What’s next after Halloween? Well, if you’re Catholic, it’s All Saints Day. On this day the Church celebrates all saints. There are many saints, some more well known than others but on All Saints Day even the saints that are forgotten or largely unknown are honored. I attended an all-girls Catholic high school (even though I’m not Catholic) and I vaguely remember celebrating this day. In the morning before classes, we would go to Mass, sing songs and walk up and down the chapel corridors gazing adoringly at the stained-glass windows depicting various Biblical scenes and thinking about martyrs and saints. Or something like that. My memory is not the best.
Anyway, my favorite saint was Saint Joan of Arc. I thought she was really cool, plus she was the only woman regularly featured in the bunch. But now that I’m all grown up, I’ve discovered that there are many more cool and interesting saints – here are a few that might peak your interest:
- St. Monica – patron saint of wives & abuse victims (hmm…are wives and abuse victims two distinct groups or one and the same? Just wondering). St. Monica married young and was the union was not happy but she was patient and devoted to her husband and was thus considered a good example to wives and mothers.
- St. Bibiana – she is known as the saint of hangovers because legend has it that when she was buried, a plant grew over her grave that provided relief from hangovers and epilepsy.
- St. Vitus – the saint of oversleepers. A Christian living in Italy in the 4th Century, he refused to celebrate the pagan gods of the time and was accused of sorcery. He was boiled in oil (ouch!) and his tormentors threw in a rooster to protect against sorcery. This association with the rooster is why he is the saint of oversleepers.
- St. Hubert of Liege – the saint of protection from werewolves. St. Hubert was a Belgian nobleman who liked to hunt and during the werewolf scares of the Middle Ages, peasants would turn to him for help when they ran out of silver bullets.
- St. Jude Thaddeus – saint of lost causes. St. Jude Thaddeus was Jesus’ cousin and people often confused him for Judas Iscariot. As a result, no one prayed to him for help and he became associated with lost causes and desperate situations.
Do you know of any other unusual saints?