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Icon of St. Arnold (Arnulf), bishop


Icon of St. Arnold (Arnulf), Bishop of Metz 

Feast: July 18

St. Arnold was father of Pepin and grandfather of Charlemagne. He held a duchy in Lorraine but put this worldly prize, and riches, and married life, behind him to pursue the life of a desert-dweller. He died to the world and was alive unto God. 

It so happened the Bishop of Metz reposed and St. Arnold, who was known for his holiness, was chosen as the next Bishop. The holy Bishop maintained during his episcopate the same eremitic asceticism he had learnt in solitude. He fasted 3 days in a row, then would eat a little barley bread and have a little water. Under the robes of a prelate he wore the haircloth of an ascetic.  

The Saint distributed to the poor so generously of his own possessions that poor folk came to Metz from countries and cities afar, to receive alms and holy counsel. His hospitality towards pious folk, pilgrims, and monastics was legendary. He washed their feet himself, gave them new clothing, and a little silver for the journey, and this he did not of a season, but incessantly. All his time, he spent in vigils, fasting, and devout prayers and talks. 

One day, when he was in a 3-day fast, he was making a procession. Many beasts joined in the procession and prayed to God devoutly with the Saint. And as the procession went along, a woman vexed by the Devil began to cry out loudly. The Saint but made the sign of the Cross of Christ over her, and she was entirely set free from the evil one. Behold how easily the great Saints cast out the evil one, since they had not the least trace of his wickedness remaining in them. 

During the reign of Dagobert, a leper came to the king's palace and began to cry out for the holy man, to receive food and clothes. The Saint asked him if he were baptised, for the man was a heathen. The leper replied he had not found one who would impart this gift to him, whereat the Saint baptized him. Immediately he was baptised, the leper was cleansed of his sickness entirely, having become whole both in soul and in body. 

Once a fire was consuming the king's palace and everything round about it. The fire threatening a little hut the Saint had built for prayer, and wherein he was praying at the time, one named Romancius bade the Saint leave his cell. Instead, the Saint had himself led to the fire. There the Saint commanded all to fall upon their faces in prayer with him. Then, raising himself up, he lifted up his hands to heaven, and made the sign of the Cross, and the fire was quenched. One of the brethren saw that night a fiery cross in the sky, and a voice was heard: "By this hath Bishop Arnold delivered the city from fire." 

Thereafter St. Arnold left the Frankish court behind, and made a little house in the wilderness, where dwelt a few monks. He lived in contemplation and the praises of God, and continued in that place to receive the poor and pilgrims. He would cook for them himself, so he was both a Bishop and a cook. Food there was scarce, but many a time did he suffer terrible hunger and thirst, only so that the  brethren might not. 

When the time had come for the Saint's repose, after he breathed his soul forth unto his Creator, his successor, Bishop Goericus, assembled a great procession and came to the place where lay the body of Arnold. There vigils were celebrated very solemnly, and then the body was borne into the city. As they were so processing, those carrying the back part of the bier fell into a ditch. But Angels of God sustained the body in the air, and soon the men who had fallen caught up and resumed their places. Next, during the same procession to the city, they would have passed through land belonging to a lecher, whom the Saint had reproved for his sin but who would not repent. On the edge of this man's land, the body of Arnold became immovable. No strength of men could force the body to cross over the lecher's land. So a wealthy man named Noddo invited the whole company to spend the night at his estate, and there goodly provisions and good beer were imparted to all. The next morning with great joy the body was borne into the city. All the people greeted their reposed archpastor, whose body was buried in the church of the Apostles. 

A woman long blind, named Julia, came to the tomb of St. Arnold often to pray. She received her sight. Another woman was punished by God because she had worked on Sunday. Her hands became instantly crippled. Then came she to the tomb and begged the Saint to help her, weeping and praying sincerely. Quickly she recovered the use of her hands. 

The memory of this glorious Saint is kept on the 17th of the kalends of August (July 18) to the honour of God, Who liveth and reigneth without end, unto ages of ages. Amen. [adapted from the Golden Legend]

The Icon is from a workshop in Pskov, Russia. 


A note on the icon graphics we host on this site, including the above: 
St. John Cassian Press does not "carry," i.e., reproduce, sell, or stock these icons. Those who wish to acquire icons should contact the icon's producer / distributor, if shown; otherwise, an icon maker or distributor should be contacted (a cursory list appears on the main Icons page). 

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Last update: 07/20/2007