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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

St. Magnus

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Origin: St. Magnus war a monk of the monastery St. Gallen (Switzerland) who died around 750 AC. 

Name of the dragon: Boas 

Type : worms and drakes 

Mission: Free the land from dragons and paganism 

Myth: together with his companions Tozzo and Theodor, Magnus left St. Gallen to prosylete the heathens of the Allgäu region (Southern Germany). They reached first. Bregenz, at the eastern shore of Lake Bodan (the Lake of Constance) where he healed a blind man who accompanied him on his further travels. Later he went to Kempten, a deserted town where no one dared to stay even for one night, for this place was haunted by all kinds of serpents and worms.

Not for long after their arrival, a huge serpent, named Boas, rushed towards them. Tozzo and the formerly blind man climbed a nearby tree to get out of this peril. But Magnus and Theodor awaited the beast making the sign of the cross. Facing the worm he ordered his foe to lie still. and commanded the devil, who hided inside the brute, to kill Boas. With these words he took the holy staff of St. Gallus and smashed the worm´s head. With the death of their leader all monsters flied from the town, so that it could be inhabited by Christians once more. Magnus and his companions built a small church and re-errected the parish. Peasants from the surroundings were baptized by Tozzo. He and Magnus also banished a tribe of demons.  

Leaving Theodor behind Magnus turned towards Füssen. He met there his second dragon in a narrow valley called Rosshaupten. That beast allowed no one to pass so Magnus decided to stay there for the night, hoping that the Lord would hear his prayers and sooth the monster. Magnus put a piece of holy bread into his pocked, took resin and pitch in his hand and hung a chain with a cross around neck. In his other hand he held the magical staff of St. Gallus. Near the lair of the dragon he ate a small piece of the holy bread and made the sign of the cross. As soon as the dragon noticed the invador he rushed forth to devour him. But Magnus, praying to the Lord,  threw resin and pitch into the beast´s throat. The dragon was burnt to death from inside. Later he founded the Benedictine monastery of Füssen where he died after a long life of worship. Local legends said that the church was erected near an apple tree, which was the only living thing in the desolation of the dragon’s lore.  

Magnus became a very popular saint. Besides Rosshaupten 14 other villages claim to be the location of a dragon fight. In most cases these legends are just variations of the "official" version.  

In another, very strange legend, Magnus had killed several worms but spared one hatchling because of his innocence. This young dragon was educated at Kierwang and helped the peasants to clear the woodland. He not only cut down the trees but also sawed them into pieces. He carried wood and stone, cleared off the snow and even helped in the construction of new roads. He had just one fault: Hay and straw he despised and never he got satiated by mice and rats alone. So now and then he stole a calf from the pastures. This was too much for the avaricious peasants. They decided to chop him into pieces while he lay asleep. But when the first stroke hit his breast a strong jet of milk issued from the wound. It was the best milk you could think of! The peasants realized that this dragon was gold worth: He gave more milk than all cows of the village together. They begged his pardon - in vain. The dragon felt insulted. He left and was seen never again.

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