From the history of holidays (such as Halloween) to the origins of a mythic beast supposedly still sighted to this day, saints are connected to a great deal of modern-day traditions and beliefs. In this article, you will encounter a handful of interesting facts about saints, including information on the infamous St. Patrick and a popular form of religious music.
St. Patrick’s Fight Against”¦
When you’re celebrating green beer and shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day, one of the last things you are probably thinking about is the saint’s association with slavery. When he was young, Patrick had been a slave in Ireland, and later became one of the first prominent figures in history to speak out against slavery. Also, St. Patrick was not Irish ”“ he was actually British and probably came from the same region as modern-day Wales. He hadn’t been to Ireland before he was kidnapped by Irish raiders. When he escaped, he became a priest and a bishop. When he returned to Ireland, he was a missionary. Since he was so successful in converting the Irish, he was made the patron saint of the country.
All Saints’ Day
In an effort to compete with pagan traditions, the traditions associated with holidays, such as Christmas, Easter, and Halloween (also known as All Saints’ Day) were established between the 4th and 7th centuries. Missionaries from the 4th century were actually responsible for creating All Saints’ Day to compete with the Celtic holiday of Samhain. They made it so that the rival pagan gods appeared as devils, spirits, and witches.
Origin of Loch Ness Monster
The legend of the Loch Ness Monster has roots that can be traced all the way back to 565, when St. Columba claimed to have encountered a water beast at Loch Ness, and “granted it perpetual freedom of the loch”.
Origin of an Infamous Style of Music
The Gregorian chant (which was popular during celebrations of Mass and other ritual services) was named after Pope St. Gregory I.
The Contribution of an Ex-Slave Girl
The end of slavery in Western Europe during the 7th century came to be when an enslaved British girl named Bathilde was sold to King Clovis II of the Franks (638”“655). Clovis fell in love with the girl and wound up making her his bride. When the king died, Bathilde acted as regent for their three young sons, and outlawed slavery. Later, she was canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.
Better Pay Attention to the Fine Print
The death shroud of St. Cuthbert is kept in Durham Cathedral and reads, “There is no God but Allah.” During the Middle Ages, the majority of silk from Europe was imported from Islamic lands and Arabic inscriptions on the silk were often ignored.