Saint Wilgefortis

detail of a coloured etching of Saint Liberata, date and artist unknown; Wellcome Library, London, England; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Comera
  • Cumerana
  • Dignefortis
  • Eutropía
  • Hulfe
  • Komina
  • Kümmernis
  • Liberata
  • Liberata y Livrade
  • Librada
  • Lisvrade
  • Livrade
  • Oncommer
  • Ontcommene
  • Ontcommer
  • Ontkommena
  • Ontkommer
  • Reginfledis
  • Uncumber
  • Vierge Forte
  • Vilgefortis
  • Virgefortis
  • Virgo-Fortis
  • Wilgefortis
  • Paola the Barbuta



Pius legend. One of septuplet sisters. Promised in marriage after vowing chastity, she miraculously grew a beard and moustache so as to turn off her perspective husband. One theory of this legend is that the story evolved to explain ancient icons that showed a long-haired, bearded Christ crucified while wearing what appeared to be a dress; it wasn’t a dress, but regal gowns or robes symbolizing Christ as King, but to people used to seeing a near-naked, beaten and bloodied Christ, it looked more like a martyred woman. Later versions of the image assumed she was a woman, and dropped the beard.



Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Wilgefortis“. CatholicSaints.Info. 20 July 2020. Web. 27 July 2021. <>