Saturday, March 17, 2007

Catholicism: So Hot Right Now.

I thought I would educate myself today on some sainthood facts, being that it's Saint Patrick's Day and I have lots of better things to do, most of them involving the cleaning of something.

I looked up some saint info, hoping to find some delicious tidbits on some cool, kick-butt saints. It turns out that most of them do not land in the kick-butt category.

A large portion of them seemed to have claimed some dark-ages territory for themselves when it was easy to find pagans and whipped the natives into shape for God.

There seems to be a saint for every portion of the Old World map (Friesia, Bordeax, Brittany, some guy that got shipwrecked on the Isle of Mann, you get the idea), mostly a function of where the old popes sent their buddies to stake a claim for Rome.

The cool thing about Saint Patrick is that he probably would not be the patron saint of Ireland if not for the fact that a bunch of plundering Celt pagan Druids stole him as a kid, brought him back to Ireland, and enslaved him as a farmboy there for most of his teens. He escaped back to Britain, went to priest school, and came back to Ireland to kick some pagan butt. But he probably didn't kick any snake butt. The island has probably always been snake free. Lucky island.

Some interesting tidbits gleaned from way too much time looking for interesting tidbits about saints:

The official Catholic website lists 2 patron saints of firefighters:

St. Florian (feast day: May 4 - make your feasting plans early!): One of those saints who got to be a saint by being tortured to death by Roman meanies (another large subgroup). It seems one of the tortures was being set on fire. Not that he wasn't an awesome saint or anything, but that's a pretty lame excuse to get to be a patron saint of firefighting. Being set on fire against one's will. Not exactly in the firefighter's bag of tricks.

St. John of God (feast day: March 8 - make your feasting plans early!): This guy was mostly insane, but he did do some actual firefighting, which makes him a better candidate for patron saint-itude. He saved patients from a burning hospital, and saved the bulk of the hospital from burning by chopping the burning portion away, falling through the roof in the process, and then emerging (ta-dah!) from the flaming wreckage. I'd say we have a winner.

There's a patron saint for almost everything. Case in point: the patron saint of hoarseness is St. Bernardine of Siena, who, after becoming a priest, hung back from preaching for a while because of a bad hoarseness thing, but then got over it and preached a lot to make up for lost time.
I'm going to go pray to St. Martin de Porres, patron saint of hairdressers, to do something about my cowlick.


Drew said...

St John of God sounds like most of my fireman friends, crazy as a loon but willing to chop up a burning hospital to save the patients... oh yeah, then fall through the floor and hop up...ta- da. Nice.

Dean said...

What about Saint Chuck of Norris, the patron saint of fast cars and roundhouse kicks to the skull?

piglet said...

A common misconception, but that's not actually Catholicism, but Mulleticism.