Who is St. Drogo, You Ask?

In asking that question, you with Hamlet’s Reynaldo, have indeed asked a ‘marvelous wisely’ such of a question. Drogo – a saint, limited not only to New Orleans coffeehouses, is perhaps a lesser-known saint to us and to you? But not for long.
Saint Drogo of Sebourg (March 14, 1105– April 16, 1186), born in Epinoy, Flanders and died in Sebourg, France. His feast day is on April 16.

Drogo was a child of Flemish nobility. His mother died when he was born. He learned the reason for her death, and it made an emotional impact on him. He held himself responsible. Later in his life he went to extreme penances, perhaps to relieve his guilt. Drogo was orphaned when he was a teenager.

At age eighteen, he sold his property and became a penitential pilgrim. As a pilgrim he traveled to Rome several times. Later, he became a shepherd. However, upon one of his many pilgrimages, he was inflicted with an unsightly bodily affliction, as such he frightened the townspeople.

St. Drogo imbibing upon coffee. Perhaps, machiatto?

St. Drogo imbibing upon coffee. Perhaps, machiatto?

In his twenties, a cell was built for him to protect the local citizens of the village from his appearance. Since he was holy, his cell was built attached to his church. St. Drogo stayed in his cell without any human contact, except for a small window in which he received the Eucharist and obtained his food. He stayed there for the rest of his life, about forty more years, surviving only on barley, water, and the holy Eucharist.

The Grand Opening of St. Drogo’s Coffeehouse at Nashotah will occur during Michaelmas. The name? Academic Dean, the Rev. Steven Peay, PhD, agreed it was a good and holy name. Will it be blessed? Absolutely certain.

“From what I can discover, Drogo (or Druon), was born of a noble Flemish family. His mother died giving birth to him and, from a young age, he accused himself as her “murderer,”” says Fr. Peay, quoting from Butler’s Lives of Saints. “Drogo thus undertook to live a life of penitence and, from the age of 18 on, became a pilgrim, seeking God’s mercy. He is the patron of shepherds, since he lived among them and assisted them. He was considered a saint in his own time, people having seen him in a field only to learn that he was also seen assisting at Mass in two or more different towns! This gave rise to the expression, ‘Not being St. Drogo, I can’t be in two places at once!'”

Somehow the crazy logic fits of St. Drogo being the patron saint of shepherds and coffeehouse owners. Dear reader, if you know more, please share with us.

“By the Fall, we should have our St. Drogo icon and at least branded sleeves for the drinks,” says Joel A. Christian, ’16, manager of the coffeehouse. “Saint Drogo’s is the official name of the coffee shop. We were going to wait until closer to the Grand Opening to give it the official name, but hooking up the wifi kind of gave it away.”

Oh, well.

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About nashotahhouse

Located in Nashotah, Wisconsin, Nashotah House Theological Seminary is the oldest institute of higher education in the state of Wisconsin. Founded in 1842 by a Missionary Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Nashotah House belongs to the Anglican tradition of worship, theology and spirituality. That is, Nashotah House traces her roots to the Church of England and locates herself within the worldwide Anglican Communion. Comprehending the fundamental disciplines of Holy Scripture, Theology, Church History, Spirituality and Pastoral Ministry, the curriculum at Nashotah House not only roots our students in the ancient wisdom of the Church, it prepares and empowers them to communicate the Gospel to the world today.