Unless you’ve been on retreat this summer, you’ve probably been witness to roving packs of people of all ages with their phones out, searching for Pikachus and Charmanders in parks, vacant lots, and even busy intersections.
They’re all playing the wildly popular new Pokemon Go, a mobile game that uses GPS and emergent virtual reality technology to turn anyone with a smartphone into a real, live Pokemon trainer. It’s also living up to its name by making players get up and go: to play the game properly, you literally have to search for Pokemon out in the wild just like in the classic video games (but please don’t Pokemon and drive. Unless there’s a Mew in the middle of the highway, then I’m sure the police will totally understand).
People are kind of freaking out about it, and they should be because it’s SO FREAKING COOL YOU GUYS. Two days ago I saw and caught a Squirtle in my living room, and all my wildest childhood dreams for the future came true.
To make sense of great new trends, people often turn to the saints and imagine what they would do or say in response (they are, after all, still with us and probably more fully aware of what’s going on around here than we are – meaning they might know where the rarest Pokemon are). Here are seven saints and the ways (I imagine) they would probably react to Pokemon Go fever.
1. St. Francis
St. Francis would so be into the idea of people working together, enjoying the outdoors, and searching for cute animals, but he’d be more likely to try to preach the Good News to all the random Pidgeys that crossed his path instead of catch them. Probably would also be horrified at the concept of making them fight for sport, and would use all that time spent walking from town to town to hatch some eggs. Definitely a Team Instinct kind of guy.
2. St. Philip Neri
Would be that guy who excitedly tells you there’s a Mewtwo in the middle of a busy intersection, then points and laughs while you dodge cars running in circles looking for it. Would also not think twice about nabbing a Legendary out from under you as a lesson in humility and detachment.
3. St. Brighid of Kildare
St. Brighid probably wouldn’t be much for games herself, but would be delighted to host and curate a wide, open field full of Poke Stop monuments where small children could have a safe place to play. True to her form of small but supernatural acts of kindness, shy and lonely kids would probably find a high volume of rare Pokemon cross their path, and somehow the Gatorade would never run out and the afternoons would never be too hot.
4. St. Thomas Aquinas
Would be too caught up in long, complex Reddit rants about the hypothetical mystical taxonomy of Pokemon to actually get around to playing the game. Do they all have sensitive souls? What about Grass types? Does an Oddish have a sensitive soul and a vegetative soul, or one or the other? On the contrary: What is even the deal, spiritually speaking, with Ghost and Psychic Pokemon? I answer that: Someone has to answer these pressing questions.
5. St. Theresa of Avila
Would absolutely not have it with the novices trying to sneak around in the cloister on the one monastery smartphone. Go ahead. Try telling the lady who reformed the whole Carmelite Order over her frustration with the sisters’ frivolousness and lack of discipline that you absolutely must skip afternoon mental prayer because there’s a Moltres in the refectory. I’m sure she’ll understand.
6. St. Olga of Kiev
Patron Saint of Team Valor and ruthless battler. St. Olga is that chick with a team full of power leveled Pokemon of every conceivable type who will destroy your precious, beloved party of hand-raised Pokemon in a merciless hail special attacks without batting an eyelash. Good luck taking her Gym. I hope you enjoy the bitter taste of defeat and disappointment.
7. St. Martha
Loves the game as much as the next person, and is definitely the mom friend of the group that makes sure everyone brings enough snacks and water. Also is the one who makes sure no one gets hit by oncoming cars, wanders into dark alleys, or gets carjacked while playing. Someone has to be the responsible one, you know.