I was chatting to one my dear friends this week about a potential visit next for April. He was reeling off a list of potential dates when I asked if being in Barcelona for Sant Jordi was on the agenda. The silence on the phone said it all. “Sant Jordi, the Patron Saint of Catalonia, went around drastically reducing the global dragon population in the 3rd century”, I offered. Still no sign of a penny, let alone the possibility of it dropping.
So I explained all about him, and don’t worry dear reader if you have never heard of him either, there is a post on this distinguished website that will enlighten and entertain you.
Anyway all this talk of Patron Saints got me thinking. What others are out there and who or what is deserving of their patronage?
After doing some research I can tell you, quite a lot and some really weird stuff!
There are the biggies of course, Saint Christopher, the Patron Saint of travellers, Saint Nicholas, sailors, Saint Francis de Sales, writers et al are all well documented, however, quite how Saint Martin de Porres became the Patron Saint of hairstylists is a little bit more hazy. Perhaps some dodgy translations down the ages. If so we could have a quick word with Saint Jerome, the Patron Saint of Translators.
Apparently Saints can multi-task too. Saint Roch, a French noble born in 1295 is the Patron Saint of dog fanciers, bachelors, diseased cattle, falsely accused people, surgeons, tie makers and no less than 21 places including Subic Bay Freeport in the Philippines!
When I discovered that Saint Antonio da Padova is the Patron Saint of lost articles it was heartening to know that several of my socks, quite a few pens and a rather nice golf umbrella I left on the metro are being watched over from the heavens. Oh and talking of lost articles, Saint Joan of Arc is the Patron Saint of virgins.
Dangerous activities are pretty well covered, except, I found, if you do something dangerously modern. Saint Benedict looks after the speleologists (look it up, I had to!) for example, but poor bungee jumpers can literally go swing.
The whole upshot of this is, if you happen to loose your favourite dog whilst exploring a cave, the helmet ruins your hairdo and you then have trouble explaining it all afterwards in the local language don’t fret, remember you have some serious saintly protection!