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Saint Wilgefortis

This legendary figure, who has no known historical basis, was said to be the daughter of a Portuguese king who vowed to remain a virgin to the end of her life. However her father, a pagan, had promised her hand to the king of Italy; the girl apparently prayed so devoutly that her prayers were answered and she sprouted a moustache and beard. The Italian king refused to wed such a bride and her father condemned her to be crucified. Saint Wilgefortis is venerated as the protectress of unhappy marriages and in English, (under the name of Uncumber) is said to rid women of unwanted husbands.

 

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