Wednesday, July 23

St. Gabriel Possenti and the Wonders of Patron Sainthood

As someone who, as a kid, used to go down to the rifle range with Dad and plug some targets (badly, I remember), it's kinda cool to recall that this saintly Passionist was quite a good shot with a pistol. Like the Old Oligarch reminds us today on his inimitable site. Someone else to add to Fr. Bryce's list of behind-kicking saints like axe-wielder St. Boniface, or St. John Bosco, who once used a primitive karate chop to fend off attackers. Or my fave girl Joanie on the Pony, St. Joan: she once chased some female, ahem, "camp followers" out of her army, whapping them with the flat of her sword, which broke in the process. Like Dave Barry says, I'm not making this up. My only fear now is whether St. Gabriel's story means that something sleazy ol' Voltaire said was right. You know, "God is not on the side of the big battalions but the one with the best shots." On the other hand, even a blind hog can find an acorn sometimes, as we say down here in the still-very-rural panhandle of Florida. Heh heh.

Old O's post also reminds me of my fondness for obscure patronal saints, as some are petitioning for St. Gabriel to be patron of handgunners, while he also mentions St. Fiacre as patron of certain diseases I can't talk about on a Family Website. St. Fiacre, also, is patron of taxi drivers, incidentally. There's all sorts of weird and wonderful patronages out there, from St. Martin de Porres, patron of Peruvian Television, to Our Lady of Grace, who looks out for motorcyclists, St. Arnold, patron of beer, and my dear friend St. Dymphna, the protectress of lunatics such as myself. Emily, Andy, and anyone out there in St. Blogs, can you think of some other fun patronages few people know about?

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