Egeria vs. Arnulf of Metz

Who’s ready for a full week of madcap Saintly Sixteen action? Well, ready or not, it’s coming your way as Lent Madness 2021 continues in earnest.

Today it’s Egeria vs. Arnulf of Metz as they vie for a shot at the Elate Eight. To get here, Egeria made it past Tarcisius while Arnulf took down Vincent of Saragossa.

If you missed Friday’s result, Catherine Booth marched past Constantine 70% to 30%. Go vote!


Egeria—pilgrim, writer, journalist, and popularizer of the definite article—sent letters back to her community in Spain throughout her travels in the late 4th century.

Her writings are easily available today for our perusal and appreciation—so it might be surprising to learn that the fragments we have were not translated into English until 2005. (Earlier fragments were referenced in other works, and it was partially translated as early as the end of the 1800s, but by and large, the thoughts of a world-travelling religious woman were not widely considered important until relatively recently.  Our loss.)

According to academics, her writing style was not polished: she misspells words and does not appear educated. But she wrote the way she talked, and so her writing gives us an insight into what a fourth century traveller thought and cared about—the way her mind worked. Recent translations work hard to preserve the loose, breezy way she wrote, and her voice. (The recently-released edition from Liturgical Press is very good.)

Egeria appears to be the subject of a letter written by a Spanish monk in the late 7th century named Valerius to his fellow monks. He seems to honestly be impressed with Egeria, though that can be hard to discern, amidst his general issues with women. Throughout the letter, he spells her name four different ways (bless his heart). He describes her as a virtuous, faithful Christian, even though she was in the form of a “weak woman”(!), and hopes all the monks back at home will emulate her. He proclaims that all the local saints in his region loved Egeria, and that he was sure that “she will return to that very place where in this life she walked as a pilgrim.”

It’s worth noting Egeria’s casual mention of armed escorts at various places in her letters. Pilgrimages were extremely dangerous in the late 4th century, and it wasn’t rare for thieves to waylay travelers on isolated roads. It is also remarkable that Egeria mentions, on the one hand, “helpful Roman soldiers who assist us in the name of public safety” and—on the other hand—meeting with confessor bishops while on her journeys. “Confessor” was a title used by local Christians to refer to someone who had been arrested and tortured, but not martyred, for their faith by Rome.  In the 380s, those who had lived through the last Roman persecutions were still in church leadership—albeit fewer and fewer in number. Egeria is basically chronicling the change between a persecuted church and a church that can run the world.

–Megan Castellan

Arnulf of Metz

While in this century, Arnulf (Arnold) of Metz is best known by his association with beer and breweries, in his own time he was renowned for his deep pastoral care and compassion for the people entrusted to his oversight.

Arnulf was born into wealth and privilege – a condition which can predispose one to a sense of entitlement. But Arnulf went in the other direction. At every opportunity he used what he had for the good of others.

His hometown of Metz became a destination for the poor, vulnerable, and destitute of the kingdom, who trusted so much in the Bishop’s generosity that they travelled great distances to be in his presence. And once they were, Arnulf would put his own clothes on these travelling beggars, give them food and water from his own table, and follow the Lord’s example by washing their feet.

Once, Arnulf is remembered as saying “Don’t drink the water, drink the beer.” This too was a pastoral concern. The brewing process meant that the beer was safer to drink than the local water supply. In a time of pandemic and disease, Arnulf relied on the wisdom of experience to direct his parishioners to the best practices to preserve their own health and the well-being of the community.

Similarly, Arnulf stood between the people of Metz and destruction when a fire broke out in the town. As a fire in the palace threatened to spread through the town, causing untold destruction, Arnulf said “If God wants me to be consumed, I am in His hands.” He stood in front of the fire, and making the sign of the cross commanded the fire to abate – and it did.

Beyond these powerful stories, Arnulf found ways to fight for the people even in the mundane work of ecclesial and political administration. Arnulf had his hand in the formation of the Edict of Paris (615), which has been compared to the Magna Carta. Among the laws enacted by the Edict was a change that demanded that bishops be elected by the people, rather than appointed by kings.

The legacy of Arnulf is of ecclesial and pastoral authority that is consistently working for the good of God’s people in all things.

–David Hansen

Egeria vs. Arnulf of Metz

  • Arnulf of Metz (59%, 3,951 Votes)
  • Egeria (41%, 2,692 Votes)

Total Voters: 6,643

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90 Comments to "Egeria vs. Arnulf of Metz"

  1. John Cabot's Gravatar John Cabot
    March 15, 2021 - 8:02 am | Permalink

    The diarist known as Egeria
    Who they say came from Gaul or Iberia
    Wrote of Holy Land sites
    And 4th century rites;
    Just as well that there was Pax Imperia!

    • LA's Gravatar LA
      March 15, 2021 - 11:06 am | Permalink

      I find this one especially cleverly constructed!

  2. Ann's Gravatar Ann
    March 15, 2021 - 8:05 am | Permalink

    It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day => beer, so vote for Arnulf of Metz, the “Beer Guy,”

  3. March 15, 2021 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    If I were to have a son, I think I’d like to bring back Arnulf!

  4. March 15, 2021 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    I wouldn’t be a loyal great grandson if I didn’t vote for my 36GGF. I’m keeping today’s vote in the family with a cheer for Beer as time goes by

    • Shelly's Gravatar Shelly
      March 15, 2021 - 3:17 pm | Permalink

      You’re a direct descendant (and you know this)? How cool!

  5. Denise LeGendre's Gravatar Denise LeGendre
    March 15, 2021 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    Egeria for me. I love her misspelled words and breezy writing style. You have to admire her courage. Plus, I paid the rent through college y working closing shift at a fast food place. Mopping green vomit out of the salad bar and bathroom does tend to change one’s
    perspective on St. Patrick’s Day.

    • Shelly's Gravatar Shelly
      March 15, 2021 - 3:18 pm | Permalink


  6. EspeciallySarah's Gravatar EspeciallySarah
    March 15, 2021 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    A few years ago I read Egeria’s words during Lent, hearing her talk about her journey and about how Lent & Easter were celebrated in Jerusalem was such a blessing – to see the change and continuity.

    I also love that when she addresses the women she was writing to she calls them “ladies, light of my eyes”.

    • Patricia Gordon's Gravatar Patricia Gordon
      March 15, 2021 - 10:57 am | Permalink

      Especially Sarah, I’m with you! I hope Egeria picks up more votes. No question her writings bring life and vitality as well as first-hand information about liturgical practices. Not to mention her contribution to language and her courage! Egeria supporters, please vote soon!!!

  7. Lee Greenawalt's Gravatar Lee Greenawalt
    March 15, 2021 - 8:42 am | Permalink

    A tough choice. My vote goes to Egeria whose writings deserve attention. Arnulf ‘s beer and washing the feet of visitors is already well known. Learning about daily life of the past helps us cope with our own daily trials.

  8. David P's Gravatar David P
    March 15, 2021 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    Voted Egeria for my friend Blair.

    March 15, 2021 - 9:02 am | Permalink

    Egeria’s story had me at “pilgrim, writer, journalist.” I’m sure Arnulf was a terrific guy, but I was smitten by the idea of an adventurous 4th century gal hitting the open road, breezily chronicling her travels (spelling errors and all), and charming Roman soldiers (in her unpolished way). Lovely.

  10. Scott Rauch's Gravatar Scott Rauch
    March 15, 2021 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    This was a hard choice, but trying to free the Church from government influence gets my vote. (Did the Edict of Paris have any effect? Anglican bishops were chosen by government officials.)

  11. Susan Comer's Gravatar Susan Comer
    March 15, 2021 - 9:11 am | Permalink

    Although Arnulf is indeed a very worthy man, , I am voting for Egeria, who struck out for dangerous territories in search of roots of evolving Christianity, and sent back such detailed description of religious life at many levels, for the regular services, for feast days, for seasons. for baptism and more. i discovered that in the 40 days before being baptized back then, in addition to receiving much instruction, these 40 days were days of fasting, and at the end of it, the candidate still had to be declarer worthy by others. The fact that religious people over the years did not respect her research and documentation over the years because she was a mere woman cemented my vote. you may read at

  12. Judith Davita-Rauch's Gravatar Judith Davita-Rauch
    March 15, 2021 - 9:11 am | Permalink

    This has been the most difficult choice of Lent Madness this far. Reading about Egeria made me want to vote for the woman who impressed a monk, though being of the weak form of a woman. (Grrr…) Then I read through Arnulf, and how he consistently showed love to those less fortunate than him. I do appreciate the image of having to clean green barf out of the salad bar…

  13. Joyce's Gravatar Joyce
    March 15, 2021 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    Since my Norwegian Great-great grandfather was a devout Lutheran and one of the early founders of Luther College, while running a successful farm and BREWERY, I have to vote for Arnulf. By the way, in the mid-19th century, Lutherans drank beer at church events – hence the “ale bowl” that was passed around at funerals etc.

  14. Cath Fenton's Gravatar Cath Fenton
    March 15, 2021 - 9:14 am | Permalink

    I’d like to vote for Egeria, but I think that Arnulf is more deserving of the golden halo.

  15. Belle's Gravatar Belle
    March 15, 2021 - 9:18 am | Permalink

    Arnulf’s dates, according to Wikipedia, are c. 582 – 645. For those wondering. He was also an ancestor of Charlemagne.

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 15, 2021 - 10:22 am | Permalink

      It has been statistically calculated that anyone with any European ancestry is related to Charlemagne, therefore we who are in that category are all also related to his ancestor, Saint Arnulf, Bishop of Metz.

      I admire the Egeria, but I’m going to have to vote for my statistically determined ancestor because though he was a Bishop, he remained (as he should have) a faithful servant to those pilgrims in need of food, clothing, shelter, and clean feet.

  16. Lois Alworth's Gravatar Lois Alworth
    March 15, 2021 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    I was going to vote for Egeria as I read about her…a commendable woman…but then, when I read about the beer saint…and craft beef at that, no doubt…I just had to vote for Arnulf. He used is position and wealth to help others and definitely had a strong faith in the goodness of God.

  17. Jane Fenicle's Gravatar Jane Fenicle
    March 15, 2021 - 9:22 am | Permalink

    I am choosing to vote for Egeria. It seems a shame that she was criticized for misspellings and lack of education by the very men who denied her that education. Her contribution to our understanding of the early church, encouragement of the faith of those to whom she wrote, and her amazing fortitude for pilgrimage in dangerous times is a message for us today. Seeking God, and sharing God is our calling no matter where it takes us.

    • Katherine Grimes's Gravatar Katherine Grimes
      March 15, 2021 - 11:11 am | Permalink

      Thank you for your point about the criticism of Egeria for a lack of the education that was denied her. To that should be added the fact that spelling was not standardized even by the Elizabethan period in England: Shakespeare himself spelled his name various ways. I doubt that it was standardized anywhere a thousand years before.

  18. Deborah's Gravatar Deborah
    March 15, 2021 - 9:25 am | Permalink

    We owe a huge debt to Egeria, whose writings give us a description of the worship services and liturgical seasons of the early church. As we approach Holy Week beginning with Palm Sunday and culminating in the Easter Vigil, many of us accept that the rituals of this Holy Week will be adapted to pandemic precautions. That we know anything at all about these liturgies in the
    early church is due to Egeria’s eyewitness reporting. She has my vote.

    • Patricia Gordon's Gravatar Patricia Gordon
      March 15, 2021 - 11:07 am | Permalink

      Beautifully said, Deborah. Thank you. Egeria has my vote too, and my admiration.

  19. Chris Rhoads's Gravatar Chris Rhoads
    March 15, 2021 - 9:25 am | Permalink

    I gotta go for (Egarian license) intercessory prayer that puts out fires. Arnulf for me.

  20. Melanie's Gravatar Melanie
    March 15, 2021 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    I wanted to vote for Egeria, but Arnulf got to me with his public health concerns. Don’t drink the water, drink beer! Today he’d be exhorting the faithful: “And wear your @#$% mask!”

  21. Judith Crossett's Gravatar Judith Crossett
    March 15, 2021 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    I had to read Egeria in that execrable Latin. No one was into consistent spelling (until the 18th C), and medieval Latin–if you can figure out what to look up in when you’re not sure if what you see is “correct” spelling, or not–is not well dictionary’d. Or wasn’t, back then. The late Roger Hornsby’s advice, when we asked for help Looking Things Up, was “Think” (his advice on length of assignments: “Read faster”). You’ve put her in a more favorable light than reading the original did, but… it’s a close race, my deacon’s heart goes to Arnulf.

  22. simple village priest's Gravatar simple village priest
    March 15, 2021 - 9:46 am | Permalink

    Egeria all the way! Happy to lift a toast to Arnulf, but why isn’t he in the dust of the intrepid pilgrim who recounted with breezy passion how the earliest Christians observed the holiest days of the Church year. How impoverished our faith and worship would be without her witness!

  23. Donald MacLeod's Gravatar Donald MacLeod
    March 15, 2021 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    The more extensive descriptions of the saints are helpful. Our church has an internal competition and people are asked to commit to choices before the process begins. It was necessary to determine my criteria early and hold to them. If I were to vote today, based on the sensitive description of Egeria above, I would probably have voted for her but my choice of Arnulf still stands, not just because of the beer.

  24. simple village priest's Gravatar simple village priest
    March 15, 2021 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    By all rights the final pairing for the Golden Halo should be Absalom vs. Egeria!

    • Patricia Gordon's Gravatar Patricia Gordon
      March 15, 2021 - 11:08 am | Permalink


    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 15, 2021 - 11:17 am | Permalink

      That was my final pair, too. Bracket is now totally blown out of the water.

  25. Jenny Reece's Gravatar Jenny Reece
    March 15, 2021 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    I have loved Egeria for ages. She is so brave and resourceful. The spirit of one woman pilgrim cries out to another, and so she has my vote. She is most worthy of the golden halo.

  26. Julian's Gravatar Julian
    March 15, 2021 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    Egeria gave us a precious glimpse of how Lent and Holy Week were celebrated in the Holy Land in her day. Her writing style allows us to share the impact those observances had on her. Reading her lends depth to my own practices, reminding me of the roots of our traditions.

  27. madameseñora's Gravatar madameseñora
    March 15, 2021 - 9:52 am | Permalink

    I don’t know all that much about Egeria, but this world languages teacher feels compelled to vote for she who correctly used her definite articles.
    …and a note: I was curious to know if Egeria had been translated into languages other than English prior to 2005 because, of course, English is only one of many languages associated with Christianity , and while monotheism is central to Christianity, monolingualism can certainly be overcome through the study of languages. There appears to be a 1919 translation to English (M.L. McClure and C.L. Feltoe, London, 1919) as well as an 1887 translation into Spanish that was annotated in 1955 by Juan Monteverde (Buenos Aires).

    • Barbara Gay's Gravatar Barbara Gay
      March 15, 2021 - 8:51 pm | Permalink

      Yes, the definitive article almost swung me to voting for Egeria. Articles are sadly neglected by current writers. But had to go with Arnulf, whose story resonated with me because of public health and the pandemic.

  28. MHL's Gravatar MHL
    March 15, 2021 - 9:56 am | Permalink

    As a resident of a great brewing city (Cincinnati) which is also home to the Supreme Executive Council, how could I not vote for Arnulf?

  29. Kathy in Nicaragua's Gravatar Kathy in Nicaragua
    March 15, 2021 - 10:36 am | Permalink

    Most of my choices from the first round were eliminated, but I’m three for three in this round. I am aware that if this trend continues it’s going to make voting in the Elate Eight excruciating. I was curious why neither of the Celebrity Bloggers included writings from their saints in this Quirks and Quotes round, especially Egeria whose main claim to fame is her writings.

  30. Lynn's Gravatar Lynn
    March 15, 2021 - 10:46 am | Permalink

    Egeria the courageous and faithful pilgrim gets my vote!

  31. Ellen L's Gravatar Ellen L
    March 15, 2021 - 10:56 am | Permalink

    It’s not the beer that swayed me in favor of Arnulf, but his standing before a fire and in the name of Christ commanding it to quell. We have started having to make hard choices and both are incredibly worthy, but that image of him standing ready to be consumed to save others – well, that’s hitting home today because I have a friend today who is about to spend 24 hours helping others in palliative care, while suffering from depression herself. Please pray for all those who give end of life care to others.

    • Julia's Gravatar Julia
      March 16, 2021 - 8:26 am | Permalink

      Prayers for your friend and those she cares for, Ellen.

  32. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 15, 2021 - 11:01 am | Permalink

    This vote is brought to you by the word “the.” Megan Castellan (aka Megan the Castle Keeper) wrote on behalf of Egeria back in 2015 as well and eloquently pointed then and now to Egeria’s importance as a chronicler of both the liturgies of Holy Week in Jerusalem and the historical changes the church was undergoing, from persecuted to empurpled imperial. May we, who are “virtual” pilgrims, all have the opportunity again one day to venture forth on embodied pilgrimages in the world. I know we’re still in covid, but the beer guy just doesn’t seem to be pointing to the most godly path this year. As a Washington Post journalist wrote, “People, get out of the butter and the bourbon!” Because this faithful company is still only halfway to Canterbury, I feel it’s an opportune moment to re-up Megan’s collect from six years ago, which speaks so aptly to our tenuous efforts to stay connected in these days: “Jesus, May our eyes see not only the stones that saw you but the people who walk with you now; may our feet tread not only the path of your pain but the streets of a living city; may our prayers embrace not only the memory of your presence but the flesh and blood who jostle us today.” It’s beautiful flesh-and-blood companions not beer for me this coming Holy Week. [We interrupt this vote to make a special public-service announcement: Do NOT try to bite off a piece of the cross during your Good Friday stations. The deacons will drag you out, and you will not be able to make an emergency dental appointment over Easter weekend!] Stay well, everyone; wear your masks and stay 6′ apart.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 15, 2021 - 11:25 am | Permalink

      This crowd doesn’t find saintliness in writers or contemplatives! It’s maddening!

      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        March 15, 2021 - 11:50 am | Permalink

        I remind everyone of Egeria’s goldfish, featured in the 2015 kitsch round, who provides a model of contemplation for us today: “because every trip around the bowl is a pilgrimage for a goldfish who can only remember 30 seconds worth of stuff!” Simply observing the world with attention is a meditative practice. And journaling is the interior highway to God.

        • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
          March 15, 2021 - 2:40 pm | Permalink

          Haha! Well, there you go!

    • Shelly's Gravatar Shelly
      March 15, 2021 - 4:04 pm | Permalink

      I always appreciate your insightful comments. Thank you.

  33. Toni Ponzo's Gravatar Toni Ponzo
    March 15, 2021 - 11:08 am | Permalink

    Very difficult choice. In the end I went with Arnulf of Metz because our Verger Emeritus’ last name is Metz. I’ll be happy with either choice.

  34. Scottie Jackson's Gravatar Scottie Jackson
    March 15, 2021 - 11:19 am | Permalink

    I wish I had researched more about Egeria before voting for Arnulf. I change my vote even though it won’t count.

  35. Tessa's Gravatar Tessa
    March 15, 2021 - 11:23 am | Permalink

    Both are deserving. I’m wondering how well commanding the fire to go out actually went — shades of King Canute commanding the tide not to come in.

  36. March 15, 2021 - 11:40 am | Permalink

    I give thanks for Egeria’s documentation of early (4th century) liturgies, a primary source for the 1979 BCP Holy Week liturgies, which didn’t exist in the 1928 BCP. I can’t imagine celebrating Easter without participating in our “High Holy Days” first. I have her going all the way to the Faithful Four.

  37. March 15, 2021 - 11:52 am | Permalink

    I’m so sorry to see Egeria running behind early in the day. I do wish her hagiographer had quoted this anecdote from the Good Friday veneration of the Holy Cross that captures the importance of relics to the faithful: ” … the bishop, remaining seated, grips the ends of the sacred wood with his hands, while the deacons, who are standing about keep watch over it. There is a reason why it is guarded in this manner. ” She describes how the faithful come forward to kiss “the holy wood, and then move on. It is said that someone (I do not know when took a bite and stole a piece of the holy cross. Therefore, its is now guarded by the deacons … lest there be anyone who would dare come and do that again.”
    Really! With such great story telling, how can anyone vote for Arnulf?

    • simple village priest's Gravatar simple village priest
      March 15, 2021 - 9:54 pm | Permalink

      I heard this story in Patristics class in seminary, and as a result made “Egeria cookies” for a social gathering — cross- shaped sugar cookies with a bite-shaped cut taken out. It’s a sacrilege that she seems not to be making it into the kitsch round!

  38. March 15, 2021 - 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I’ve gone back and forth on this one several times just reading through the comments. Egeria’s accomplishments as a chronicler of church history is important to us day, Arnulf’s were more impactful on the people of his day. Egeria deserves accolades for all the journeys she walked; and I am sure Arnulf would have happily washed her feet and offered her a beer at the end of he day. I am a big believer in making footwashing a sacrament and Arnulf is a great cat name, so I ended up supporting him, but with a bit of guilt.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 15, 2021 - 12:56 pm | Permalink

      “I am a big believer in making footwashing a sacrament, and Arnulf is a great cat name.” Good enough! Have a beer, and feel no guilt. Egeria will make another turn around the goldfish bowl in a future year, and when she wins the Golden Halo, we can all celebrate by “drinking like fish.” Or perhaps just by radiating beauty like koi.

    • Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
      March 16, 2021 - 1:34 am | Permalink

      Richard, my next rescue cat thanks you for his new name!

  39. JoJo's Gravatar JoJo
    March 15, 2021 - 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Arnulf got my vote today for his pastoral care & the excellent beer I enjoyed Friday night. Our prayers were heard & we were blessed by our new rector Rev. Sonny just b4 this pandemic hit & without him our church would not have been able to survive on Zoom. (Sorry, Egeria, I know I usually vote for the lady but life & beer happen)

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 15, 2021 - 12:57 pm | Permalink

      “Life and beer happen.” This is a good round. Let’s have another one; ha!

  40. Beth's Gravatar Beth
    March 15, 2021 - 12:47 pm | Permalink

    as one who is not a good speller or writer I went with Egeria. she is a real woman

  41. Carolyn Finster's Gravatar Carolyn Finster
    March 15, 2021 - 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Since we’re in our own pandemic I vote for the saint who was smart to drink beer instead of water and encourage others. From a public health standpoint he undoubtedly saved others from many illnesses including cholera. Not withstanding fires and urban planning.

  42. Rene Jamieson's Gravatar Rene Jamieson
    March 15, 2021 - 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Lent Madness is well named….having to choose between equally worthy candidates can drive one to madness. I could happily have voted for either of these two saints – and in fact, I did in Round One. However, today I cast my ballot for Arnulf, and I don’t even drink beer! I voted for him because of his care for the poor and hungry, for his life lived in a powerful emulation of Christ…and for the Edict of Paris. Go, Arnulf!

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 15, 2021 - 1:41 pm | Permalink

      The Edict of Paris banned Jews from royal office. One COULD compare it to the Magna Carta, I suppose, but one COULD also compare it to the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. One can make all kinds of comparisons, but The Edict of Paris in the seventh century helps to seal in anti-semitism as part of the mortar of church-state relations, a bitter heritage.

      • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
        March 15, 2021 - 11:16 pm | Permalink

        I wonder if David knew that when he wrote up Arnulf’s entry today. I had never even heard of the Edict of Paris before. If I had know this, I might have changed my vote.

  43. Kitty's Gravatar Kitty
    March 15, 2021 - 1:34 pm | Permalink

    I liked both these saints but Arnulf did so much for the poor and his community.

  44. Mary Larson's Gravatar Mary Larson
    March 15, 2021 - 1:44 pm | Permalink

    I love the liturgical year…..the continuity regardless of whatever else is turned upside down in our lives,the festivity of it, the reminder, Thank you Egeria!

  45. Katharine in Iceland's Gravatar Katharine in Iceland
    March 15, 2021 - 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Ms Pedant feels compelled to comment that Canute/Knut did not expect the tide to turn. He expected it to keep coming in. He was tired of being surrounded by yes-men who were trying to butter him up and tell him he could do anything, and he went to the shore to prove them wrong and to get them to be honest with him.
    But this leads me to wonder if Arnulf actually ordered the fire to stop, or if perhaps he was throwing buckets of water — or beer! — on it, and if people protested for his safety he then said “If God wishes me to be consumed, I am in his hands.” And the story morphed over time.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 15, 2021 - 3:34 pm | Permalink

      A scion of the Forkbeards and Blueteeth would know better than to toss good craft beer onto an inferno. Consume it yourself, before you’re consumed.

      • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
        March 15, 2021 - 11:14 pm | Permalink

        And alcohol would in no way quench a fire, just fuel it.

        • Tessa's Gravatar Tessa
          March 16, 2021 - 7:17 pm | Permalink

          Depends on the proof. I’m pretty certain 5% – 8% alcohol wouldn’t produce much in the way of pyrotechnics.

          Now if Arnulf was the patron saint of tequila makers and Everclear alchemists, that would be a different story altogether.

    March 15, 2021 - 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Metz is my mother-in-Law’s home town….So voted for him.

  47. Susan's Gravatar Susan
    March 15, 2021 - 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Another tough one. In the end, I voted for Arnulf. He could have lived the royal life but chose generosity and service. I especially liked the “value of a refreshing mug of beer.”

  48. Constance Santana's Gravatar Constance Santana
    March 15, 2021 - 3:35 pm | Permalink

    This is the first year I recall anyone saying that they were related to a saint and someone else saying that something like a third of Europeans were related to Charlemagne. Right after that I was working on our family tree and sure enough…there was Arnulf of Metz We have had a great laugh about Arnulf and his wife St Doda. Of course…had to vote for the family saint.

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 15, 2021 - 11:13 pm | Permalink

      Oh, it is more than a 1/3rd of Europeans. From what I’ve heard it is anyone with a fraction of European ancestry.

  49. MARY ROSA's Gravatar MARY ROSA
    March 15, 2021 - 3:52 pm | Permalink


  50. MARY ROSA's Gravatar MARY ROSA
    March 15, 2021 - 4:11 pm | Permalink


  51. Unshy Sharron's Gravatar Unshy Sharron
    March 15, 2021 - 4:23 pm | Permalink

    I know what beer in all its distillations tastes like but I thirst to know more about early Christian travels by this lovely Egeria is what intrigues me as I quaff my favourite ale.

  52. Linda Nichols's Gravatar Linda Nichols
    March 15, 2021 - 4:57 pm | Permalink

    The people electing bishops? Or the king appointing bishops? I prefer the former, for (hopefully) independence of thought and leadership. Arnulf it is for me!

    • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
      March 15, 2021 - 5:53 pm | Permalink

      The people electing bishops?: As Megan Castellan said of Egeria, “involvement of the laity sent her over the moon!”

  53. Nancy Carrillo's Gravatar Nancy Carrillo
    March 15, 2021 - 5:21 pm | Permalink

    FOUL! Unfair advantage for Arnulf in this match held so close to St. Patrick’s Day.

    • St Celia's Gravatar St Celia
      March 15, 2021 - 7:19 pm | Permalink

      Beware the Ides of March.

  54. Len Freeman's Gravatar Len Freeman
    March 15, 2021 - 5:53 pm | Permalink

    “Don’t drink the water, drink the beer.”

  55. Sylvia Miller-Mutia's Gravatar Sylvia Miller-Mutia
    March 15, 2021 - 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Going multiple places, tender and
    Ever walking, ever writing
    Riding a bike would be easier, but
    Instead she put one foot in front of the other:

    (Friends & Members of St. Mark’s, ABQ)

  56. Laura Graf's Gravatar Laura Graf
    March 15, 2021 - 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Oh, no! Egeria is down by over 1,000 votes. As one commented above, Arnulf helped people in his time, but Egeria’s contributions to the faith have lasted centuries. She gets my vote even though I am a stickler for proper spelling and punctuation – neither of which existed when she did.

    My vote goes to Egeria. All I ask is that you find another 1100 or so votes for her. Surely, there have been illegal ballots cast for Arnulf.

  57. March 15, 2021 - 9:10 pm | Permalink

    I can’t believe this is even a contest! Here we are in the 21st century having spent the last 100 years (at least) trying to undo the sexism and injustice built into the worship traditions of the church and people are voting in favor of a privileged male saint whose claim to fame is providing political intrigue and beer instead the one female liturgical historian who provided a woman’s-eye view of early Christian worship traditions. Egeria risked her life to become one of our earliest chroniclers of the diversity of Christian worship, only to have her voice stifled by “better-educated” and institutionalized men. During a time in which we are attempting to broaden our views of what constitutes worship, we should be carrying Egeria to the Golden Halo on our collective shoulders!

  58. Rosanne Adderley's Gravatar Rosanne Adderley
    March 15, 2021 - 9:11 pm | Permalink

    You all have a lot of theological depth and European history. Well done. I am just lamenting the definite article being slowing defeated by beer. Is that over simplifying?

  59. Jim Oppenheimer's Gravatar Jim Oppenheimer
    March 15, 2021 - 11:15 pm | Permalink

    A fella has to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another beer.

    • Jim Oppenheimer's Gravatar Jim Oppenheimer
      March 15, 2021 - 11:17 pm | Permalink

      or two…..

  60. Vicar Mollie's Gravatar Vicar Mollie
    March 16, 2021 - 12:18 am | Permalink

    Sorry to see, at this late hour, that Egeria is losing. There’s nothing like a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to touch your faith in unexpected ways.

  61. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    March 16, 2021 - 4:22 am | Permalink

    I arrived late today, cast my vote for Egeria and was horrified to discover she was so far behind. Last year our churches in the UK were locked over Holy Week and Easter. For the first time in years I wasn’t able to participate in the mysteries of Christ’s final days, his arrest, trial, death and resurrection with the community of faith. We did our best at home, but it brought home to me anew how much we owe to Egeria’s faithful witness, her courage and cheerfulness. Next time Egeria …

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