Saints Preserve Us!: Everything You Need to Know About Every Saint You'll Ever Need

Saints Preserve Us!: Everything You Need to Know About Every Saint You'll Ever Need

by Sean Kelly, Rosemary Rogers

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Overview

Hilarious and comprehensive, the ultimate guide to the universe of saints—and what each one means. Cross-referenced by birthdays, professions, and ailments, this is a must-have for any true believer with a proper sense of fun.

Your name . . . your birthday . . . your nationality . . . your job . . . your hobby, each entitles you to the Papally Prescribed, Perpetual Personal Protection of a Plethora of Powerful Patrons in Paradise.

Whatever your problem—social, sexual, or spiritual—or illness—mental or physical, chronic or acute—a Holy Host of Heavenly Helpers is at Hand.
 
And you don’t even have to be Catholic!
 
All you do need to discover the identities of Your Very Own Patron Saints, and to avail yourself of their Guaranteed Supernatural Assistance, is this Blessed Book.
 
• Religiously researched!
• Fanatically comprehensive!
• Compulsively cross-indexed!
• Incredibly credulous!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307780263
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/12/2011
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

Sean Kelly left teaching to edit the National Lampoon. Going from bad to worse, he now writes books (e.g., Boom Baby Moon) and television shows (e.g., Between the Lions). He lives in Brooklyn, New York, a loyal Canadian exile and practicing ex-Catholic.

Rosemary Rogers is the co-author of Saints Preserve Us!, Who in Hell . . . , How to Be Irish (Even If You Already Are), Boomer Babes, and the How to Be Irish 2001 Calendar. She lives in Manhattan and always wears a Saint medal.

Read an Excerpt

Introduction
 
NO, YOU DON’T HAVE TO be a Catholic—or even Christian—to have Patron Saints. They are like enzymes, gravity, or the CIA—invisible, yes, but eternally present, and hard at work on your behalf, whether or not you know it—or like it. A Holy Host of Heavenly Helpers is at this very moment looking out for you and yours. So take a moment to read about them. You may even end up learning a thing or two about yourself.
 
Your original Patron Saint is determined, like your astrological sign, by accident of birth. Each and every day of the calendar year is the feast day of several—often many—Saints. (A Saint’s designated feast day is almost always the day he or she died, preferably in some unspeakably horrible way, but smiling, and went straight to Heaven.) New Saints are constantly being canonized and old ones deleted, but every Saint who is now or has ever been honored on your birthday has a particular and perpetual interest in your personal welfare.
 
By Church Law, every child at baptism is “christened,” that is, given a Saint’s name, a “Christian name” or what we now call a first or given name. This practice long inspired the infants of Christendom to follow the virtuous example of the Saints as they grew up, and it assured at least one Saint’s lifelong protection of each new member of the Faith. Even today, unless you were tagged “La Toya” or “Skip,” chances are there is someone in Heaven who shares your name, or a variant of it, and by virtue of this, he or she is another of your Patrons. (See Appendix I for a list of today’s most popular given names and the feast day of their Name Saints.)
 
There are Patron Saints who watch over you simply because you are—as all of us proudly or otherwise are—ethnic. The racial or national origin of your ancestors entitles you to the Supernatural Protection of your homeland’s designated Patron.
 
As does your job. Whatever your occupation or profession—housewife, astronaut, student, hairdresser, arms dealer, beggar, or beekeeper—there is an official, Vatican-approved (or unofficial, but tradition-sanctioned) Patron Saint assigned to it.
 
Almost every physical illness has a Patron Saint—someone who, while on earth, suffered from it, was miraculously cured of it, or died from it (smiling, of course). There are also Saints specializing in every human dilemma, from lost keys to lonely hearts to real estate. You’ll find Saints associated with everything from recreational activities to personal crises, from environmental concerns to the family pet.
 
This book is organized into three sections. The first and most edifying is the alphabetical, biographical list of the Saints themselves. When looking up your original Patron Saint you may be surprised at how similar his, or her, virtuous character—not to mention thrilling life story—is to your own.
 
Part II is a calendar of Saints assigned to each day of the year. Look up your birthday to locate your original Patron Saint. Not all Saints are Patrons. We have been unable to establish Vatican-confirmed or tradition-sanctioned responsibilities for the Holy Souls commemorated on precisely fifty-two calendar days. We have nevertheless included biographies of these as yet “clientless” (so to speak) Saints. Feel free to implore their powerful intercession in any good cause.
 
Part III is a group of lists based on ecology, ethnicity, illness, life-style, occupation, personal problems, recreational activity, and much more. Here you may discover the entire Pantheon (so to speak) of Saints who have a particular interest in your well-being.
 
For the most part, this book consists of unblushing hagiography—the Lives of the Saints. The editors have consulted no end of ancient tomes and pious pamphlets for the facts, as well as ransacking their respective parochial school memories for titillating embellishments. Not all the details of the lives of these Saints—beautiful blonde Italian first-century Virgin Martyrs, astonishingly self-abusive desert anchorites, levitating medieval monks, courageous Crusaders, meek miracle workers, hammers of heretics, visionary spinsters, and learned doctors—can be verified. Some of the details might not be strictly historical, or even … believable. But isn’t that where faith comes in? (And isn’t it likely that to the folks who first told and heard these tales, they were no more “realistic”—and no less—than our own formulaic, moralistic, happy-ending television dramas are to us today?)
 
But we haven’t made anything up. So help us, Saint Christina the Astonishing.
 
A
Abdon—July 30
PATRON OF BARREL MAKERS
He was a Persian cooper, or barrel maker, who, together with his friend Saint Sennen, testified in the year 250 or so his faith in Christ by spitting publicly on pagan idols. They were thrown to the lions and tigers and bears, but the savage creatures declined to harm them, whereupon gladiators hacked them to bits—but “the more their bodies were mangled with wounds, the more were their souls made beautiful by Divine grace.”
 
Acacius—June 22
PATRON INVOKED AGAINST HEADACHES
This utterly fictitious Roman officer was one of 10,000 utterly fictitious soldiers who, after their simultaneous and utterly fictitious conversion en masse to Christianity, were all crucified on the slopes of Mount Ararat in Armenia (which actually exists). Their example of military valor was a particular source of spiritual strength to the Crusaders, but their heavenly help in all medical and spiritual emergencies is still depended upon. Because Acacius was crowned with thorns, he is especially important to those suffering from headache. His crown, and many other relics, are venerated in Cologne, Germany, and Prague, Czechoslovakia.
 
Adalbert of Prague—April 23
PATRON OF PRUSSIA
Christened Voytech, he assumed the name of an earlier missionary Saint, his mentor Adalbert, and in the 990s entered Prague barefoot in an attempt to Christianize the Czechs. When a spot of trouble arose over a noble adulteress to whom he granted sanctuary—the locals stormed the church and slew her at the altar—he returned to Rome. He eventually managed to achieve martyrdom, being killed as a “Polish spy” in pagan Prussia in 997.
 
Adam—December 24
PATRON OF GARDENERS
The first man, Adam, lived, of course, in a garden—and when expelled from it was obliged to “earn his bread in the sweat of his face”—hence his Patronage. Because he (and his wife, Eve) repented their sin, both were presumed to be among the Old Testament Saints released from Hell by Christ in the time between His death and Resurrection. Adam’s feast day (in the Eastern Church) was celebrated on Christmas Eve. So (in the West) was the feast of any Saint named “Adam”—including the thirteenth-century British bishop who raised the tithes so high (one handful of butter for every ten cows) that his flock burned down his house, with him in it.
 
Addai and Mari—August 5
PATRONS OF SYRIA AND IRAN
King Abgar the Black of Persia and Jesus Christ were pen pals; in one of his letters, Abgar made mention to Our Lord of an excruciating disease from which he was suffering, and inquired (tactfully) about a possible cure. The compassionate Savior immediately assigned the case to the Apostle Saint Thomas (whom SEE), who passed it along to a disciple named Addai. Addai set out at once for Abgar’s capital city of Edessa, carrying with him the miraculous (but not, alas, autographed) portrait of Jesus, known today as “The Mandalyion.” Upon his arrival, Addai not only cured the king, but converted him and all his subjects to the Faith. Addai then dispatched his disciple Mari on a mission down the Tigris River to Nineveh, where he succeeded in destroying numerous pagan temples and erecting monasteries. Like the Nestorian Christians of old, present-day Catholic Chaldeans venerate both these Saints highly.
 
Adelaide—December 16
EMPRESS
The daughter of King Rudolph of Burgundy, Adelaide was forced by the shockingly degenerate Italian King Hugh to marry his loathsome son, Lothair, at the same ceremony in which he (Hugh) married her own widowed mother. This incestuous union happily ended with the death of Lothair (he died raving mad), leaving Adelaide free to marry the recently widowed Otto the Great of Germany. In 962 they were crowned Holy Roman Emperor and Empress by Pope John XII (arguably the worst of all the “Bad Popes”—he bragged of worshipping Satan at the altar and having sexual relations with his own mother). Upon Otto’s demise in 973, Adelaide quarreled bitterly with her stepchildren, with her own son, Otto II, with her Greek daughter-in-law, Theophano, and eventually with her grandson, Otto III. Nevertheless, many clergymen spoke highly of her, as she was exceedingly generous to the Church, and even founded a convent.
 
Adelard—January 2
PATRON OF GARDENERS
Like his cousin Charlemagne, Adelard (aka Adalhard) was a grandson of Charles “Hammer of God” Martel—that is, a member of proto-French royalty. A monk renowned for his learning (he wrote in Latin, French, and German), he was often summoned to court for his advice, and then exiled for the advice he gave. His final exile was to Corbie, in far-off Normandy, where he enthusiastically took up gardening.
 
Adelelm—January 30
PATRON OF MENSERVANTS
This twelfth-century French nobleman abandoned a distinguished military career for the priesthood. One night on the road to Lyons he was surprised by a sudden tempest. Father Adelelm instructed his manservant to light a candle—and despite the wind and the rain, it remained alight until they found shelter. British hagiographer Sabine Baring-Gould erroneously attributes the origin of the nautical term “Saint Elmo’s fire” to this miraculous illumination (SEE Elmo).
 
Adjutor—April 30
PATRON OF SWIMMERS AND YACHTSMEN; INVOKED BY THOSE IN DANGER OF DROWNING
In 1095, this noble Norman youth set off for the Holy Land with the First Crusade. Adjutor was captured by the Muslims and imprisoned, but one night Saint Mary Magdalene (whom SEE) appeared in his cell, struck off his chains, and transported him home. Back in France, he sprinkled a dangerous whirlpool in the Seine with holy water, rendering it incapable of drowning boaters.
 

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Saints Preserve Us!: Everything You Need to Know about Every Saint You'll Ever Need 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
drewandlori on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very humorous but well researched account of the saints' lives and the often bizarre legends that have grown around them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loaned this book to my dad and don't know where it got to. Had to have it again! It's fun and informative. It brings saints down to a human level that allows the average person to relate. The reader is reminded that in order to become a saint, a person must be human first and as humans are not always perfect. Love it, Love it, Love it! (Also great as a general reference book for patrons, etc.)