september 6. bega of bees, patron saint of stand-up paddleboarding
Patron saint of ???
Lived in 7th Century Ireland
Bega (aka Bee) was born into Irish royalty and, from her infancy, she vowed to lead an ascetic life. An angel gave her a bracelet (or "holy arm-ring") inscribed with a cross as a token of her betrothal to Christ. Eventually, against her will, she was set to marry to a Viking king. On the eve of her wedding day, a disembodied voice instructed her to flee the locked castle and armed guardsmen--virginity in tact--by using her bracelet as a magical key to unlock all the castle doors. She then floated at sea on a "clod of earth," which she cut from the ground by herself. She crossed the Irish sea and landed on the British coast at Cumberland, where she remained as an anchoress for many years: fed by the birds of the woods. (An anchoress is a female anchorite, that is, "a person who lives in seclusion from other people.") Destitute save for her prized bracelet / armilla, "she built for herself a virgin cell in a grove near the seashore." Eventually the region was frequented by pirates, and fearing rape / wishing to preserve her virginity, she agreed to join a convent.
Regarding her death: "Saint Bega had her lamp trimmed and ready and was not afraid to hear the words: The Bridegroom is coming; go out to meet Him."
After Bega's death, the bracelet she wore would become her key relic. Persons were called to swear upon it, as a false oath on the bracelet was said to incur a dreadful wrath.