Where everybody knows you’re a Benedictine saint

Where everybody knows you’re a Benedictine saint

Do all those neo-Know Nothing liberals in Massachusetts know that their state capital is named after a Benedictine saint?

Okay, the origination of the name of the city “Boston” wasn’t exactly new to me, as I knew that Boston, Massachusetts, was named after a town in England where the Puritans lived called Botolphston. But Rich Leonardi connects the dots with an excerpt from the book “Why Do Catholics Eat Fish on Friday? : The Catholic Origin to Just About Everything” by Michael P. Foley (subtitled “The Catholic origin to just about everything”).

Boston, Massachusetts. One wonders whether the Puritans, who were not known for their love of Catholicism, were aware that they were naming their shining city on a hill after a Benedictine saint. St. Botolph founded Ikanhoe monastery in 654 A.D. and was renowned as a wise and holy abbot. After his death, Botolph became a popular medieval saint in his native land: seventy churches and five towns and villages in England (one of which, in Lincolnshire, being the original home of the Pilgrims) still bear his name. These municipal centers were named Botolphstown (with the t pronounced like a d), a name that over time was contracted to “Botolphston,” then “Botoston,” and eventually—Boston.” There is a Botolph Street in downtown Boston that serves as a small reminder of this ancient connection.

Actually it’s “Saint” Botolph Street, but still. It’s over by Newbury and Dartmouth streets, I believe.

There are a lot of cities named after Christian saints and concepts, not just in the southwest and in Spanish. Can you name others?

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli