OCTOBER 7. osith, who carried her own cut-off head
Died in 700 or 870
EVEN STAGS HAVE TO SLEEP
Born into royalty, Osith was married young to a king against her will. She obtained (on her wedding night!) his consent to "forsake the world" aka live always as a virgin. Conflicting accounts report that Osith first bore him a son and then received his consent to abstain from relations. A miraculous white stag ("whiter than any [the king] had ever seen") aided her by crashing the scene whenever the king tried to consummate their union; by one account, their son was conceived because "even stags have to sleep". All accounts agree that she eventually became a martyred nun.
REVERSE DROWNING EVENT
Once, while she was en route to deliver a book of proverbs for St. Edith, the high winds blew Osith off of a footbridge and into a swollen stream. Days later when Edith and other abbesses went searching, they found Osith lying at the bottom of the stream, holding the book she'd been sent with. It was open to a particular passage which, according to one academic, described Mary Magdelene's "cors gent" (beautiful body) and "buche vermeillie" (red mouth) which onlookers admired not only for it's erotic qualities but because it had kissed Jesus' feet. The abbesses spent three days in prayer for Osith's restoration, and commanded her to come forth and rise from the water. She did so, and the book and her dress were "quite uninjured."
OFF WITH HER HEAD
On October 7 in 700 AD, the Danes "infested the sea coasts" of Essex and their leader tried in vain to make Osith renounce her religion. Incensed, the leader sliced off her head and it fell to the floor. A fountain burbled up at the site, and its liquids cured diseases for years afterwards. Osith rose to her feet and carried her head in her hands to the church, staining the door with her blood as she opened it. Alternatively, she staggered headless to a convent where she knocked on the door three times. She carried the head for three furlongs or three miles, and then she fell down and died. Her family claimed her body and buried it, but Osith intimated--via signs and visions from beyond the grave--that she'd rather be buried at her own monastery. One night each year, Osith's ghost walks along the priory walls carrying her head.
DID SOMEBODY SAY CEPHALOPHORE?!
A saint who is depicted carrying her own head is called a "cephalophore" which comes from the Greek word for "head-carrier." According to Wikipedia, one folklorist counted no less than 134 examples of cephalophory in French hagiographic literature alone.
MORE PATTERNS OF THREE
The abbesses prayed for 3 days, she walked 3 furlongs or 3 miles, she knocked on the door 3 times.