Thursday, July 19, 2007

Who is Friday's Saint?

Today we celebrate the Feast of Saint Uncumber. Uncumber was the original bearded lady, or the first religious woman to wear facial hair. This became quite prominent among 20th century nuns, so that nowadays bearded sisters are really nothing to get beatified about.

Uncumber is the patron saint of unhappy wives; she is invoked against men's lust.

From my Saint-A-Day Guide:
One of an all-girl set of septuplets, Uncumber was originally named Wilgefortis, "strong virgin", in which state she fervently wished to remain. Her father, the pagan king of Portugal, had other ideas, insisting she marry his ally, the king of Sicily. Desperately, she prayed to become ugly, a wish that was miraculously granted when she sprouted,overnight, a formidable beard and mustache. Incensed, her father had her crucified, and from the cross she promised to all who invoked her aid that she would free them from male encumbrances-hence her name in English,Uncumber.

If Uncumber were our contemporary, she would not be a saint, she would be Rosie O'Donnell.


Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

If she had lived she could have married a gay guy and that could have been where we get the term "beard" from.

BBC said...

Interesting blog.

"I like to read the naughty bits from the bible to street preachers."


I don't have a bible, used it for toilet paper.

Ah, you like dirty jokes, good girl.

Have a wonderful day.

Jess Wundrun said...

Dr. if she was the first nun to do pushups in the vegetable patch that could have been where we got the term 'Q-cumber'.

bbc maybe I'll blog on those true experiences.

FranIAm said...

Jess Jess Jess, how you warm my Catholic heart!

I have a little statue made of femo clay (not to be confused with fema trailer) that an old friend made for me. She sits proudly on the dashboard of my car.

It was too many years and drinks ago to remember why he chose to make me this one (he was gay after all and I was just bitter back then), but it was Saint Liberata.

A similar story where she invoked ugliness in the name of Jesus in order to stay a consecrated virgin.

Not only did ugly come but she got herself some nice facial hair too.

She was crucified, so in the femo statue she has a vaguely Jesus in Drag feel to her as she is on her cross.

She was an Uncumber copy cat though, but she threw the cross in to have one thing of her own.

Jess Wundrun said...

Actually, Fran, the picture I've given may be Liberata and not Uncumber. The etching that was Uncumber looked too much like Jesus on the cross as to be somewhat confusing, so I grabbed that pic since the saint was more obviously a woman.

I am curious about the amount of hate the mens had for the womens with facial hair back in the day. Not that I am advocating for it - depolation is a good modern thing - but I doubt I'd feel the need to kill my daughter if she grew a beard.

Suzy said...

Wilgefortis ... I might have to have another baby (virgin birth, of course, just like the other 3) so I can use that name. It's been mothballed too long!

FranIAm said...

Yes- great catch Suzy, Wilgefortis!

Jess- Liberata, Uncumber, Wilgefortis... isn't all the same sad story?

Deep sigh!