The Saints

People associated with the saints intimately in the Kempen (Belgium).

And so there were weather saints, of which the ice saints were the best known by everyone. Their anniversaries determined the calendar on the land. Knowledge of the weather is very important for the farmer and it was recorded in this manner and remembered.


And then there are in great numbers the patron saints, like:

Saint-Joris and Saint-Sebastian. Guilds, societies and clubs were

dedicated to them.


But the most important were the protection saints who gave protection. Life on the sandy ground was hard and one could use a little bit of help.


If the cattle saints, like Saint-Anthony abbot and

Saint-Cornelius were popular ware is still a guess.


Of a long time passed we remember the spring saints, Willibrordus and Servatius. Many wells and spring are named after them.


There are oil saints, and from these one expected miracle oil.

Saint-Tillo is one of the oil saints.


Wilgefortis 20 July and Galla 5 Oct. (female) are one of the beard saints.


Then there are bridge saints; they had to do with bridges.


There are pillar saints, recluses, desert saints, and

patron saints, which account for a country or a town.


Than we have the emergency helpers and the cefalores.

Saints who died a martyr death are often depicted with a martyr palm in their hands.




(Via Lat. martyr, v. Gr. martus: =witness)

In the Christian tongue someone who for his or her belief endured bodily tortures or gave up his life. During the persecution in the Roman Empire martyr was an honour title to those who were true to their Christian faith and sealed it with their death. Martyrs acts are the judicial kept archive process pieces. If they were used for reading aloud, than they were called passiones. There are extensive publications of Martyrs calendars or martyrologia giving the day of remembrance,

the days of death of martyrs.

Emperor Diocletian stretched the crown in the torture and death of Christians. Here are some who were tortured and put to death in a most gruesome manner:

January martyrs: Basilissa, Antony, Anastasius, Fabian, Sebastian, Agnes.

February martyrs: Dorothy, Chrysolius.

April martyr: Saint-Joris.

May martyrs: Florian, Pancratius.

June martyrs: Telmus, Vitus, and Alban of England.

July martyrs: Zoë, Margarita, and Beatrice.

August martyrs: Philomena, Susanna of Rome, Cassianus, Felix,

and Adauctus.

September martyrs: Januarius, Cosmas and Damian.

October martyrs: Faustus, Januarius, and Martial.

December martyrs: Eulalia, Lucia and many others.

Emperor Decius knew what to do also, on his conscience were thousand of Christians, here are a few names:

Fabianus, Agatha, Terentuel, The Seven Sleepers, Cornelius, Achatus Abdon, Sennen etc.

Other fanatical Christian persecutors were:

emperor Septinus - emperor Licinius - emperor Antonius - emperor Simplicius - emperor Trajanus - emperor Maximian - emperor Hadrianus - emperor Nero - emperor Constantiople.


Bénezet one of the Bridge Saints


As bridge saints the most venerated were:Saint-Nicolas 6 December, Christopher 24 July, Peter 29 June, Bénezet 14 April, Swithan 15 July,

later also John of Nepomuk 16 May.

As oil saints we worship:

Demetrius of Thessalonika 29 October, Walburgis 25 January.

Saint-Tillo 7 January.


Stylists of pillar saints are i.e.:
Simeon 5 January, Alypius 26 November, Simon the younger 24 May.



(Off. Gr. Kephalè = head, pheroo = carry,

literally: head carriers).

Saints of which the legend tells that after the beheading they picked up their heads and carried it to a designated place, chapel, church or gravestone. The legend has this registered of more than 50 saints.

The most famous amongst them is Dionysius, the first bishop of Paris (Saint-Denis); in two lives of him, from the 9th century, mention of this so-called cefaloforie is made. A statue with a cut off head that depicted such a saint, is called Acefaal in the history of art.


Cefalofoor-saints are amongst others:

Dionysius 9 October, Chrysolius 7 February, Alban of England 22 June, Alban of Mainz 21 June. Justus van Beauvais 3 June.

Regula van Zürich 11 September, Valeria van Limoges 9 December.

Paul of Thebe


Desert Saints or recluses are amongst others:

Macarius 2 January.

Theodosius 11 January.

Felix of Nola 14 January

Paul of Thebe 15 January.

Anthony Abbot 17 January.

Gerlachus of Valkenburg 19 January.

Victor the recluse 26 February.

Romancus 28 February. Abraham Kidunis 16 March.

Benedict of Nursia 21 March.

Cuthbert of Lindisfarne 22 March.

John of Climacus 30 March.

Francis of Paola 2 April.

Aybert of Crespin 7 April.

Pachomius 14 April.

Hospitius 21 May.

Simeon of Trier 1 June.

7 holy brothers 10 July.

Benedictine 11 July.

Alexius 17 July.

Arsenius the Great 19 July.

Rosa of Lima 23 August.

Fiacrius 30 August.

Gilles Abbot 1 September.

John of Chrysostomus 13 September.

Hiëronimus 30 September.

Pelagia 8 October.

Dorothy of Montau 30 October.

Marcianus 2 November -
Leonardus 6 November.

Sabbas 6 December.

Wivina 19 December




Stylites (off Gr. stulos = pillar)

or pillar saints

The name of recluses who from one year to another, stood as much as possible, on a high pillar and lived an ascetic life of continual prayer and strict penance. This form of asceticism found a relatively large number of students in the East, especially in Syria en Mesopotamia; also but less, in Egypt, Palestine, Asia-Minor and Greece.


Stylites were looked up to. People came to them to listen to their preaching or to ask advice; sometimes monasteries or churches were built at the foot of their pillars. Some of them were ordained as priests. As initiator of this lifestyle is Simeon Stylites the Elder (died. 459), who withdrew on a pillar to screen him from obtrusive worshippers. Amongst his famous followers are named: Daniel the Stylite (409-493), Simeon the Younger (ca. 521-596), Alypius (7th century), Lucas (879-979) and Lazarus (968-1054).


The platform, on which they stayed, could have been 4 m2; and had room enough to lie down; there was a kind of balustrade around it; the pillars were of different heights (sometimes 3 m, but also 20 m). Some stylites soften this life a bit to build a small hut on top of the pillar.

The stylitedom disappeared almost all together around the 10th century, although some were encountered until the 19th century.

The fourteen need helpers


Helpers of the needy

Saints who were called on in time of disaster. Known especially is the group of the fourteen need helpers who were called on together in time of national disaster: Acacius (or Achatius), Aegidius, Barbara, Blasius, Catharine of Alexandria, Christophorus, Cyriacus, Dionysius of Paris,

Erasmus (bishop of Antioch and martyr), Eustachius, Georgius,

Margarethe of Antioch, Pantaleon and Vitus.
The most famous pilgrimage place of the de fourteen need helpers

became Vierzehnheiligen in the archbishopric of Bamberg.




Then there are the patron saints who guard over a country or town;

here are a few patron saints:

Goedele 8 January patron of Brussels.

Vincent 22 January patron of Portugal.

Aldegundis 30 January patron of Maubeuge and Emmerich.

Brigitte 1 February patron of Ireland.

Faustus and Jovita 15 February patrons of Brescia.

Eleutherius 20 February patron of Doornik.

Casimir 4 March patron of Poland.

Clemens 15 March patron of Vienna.

Patrick 17 March patron of Ireland.

Saint-Joris 23 April patron of England.

Marcus 25 April patron of Venice.

Catharine of Siena 30 April patron of Italy.

Florianus 4 May patron of Poland, Linz and parts of Austria.

Servatius 13 May patron of Grimsbergen.

John of Nepomuk patron of Poland and Boheme.

Erik IX 18 May patron of Sweden.

Ivo Helory 19 May patron of Breagne.

Augustine of Canterbury 27 August patron England.

Germanus 28 May patron of Paris.

Joan of Arc 30 May patron of France.

Antony of Padua 13 June patron of Italy.

Alban of Mainz 21 June patron of Namen.

Adalbertus 25 June patron of Egmond.

Bavo 1 October patron of Gent and Haarlem.

Dionysius 9 October patron of Paris and Tilburg.

Corbinianus 20 November patron of Munchen.

Andreas 30 November patron of Scotland and Russia.