Mainz Daily Photo

>A friend in need…#349

> …is a friend indeed. 14 of them, in fact.

The Fourteen Holy Helpers (street sign here in Gonso and the name of the chapel where Magdalena‘s Mum and Dad got married) are venerated in the Catholic church and just get a passing nod from the Protestants.

When the Black Death descended upon Europe in the 14th century, folks were understandably concerned about their ongoing well-being and started praying as if their lives depended on it.

Which was doubtless the case.

First to the 3 virgin martyrs – Margaret (for safe childbirth), Barbara and Catherine (both against sudden death) – and when that didn’t have much effect, to the other 11.

Christopher and Giles against the plague itself, Denis for relief from headache, Blaise for ills of the throat, Elmo for abdominal maladies, Vitus against epilepsy, Pantaleon for physicians, Cyriacus against temptation on the deathbed (eh?), Christopher also against sudden death (they MUST have been worried…), Giles for a good confession, and Eustace as patron of family troubles.

Plus George for the health of domestic animals so that there’d be fresh eggs if one evaded the Grim Reaper.

Martyrs to the man (or woman) except for Giles, who obviously had a USP in his skill set.

“If you top me, I won’t be able to take your confession AND YOU’LL ALL GO TO HELL…”

Not a bad little line.

I shall remember that one…

This entry was published on 6 March, 2008 at 08:25. It’s filed under Mainz and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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