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Interesting Facts About Saints I

By Yona Williams    9/7/12

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A saint is someone who has been recognized as showing an exceptional degree of sanctity or holiness – it is something that all major religions acknowledge. In this article, you will learn an assortment of interesting facts concerning saints that involve the likes of St. Ambrose, St. Brendan, and St. Joseph.

St. Joseph's Cake

During Lent, Catholics refrain from eating sweets and treats except on St. Joseph's Day (observed on March 19), when special pastries called zeppole are served. Bread is also blessed in honor of the saint. Zeppole (also called St. Joseph's cake) are typically lightweight deep-fried dough balls that are usually topped with powdered sugar. Sometimes, the cakes have a filling, such as jelly, custard, honey butter or cannoli filling.

The Contributions of St. Ambrose

The infamous saying "When in Rome, do as the Romans do" was first credited to St. Ambrose, who was the Bishop of Mediolanum (which is now known as Milan). When St. Augustine paid a visit to Mediolanum in 387, he saw that the Church in Milan did not fast on Saturday as did the Church at Rome. He questioned Ambrose about this, and his response was "When I am at Rome, I fast on a Saturday; when I am at Milan, I do not. Follow the custom of the Church where you are". St. Ambrose (or Aurelius Ambrosius) would go down in history as being one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century. Regarded as one the four original doctors of the Church, Ambrose greatly contributed to theology, including writing many influential texts, such as De Spiritu Sancto (On the Holy Ghost), De incarnationis Dominicae sacramento (On the Sacrament of the Incarnation of the Lord), De mysteriis (On the Mysteries), and a collection of hymns.
 
The Death of St. Edmund

The Vikings were responsible for killing St. Edmund the Martyr (841–869),who was the King of East Anglia. He may have endured what was known as the blood eagle rite, which meant that his ribs were pried open to expose his lungs that would have still been breathing. If not, then he was whipped and then shot with a great number of arrows before being decapitated.

St. Brendan the Navigator

In the manuscript titled, "Navigatio Santi Brendani Abatis," the numerous adventures of St. Brendan the Navigator are described. The saint is thought to have embarked on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean that took seven years. During this time, he is believed to have reached land that we now call Newfoundland. A British scholar named Tim Severin attempted to prove the saint's adventures by traveling across the Atlantic in a boat made out of the same materials described by Brendan. He was successful in showing that such a journey was possible.

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