Catherine, Called Birdy & Lots of Fun Saint Names


I recently read a truly enjoyable book entitled, Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman.  It is a fun story about a 14/15 year old feisty girl (a young woman, really, in those days!) in medieval England.  The book is presented in diary style where "Birdy" shares intriguing/comical observations as a daughter of nobility, including some witty strategies to sabotage attempts by her father to marry her off advantageously.

After about a month of writing, Birdy obtained a book of saints and decided to precede each diary entry with a brief description of the saint(s) for the day.  A lot of the saints have rather intriguing, ancient-sounding names, names not commonly used nowadays.  For example, you will find Saints:
Ia
Derfel
Leufred
Quenburga
Cuthburga
Euthymius
Ethelbricht
Fireswide 

The June 6 entry presents quite a smattering of saints for just one day:  
Gudwal
Jarlath
Norbert
Agabard
Artemius
Candida
Pauline

Catherine points out on this saint-filled day that ... 
Truly.  I am not making this up.

Catherine, Called Birdy was a delightful read ... it offers a solid insight into 1290 England in an entertaining and not-too-wordy way.  I also like the snapshot of England before the Anglican split-off.  Warm to think of times back when we were all on the same page!

Many Saints from the Bible (being some of my very favorites) were included in Catherine, Called Birdy as well: 
January 2 - Saint Abel, son of Adam (however, he's not in the current Roman Martyrology)
January 24 - St. Timothy (who now shares January 26 with St. Titus)
February 24 - St. Matthias (now May 14)
March 15 - St. Longinus (now October 16)
March 19 - St. Joseph
June 11 - St. Barnabas
June 24 - St. John the Baptist
July 12 - St. Veronica
July 22 - St. Mary Magdalene
August 24 - St. Bartholomew the Apostle
September 8 - Birth of the Virgin Mary
September 21 - St. Matthew the Apostle
November 5 - Sts. Zechariah & Elizabeth (now September 23)
November 30 - St. Andrew the Apostle
December 17 - St. Lazarus (now shares July 29 with his sisters Martha and Mary of Bethany)
December 21 - St. Thomas the Apostle (now July 3)
December 26 - St. Stephen
December 27 - St. John the Apostle
December 28 - The Holy Innocents

Martyrologium Romanum - 2004
Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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