Saint of the Day, September 14: St. Notburga
Patroness of poor peasants and servants in the Tyrol. Born in Rattenberg, in the Tyrol, she was the daughter of peasants. At eighteen she became a servant in the household of Count Henry of Rattenberg When Notburga repeatedly gave food to the poor, she was dismissed by Count Henry’s wife, Ottilia, and took up a position as a servant to a humble farmer
Meanwhile, Henry suffering a run of misfortune and setbacks, wasted no time restoring Notburga to her post after his wife died
Notburga remained his housekeeper for the rest of her life, and was famous for her miracles and concern for the poor.
Notburga (c. 1265 – 13 September 1313), also known as Notburga of Rattenberg or Notburga of Eben, was an Austrian saint and peasant from Tyrol, Numerous vitae have been written about her and painted by her where she is depicted with a scythe, She is venerated by the Catholic Church, having been canonized by Pope Pius IX.
Notburga was born about 1265 at Rattenberg on the Inn river
She was a cook in the household of Count Henry of Rattenberg, and used to give food to the poor. But Ottilia, her mistress, ordered her to feed any leftover food to the pigs. To continue her mission, Notburga began to save some of her own food, especially on Fridays, and took it to the poor.
According to her legend, one day her master met her and commanded her to show him what she was carrying.
She obeyed but instead of the food he saw only shavings, and instead of wine, vinegar.
As a result of Notburga’s actions, Ottilia dismissed her, but soon fell dangerously ill. Notburga remained to nurse her and prepared her for death.
Next, Notburga worked for a peasant in Eben am Achensee, on the condition that she be permitted to go to church evenings before Sundays and festivals.
One evening her master urged her to continue working in the field.
Throwing her sickle into the air she supposedly said: “Let my sickle be judge between me and you,” and the sickle remained suspended in the air.
In the meantime, Count Henry had suffered difficulties, which he ascribed to his dismissal of Notburga, so he rehired her and the estate prospered.
Shortly before her death she is said to have told her master to place her corpse on a wagon drawn by two oxen and to bury her wherever the oxen stood still.
The oxen drew the wagon to the chapel of St. Rupert near Eben, where she was buried.
Veneration of St. Notburga
On 27 March 1862, Pope Pius IX canonized Notburga as a saint. Her feast is celebrated on 13 September.
She is usually represented with an ear of corn, or flowers and a sickle in her hand; sometimes the sickle is suspended in the air.
- Ott, Michael. “St. Notburga.” The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 3 September 2021 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- “St. Notburga”, FaithND
- “Notburga von Rattenberg”. www.fembio.org. Retrieved 2020-10-30.