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10:40 a.m. - November 01, 2005
It's All Saints Day.
Well, today is All Saint’s Day, which in some places is a very important holiday for Catholics, Orthodox and Lutherans, from what I hear.

(Being pretty much either a progressive Protestant or an amused Agnostic most of my life, I don’t know all of the odds and ends on Catholicism. However, since my buddy TC is very much a Catholic (amongst other friends) and Liz was also a Catholic, I know a little about it. It IS the stand up-sit down-fight fight fight religion with the signing and the kneeling and all that…)

So, in honor of that, I thought it would be funny to write about what, in this modern world, needed Patron Saints, because I had thought that Patron Saints were old-school and a bit out of date.

(Ok, this wouldn’t have been as lame of a concept as you think, trust me. Would I steer you wrong? Mind you, it is All Saint’s Day.)

Of course, as any good writer on the internet does, I needed to do some research.

(Please re-read the above sentence for maximum irony…)

Well, it turns out that there are a skidillion Patron Saints. (Well, not really, but there are a lot.)

I found a listing of them here. Wow!

There are Patron Saints for countries that don’t exist anymore. St. Frumentius of Ethiopia is the patron saint of Abyssinia.

There is a Patron Saints of Andria. Oh, not that Andria. St. Richard of Andria is the Patron Saint of Andria, Italy and its diocese.

There’s a Patron Saint against obsession. Whether that’s OCD, or the Calvin Klein perfume, I don’t know, but he’s St. Quirinus. He was beaten, and drowned in a river with a millstone around his neck. That’s not a nice way to go.

It seems that each of the Archdioceses of the Catholic Church has their own Patron Saint. So when you’re going to St. Louis (St. Louis IX – who is also the Patron Saint of barbers, distressed marriages, French monarchs, and needleworkers, among other things), Joplin, Missouri, Oklahoma City (the Holy Family is the Patron Saint of Tulsa – and Oklahoma City looks mighty pretty), you’ll be covered. I don’t see a Patron Saint for Amarillo, but one for Gallup, New Mexico (Our Lady of Guadalupe). There’s not one for Flagstaff, Arizona, nor Winona (I didn’t forget it, see), or Kingman, or Barstow, or San Bernardino. (I mean, I could check what diocese these towns are in, but I’ve already milked this joke way too long, eh?)

There’s a Patron Saint against scurf (St. Genesius of Arles). What is scurf? It is scaly or shredded dry skin, such as dandruff. So he’s the Patron Saint for Head and Shoulders. He’s also the Patron Saint against chilblains, which is an inflammation followed by itchiness on the hands or feet. I think St. Genesius needed a bath.

There are two Patron Saints of second marriages (St. Adelaide and St. Matilda). St. Matilda is also the Patron Saint of disappointing children (along with St. Clotilde, St. Monica, and St. Louise de Marillac).

There are SEVEN Patron Saints for the seekers of lost articles (St. Anne, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Antony of Pavoni, St. Arnulf of Soissons (there’s more than ONE St. Arnulf??), St. Daniel of Padua, St. Phanurius, and St. Vincent de Paul). Man, Catholic lose a lot of stuff.

There are two Patron Saints of security guards – St. Matthew the Apostle and Michael the Archangel. So rent-a-cops have their own Patron Saints, yet Directors of Advancement Services have none? Where’s the fairness in that??

St. Florian is the Patron Saint of soap boilers. Soap boilers? He’s also the Patron Saint of barrel makers, firefighters and against battles. He was scourged, flayed, millstoned and drowned, which means that the medivial SVU was on the case.

“It could have been consensual B & D gone wrong, Olivia”
“Elliott, I can see that with being scourged and flayed, but millstoned?”
“Some people get into a lot of weird stuff.”

(Yes, I realize my ticket is already punched for down below…)

As noted above St. Florian is the Patron Saint against battle. But there is a Patron Saint of battle, Michael the Archangel. Make up your mind, would you?

Our Lady of Copacabana (was her name Lola?) is the Patron Saint of the Bolivian Navy.

Look at a map.

St. Barbara is the Patron Saint of bomb technicians. She’s got a whole listing of things that she’s the Patron Saint of, as you can see. Sadly, though, it looks like she’s just a legend, and not a real person.

Hey Reva, St. Julian the Hospitaller is the Patron Saint of fiddlers. Now, I know you’re Mormon and all, but that may be handy info to have. You never know when you’ll need it.

Gabriel the Archangel is the patron saint of radio. So, when I get to heaven, I guess Gabriel will the the one with the deep pipes that resonate clearly. Sort of like the heavenly Corey Flintoff. (I’ll take obscure NPR reference for $1000 please, Alex.)

St. Amand is the Patron Saint of barkeeps, brewers and vintners. My kind of guy!

Oh, I could go on (all the people say NOOOO! STOP!) – but as you see, truth is much more interesting than any perceived fiction I could come up with.

I looked to see if there’s a Patron Saint for allegedly funny internet essay writers. Not specifically, but I found that:

• St. Isidore of Seville is the Patron Saint of the Internet.
• St. Francis de Sales, St. John the Apostle, St. Lucy, and St. Paul the Apostle are the Patron Saints of Writers. (St. Claire of Assisi is the Patron Saint of television writers. WTF?)
• St. Genesius, St. Lawrence and St. Vitus (yeah, that one) are the Patron Saints of comedians. (Not to say I’m a comedian, because I barely amuse myself).

I’ll take my chances with one of them.

So, as you gorge yourself with leftover candy (would someone take the Sweet Tarts away from me, please?) – just remember that today used to be (and may still be to some) a very important day, and that if you ever need help, you can call on a Saint and they allegedly will hear your prayer.

But probably not the New Orleans Saints, they’re 2-5 and not having a good season at all.


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