There’s a patron saint for just about every profession, hobby, and craft out there and thank goodness there is! We could all use a little saintly help now and again, no matter what you love to do. Here are 8 patron saints for 8 things we all love.
1. The Internet – St. Isidore of Seville
In 1997 John Paul II observed that the internet was an incredible tool that could be used for much good and evil. With that in mind he declared St. Isidore the patron saint of all internet surfers (aka pretty much the entire world), in order to help us to use this tool properly. Why St. Isidore? He wrote a lot. Like a lot a lot. One of his works is twenty books long. He also invented the term “etymology”. He literally originated a word for the study of the origin of words. The guy was full of information and thus, patron saint of the internet.
2. Cake – St. Honoré
St. Honoré has long been loved and revered by French bakers. Legend has it that when this 6th century bishop’s childhood nursemaid found out that he was to be elevated to bishop, she dropped her wooden paddle, used to make cake, on the ground. The paddle immediately grew roots and sprouted into a blackberry tree. In 1202 a Parisian baker donated land to build a church in Honoré’s honor, which later becomes headquarters for the baker’s guild in Paris. To this day in France, First Holy Communion cake, a confection of pastry, cream, and caramelized sugar, is called Gateau St. Honoré. Not sure about you, but I have a sudden urge for cream puffs.
3. Italian Food – St. Lorenzo
Technically, St. Lorenzo aka St. Lawrence, is the patron saint of all cooks, but he was Italian and as we all know, there is no finer cuisine than that of the Italian peoples (no, I’m not biased, I don’t know what you’re talking about). St. Lorenzo was one of the seven deacons martyred by Emperor Valerian in the 3rd century. The story goes that Lorenzo was literally grilled over an open fire and midway through his torture he called out to his persecutors, “Turn me over, I’m done on this side.” Since then he has been known as the patron of cooks, and for good reason. Buon appetito.
4. Comedians-St. Lawrence
Same dude as #3, this time for his joke to his executioners, “Turn me over, I’m done on this side.” Saints should never be without a sense of humor. It seems the Church had one too, in making him the patron of both cooks and comedians.
5. Movies – St. Genesius
Genesius was a popular 3rd century Roman actor who, while performing in a play in which he satirized Christianity (specifically the sacrament of Baptism) experienced an intense vision in which angels appeared to him. After the vision, Genesius immediately asked to be Baptized. When the Roman emperor heard of his conversion he was soon arrested, tortured, and ultimately beheaded. Currently, he is the only patron saint of actors and comedians, however, I hear there has already been a case opened to begin examining the life of Jim Caviezel…true story.
6. Coffee – St. Drogo
Little is known of this 12th century French hermit and shepherd, except that he is the patron saint of coffee brewers and that he could bilocate. I assume he used this ability to cut the line at Starbucks on Monday mornings…No? Just me?
7. Bacon – St. Anthony the Abbot
This one’s complicated, but the long and short of it is that Anthony was well known after his death in the 4th century to be the patron saint of those with skin diseases. A common remedy at the time for such ailments was the application of pork fat on the wounds, so Anthony was often depicted with a pig. This eventually led to his being declared the patron saint of butchers. Regardless, as a Catholic, I’m just thankful to Jesus for fulfilling the Old Law and thus allowing us to eat bacon. Can I get an “amen?”
8. Beer – St. Arnold
Probably my favorite. St. Arnold or Arnulf was a beloved 7th century bishop of Metz, France. He was so loved that two years after his death the people of his diocese set out to retrieve his body from the rural monastery he was buried in and bring it back to Metz where he belonged. Along the way, the people grew very thirsty, as they went by foot, and one man is said to have prayed, “By his powerful intercession the Blessed Arnold will bring us what we lack” and immediately a small remnant of leftover beer in a pot multiplied tenfold to quench the thirst of the entire group. So, next time you run out of beer, give St. Arnold a intercessory ring, I’m sure he’ll have your back. Cheers.