Even in death, Grandpa was a good host

A drawing of St. Ansegisel
I've been researching and writing my family history off and on for several decades. As more and records, documents, church archives and the like are put online, it has become less tedious to reach back many generations to see my roots.

I recently discovered that one Saint Ansegisel, the Bishop of Metz, France, was my 30th great grandfather on my mother's side of the family tree. He lived from 582 to 641 A.D. He also was known as Arnulf, or Arnold in English.

He earned a mention in this column because of one of the legends/miracles attributed to him, "The Legend of the Beer Mug." The story goes that on an extremely hot day in July 642, after Arnold died at the Abbey of Remiremont where he moved after his retirement, the parishioners from Metz showed up to claim his remains.

"They had little to drink and the terrain was inhospitable," says the story. "At the point when the exhausted procession was about to leave ... one of the parishioners, Duc Notto, prayed, 'By his powerful intercession the Blessed Arnold will bring us what we lack.' Immediately the small remnant of beer at the bottom of a pot multiplied in such amounts that the pilgrims' thirst was quenched and they had enough to enjoy the next evening when they arrived in Metz."

And, that's why he became a patron saint of brewers. Not a bad miracle to have in the family archives.

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