Where’s Waldo? The Saint Who Lived in a Chestnut Tree

The dogs howled and growled, their low moans threatening as they circled the gnarled trunk of the old chestnut tree.  Expecting to find a possum or a small mammal, the hunter hurried through the brush to claim his prize--but wait!The dogs seemed focused, not on the branches of the tree, but on a gaping hole in its side.  There, inside the hollowed trunk, was... a man at prayer?  No, wait... he was dead!  It was a dead man, kneeling as though at prayer inside the hollowed trunk.The hunter … [Read more...]

St. Egwin? I’ve Never Heard of Him, But Today’s His Feast Day

On December 30, 717 (or December 30, 720, depending on which source you read), St. Egwin of Evesham, O.S.B. died in Evesham Abbey, the monastery he founded. So Egwin is the saint of the day--but golly! I've never heard of him!  So here's his story: Egwin was a Benedictine monk and, later, the third Bishop of Worcester in England.   A descendant of Mercian kings, possibly a nephew of the pious King Æthelred of Mercia, Egwin was known as a protector of widows and orphans and a fair judge. He was … [Read more...]

St. Stephen, First Deacon and First Martyr

In art, St. Stephen is often depicted with three stones and a martyr's palm.  In Eastern Christian iconography, he is shown as a young, beardless man with a tonsure, wearing a deacon's alb and stole, and holding a miniature church building or a censer, a vessel for burning incense.The first martyr and the first deacon, Stephen's story is told in Chapters 6 and 7 of the Acts of the Apostles.  He was a deacon in the early church; and he was a persuasive preacher who led many to Christ.  The Sa … [Read more...]