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Sunday, January 08, 2017

Old Spice Feast St. Thorfinn, January 8

"Gentle Natured" St. Thorfinn
From Butler's Lives of the Saints:

The Norwegian Thorfinn died at a Cistercian monastery in Belgium. During his life he did not attract much attention, and after he was buried, most people all but forgot him. About fifty years later construction workers accidentally broke open his tomb. Instead of a disagreeable odor, there was a strong, pleasing scent. The abbot asked his monks about the man interred on the site and found one of them, the aged Walter de Muda, who remembered Thorfinn. Walter recalled that Thorfinn had impressed the community with his gentle, yet strong personality. De Muda had actually written a little poem praising Thorfinn that was entombed with him. Searchers found this poem on parchment, undeteriorated after five decades. The abbot took this as a sign that it was important to perpetuate the memory of Thorfinn, and asked Walter to write everything he could remember about him. All that we know about this saint today may be read in Walter’s sketchy recollections and the tribute he paid him with his poem. He remembered Thorfinn as a kind, patient, generous man, whose gentle nature was combined with a strong moral character.