Tuesday, June 8, 2010

By All the Saints

: I hope this doesn't totally alienate any of you believers out there. I wanted this to be a place where I can be totally honest about me, but I don't set out to be purposefully offensive.

I am not what most people would call a religious person, or even a particularly spiritual one at that. I was raised Protestant in the Bible Belt, but the Church failed me early on so I left. I decided that while I don't have a problem with God (or spirituality per se), I have very little patience for the people who take their religion as their identity. People are people, whether or not they go to church, and in any group of people there's gonna be nice folks and there's gonna be asshats.

That said, there is something about the rituals of High Church that fascinates me. I'm all for rituals - they elevate the mundane, they impart a sense of peace in their performance. I have sat in on a few Catholic masses and those folks have ritual down! It's like theatre to me, engaging all of the senses. Even without subscribing to the meaning behind it, there is a certain kind of release in letting the flow of sounds and scent just wash over you while you watch the officiant in their finery, repeating moves that are so familiar to them as to be instinctual.

Along with those rituals go a host of accessories (for lack of a better word), and herein lies the point of this post. Saints. I love reading the stories of the saints, their histories, their symbology, their special causes. I figured there had to be an official Patron Saint of Infertility, and I found a bunch! I thought (obviously erroneously) that there wouldn't be more than one saint for any given cause, but there's a whole army of them! So for those who feel like they need a few extra folks on their team, here are a few suggestions:

  • Saint Agatha of Sicily - patron saint of the sterile and breast cancer, rape and torture victims and nurses (Agatha's story is gruesome, but interesting)
  • St Anne - patron saint against sterility (among many other things), particularly in Taos and Canada (apparently)
  • St Casilda of Toledo - patron saint against sterility
  • St Felicity of Rome - patron saint against sterility and death of children
  • St Gerard - patron saint of motherhood
  • St Margaret of Antioch - patron saint of all kinds of reproductive issues
  • St Philomena - (not much info on her)
  • St Rita of Cascia - patron saint of hopeless causes (gee thanks)

I don't really know how the Catholics do it, but I think you just choose the saint that speaks to you. So after reading the stories of those above, I'm going with Agatha.

Also, if you are saint person or just into religious art, check out the artist who created the image above. His name is Arturo Olivas, and I totally dig his style.

Who is your Patron Saint?


  1. I think I am going to have to go with St Rita of Cascia, haha

    I am not religious at all, but it couldn't hurt to have the patron saint of hopeless causes on your side, right?

  2. My family Patron Saint of choice was always Saint Jude (patron saint of hopeless cases... which sounds unintentionally funny). Even though I'm a recovering catholic and I feel like God and I have broken up a few years ago, I still have affection for Saint Jude.

  3. I have always been fascinated with Saints as well, their stories are so interesting and inspirational.

    I like the story of St. Maria Goretti, she was the patron saint of my church growing up.

  4. So neat, I know almost nothing about the Catholic church but it's always fascinated me.

    I think I'd have to go with St Margaret of Antioch. :)