrick, 433 AD
When the going gets tough, the tough go green. And the hard times haven’t dimmed the green glow (or watered down the green beer) of St. Patrick’s Day from the Emerald Isle to North America.
For a run-down of the slave-turned-priest who we celebrate today, check out last year’s St. Patrick’s Day post: Green is …Read more
March 17 Everyone knows where the world-famous Saint Patrick is from. Scotland.
That’s right. Patrick was a wee lad by the name of Succat living in Scotland when he was kidnapped by Irish pirates at the age of 16 ["Kidnapped by pirates is good!" - Fred Savage, The Princess Bride] and sold as a slave. In Ireland he herded a Celtic chieftain’s sheep for six years, until one day he ran away and traveled 200 miles across Ireland to escaped to …Read more
St. Urho statue, Menahga, Minnesota
St. Patrick is world-famous for driving the snakes out of Ireland, but the day before St. Patrick’s Day we celebrate an oft-overlooked saint named Urho, who is said to have performed the equally admirable feat of ridding his Finnish homeland of hungry grasshoppers, thus saving Finland’s all-important grape crop, and the Finns themselves, from devastation.
Plaques proclaim St. Urho’s glory, including one in Minnesota that describes the annual ceremony in …Read more
Love and peace dude
Valentinus was born in Africa around 100 AD. He was schooled in Alexandria, and was taught by a disciple of St. Paul named Theodas.
Valentinus was a Gnostic Christian who taught that God could not be known directly and was neither masculine nor feminine but a combination of both.
The teachings of Valentinus directly contradicted Orthodox Christianity, but he garnered a large following when he moved to Rome around …Read more
Between Lincoln’s and Washington’s Birthdays in February comes another birthday, one that has been celebrated far longer than either President, but for a man whose life is all but unknown.
The awakening of spring has always been associated with the blossoming of love. In the Roman calendar February was the last month of the year, a time of purification before the new agrarian planting season.
Lupercalia commemorated the She-wolf that suckled …Read more