Noteworthy is that Servatius was the 4th century bishop of the Roman town of Tongeren (Tongres in French), which is now in eastern Belgium and is famous for its weekly antique market. That's where we got the monks bench.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The Frozen Saints
Before the Vatican traded 'em in on different models, 11, 12, and 13 May were the feast days of Saints Mamertus, Pancras, and Servatius. Because northern Europeans noticed that there was often a cold snap around this time, the three are referred to as the Ice Saints and implored for protection against late freezes. The French call them les saints de glace, and, Vatican revisionists notwithstanding, modern Belgians are still aware of the folk wisdom and will not put out tender plants until after what they refer to as les saints de gel. Our morning drive time radio announcers were talking about them the other day, as they announced three days of icy temps and rain. It was about 40F yesterday and 42 today. Tomorrow, though, for Saint Servatius' day it's supposed to get all the way up in the low 50s. I plan to go to work in shorts and flipflops.