Celtic and Old English Saints          22 August

* St. Sigfrid of Wearmouth
* St. Andrew of Ireland
* St. Arnulf of Eynesbury
* St. Ethelgitha of Northumbria
* St. Maelrubha of Applecross

St. Sigfrid, Abbot of Wearmouth
Died on August 22, 688. Nothing is known about the early life of Saint
Sigfrid, a disciple of Saint Benedict Biscop (f.d. January 12). He was
known for his knowledge of Scripture, his temperance, and obedience.
During Benedict's absence on his fifth visit to Rome, Saint Esterwine
(f.d. March 7) died. Saint Ceolfrid (f.d. September 25) and the other
monks elected the deacon-monk Sigfrid to take Esterwine's place as
coadjutor abbot of Jarrow and abbot of Wearmouth in 686. Both saints
fell deathly ill upon Benedict's return to Jarrow. Knowing that their
earthly lives were about to end and wanting a final meeting to inquire
about the welfare of each other and their monks, Sigfrid, suffering from
a lung disease, was carried on a stretcher to Benedict's cell. They
were both too weak to even embrace one another unaided. After
consulting Sigfrid, Benedict sent for Ceolfrid and appointed him abbot
over both monasteries. Benedict and Sigfrid, of one heart in life, died
the same year. Sigfrid was buried by Saint Ceolfrid in the abbey-church
of Saint Peter next to his master, Saint Benedict, and his predecessor,
Saint Esterwine. Saint Bede (f.d. May 25) testifies to the date of his
death and the development of a cultus at Wearmouth and Jarrow
(Benedictines, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Walsh).

St. Andrew of Ireland (of Tuscany) (of Fiesole), Abbot
Born in Ireland or Scotland; died at Fiesole, Tuscany, Italy, c.880. The
story of St. Andrew is hard to determine with certitude. Some say that
he was a pilgrim who became the abbot-restorer of San Martino Abbey in
Mensula. Beyond that all we have is embellished legend. He is reputed
to be an Irish travelling companion of Bishop Saint Donatus of Fiesole
(f.d. October 22), who later became the bishop's archdeacon. Donatus was
one of the many Irishmen who journeyed on the continent in the early
Middle Ages. Nevertheless, Saint Andrew is included on the calendar,
and has several churches dedicated to him (Attwater, Benedictines,
Husenbeth, Montague).

Generally, he is portrayed as a deacon curing a paralytic girl.
Sometimes he is shown (1) appearing to a sleeping priest; (2) with his
sister St. Brigid miraculously transported to his death-bed by angels;
or (3) with an Irish wolfhound at his feet (Roeder). He is venerated in
the environs of Florence: Fiesole, Settignano, San Martino e Mensola

St. Arnulf of Eynesbury, Hermit
9th century. Saint Arnulf's relics were venerated in Arnulphsbury
(Eanulfesbyrig or Eynesbury), Huntingdonshire, before the Danish
invasions. He seems to have been forgotten by about 1000 AD, because
"On the resting-places of the saints" mentions Saint Neot (f.d. July 31)
but not Arnulf. He is described as an English hermit of the area, but
he may well be a duplicate of Saint Arnulf of Metz (f.d. July 18), which
would explain why he was forgotten (Benedictines, Farmer).

St. Ethelgitha of Northumbria, Abbess
Died c. 720. Saint Ethelgitha was a holy abbess of a convent in
Northumbria, England (Benedictines).

St. Maelrubha (+722), Abbot of Applecross, Isle of Skye, Scotland
His main feastday is April 21


Attwater, D. (1983). The Penguin Dictionary of Saints, NY:
Penguin Books.

Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
(1947). The Book of Saints. NY: Macmillan.

Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
(1966). The Book of Saints. NY: Thomas Y. Crowell.

Bentley, J. (1986). A Calendar of Saints: The Lives of the
Principal Saints of the Christian Year, NY: Facts on File.

Delaney, J. J. (1983). Pocket Dictionary of Saints, NY:
Doubleday Image.

Doble, G. H. (1931). Saint Symphorian.

Encyclopedia of Catholic Saints, August. (1966).
Philadelphia: Chilton Books.

Farmer, D. H. (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of Saints.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Husenbeth, Rev. F. C., DD, VG (ed.). (1928). Butler's
Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints.
London: Virtue & Co.

Montague, H. P. (1981). The Saints and Martyrs of Ireland.
Guildford: Billing & Sons.

Roeder, H. (1956). Saints and their Attributes, Chicago: Henry

Walsh, M. (ed.). (1985). Butler's Lives of the Saints.
San Francisco: Harper & Row.

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