Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hallowe'en Saints:Saint Gallus

It's probably time to take a break from martyrdom and mutilation. So my suggestion for today (or yesterday as I'm a day behind) is Saint Gallus. A 6th-7th century Irish missionary, he settled in what is now South West Germany. Saint Gallus is the patron saint of poultry, as he cast out a demon, and it ran around like a black chicken.

Saint Gallus is better known for another story. He and his companions were camping in the woods when a bear turned up. Unafraid, Saint Gallus prayed, or possibly just commanded the bear, and it went and collected firewood for them.

Saint Gallus, as depicted on the arms of the Swiss town of Kriens

The best costumes would probably not be animal welfare friendly. So I suggest robe, walking staff, halo, a stuffed black chicken on a string, and a companion dressed as a bear. In the event of war with France they can use the disguise to escape over the Spanish border[1].

[1] See The Post Captain by Patrick O'Brian

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