27 November 2009

There is Protestant drinking and there is Catholic drinking.... St. Arnold is said to have preached against drinking water, which in those days could be extremely dangerous owing to unsanitary sewage systems -- or no sewage system at all. At the same time, he frequently touted the benefits of beer and is credited with having once said, "From man's sweat and God's love, beer came into the world." ... [I]n 641, having gotten approval to exhume St. Arnold's remains, they carried him in procession back to Metz for reburial in the Basilica of the Holy Apostles. Along the way, it being a hot day, they got thirsty and stopped at an inn for some beer. Unfortunately, the inn had just enough left for a single mug; the processionals would have to share. As the tale goes, the mug did not run dry until all the people had drunk their fill.
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