Monday, October 6, 2014

Lost Causes, Desperate Measures, and Feast Days

Granted I am not Catholic, that is an understatement given my deep Scottish Presbyterian roots, and I know little about the saints. I just learned that St. Jude is the patron saint of desperate measures and lost causes. He was also the brother of St. James the less, who knew? 

October 28th is the day of the feast of St. Jude. Now generally one thinks of hospitals and health care workers when they think of St. Jude for generally he is their patron saint. Like most causes, occupations, illnesses, ages, and items there is a Patron Saint - one to gently look over one's shoulder and quietly guide the lost sheep back into the fold. 

And, oh, the list is long. Causes such as the Abandoned (St. Luigi Orion ), Sharing (St. Finnian of Clonnard) and Volcanic Eruptions (St. Januarius) are taken care of. Occupations  including Candlemakers (St. Ambrose), Funeral Directors (St. Joseph of Arimathea), and Pastry Chefs (St. Philip the Apostle) are watched over. Illnesses from Birdflu (St. Rocco) to Dysentery (St. Polycorp of Smyrna) to Paralysis (St. Wolfgang) are covered. 

Even times of our lives, for instance Bachelors (St. Casimer of Poland), College Students (St Gabriell Possenti), and Widows (St. Bridget of Sweden) are comforted. The church even provided saints to bless and watch over items such as Computers (St. Isidore of Seville), Television (St. Clare of Assisi), and Black Birds (St. Kevin).

Never have so many taken up so many causes for the masses. Each with a feast day - although with over 10,000 saints now, there are many saints per feast day - so much for exclusivity. I am sure there are saints clamoring for causes - just an ignorant assumption on my part. I digress

In my case if I ever need a patron saint, I will pass on St. Lucia of Syracuse  (Patron Saint of Writers) or St. Catherine of Bologna (Patron Saint of Liberal Arts) or  St. John the Baptist (Patron Saint of Auto Routes) or even St. Veronica (Patron Saint of Photographers). I will pledge myself to St. Jude of desperate measures and lost causes. I never knew the Holy See's tent was so big.

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