Posted by: anna | December 11, 2009

St Oda of Brabant

I’m not sure why Juthwara of Cornwall has two feasts so close together, but as we have already been introduced to her we shall look instead at Oda, an Irish or Scottish noblewoman who rejected marriage and fled to the Low Countries for a life of retreat in prayer. From Miss Dunbar:

‘ St. Oda (4), Nov. 27, Feb. 27 (ODDA,ODE ; sometimes called JOTTE, JUTTA,OTHA, OTTA, also erroneously ODILIA), +713 or 726. Patron of Rhode, in Brabant. Represented with a crown and a magpie.This Oda was daughter of a king of Ireland. She was blind, and when she heard of the miracles wrought at the tomb of St. Lambert, bishop of Liege ( + 710), she made a pilgrimage to his sepulchre to be cured. The saint appeared to her and granted what she wished. In gratitude Oda consecrated herself by a vow to Christ, and led a holy life in Brabant. Consequently, in Belgium she is often confounded with ST. ODILIA (3) of Hohenburg, who is invoked in Germany,for diseases of the eye. When St. Oda had chosen a religious life after her cure, her father still tried to persuade her to marry, so she hid in a wood ; but the place of her retreat was revealed by a magpie, which drew attention to it by chattering. Because of the miracles wrought at Oda’s tomb, she was translated, in 1103.’

an interesting sound-art project at the place of St Oda’s retreat, more here

And that seems to be all. But I also want to tell the story of another, 12th century, Oda, partly because it’s another striking Virgin-Martyr story, partly because her Premonstratensian (Norbertine) connection reminds me as always of dear Br Stephen, who is following a vocation in the Norbertine novitiate. It is a season of female saints invoked against eye problems – we will soon meet Lucy and the above-mentioned Odilia…

Holy St Oda, pray to God for us.

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