I don't consider myself a superstitious or an overly religious person. However, I do occasionally knock on wood and while doing complicated soldering jobs or setting a tricky stone, I sometimes say a little prayer to St. Eliguis.
Saint who? you ask....
St. Eligius, The Patron Saint for Goldsmiths, Metalworkers and Coin Collectors.
There are patron saints for everything from St. Ambrose, the Patron Saint of Beekeepers to Saint Columbanus, the Patron saint of motorcyclists. It should be no surprise there is also a Patron Saint for Goldsmiths, Metalworkers and Coin Collectors, St. Eligius.
Born around 590 in Limoges France, Eligius’ talents as a metal craftsman surfaced at a very young age. He apprenticed under a noted goldsmith and it wasn’t long before his natural talent was recognized by Clotaire II, the King of Neustria (Paris.) He was commissioned to make a throne and managed to make two with the materials he was given. Eligius and the King became close friends and he was soon appointed Ministry of Treasury where he was entrusted with designing and minting the kingdom’s coins.
After King Clotaire died in 629 his son Dagobert succeeded him and became just as close to Eligius as was his father. During this time Eligius was promoted to Chief Councilor and due to his position and wealth became the benefactor to many slaves, provided funding for construction of several churches, a monastery at Solignac and a convent in Paris.
While Eligius felt called to a life of religion, he was not allowed to do so though he was able on occasion to go to Luxeil and participate in activities at the local monastery. When King Dagobert died in 639, Eligius was finally able to pursue his true calling and was ordained into the priesthood in 640. After becoming Bishop of Noyon-Tournai he traveled to many parts of the surrounding country where idolatry was still practiced. There Eligius converted many to Christianity, built churches and monasteries and had numerous miracles attributed to him. While Eligius was chosen as the Patron Saint of Goldsmiths, Metalworkers and Coin Collectors because of his talent as a craftsman, many in the church saw how he used his abilities and wealth for the “welfare of humanity” and believed the “true reflection of the image of God” was seen throughout his life.
The Feast Day of St. Eligius Day is December 1st.
I hope to make many beautiful and well-crafted pieces to celebrate. :)