Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Feast of St. Wiro

Yes, you read that title correctly: today is the feast day of a Catholic saint named St. Wiro.  I'm not making that up.

I was feeling out of ideas today, as I often do; and on days like this, my husband will usually advise me to see if there's a saint I can write about.  I do love reading about the lives of the saints--and as a bonus, finding out that there are a lot of zany names you can give to your children, if you're so inclined, and still know that you've named them after saints.  Back on March 30, in a post called "The Feast of St. Fergus," I told you how we'd been amused to discover the existence of Sts. Mucus and Radbod (although somehow those names don't usually appear in the What to Name Your Baby books that expectant parents buy!).  Well, today I'm telling you that there is also a St. Wiro.  And for all of my Pearl relatives out there, who are bonkers about anything Irish: you'll be happy to know that St. Wiro was actually a holy Irish bishop--though certainly not as well-known as dear St. Patrick--who lived in the 7th or 8th century.  Hooray for the Irish!

Not much is written about St. Wiro, but it is known that he traveled to Rome with St. Plechelm (there's another interesting name for you), became a missionary, and afterwards preached the Faith of Christ to the pagans in the Low Countries.  A prince named Pepin of Herstal, who was a great admirer of Wiro's sanctity, bestowed on him a lonely wood near the river Roer, where he lived an austere life; this wood became known as the Mount of St. Peter.  The prince traveled there often, barefoot no less, in order to confess his sins to the holy man.
I believe this window depicts Prince Pepin confessing his sins to the holy Irish bishop, St. Wiro.
When our youngest son was about five years old, he announced--completely out of the blue--that he was going to have seven children, and he knew what he was going to name them.  I forget all of the girls' names, because they were very normal, like Mary and such; but the boys were going to be Coolie, Crazy, and Johnny.  (How did the name Johnny sneak in there with those other two?)  I have to admit that I hope my boy doesn't name a son Coolie or Crazy; but if he wants something really unique and unexpected, he can always give him a good Irish saint's name: Wiro.

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