A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths

Rohini Vrat. Observed by Jain women for a long, fulfilling life for their husbands and to wish a blessing on immediate family members. Rohini Vrat begins when the Rohini Nakshatra (the one of the 12 Rohini annual Moon fasting days for the 4th of 27 lunar mansion small constellation of stars that the moon travels through as it orbits Earth) rises after sunrise. This happens every 27 days and is an important fasting day in the Jain community. Devotees who celebrate this Vrat also rid themselves of all types of sorrow, poverty and obstacles in their lives. Women should observe these days, considered an easy spiritual discipline for learning patience, forbearance and harmony, over 3, 5 or 7 years, the ideal duration being 5 years and 5 months. In some families, all the members observe the Vrat to enhance the quality of life in families and win the blessings of Vasupujya Bhagavan, the great warrior King who was compassionate and charitable, as was his benevolent Queen who inspired the King in charitable activities. Image: pinterest,co.uk

Saint-Druon de Sebourg (St Drogo of Sebourg, Dreux, Drugo) (1105-86). Feast Day commemorating death of noble Flemish Benedictine anchorite who at 18 rid himself of all his property and became a penitential pilgrim, frequently travelling to Rome before becoming a shepherd in Sebourg for about 6 years. As he was able to bilocate, he was seen working in the fields and simultaneously going to Sunday Mass. During a pilgrimage, an unsightly bodily affliction frightened the townspeople and a cell was attached to his church to protect them from his appearance. St Drogo stayed in his cell for the rest of his life without human contact, except for a small window through which he received the Eucharist and obtained his food of barley and water. Venerated in Catholic Church. Patron of Baume-les-Messieurs, Fleury-sur-Loire, those whom others find repulsive, unattractive people, bodily ills, broken bones, cattle, coffee house keepers, coffee house owners, deaf people, deafness, gall stones, hernias, illness, insanity, mental illness, mentally ill people, midwives, muteness, mutes, orphans, sheep, shepherds, sick people, sickness. Image: saintsfeastfamily.com.

St Magnus of Orkney (Magnus Erlendsson, Earl of Orkney, Magnus the Martyr) (c1075-1116). Feast Day commemorating death of Orcadian Norwegian martyr and principal saint of Orkney and North Scotland, a Norseman converted to Christianity. At 18, Magnus was taken on a raiding party to Anglesey but would not fight, remaining on the ship singing psalms and later leaving by night to swim ashore off Scotland, where he disappeared to live as a penitent until 1102. His cousin Haakon became Earl of Norwegian Orkney, Magnus being granted his rightful share of the earldom in 1105. In 1114, men of evil disposition (“evil dispositionâ€) made Haakon jealous of Magnus’s popularity and the cousins drew up for battle at a thing (assembly) on the Orkney Mainland Assembly Field (thingvollr). Battle was averted and an Easter peace treaty on Egilsay mooted. Magnus arrived and then Haakon ransacked the church and condemned his cousin to death, complying with the request: “Stand thou before me, and hew on my head a great wound, for it is not seemly to behead chiefs like thieves. Take heart, poor wretch, for I have prayed to God for thee, that He be merciful unto thee.” Denied a Christian burial, Magnus was buried where he fell but miracles began and the corpse was transferred to the Christchurch family church on the site of the present Birsay St Magnus Kirk. A bright, heavenly light was seen above Magnus’ grave, accompanied by a heavenly fragrance and numerous miraculous healings resulted from visits to the resting place. The Bishop of Orkney tried to suppress the growing cult of Magnus but was struck blind in his Cathedral,  prayed on Magnus’s grave and had his sight miraculously restored. 21 years later, Magnus’ remains were exhumed, washed and tested in consecrated fire and, their holiness confirmed, Magnus was proclaimed a saint and his remains were enshrined above the Birsay altar. After many years, Magnus appeared in a dream to say he wished to leave Birsay and move to Kirkjuvagr (Kirkwall), where in 1919 a wooden box containing the skull and bones was found during extensive renovation work in St Magnus Cathedral, where they were re-interred. Venerated in Catholic Church, Anglican Communion, Church of Norway, Church of Sweden. Image: Flag of St Magnus: the unofficial predecessor to the modern Flag of Orkney.

Prayer O Good Lord, may the precious merits of Thy noble martyr St Magnus of Orkney ever protect us from those who would maliciously cause us harm, so that by preaching the works of Thy Majesty as he did, we may receive Thine aid both now and forever. Amen