Called also Cacucabilla, Cacucilla, Cucacilla, and other names, a mythological, popular saint of the 15th century. Her name, reminiscent of Colum–cille (see columba, st.), goes back to St. columban, who was invoked against demons and in thunderstorms. In Germany the Latin ending –illa made the saint a woman, who was invoked against rats and mice. In the "Book of Remedies of Wolfsturn" one may find the curious advice: "Against rats write these words on four places in the house: Sanctus (? ) Kakukakilla." In the later Middle Ages the blessing formulas consider this saint as masculine in Tyrol, and as feminine in Styria, Thuringia, Alsace, and Sweden. There is a portrait of a saint with two mice and with the title Cutubilla in the abbey church of Adelberg in Württemberg; the picture is of no historical value, but of ethnological interest. Similar pictures are found in Uppland, Sweden, dating from c. 1500. These, however, represent an abbess, probably confused with the abbess St. gertrud of nivelles. The name Kakubilla has superstitious and magical implications.
Bibliography: h. bÄchtold–stÄubli, ed., Handwörterbuch des deutschen Aberglaubens, 10 v. (Leipzig 1927–42) 4:913–914. Zeitschrift des Vereins für Votkskunde 1 (1891) 321, 444; 2 (1892) 199–201; 8 (1898) 341–342. w. stammler, Münster 13.10 (1960), bibliog.; Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 2 5:1254–55. j. braun, Tracht und Attribute der Heiligen in der deutschen Kunst (Stuttgart 1943).
[v. h. redlich]