I once made a claim, not unlike Gus Portokalos claiming that every word can trace its origin to Greek (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), that every good thing you love came from a Catholic. Well, here are six reasons to thank Catholics for the great things of the world that you enjoy.
Beer is #1. Literally. Good beer (although other was available) was brewed almost exclusively by monks until the twelfth century. St. Arnold of Metz (who the beer is named after) and St. Arnold of Soissons are the patrons of beer brewing. And we have beer blessings. You can pretty much thank the Crusades that we aren’t under Islamic prohibition, either (otherwise, no beer!). Here’s a whole tumblr dedicated to the Catholic tradition of beer.
2. Other alcohol 🙂
French Benedictine friars first made Champagne. Chartreuse is made exclusively by Carthusian monks. Frangelico, shaped like a Franciscan, was originally made by a hermit. And during the American Prohibition, Catholics were allowed to keep their vineyards open for communion wine, and bootlegged like nobody’s business (it was also the Irish Catholics who largely helped to end Prohibition, too!). Basically, if you like to drink, go hug a Catholic.
Like to sing or play music or even just listen to it? Go thank a Catholic. Guido of Arezzo created modern musical notation when he realized Gregorian chant was hard to remember. He also created and put into use Ut-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La (Ut was changed to Do by Giovanni Battista Doni claiming it was easier to say, and Si [changed to Ti by Sarah Glover] was added shortly after).
The Scientific Method was developed by Fr. Roger Bacon, a Franciscan, so you can thank him for all those trials and errors in your high school biology class. You can also thank Gregor Mendel, an Augustinian friar, for genetics and all those late nights where you and your best girl friends sat around pairing each other up with your crushes and figuring out what your potential, hypothetical future offspring would look like (or was that just me…). You can thank a bunch of other Catholics for all kinds of scientific discoveries, too, like the Big Bang.
5. Amusement parks
Ok, this one’s a bit of a stretch but modern amusement parks can trace their origins to three traditions, one of which was the periodic fair of the Middle Ages. One of the earliest fairs was the Bartholomew Fair in England, which began in 1133 and was started by Rahere, a priest. Though most of the stories surrounding Rahere are legend, he did found the Priory of the Hospital of St. Bartholomew and the fair was a way of fundraising for it. Catholics just like entertainment in general and have always patronized the arts so, the next time you plan to ride some roller coasters or go to Disneyland, shake a Catholic’s hand and say, “Thanks, man.”
6. Crossing your fingers
This good luck symbol originally started as a way of casting out evil from your presence. Crossing the fore and middle fingers looks like a cross (or if you’re hardcore, old school, you cross the forefinger and thumb). So really, every time someone crosses their fingers, they’re really saying a prayer. Catholic win! The next time you make this symbol of good luck, either when you want to do well on something or stay safe, take a moment to remember that Christ is the giver of all good things and casts out all evil. And thank a Catholic for perpetuating it.
That’s right. Sex. We didn’t invent it, but it’s a fact that Catholic are the most sexually satisfied demographic. And pretty much every other news source confirms this. Theology of the Body is one of the most effective and convincing sexual movements of our generation.