Celtic and Old English Saints          6 September

* St. Bega of Saint Bee's Head
* St. Maccallin of Lusk
* St. Magnus of Fussen
* St. Chainoaldus of Laon
* St. Felix and St. Augebert

St. Bega (Bee), Nun & Hermitess
7th century; she is probably identical with the Saint Bega celebrated on
October 31.

Saint Bega or Saint Bee was an Irish princess, whom a Norwegian prince
sought in marriage. She, however, had already pledged herself and her
virginity to Jesus and been given a bracelet by an angel marked with a
cross as a token of her heavenly betrothal. On the eve of her wedding,
as her father and her groom were celebrating in the hall, she escaped
with the help of the
bracelet. Seated on a clod of earth, she was taken across the sea to the
coast of Cumberland.

There she lived as an anchoress, who was fed by the wild birds and, if
left in peace, would have continued in this fashion. After being
attacked by marauders, King Saint Oswald of Northumbria advised her to
enter a convent. She therefore received the veil from Saint Aidan and
established a monastery at Saint Bees (Copeland near Carlisle) which
later became a cell of the great abbey of Saint Mary at York.

While the details as related above may be uncertain, Saint Bega is
venerated in Northumbria. The promontory on which she lived is named
Saint Bee's Head, and she is the patroness of the local people who were
injured by the exactions of their lords and the invasions of the
neighbouring Scots.

In her hermitage at Saint Bees (Cumbria) was kept what is presumed to be
her miraculous bracelet, which has the Old English name beag that so
closely resembled her that it may have given rise to her cultus. Oaths
were sworn on the bracelet. The people treasured equally the stories of
how Saint Bega in her earthly life had been devoted to the poor and
oppressed and had cooked, washed and mended for the workmen who built
her monastery. There is also a place in Scotland called Kilbees, named
after this saint (Benedictines, Farmer, Delaney, Husenbeth, Walsh).

For a fictionalised account of her life and the 664 Synod of Whitby read
Malvyn Bragg's novel "Credo," published in the States as "The Sword and
the Miracle."

Through the intercessions of St Bee and of all the Saints of Britain,
Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us!

St. Maccallin of Lusk, Bishop
(also known as Maccallan, Macculin, Macoulmdus)
Died c. 497. The Irish Calendar commemorates Saint Maccallin, bishop of
Lusk, who is also venerated in Scotland which he once visited
(Benedictines, Husenbeth).

St. Magnus of Fussen, Abbot
(also known as Magne, Magnoaldus, Maginold, Mang)
Died c. 666. Saint Magnus was a fellow missionary with Saints Columbanus
and Gall. He founded and became the abbot of a transalpine cloister at
Fussen, in Bavaria, which served pilgrims (Benedictines, Encyclopaedia).

St. Chainoaldus, Bishop of Laon
(also known as Cagnoald, Cagnou)
Died 633. Saint Columbanus's monastery at Luxeuil was such a source of
holiness that by the mid-seventh century it was the most important one
in France. It produced a stream of saints who led the clergy and people
to new height of spiritual awareness. Two of these men were brothers,
Saints Faro and Cagnoald, sons of King Dagobert's chancellor. Faro
became bishop of Meaux, while Cagnoald was bishop of Laon (their sister,
Saint Burgundofara (April 3) founded the convent of Faremoutiers). When
Columbanus angered King Theodoric II by criticizing his immoral life, he
was banished from his realms in 610. Saint Cagnoald left his see,
followed Columbanus, and worked with him as a missionary near Lake
Constance. When Theodoric gained control of that area, too, they were
again banished.

Yet the saints remained charitable, even to such a determined enemy.
King Theodebert II of Neustria had given them refuge during the time of
their missionary activities around Lake Constance. Columbanus's
anxieties caused him once to dream that he saw Theodebert and Theodoric
fighting. He awoke and told Cagnoald his dream. "Let us pray, then, that
Theodebert may defeat our enemy Theodoric," said Cagnoald. Columbanus
responded, "Certainly not. In no way would such a prayer please God. He
has ordered us to pray for our enemies."

So the two men travelled on to Italy, where Saint Columbanus founded the
famous Bobbio monastery. Cagnoald had not personally been banned from
France, but followed his friend out of love. He returned to France after
the death of Columbanus and resumed his bishopric (Attwater,
Benedictines, Bentley).

St. Felix and St. Augebert, Martyrs
7th century. Saints Felix and Augebert were Englishmen sold into slavery
in France and ransomed by Saint Gregory the Great. They were among the
many redeemed by the pope to be trained to become missionaries in their
homeland. The Pope's plan began to take shape when Felix was ordained to
the priesthood and Augebert to the diaconate. Unfortunately, they were
martyred by pagans at Champagne, France, before they could fulfil his
dream (Benedictines).

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