Why on earth is there a web page on this EcoSTEPS Sustainability website dedicated to Saint Gummarus?
Well it’s a long story and you can email me for the details but in summary we believe he holds good claim to be the Patron Saint of Sustainability.
Gummarus was born at the end of the 7th century. He served as a knight at the court of Pippin of Herstal and married the malevolent Grimmara. During his absences she ill-treated the servants. He then left his wife and became a hermit. Gummarus is said to have worked many miracles, including:
Fastening his belt around a felled tree and brings it back to bloom
Healing a deaf and dumb man
Creating a spring to quench the poor and thirsty
Removing a snake from the mouth of a child
Gummarus died on 11 October 714 in Emblem. He was canonised forty years after his death, in 754. Every year on the first Sunday after 10 October St Gummarus procession is held. Pilgrims come from far and wide to the St Gummarus Church to ask for serious fractures to be healed and beg him to protect them from further fractures. When saying the blessing the priest places the belt of St Gummarus on the shoulders of the pilgrim, the ritual of the laying on of the belt. This refers to the story where St. Gummarus tied his belt around a felled tree and brought it back to blossom.
St Gummarus is not only the patron saint of Lier but also of the deaf and dumb, woodworkers and lumberjacks.
At EcoSTEPS, we believe he can be regarded as the Patron Saint of Sustainability too!
Right up there alongside St. Francis of Assisi known as the Patron Saint of the Environment. We Homo Sapiens need all the help we can get…
If you'd like to read more then there is a lovely hagiographical piece here