Huge Mea Culpa! I missed St Eligius' day
- I've been so busy, it slipped right past me.
Belated celebratory gestures to my brother and sister thumbsmashers for
one of our patron saints: St Eligius of Noyon
Son of Eucherius and Terrigia. Extremely skillful metalsmith.
Apprenticed to the master of the mint at Limoges. Treasurer at
Marseilles. Master of the mint under King Clotaire II of Paris; a close
friend of and advisor to Clotaire. Noted for his piety, hard work and
honesty, Eligius was generous to the poor, ransomed slaves (including
Saint Tillo of Solignac), built churches, a monastery at Solignac, and
major convent in Paris. It was said that you could easily find his house
by the number of poor people there that he was caring for. Counselor to
and diplomat for King Dagobert I. Friend of Saint Ouen of Rouen with
whom he formed a small religious society. Persuaded Breton King Judicael
to accept the authority of Dagobert.
Ordained in 640. Bishop of Noyon and Tournai in 641. Built the basilica
of Saint Paul. Preacher in Antwerp, Ghent, and Courtai, with many
converts, generally brought to the faith by his example of charity and
work with the poor and sick. Friend and spiritual teacher of Saint
Godeberta. Encouraged devotion to the saints and reverence for their
relics; he discovered the remains of Saint Quentin, Saint Piat at
Seclin, and Saint Lucian at Beauvais, and made many reliquaries himself.
Miracle worker with the gifts of clairvoyance and prophecy; he foresaw
the date of his own death.
He has become the traditional patron of all smiths, metal workers, and
craftsmen. His patronage of horses and the people who work with them
stems first from his patronage of smiths and craftmen, but also from his
having left a horse to a priest at his death. The new bishop liked the
horse, and took it from the priest. The horse became sick, but recovered
immediately when it was returned to the priest that Eligius had chosen.
There is also a legend of Eligius removing a horse's leg in order to
easy shoe it. In some places horses are blessed on his feast day.
Through the years, horse-drawn cabs were replaced by motorized ones, and
stables were supplanted by garages and gas stations, but the patronage
of the people who do those jobs and work in those places has remained.
Don Duncan Hepburn
The Steppes of Ansteorra