Eight Patron Saints You May or May Not Need

You might know the name Cabrini – Cabrini-Green in Chicago is pretty infamous for being a rough public housing development. I'm sure the development's namesake, Frances Xavier Cabrini, AKA Mother Cabrini, would be pretty disheartened to know this if she were still around today. Today is the day Mother Cabrini was canonized (made into a saint) by Pope Pius XII and was made the patron saint of immigrants due to her work with Italian immigrants in the Cabrini-Green area. This particular designation makes sense, but some of the occupations, places and ailments that are assigned patron saints are pretty obscure (and some are almost humorous). I thought I would share a few.

Lidwina, patron saint of ice skaters

Little 14-year-old Lidwina of Schiedam, the Netherlands, was ice skating when she fell and broke a rib. She never recovered and became increasingly paralyzed until nothing would work except for her left hand. Also, she apparently shed pieces of herself, including skin, bones and intestines. Her parents kept these bits in a vase (obviously). She was officially canonized on March 14, 1890, and became the patron saint of ice skaters.

Albinus of Angers, patron saint against pirate attacks

Albinus had a big heart (as saints tend to have) and couldn't resist a call of distress. He used church money to free hostages from pirates. Obviously, pirate attacks aren't very common today, but in the 10th century, St. Albinus came in handy for the people of the walled town of Guerande. They had gotten word that pirates were on their way to attack the village and immediately started to pray to St. Albinus. The attackers were mysteriously deterred and the town was saved.

Domninus of Fidenza, patron saint against rabies

Legend says Domninus died in 304 A.D. when he was beheaded for converting to Christianity and carrying a cross through Piacenza. Supposedly he picked up his head and left it on the site where he wanted his cathedral to be built. This doesn't explain why invoking his name is thought to cure rabies, but nonetheless, this information would have been really helpful when Michael Scott was planning the Michael Scott Dunder-Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun Run for the Cure.

Expeditus, patron saint against procrastination

AKA Saint Elpidius, Expeditus was also beheaded in the early 300s. He decided to become a Christian and the devil showed up in the form of a crow, telling him that he could wait until tomorrow to convert. Expeditus stamped the crow under his feet and insisted that he would become a Christian today. That's it; as of tomorrow I am going to start sending prayers up to Expeditus.

Apollonia, patron saint of dentists

I have a bit of an aversion to dentists, so Apollonia's story makes me cringe: when she was tortured for her Christian beliefs, part of the torture included having all of her teeth either pulled out or smashed out. Ugh. When you see her represented in artwork, it's usually with some pincers holding a tooth. The tooth glows as if holy.

Drogo, patron saint of coffee brewers, coffee house owners and unattractive people

Rumor had it that Drogo could bilocate – be in two different places at the same time. People saw him hard at work in the fields at the same time others saw him at church. At some point he came down with an illness that left him incredibly deformed and the villagers were scared of him. They built him a cell attached to the church and Drogo stayed there for about forty years, with nothing to sustain him but the Eucharist, barley and water, which I think must be the connection to coffee.

George, patron saint of… a lot

Saint George is a busy guy. He is the patron saint of agricultural workers, archers, armorers, boy scouts, butchers, cavalry, Crusaders, equestrians, farmhands, farmers, field hands, field workers, Freemasonry, horseman, husbandry, husbandmen, knights, riders, Rover Scouts, saddle makers, saddlers, scouts, shepherds, soldiers, Teutonic Knights, Canada, England, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Montenegro, Ethiopia, Aragon, Catalonia and Moscow.

Mungo, patron saint of Glasgow, Scotland and salmon

For you Harry Potter readers, there really was a St. Mungo. Well, officially his name was Kentigern. "Mungo" was a nickname that meant "dear one". That's him lording over the Glasgow coat of arms, and the coat of arms is actually made after four miracles Mungo performed - bringing a dead bird back to life, starting a fire with tree branches, bringing a bell from Rome and saving a Queen from death by finding her ring inside a fish in the river. I guess that's why he's the patron saint of salmon. Update: Reader aristan says Glasgow was a salmon-fishing village pre-Mungo, so there you have it. My guess was wrong!

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