The 8 Most Bizarre Patron Saints

The 8 Most Bizarre Patron Saints

God's busy, alright? He doesn't have time to sift through every prayer asking for help with a dog bite or syphilis. To help out, over the centuries the Catholic Church has recruited patron saints to act as sort of receptionists to sort through your requests.

And lucky for you, there is a Saint for everything. And we mean everything.

Saint Barbara: Patron Saint of Fireworks

How'd She Become a Saint?

Barbara was daughter to a wealthy heathen named Dioscorus. When she converted to Christianity, he decided that the best way to demonstrate his displeasure would be to have her tortured and then to behead her with his own hands.

But, while strolling home from an execution well done, he was struck by lightning and died. This proved once and for all that the Christian God could cast lightning bolts with every bit the accuracy and velocity of Zeus.

So Why Fireworks?

Because of the deus ex machine death of her persecutor, Barbara was first invoked during thunderstorms, then against sudden deaths in general. But then somebody invented gunpowder and artillery, creating a whole industry where accidental sudden death was a daily risk. Suddenly Saint Barbara was very popular in all the explosion-based activities, and thus became the patron saint of fireworks.

Though we assume she'd be even more popular if she had become the patron saint of smiting your enemies with lightning.

Possible Prayers:

"I don't need all five back, but if you could help me find the index and thumb, that would be terrific."

"Oh Saint Barbara, may you guide my roman candle square in the back of my stupid little brother."

Saint Isidore of Seville: Patron Saint of the Internet

How'd He Become a Saint?

Born circa 560 in Spain, Isidore began his life similar to most modern day American kids, as a really lousy student. Then again, students of those days were expected to complete the Trivium and Quadrivium, meaning if you mastered grammar, logic and rhetoric you were still a dumbass who couldn't make time for geometry, astrology, music and arithmetic.

Burned out on book learning and unable to plagiarize from Wikipedia, Isidore did something unlike American students: he turned to God for help, instead of weed and gallons of alcohol.

After this he became one of the most learned men of his time, writing a dictionary, encyclopedia and complete history of the Goths (that is, the historical barbarians of eastern Europe, not brooding Hot Topic dwellers.)

So Why the Internet?:

He has been widely recognized as the patron saint of both computer users and schoolchildren. Since 90% of what schoolchildren do with computers is surf the internet, it seemed like a pretty logical step. So, in 2003 it was proposed he become the patron saint of the internet and while he still technically hasn't gotten the title yet, we're assuming he doesn't have a lot of competition.

Here's to hoping that with Saint Isidore on board this hell hole can get a makeover, no more with the girls and their tubs and 1 cups.

Possible Prayers:

"I can has absolushun for mai sinz?"

"I LOL'd at my BFF's IM, but got 404, WTF? OMGZ like s4v3 me, kthxbye."

Saint Drogo: Patron Saint of Unattractive People

How'd He Become a Saint?

Drogo's mother died during childbirth, something he felt responsible for because, well he was responsible for it. Because of this he practiced the extreme penance of self flagellation (not to be confused with "X-treme penance", which is slamming a Mountain Dew while surfing a waterfall of lava).

At age 18 he disposed of all property and became a pilgrim, devoting his life to God. Witnesses claim in later life he could magically bilocate (appear in two places at once). This meant he worked the fields and attended Mass simultaneously, miraculously doubling his boredom.

So Why Unattractive People?

During a pilgrimage he was stricken with disease that caused gross deformities. The townsfolk were nice enough to offer him a small cell attached to the church where he wouldn't frighten babies anymore.

Showing an unbelievable amount of self respect he merely survived on water and the Eucharist, and didn't once charge a dollar to let kids peer through the window and throw peanuts at him. 12th century freaks were a classy bunch.

He's also the Patron Saint of coffee houses, presumably because that's where ugly people hang out when "finishing" their novels.

Possible Prayers:

"Oh Saint Drogo, I'm on homecoming court and I don't want a pimple. Could you help me? Preferably by making me look as little like you as possible?"

"So do you make unattractive people hot or just accept themselves for the way they are? Because I'd much rather it be the hot thing."

Saint Genesius of Rome: Patron Saint of Comedians

How'd He Become a Saint?

Put on your funny pants, because this story of sainthood is a real knee slapper. Hired to work in a play that made fun of Christian Baptism, Genesius suddenly received a word from God and realized the truth of Christianity, converting on stage. Naturally, Emperor Diocletian tortured him and when he refused to renounce his faith he was beheaded. It's just like that one episode of Seinfeld.

So Why Comedy?

He's known as the patron saint of actors and performers in general, since that was his profession. But why would he also be the patron saint of comedians, when his big act of sainthood was to stop a comedy performance?

Because we all know Christian comedy is the best. It's laughter with a message! And guilt! Are we right people?

Possible Prayers:

"Is this thing on? Seriously Genesius, could you turn this thing on?"

"Please bless me with hack material that robs idiot college students and rednecks blind. SuFi, Git-r-done and good day."

Saint Polycarp of Smyrna: Patron Saint Against Dysentery and Earaches

How'd He Become a Saint?

Polycarp was a revered Christian leader who hobnobbed with John the Apostle and Ignatius of Antioch. When he was 86 he was sentenced to death, because his pursuers were opposed to just waiting. Polycarp was sentenced to be burned alive, but after being burned at the stake the flames did not harm him, which is truly miraculous. So they decided to stab him to death with daggers and then burn him. Which didn't go so miraculously.

So Why Against Dysentery?

Polycarp may be asking the same question, since the whole not burning could have led to something cool like Patron Saint of Stunt Men. Then again it's better than being for dysentery. Historically, Polycarp was known as a teacher and practical leader, not so much a vessel for supernatural Pepto Bismol. But much of his work was done in areas where people became afflicted with the disorder, and someone's got to take it. He's also against earache, so send some preemptive prayers Polycarp's way before you need help with either, or worse, both.

Possible Prayers:

"Listen bro, I haven't made it to mass while I was down here in Cancun on spring break, but like, I've got some of Montezuma's Revenge going on and I could use a little help."

"Oh, no! Help me Polycarp! I just bought these pants!"

Saint Fiacre: Patron Saint of People with STDs

How'd He Become a Saint?

Fiacre's path to sainthood began with the lofty goal of living alone in the woods. The legend goes that he went to France and found some woods owned by the Bishop Faro, who offered him as much land as he could clear in one day. Fiacre agreed and used his magic spade to topple trees and uproot bushes. A local woman claimed witchcraft, but Bishop Faro declared it a miracle instead.

Fiacre got his woods but failed miserably at being alone. He built a hospice and used his miraculous healing touch to cure anyone in need. Unless you were a woman. He banned all women from his sacred place of hermitage.

So Why STDs?

As a sacred healer he could cure blindness, leprosy, tumors and more, all by touch. "More" also includes venereal disease. His patronage was assigned to the ailments he healed which means a lot of happy endings for 7th century dongs. He is also the Patron Saint of gardeners and cab drivers and we think that means you can bang gardeners and cab drivers condom free. It's cool. Just tell them good old St. Fiacre has your back. And your front. Basically wherever you catch sex grime.

Possible Prayers:

"Hey Fiacre, does whiskey and Cheetos make pee burn this bad or should I see a doctor?"

"I know you hate women and all, but can you make this a clean one? I'm out of rubbers and I will not use a sandwich bag again."

Saint Cyprian of Antioch: Patron Saint of Occultists

r.! 00. KIMy ANOC
Wikimedia Commons

How'd He Become a Saint?

Like all great stories of redemption Cyprian's starts with an attempted rape using demon minions.

As a pagan sorcerer who dealt with the devil, Cyprian wasn't great with the ladies and when he fell in love with a Christian woman named Justina he thought it best to use the black arts. Justina, who warded off dozens of hell spawned sexual assaults in her time, made the sign of the cross and repelled the evil spirits. Cyprian was freed from his own dark spells and became a priest and bishop, while his nonsexual friendship with Justina grew.

Then, you guessed it, both were ordered to be tortured and beheaded by Emperor Diocletian, the same guy who executed the patron saint of comedians up there. That dude was a Saint making machine.

So Why Occultists?

Well, other than the fact that he was basically Lord freaking Voldemort before his conversion, Cyprian also wrote a book of powerful spells. Spells that are as powerful as praying or invoking Saints. The book spread, being published in several languages and making Cyprian the patron saint of witches, sorcerers, and spiritual workers, good and evil, but more commonly ineffective and annoying.

Possible Prayers:

"As wiccan high priestess I invoke the name of Saint Cyprian to guide my level 3 charm spell on Zac Efron!"

"Cyprian, keep my magic dark, my powers strong and don't allow the jocks to throw piss balloons at me while I cry in the cemetery."

Saint Jesus Malverde: Patron Saint of Drug Dealers

How'd He Become a Saint?

In all honesty, Jesus Malverde is not an officially recognized saint by the Vatican. But don't tell that to the countless believers who flock to his shrine and offer prayers. And doesn't that make him a lot like another Jesus we've all heard about? The answer is a definite why-the-hell-not.

Malverde is a folklore hero in Mexico and legend says he was a bandit killed by law enforcement on May 3rd 1909. His manner of demise often changes, from hanging to epic shootout, making his life a veritable choose-your-own-adventure of turn of the century Mexican violence. Some tales even say he was betrayed by a friend for a reward, while others claim he once turned water into black tar heroin.

So Why Drug Dealers?

In the Mexican state of Sinaloa, Malverde has been turned into a Robin Hood figure, robbing from the rich and selling drugs for profit. This outlaw image made him popular amongst the poor and the drug trafficking business adopted him as their Patron Saint. He has a shrine in Culiacan where thousands travel to ask for miracles. Not being picked up by DEA while praying there is one such miracle.

Possible Prayers:

"May my sneakers be tied tight and the pigs fat and slow."

"Oh blessed Jesus Malverde, please don't let the K-9 unit sniff out the kilo of coke I have hidden in your hollow statue."

Find out about The 5 Biggest Badass Popes. Or read about adventures on the web that were clearly not blessed by Saint Isidore of Seville in The Drunk Idiot's Guide to Twitter.
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