Saturday, April 16, 2011

Feast of Saint Magnus the Martyr

"Bones of Saint Magnus!" said the Udaller, "I used to think I took off my can like a gentleman; but to see your men swallow, Captain, one would think their stomachs were as bottomless as the hole of Laifell in Foula, which I have sounded myself with a line of an hundred fathoms.  By my soul, the Bicker of Saint Magnus were but a sip to them!"

Saint Magnus's bones are believed to be in St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall.  Earl Magnus Erlendsson's martyrdom is remembered on April 16, with the year being 1115, or 16, or 17.  Magnus was known for his piety.  He was killed in a dispute over sovereignty of the Orkneys.  Sir Walter Scott remembered Magnus in his novel "The Pirate" (text above).

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