Monday, January 14, 2013

Saint Guy of Anderlecht

Saint Guy of Anderlecht

Born in poverty, he was trained in religion by pious parents. For many years he embraced poverty as God’s will for him, and spent his time caring for the poor and sick. When he worked the fields, an angel would sometimes man the plow so that Guy could pray without distraction. He hung around the local church so much the priest made him the parish sacristan; Guy then lived in the church, and often spent all night in prayer.

A merchant from Brussels, Belgium either decided to give the boy a leg up in the world, or figured that Guy was a bumpkin who could be defrauded; versions vary. Either way, he offered Guy a part share in a new project that could make him rich. In the first ocean-going expedition in the project, the ship involved sank; Guy took it as a sign that he was right to begin with, and returned to his old life of poverty.

As penance for his bout of greed, Guy made a pilgrimage on foot to Rome, Italy then to Jerusalem where he worked for a while as a guide to pilgrims, then back to Brussels. Though he never joined any order or house, he vowed chastity, and devoted most of his time to prayer, and work as a sacristan.

Many post-mortem miracles attributed to him. An annual festival grew up in the area around his grave, with most of the activities involving horses and the people who work with them because his grave, which was lost for years, was uncovered by a horse.

Born c.950 at Anderlecht, Belgium
Died 1012 at Anderlecht, Belgium of exhaustion and related natural causes
his grave was forgotten for years until uncovered by a horse
relics translated to a nearby church in 1076
due to wars, his relics were moved and hidden in several places over the years
relics destroyed by Protestants in the 18th century


Anderlecht, Belgium
against epilepsy
against hydrophobia
against infantile convulsions
against mad dogs
against rabies
animals with horns
Patron saint of convulsive children
Patron saint of epileptics
horned animals
Patron saint of laborers
protection of outbuildings
protection of sheds
protection of stables
work horses

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