09 September 2011

9 September - Saint Gorgonius

Weather: If it is fine on St. Gorgonius' day, it will continue fine for forty days.

If it rains on St. Gorgonius' day, there will be much bad weather in October.

In the old calendar, this is the feast of Saint Gorgonius.  Which Saint Gorgonius, you ask?  Well, I don't know, as the general consensus is that the Saint Gorgonius whose story is told in the Golden Legend and listed in the old Roman Martyrology for today (Gorgonius of Nicomedia) is not the correct Gorgonius for today; and that the correct G-man is Gorgonius of Rome, who is listed in the Martyrology on the 11th of March, which is the real feast day of G. of Nicomedia...

Confused yet?

Well, there is not a whole lot on G. of Rome, so we'll bypass him and go on to Gorgonius of Nicomedia, martyr circa 304 under Diocletian.  The story is that he, Dorotheus and Peter, were high-ranking officials at the court of Diocletian, who were found to be Christians.  This grieved the Emperor no end, as related in the Golden Legend:

"...when the emperor heard that, he was strongly angry, and it did him much displeasure and grievance for to lose such men, which he had nourished in his palace, and were noble of manner and of lineage. And when he saw that he might not turn them by menaces ne by fair words, he did do strain and pain them in the torment of eculee and did all to-rend and break them with scourges and hooks of iron, and to cast in their wounds salt and vinegar, which entered in to their entrails. And they suffered it joyously."

Joyously is not what the Emperor wanted, so he ordered them to be roasted on gridirons a la St. Lawrence, but that didn't work either, so he had them strangled.  Their bodies were rescued and buried by pious Christians; subsequently Saint Gorgonius' body was translated to Rome, and in the 8th century to the French monastery of Gorze (near Metz in Lorraine), whence many churches obtained parts of his remains as relics.