(This should have been posted yesterday.)
Everyone knows March 17 is St Patrick’s Day, when we are all supposed to be wearing green, eating raw potatoes with the skin on, drinking Guinness, making stereotypical and demeaning assumptions about an entire nation, and harassing women by asking if they have any Irish in them.
But March 17 is also the feast day of St Gertrude of Nivelles, the patron saint of cats. She’s also the patron of travellers and gardeners, and protects against rats and mental illness. Basically, she’s a saint that Simpsons character Eleanor Abernathy, MD JD could really get behind.
Who Was St Gertrude?
Most of what’s known about Gertrude comes from her Vita Sanctae, the official Catholic biography produced to justify her worship. She was born around 626 in what’s now Belgium. Her father was Pippin of Landen, a powerful Frankish nobleman and political operator at the court of King Dagobert I. Aged ten, Gertrude feistily refused a marriage proposal from the son of a duke, “saying that she would have neither him nor any earthly spouse but Christ the Lord.”
Read more at Junkee.