Feast day of St Wilgefortis, or Uncumber
Wilgefortis (Comera; Cumerana; Dignefortis; Eutropia; Hulfe; Komina; Kummernis; Kümmernis; Liberata; Librada; Lisvrade; Livrade; Ontcommene; Ontcommer; Ontkommena; Reginfledis; Uncumber; Virgo-Fortis), daughter of the King of Portugal, made a vow of chastity. When her father tried to make her marry she prayed for deliverance and immediately grew a copious beard. Her suitors fled and her father had her crucified.
Known in England as Uncumber or Liberata, she was invoked by women who wanted to 'uncumber' themselves of suitors or troublesome husbands. In German lands she was known as St Kümmernis (where her name means 'grief' or 'anxiety'). She was known as St Liberata in France, and Saint Librada in Spain.
Linda Ours Rago (The Herbal Almanac, Starweed Publishing, Washington DC, USA, 1992) says you can achieve the same thing by picking parsley at dawn and wishing aloud for release. Other authorities recommend self-reliance.
The story and feast day of St Uncumber might derive from the stories of the Corinthian Aphrodite who grew a beard and impregnated women ...
Categories: saint, folklore, calendar-customs