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Archive for June, 2009

It turns out that I take obscure saint requests. It hadn’t occurred to me until someone asked, and I thought, sure! I’ll just google it and turn something up and it’s fantastic for when I can’t decide on a saint myself.

Famous last words, everybody.

Today we’re plunging into the non-story of one Saint Graoust, about whom we know the following: in the town of Le Langon, the diocese of Fontenay Le Comte, in the Vendee region of France, there is a shrine to this guy with a plaque explaining that he was in the parish records from 1564, converted a bunch of heathens, and was canonized because he raised a child from the dead. The current shrine was built in 1875. And that is it. I can’t find a single other thing with the name “Graoust” on it anywhere.

Luckily, I have a theory!

St. Grwst was a Welsh saint, as if you couldn’t tell,  in the fourth century C.E. He was from Armorica and was the patron saint of Llanwrst and several other places with far too few vowels. Now, not to talk myself up but finding out that info at all took me several trips to the research library at the Big Fancy University where I work, some quality time with Google translator, and all that after I’d frustratedly trolled through collections of saint names looking for something that was vaguely like “Graoust.”

For totally inexplicable reasons, Grwst’s alias was Rhystyd, Welsh for Restitutus, which is the name of the first bishop of London. I have to be clear: having the same name is the only thing that even remotely links the Welsh guy to the British one, but I’m taking it and running.

St. Restitutus barely has anything on him either. “Restitutus” in Latin means “revived,” so maybe he raised someone from the dead. Anyway, the main thing that’s known about him is that he attended the Council of Arles in 314 and denounced heresies like you’re supposed to.

Arles is in France. I’m not an expert on ancient travel routes, but the Vendee could be on the way from Wales to Arles if you were in the mood. And I don’t know a lot about Old French or Old Welsh, but I imagine that “Graoust” and “Grwst” sounded pretty similar.

That’s pretty much the best I can solve this mystery. Hope I helped.

If anyone else would like some of my “help,” let me know and I’ll get back to you eventually.

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