Friday, November 07, 2003

Saint Cordula

Magnificat printed a little notice on this saint last month which I have had on my desk ever since intending to say something more about her. But I can't find anything more. She gets a mention in the old Roman martyrology but nothing else in my books. She seems to be mentioned on the web in languages other than English, chiefly I think in German.

This is a lovely little story and it bears repeating. So here's what Magnificat had to say about her:

One night in 1238, as Ingebrand von Rurke, a Hospitaller knight, was sleeping in the Hospitallers' priory in Cologne, Germany, he saw in a dream a beautiful girl, who asked that he exhume her body from the grave. The following day, Ingebrand related his dream to the Hospitallers' prior, who advised him to wait before acting. The next night, the deceased maiden appeared again to Ingebrand, telling him, "You will find me in the orchard of the priory, under the filbert tree."

Again Ingebrand confided in his prior, who advised him to learn the girl's name. The following night, the maiden appeared once more, admonishing the knight for his lack of chivalry in neglecting a damsel's petition. Ingebrand then learned that the girl was Cordula, a virgin martyr venerated as one of the maidens slain with Saint Ursula in fifth century Cologne. Immediately Ingebrand went to tell the prior, "Her name is Cordula. And a very appropriate name too; for Cordula means a little heart, and a sweet little heart she is!" Cordula's bones were found where she had indicated, and miracles occurred with the relics.

Her body was later enshrined by Saint Albert the Great.


I like saints who enforce the rules of chivalry.

(If you don't know Magnificat, take a look at the website. It is an excellent monthly publication in standard paperback book size, about 7" x 6.75" which contains the Mass liturgy for the month, morning and evening prayer based on the format of the revised Liturgy of the Hours, a daily meditation from a saint or other spiritual writer, and a one page life of a saint for most days. It is not a traditionalist publication. But if you attend daily Mass in the new rite it's a very handy companion. The publication standards, by the way, are excellent. They use a quality "Bible" paper for the basic text and coated heavy stock for color reproductions. They'll send you a free sample, too, if you're curious.)