Sunday, 8 June 2014

alles wurst

There have been cults of devotion to the figure of Saint Uncumber (Saint Wilgefortis) for centuries—especially in Bavaria and Austria, but also all over Europe—as the champion and patron saint of women battered, abused and otherwise marginalized by either their husbands or society, but The Local's local edition formulates a clever allusion, that connects the bearded lady to Austria's new Eurovision Song Contest winner.
Tradition holds that the maiden was promised to a pagan king—however Wilgefortis would not deny her Christianity. Her betrothed and her father that hoped to gain prestige through this union would have none of this nonsense. Desperate, Wilgefortis prayed to the Virgin Mary to be unencumbered from such an awful arrangement and to be made so repulsive (here is where the compliment becomes a little backhanded) that the pagan king would no longer want her. Intercession came over night in the form of a full beard. The pagan king was disgusted but so was her father, humiliated and wrathful, and he had her crucified for her disobedience. This harsh punishment, however, lead to her veneration and establishment as a symbol for those in abusive relationships or bumping up against societal ceilings.