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St. Drogo was born in Sebourg, France, in 1105 CE, though his mother died in childbirth. His father also died at some point, though sources seem to disagree on whether it was before he was born, or when he was a teenager. At any rate, he was orphaned, and although he was nobility, he gave away all his money to become a shepherd.

He felt so bad about his mother dying in childbirth that he became a penitential pilgrim, going to Rome nine or ten times, as well as visiting other shrines around Western Europe. A whole bunch of internet sources say he also practiced “extreme penitence,” which may mean that he felt really bad while surfing or rock climbing or whatever, but more likely means he was into self-flagellation or had a cilice.

In his next career, he became a shepherd. He was also supposed to have the ability to bilocate-meaning, he was bodily in two different places at once, usually working in the fields and at Mass at the same time. I have to admit, this is a rad power and one I’d never heard of before.

During one of these pilgrimages, something terrible afflicted him. He became extremely deformed in the face, to the point where the townspeople of Sebourg could no longer look at him. Therefore, he took the obvious solution, and became a hermit, sealing himself inside a hut attached to the wall of his local church and becoming an anchorite. This was a big thing in the Middle Ages, especially in England-most churches would have at least one anchorite hut attached, and they were completely sealed with only a small hole facing inward (to watch mass and take communion), and hole facing outward (to dispense advice to the townfolk).

The bilocating probably helped with the being an anchorite, though. I’d imagine it made it more bearable.

Once, the church caught fire and Drogo’s cell burned to the ground. Since the Middle Ages had no fire safety codes, Drogo remained inside while it burned around him, but miraculously was not harmed himself. He died in 1185 in the anchorite cell, and after his death his noble Flemish family came to take his body back to their fancy family graveyard. However, when they tried to lift it, it became too heavy, and no matter how many strong, strapping men tried to lift him, they could not. Finally they had to bury him in the church.

St. Drogo is the patron saint of ugly people and coffee. I have no earthly idea why he’s the patron saint of coffee, but thanks to Obscure Saint Blogging, I finally know what I’m going to name my coffeeshop when I open it someday.

His saint day is April 16.

St. Drogo on Wikipedia

Saints Alive!

A Dictionary of Miracles, by Ebenezer Cobham Brewer

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