ANGELS AND MINISTERS OF GRACE 265
may be the ulterior motives, some good results are certainly attained.
Well of St. Cuthbert, near Cranstock, Newquay, England, long enjoyed
the repute of miraculously curing the ailments of infants. Not only
were curative powers attributed to the waters of the well, but also to
a perforated stone alongside of it. As recently as 1868 a puny infant
is said to have been passed through the orifice of this stone with the
firm expectation that this act would strengthen the infant and bring
good luck to it.24
the region of the Abruzzi, in Italy, more especially in the province of
Teramo, wonderful virtues are attributed to the intercession of St.
Donato. So great is thought to be his power to cure those afflicted
with epilepsy that in this region the disease is called the malady of
St. Donato. This saint, however, is credited with much more extensive
powers, for he is believed to cure hydrophobia, to prevent the ill
effects of the Evil Eye, and in general to bring to naught the
enchantments of witches. Such being his powers, it is not surprising
that his image was added to many amulets, those figuring the lunar
crescent being frequently surmounted with the bust of the saint. This
type of amulet owes its supposed efficacy to the horn-like shape of the
crescent, horns or substances having a likeness to a horn, like certain
branches of coral, being regarded as a sure protection against the Evil
Eye. A curious amulet bears the bust of St. Donato surmounting a
crescent moon within which is the dreaded number thirteen. This fateful
number is considered to be a source of misfortune for those who do not
wear it inscribed on an amulet; but it becomes a source of good fortune
and a happy life for those who possess such an amulet.25
"Nature, vol. lxxxvi, p. 420; Oct. 6, 1910.
"Bellucci, "Il feticismo in Italia," Perugia, 1907, pp. 113-119. Figures.