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Saint of the month; St Dunstan May 19th

Feast Day: May 19

St Dunstan is the Patron Saint of goldsmiths, bell founders, jewellers, metalworkers, engravers and students. He was reputed to have caught the Devil and held him by the nose with a pair of red hot tongs. On the continent he is known as Saint Elegius.

This replica pewter badge of St Dunstan is dated to the 15th century. It was found at the Glastonbury Catherdral in London. The original is in a private collection. Buy a replica version here

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Saint of the month; April St George

Feast Day: 23rd April

This month we’re taking a look at one of the more famous English Saints, St George:

Famous for slaying the dragon and saving the princess, the legend dates back to the 12th century and is symbolic of the victory of Good over evil.

This badge depicts the popular legend in which the soldier – Saint George, slays the dragon and saves the princess. The legend dates from around the 12th Century and is symbolic of the victory of Good over Evil. The original is dated to the 14th century and is currently in a private collection in London.

Buy your St George badge here

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Saint of the month; March The Annunciation

This month in the medieval world we celebrate not a saint – but the principle Marian (Cult of Mary) event; Solemnity of the Annunciation or ‘Festum incarnationis’ (feast of the incarnation). It is held on the 25th of March and documentation across the medieval and renaissance world show that it has been celebrated on this date from the 4th Century.

The celebration commemorates the appearance of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary to announce that she had been chosen to be the mother of Christ, Son of God. Mary was invoked as the compassionate intercessor and protector of humanity and for her courage, humility and gentleness. 

The Cult of Mary grew in strength in the 12 and 13th Centuries and flourished from the 14th Centuries onwards. It is believed that the veneration of Mary and her status as the mediator to God and a source of refuge for man is one of the a major Tenant and driving force behind the Age of Chivalry with its concept of the honour of a lady. Where women had often been viewed as a source of evil, the growth of the age of chivalry and the flourishing of the cult of Mary helped to change this attitude.

For Mary there is no single shrine, rather there are literally thousands of Marian shrines across the medieval world. They celebrate an apparition or other miracle ascribed to her, and most are part of or the reason for pilgrimage routes. 

There are a host of pilgrims badges associated with Mary and of the Annunciation, some of which are associated with a particular shrine (eg Our Lady Undercroft at Canterbury), and others which were universal symbols and could be bought at any shrine. We carry a number of the most popular badges – listed below.

Fleur de Lys

The Annunciation

the letter ‘M’

Madonna and Child

Our Lady of Walsingham

Our of Lady Undercroft

The Annunciation

Virgin and Child

Walsingham – a fleur de lys set with a garnet

Winged Heart

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January; Mary, Mother of God

Feast Day: 1st January

To celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, we’re highlighting the Fleur de Lys badge.

The Fleur de Lys (also known as The Flower of Innocence) was the symbol of the Virgin Mary, so this badge may be from the shrine at Walsingham. Alternatively there is some suggestion that this particular badge design may be associated with the shrine to Our Lady of Undercroft at Canterbury. Badges for the virgin Mary were sold at many shrines as she is the patron saint for all humans, especially young children.

Buy a pewter badge of the Fleur de Lys here

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December Saint of the month – St Nick

St Nicholas. late 12th to early 13th century. St Nicholas was the bishop of Myra in the 4th century and his best known miracle involved saving three impoverished girls from a life of prostitution by secretly delivering three bags of gold coins to their home, on three consecutive nights. Another involves the restoring to life of three boys who had been murdered, butchered and pickled in barrels. This miracle earned him the role as the patron saint of children and also the patron saint of sailors and fishermen. He continues to be one of the most widely celebrated saints – as Santa Claus. The relics of St Nicholas found their way to the city of Bari in Italy in the 11th century, having been stolen from Myra (in Modern Turkey) by Bari merchants or sailors. St Nicholas, who had always been a popular saint in the east, now became one of Europe’s most popular saints.

His feast day is December 6th.

Want your own St Nick? Buy a replica pewter badge here

Learn more about St Nicholas on the wikipedia page

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November Saint of the month – St Martin of Tours

This month’s Saint of the Month is St Martin of Tours. Born around 316AD and died in 397AD.

He is Celebrated on Nov 11th.

Martin is believed to have been a soldier in the Roman army. Our replica badge depicts the legend of the cutting of Martins cloak in two in order to share it with a near naked beggar. That night, Martin received a vision in which the beggar revealed himself to be Christ. Martin vowed to abandon his military career for the life of a monk – later becoming Bishop of Tours.

Martin was the first confessor saint – one who became a saint through an exemplary life rather than through martyrdom.

This replica badge is based on an original found in the Netherlands, currently in a private collection. Purchase your own replica badge for St Martin of Tours here.

Further information about St Martin of Tours can be found on his wikipedia page.