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Finding a Family Saint

Updated on June 4, 2015

Saints Who Left Descendants

Saints Who Left Ancestors
Saints Who Left Ancestors | Source

Finding a Family Saint

Which saint would make a good family saint for our family will not be answered the same by all. Oh, many people will pick a relative who has gone and say I believe this person is a saint, and you certainly are allowed to hope for that, and consider that person a probable family saint. Others will look to a patron saint for their profession, and that would also be a fine choice. Still others would look to a saint who shares their name, and there is nothing wrong with that. Some choose a saint by nationality. So, it your family would feel better having a family saint to turn to in times of difficulty, such as illness, perhaps it is a good idea that your family have a patron saint. But, I have stumbled upon another way of doing this.

Saints Who Left Descendantsnd Their Ancestry

Saints and Blessed Who Left Descendants

My Family Saint

My finding of a family saint took a different course. I began looking into my ancestry, and found one branch that was well documented. It just opened well into the past. I soon found that people had a keen interest in this line. As I went back I realized there was less interest in some of the side branches, and more interest in a direct line leading somewhere, but where? Soon, I got to England, and the line started picking up people with titles such as Sir and Lady. Then came the titles Duke, Duchess, and Barron, and the spouses were now being followed with more detail. Eventually, the English line ran out but the people who married into it were often of some importance, and lineage of higher ranking titles began popping up. Eventually, my quest went through Bavaria and the Holy Roman Empire, and came to Charlemagne. From there it was well documented back through the Pepins, and it is there I found a direct line connection with three saints. These are canonized saints, so I have some basis in accepting them. The one I keep going back to was Saint Arnouf of Metz de Heristal. He, his wife, and his daughter-in-law are all direct line saints in my family tree.

Saint Arnouf of Metz de Heristal

Saint Arnouf of Metz de Heristal was a member of the Marovinginan court of Theudebert II, and later served Pepin of Heristal. He was considering entering a monastery, but instead was asked to serve as the consecrated Bishop of Metz. He served both the court and the people, and was highly liked.

Saint Bishop Arnouf may have been the son of Saint Oda, and this is a probability, but cannot be confirmed. He was married to Saint Doda, sometimes spelled Saint Dode, and his son married Saint Begga, also spelled Saint Beggua, who was a daughter of Pepin.

Saint Doda died in 615. Saint Arnulf was Bishod pf Metz for about ten years until 626. Bishop Arnulf eventually became a monk died as a monk in 640.

Resignation as Bishop

Saint Arnulf wanted to be a monk, so he arranged to find his own successor as Bishop of Metz. Actually, one of the stories associated with the accounts of his life is that he was tired of the things going on in the castle and wanted to not be part of any intrigue, so he tossed his bishop’s ring from a bridge into the river and asked God for a sign of direction. Five years later he was brought a fish with the ring inside. This is according to Wikipedia, but apparently is a well known story. It continues with his retirement as Bishop of Metz after he took the finding of his ring as a sign, and as he retired the castle burned. The fire threatened the town, but he stood before the fire and the flames died down sparing the town.

A Multitude of Family Saints

Well, I have a least three direct line saints, Saint Arnulf, Saint Doda, and Saint Begga, and probably Saint Oda in this one cluster. In another branch I have come upon a Saint Matilda. One Saint Matilda is not direct line, she died childless but did marry one of my ancestors, but another Saint Matilda seems to be in my direct line.

Family Saints

When you have a canonized saint in your direct line, why not consider that person a family saint? Search your ancestry and no telling what you will find.

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    • Blackspaniel1 profile image
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      Blackspaniel1 2 years ago

      I was lucky to get back that far, and it is only on one branch. It happened to get to some significant people, and others did the hard work of getting there.

    • profile image

      Ibidii 2 years ago

      Congratulations on getting back that far!!!! Great father and son team here at Hubs! Great idea. My daughter helps me write a few hubs also a Mother daughter team. Great job you two!