S. Leopold (1073 - 1136) was of Austrian nobility. At age 23 he succeeded his father as margrave (military governor) of Austria. He married Agnes, the widowed daughter of Emperor Henry IV. She brought two children into the marriage, and they had eighteen of their own, eleven of whom survived. He founded Benedictine, Cistercian, and Augustinian houses in 1106, and others later; some still exist in Heiligenkreuz, Klosterneuburg, and Mariazell. He defeated the Hungarians to defend his homeland. He refused the throne of the Holy Roman Emperor in 1125. He was active in support of the First Crusade. Represented as an armed man with a cross on his coronet, a banner with three eagles, and a model of the church of Heiligenkreuz in his hand; man hunting with his courtiers, and finding his wife's veil near the monastery of Klosterneuburg; with his building Klosterneuburg. Feast November 15.
S. Edward the Confessor (1003 - 1066) was born in Oxford (England), the son of King Ethelred II and Queen Emma. When his father was unseated by Danish invasion, Edward and his brother Alfred were sent to Denmark to be quietly killed. The officer in charge took pity on the boys and sent them to Sweden, then on to the King of Hungary to be raised and educated. Grown up, the brothers moved to Normandy and waited for a chance to reclaim the crown of England. They tried in 1035, but they were turned back and Alfred was killed. Edward successfully tried again in 1042, and was chosen by acclamation, ascending the throne on April 3. He gained a reputation as a just and worthy king. He repulsed invasions, helped restore the King of Scotland to his throne, remitted unjust taxes, and was noted for his generosity to the poor and strangers, and for his piety and love of God. He built churches, including Westminster Abbey. Represented as a king with a ring or a coin, sometimes offering it to a beggar. Feast October 13 (January 5 in England).
S. Columcille and S. Columba refer to the same Irish saint (521-597) born in Donegal. He is also known as Colum, Columbus, Colmcille, Columkill, or Columbkille.
S. Kevin of Glendalough (498-618) was Irish. He was the son of Coemlog and Coemell, Leinster nobles. He was baptized by S. Cronan of Roscrea, educated by S. Petroc of Cornwall from age 7, and lived with monks from age 12. He studied for the priesthood in Cell na Manach (Killnamanagh) and was ordained by bishop Lugidus. He then went to live as a hermit for 7 years in a cave at Glendalough, a Bronze Age tomb now known as Saint Kevin's Bed. He wore skins, ate nettles and herbs, and spent his time in prayer. Word of his holiness spread, and he attracted followers. He founded the monastery at Glendalough, which included relics brought back during a pilgrimage to Rome. This house, in turn, founded several others, and around it grew a town which became a see city (later part of the archdiocese of Dublin). When the monastery was well-established, he left to live as a hermit for 4 years, then returned to Glendalough and served as abbot until his death at age 120. Represented as a monk or hermit with a blackbird sitting on his outstretched hand. Feast June 3. Notice the Irish round tower in the background of this holy card.
S. Fiacre (d. 670) was Irish. He was raised in a monastery, studied healing herbs, and had the gift of healing. His knowledge and holiness caused followers to flock to him. Seeking isolation, he fled to France. He asked S. Faro of Meaux, who was the bishop, if he could have land for a garden for food and herbs. The bishop promised as much land as Fiacre could entrench in one day. Fiacre walked around the perimeter of a plot he wanted, dragging his spade behind him. Wherever the spade touched, trees were miraculously toppled, bushes uprooted, and the soil was entrenched. This garden became a site of pilgrimage. Represented with a spade and/or vegetables. Feast August 30. This PC shows the Chapelle St Fiacre in Bretagne (France).