On this date in 1923, the Hollywood (originally “Hollywoodland”) sign was officially dedicated in the hills above Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. The last four letters were lost in a land grab in 1949.
The Martyr Golinduc (d. 591) was a Zoroastrian noblewoman in Persia (like Iran only older), whose husband either was a magician or wasn’t. She was a good soul, well-intentioned, and of a lucid mind, which is rare enough these days (and probably those). One day she went into a trance-like thing and saw in a vision a beautiful place with happy people in shining clothes. When she tried to enter it (and who can blame her?) an angel said, “Oh no you don’t. This is for the martyrs (witnesses) of Christ.” Either that, or she was told about Christianity by her husband’s slaves. At any rate, she sought out the city’s Christians and got herself baptized, taking the name Maria.
Thereupon she left her husband (or he found out, or he was already dead), who (if alive) reported her to the king (Chosroes II), whereupon she was locked up in a fortress or dungeon (or something) called “Oblivion.” (I think we can be assured it didn’t smell like perfume.) There she was subjected to deprivation, torture, and the occasional visit from people insisting she reject Christ.
After a regime change and repeated visits from a Christian ambassador (who taught her to sing the Psalms of David) (in all eight tones, one hopes), she was brought out of Oblivion and (after a bit of torture) thrown into a pit with a large snake and other beasties. The snake took a shine to her, and loved nothing more than to coil up next to her at night to keep warm. Seeing that didn’t work, the king sent in some men to, um, dishonor her, but they found couldn’t find her — God had made her invisible. Finally he (the king, not God) decided to behead her, but as she was being led to the executioner, she went invisible again, and was escorted either out of the city or to some clandestine Christians by an angel. “But, I was going to be a martyr,” she complained. “After all you’ve been through,” the angel replied, “you will be called a living martyr.” And so she is to this day, even though she died in peace while on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
Mildred of Thanet (d. 732) was the daughter of Sub-king Merewald of Magonsæte (“a western cadet kingdom of Mercia”) (did you know there were such things as cadet kingdoms? do they ever get promoted?) and St. Eormenburga, and sister of Saints Milburga and Mildgytha. (Why dad wasn’t a saint is anybody’s guess.) She was sent to the abbey at Chelles (France) for her education, but when the abbess tried to marry her off, then got downright violent (beating, kicking, scratching, tearing out hair — rather cliché actually), she sent a lock of her hair back home, and mum sent ships to rescue her. The evil abbess tried to detain her, but she escaped during the night, noticed she was missing some vestments and a nail of the Cross of Christ (!?), snuck back in, grabbed them, and got away.
When she stepped off the boat at Ebbsfleet, her foot made an indent in the stone, which thereafter had miraculous healing powers (the stone, not her foot). To be more precise, water infused with a little dust from the stone had miraculous healing powers. The stone was later moved to Minster Abbey (founded by Eormenburga, and one of the oldest dwellings in continuous use in England). Mildred joined her mother at Minster, and succeeded her as abbess. She was noted for her generosity to the poor and the outcast.
After her death, her relics were distributed hither, thither, and yon (mostly yon); some however returned to or stayed in Minster, as they are paraded on her feast day, and draw pilgrims year-round (daily tours at 2.45 sharp). I was unable to determine if the stone still exists. Perhaps it was ground down entirely to make healing dust.
Copyright © 2013 Alex Riggle. All Rights Reserved.
July 13 (Wikipedia)
Saint Golinduc the Persian Who Was Renamed Mary (Mystagogy) – Main (only) source
Image from same source.
St. Mildred of Thanet (Antiochians) – Main source
Minster (Catholic Parish of Ramsgate and Minster)
Image from Wikimedia Commons.