Despite popular belief St Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland, not Guinness and all things green, in the same way St Valentine is remembered for marrying Christian couples when it was considered helping Christians in pagan Rome. Surprisingly he is not the Saint of slutty lingerie and overpriced heart-shaped stuffed toys.
*Spoiler alert* Children may be shocked to learn that he is not the saint of shiny wrapped gifts without batteries and clothes that do not fit. Instead he is the saint of children, sailors, fishermen, merchants, broadcasters, the falsely accused, prostitutes and repentant thieves.
Prostitutes that might explain why we all hang stockings out on Christmas eve. We all learn from our first year of life that the things inside stockings are fun to play with. Some people like Nicolas Sarkozy and Ricky Nixon will readily attest to that, which is where all of the mum’s around the world will quote Shakespeare to their children “too much of a good thing.”
St George is patron saint or the British Monarchy he is not bank. Actually considering the wealth of the royal family at a time when the English public are facing record cuts in public spending and increases in taxes, maybe St George has stayed true to his patronage throughout history.
There are hundreds of saints recognized by the Roman Catholic, Anglican and orthodox churches and each has spiritual significance to the believers as a whole and of the specific groups of which they are patron.
Not that you would guess at their significance, religious or otherwise, or their place in history by the way we celebrate. Costumes, fried food and alcohol. A reclamation of dress in one’s Sunday best to receive Holy Communion.
What is most unusual is that within the Communion of Saints there are a number of saints for whom this type of festivities would indeed be a right and proper celebration of their patronage:
Saint Adrian is the Saint of beer
Saint Amand is the Saint of brewers, barkeepers and wine makers
Saint Matthias and Martin of Tours are the Saint of alcoholism
Arnold of Soinssons is the Saint of hop-pickers and Belgium brewers
For each of these Saints drinking until one is no longer capable of remaining in an upright position would be the perfect celebration.
At this point one’s friends can then pray to the Saint of taxi drivers, Fiacre of Breuil to get them home safely using the most direct route and to not take up more in the collection plate than is duly tythed, in accordance with thy holy meter.
Talking of beer, enjoy one or two of them in the audience of my 2011 Melbourne International Comedy Festival show Freakuent Flyer