Friday, October 21, 2016

St. Ursula & the Virgin Islands

Today, 21 October, is the feast of St. Ursula and her companions.

File:Hans Memling 074.jpg
The Martyrdom of St. Ursula, by Hans Memling (+1494AD)

Certainly St. Ursula and her companions are worthy of recognition on their own.  By tradition she and her British companions were martyred by the Huns.  Certainly, too, much of their account has been shrouded by the confusion of the ages.

Here are my customary sources on saints that give you more information on St. Ursula:

Catholic Saints Info: St. Ursula

Old Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Ursula

The port city of Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.
["Charlotte Amalie" by No machine-readable author provided. Juanpdp assumed (based on copyright claims). - No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims).. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Commons

Also worthy of note is that when first discovered by Christopher Columbus, the Virgin Islands in the Caribbean were actually named for St. Ursula and her companions.  Recall that, the next time someone mentions those American and British isles.  Indeed, the modern flag and coat of arms of the British Virgin Islands features St. Ursula, along with lighted oil lamps for her companions, as pictured below.  Notice, too, the banner "Vigilate" recalling again the story of the prudent virgins that kept watch in the parable of Christ:

File:Coat of Arms of the British Virgin Islands.svg
Coat of Arms of the British Virgin Islands, featuring St. Ursula, lamps for her companions, and the

wise admonition: Vigilate!

For more on how the United States came to own a portion of the Virgin Islands -- the former Danish Virgin Islands -- you might note this source: Article on Transfer Day in the USVI

St. Ursula, pray for us, pray for the Virgin Islands!

Live well!

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