Just about everyone and everything has a patron saint, and in this article, you will not only encounter a few interesting associations, as well as learn more about saints, such as Januarius, Augustine, and Blaise.
Blessing of the Throat
The Feast of St. Blaise is observed on February 2 and involves a blessing of the throat for Catholics because the saint is known to have performed a miracle ”“ curing a young boy that was choking on a fish bone.
The Blood of St. Januarius
Many believe that the blood of St. Januarius is at the center of a miracle that occurs two times a year. In September and May, thousands of Italians make a trip to the cathedral of Naples as a way to honor the saint, who was beheaded by Roman Emperor Diocletian in 305. Only 100 people are allowed inside, where they encounter several elderly women who shout and mutter at two small vials containing a brown, crusty substance that is believed to be the blood of the saint. The women are regarded as the saint’s “relatives” and are thought to play a role in the substance changing from a gritty shade of brown to a bubbling scarlet red. There has been no in-depth scientific investigation into the process, but a group of scientists from the University of Naples visited the cathedral in 1902 and passed pure white light through the material. They identified emerging rays that were nearly identical to those generated when light passes through normal blood.
A Religious Lost and Found
The patron saint for lost items is St. Anthony of Padua. It is not uncommon for Catholics to send a prayer to the saint ”“ “please look around; something is lost and must be found.”
A Friend of Pig Herders
As the patron saint of pig herders and skin diseases, St. Anthony the Abbot (also known as St. Antony) came to be because he once used pork fat to dress wounds.
The Patron Saint of Comedians
During ancient Roman days, St. Lawrence was one of the seven deacons that served under Sixtus II who were martyred during the persecution of Valerian in 258. He was sentenced to burn or ‘grill’ to death upon a gridiron. It is said that during his execution, he told his executioners, “You can turn me over. I’m done on this side.” St. Lawrence later became the patron saint of students, comedians, miners, tanners, chefs and roasters. When depicted in art, he is often shown holding a gridiron.
A First in Writing
It is thought that the first autobiography ever written was penned by St. Augustine when he wrote “Confessions.”