Headless Saints

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Saints rumored to have picked up and carried their heads after being decapitated is, oddly enough, so common that there is a term for it: cephalophoric martyrs.

  • Saint Denis of Paris (3rd century CE) was said to have picked up his head after decapitation, walked several miles, preaching a sermon all the way. A Catholic sermon lasting the duration of a six mile walk is easy to believe. The rest?
  • Saint Nicasius of Rheims (5th century CE) was reading Psalm 119 when he was beheaded. After the beheading … he continued reading Psalm 119; spooky (Psalm 119, that is).
  • Saint Osgyth (7th century CE) picked up her head and walked to the local convent.
  • Saint Gemolo climbed on his horse and rode away after having his noggin chopped off.
  • and many more …

Now , call me a cynic, but I’m a little skeptical of these stories. They’re pretty cool stories. In fact, way too cool to have actually happened. Tales such as these are popular in traditionally Celtic regions, so they could be a derivation of the Brazen Head legend: a head kept around to forecast the future. I have one in the basement, though it has Made in China embossed on the bottom and requires batteries to work.

If I ever make it to Ireland, I'll have to stop off at the Brazen Head

Explore posts in the same categories: Ancient Superstition

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6 Comments on “Headless Saints”


  1. I’ve never cofronted a catholic about these saintly tales of headless saints. But you’d think they’d look at those stories and say: “FUCK!! What the hell kind of crazy cult am I involved with here? It’s obvious this is bullshit..the rest of it must all be bullshit too!!”

    Sadly most don’t have enough brain cells necessary to rub together to generate that kind of reasoning.


  2. Wow! Fascinating Post! Thanks for sharing it! It sounds so silly!

  3. A Bear Says:

    Which of these is the patron/matron saint of Sleepy Hollow? And xtians think Halloween is creepy?

  4. Adrian Says:

    nice one camel humper…why does it bother you so much if this is what some people choose to believe? If there’s nothing more to this life then eating, fucking, and sleeping then just kill yourself so you don’t have to read things like this and be done with it =)

  5. Victor Says:

    Adrian,
    What is troublesome is people’s capacity to accept superstitious claims without proof. It shows a lack of basic reasoning ability, intellectual laziness, and an inability to grasp basic concepts of how the world works. Once one realizes that believers in wild fairy tales are allowed to vote, I would say it’s unreasonable not to be concerned.

    Also, suicidal/homicidal thoughts, like killing yourself to avoid reading, is pretty psychotic. I strongly suggest that you seek out some professional therapy.


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