Saint Himelin was a Scottish Priest who went on a pilgrimage to Rome in 750 AD and made it all the way there intact. Sadly, he fell ill when he set off back home and got as far as Belgium before the illness started to really get him bad. Staggering around, he went up to a girl and asked her for some water to drink, and she said no because bubonic plague was around at that moment in time. He kept insisting though, and she gave him some, which he said turned into wine as he drank it. Three days later he died of plague, on March 10, when he is celebrated by Christians across the World.
So What’s So Good About This Story?
Well, the fact that he drank water and it turned into wine, I would say is the miracle that makes this story special and is why he is celebrated. It’s impressive he made it all the way to Rome, but apart from that he was just a priest, doin’ his thang.
So he DID have plague, then? Right. That means the girl who kindly gave him some water would probably have contracted it too, right? And died? So surely that make her the Martyr here, instead of the Priest who near-forces a girl who doesn’t know him to give over some water That makes more sense to me, because essentially the Priest has transmitted his deadly illness to everyone else who has some of that water.
The important part of the story is the “miracle” when the water turns into wine. Not that I’m being a cynic of anything, but is the testimony of a dying Priest who has the plague really that reliable? I have no idea how bubonic plague works cos I tend not to get it, but his testimony that it turned into wine, that could be the delusional babbling of someone who is really quite seriously ill. And the girl doesn’t appear to back up the story. In fact, the whole story seems to be told mostly from Himelin’s viewpoint.
I can’t help but wonder why the fact it turned into wine would be a good thing, seeing how wine is an alcoholic beverage, and alcohol actually dehydrates the body instead of refreshing it, and this would not help Himelin with his plague (not that, uh, anything could, mind) but would instead actually speed up the death process. Perhaps then we are meant to celebrate the fact that God helped speed up this diseased dude’s death and thus saved the lives of anyone he might’ve met later on, had he lived a few days longer. He was Scottish, too, so surely a glass of Whisky might have been more appropriate.
Suggested Alternative For Sainthood:
Richard Whiteley, who never gave plague to anyone.