We love the whole idea of Saints, don’t we?
Of course, we define the word “saint” in dozens of different ways.
In classic Christianity, saints are people who have made it into Heaven. Protestants tend to associate this with the Catholic church, but most Protestants regularly affirm that they believe in “the communion of saints.”
Some saints have been canonized — which means that church leaders have decided they demonstrated enough “heroic virtue” that these saints are officially recommended as spiritual models for people around the world.
Saints are hugely popular these days. In fact, some of the hottest spiritual Web sites provide daily meditations on the saints. Here’s a link to one of the best: Saint of the Day.
But that’s just scratching the surface, right?
Saints are also a football team. Or, if you’re reading this in the UK, they’re a rugby team from Northampton. In Korea, it’s the name of a top center for scientific research on microscopic technology.
A number of rock bands around the world have used the name, not to mention hundreds, if not thousands, of composers through the centuries.
Saint also is the infamous nickname of Simon Templar, a crook
turned Robin Hood who was the main character in best-selling novels, TV shows and
Saints are all over the map — quite literally, including in many U.S. states.
TODAY, we’re going to invite you to have some fun with an aspect of saints that has become a part of popular culture: the idea that many saints are “patrons” of particular groups and situations down here on Earth.
Who hasn’t heard of a friend burying a St. Joseph statue, in these tough financial times, to help them smoothly sell their home? Who doesn’t know that St. Jude is the patron of seemingly “lost causes”? And, who doesn’t know a traveler who wears a St. Christopher medal?
This is a rich, and sometimes macabre, source for writers, filmmakers and artists.
For instance, do you know why St. Lawrence is the patron of cooks? Because, when the Romans tortured and killed him in the 3rd Century, they did so by grilling him to death. Bravely keeping the faith until the end, St. Lawrence’s final words were: “I’m done on this side! Turn me over!”
(That’s St. Lawrence supposedly roasting in the painting at left from an antique prayer card featured in today’s recommended book: “This Saint’s For You!” by Thomas Craughwell.)
THIS QUIZ is a Mix ‘n’ Match puzzle, based on the stories of patron saints included in “This Saint’s For You.” There are hundreds of books about saints available these days, but this is one of the most delightful collections I’ve seen in recent years. Not only is it packed with saints, whose lives are nicely summarized by Craughwell, but the book also provides about 200 full-color images of these fascinating old prayer cards.
INTRIGUED? Well, click on the book cover or the illustrations and you can read a fuller review — and consider
buying a copy through our Amazon-related store.
Try to match these 10 saints with the groups that regard them as patrons.
Then, when you think you’ve got them lined up correctly, click on the link at the
end — and the correct answers will pop up. If you’re a daily subscriber by
Email (you can sign up for free on the right-hand side of our site),
we’re sorry that you don’t get this Click-to-See-the-Answers feature in
your Email versions — so, please don’t read too far ahead today, if
you’re an email reader.
THE 10 SAINTS:
1.) St. Hippolytus of Rome once worked for the emperor during the persecution of Christians, but later he was martyred himself in the third century — pulled apart by animals.
2.) St. Callixtus was a thief and scoundrel. Finally sentenced to hard labor, his hard heart was softened and he later became a pope himself.
3.) St. Gertrude of Nivelles governed a convent and miraculously ended a horrible infestation of mice in the local grain supply.
4.) St. Melangell, an Irish princess, bravely fled across the waters to Wales to avoid an arranged marriage. She hid in the woods and remained a devout virgin.
5.) St. Nicholas, famously recast as Santa Claus, was known for many miraculous deeds — including helping those caught in storms.
6.) St. Camillus de Lellis was a former soldier, gambler and all-around scoundrel. He literally cleaned up his act as he devoted himself to helping the urban poor and sick in innovative ways.
7.) St. Rene Goupil, a French surgeon, crossed the Atlantic to Canada where he treated both settlers and Indians — until he was abducted and was repeatedly tortured by a hostile tribe.
8.) St. Brigid, an Irish abbess, ran a convent blessed with abundance, including a supply of ale that was never exhausted. She also had a talent for healing difficult cases brought to her.
9.) St. Andrew was among Jesus’ earliest followers.
10.) St. Hubert, who died in the 8th Century, had his miraculous, mystical experience in the woods one day.
THEY ARE PATRONS OF:
A.) Cemetery workers
D.) Jailers and Prison Guards
E.) Dairy workers
When you think you’ve got all the answers, CLICK on the link below in the online version of this
quiz, and the ANSWERS will pop up!
Ready? CLICK for the ANSWERS below …
HERE ARE THE ANSWERS:
1.) St. Hippolytus. D. During his work for the emperor, he was in charge of looking after Christian prisoners who were about to die. During that phase of his life, he met the soon-to-be-grilled St. Lawrence, who helped to convert him to Christianity. (His holy card was featured with the questions, above.)
2.) St. Callixtus. A. Because he was a clever man and was experienced with hard labor, when he converted and started working for the church, he was assigned to run the vast burial chambers known as the Roman Catacombs.
3.) St. Gertrude of Nivelles. J. Her holy card (at right) is a reminder of her miracle with one last little rodent bravely scurrying up her staff.
4.) St. Melangell. B. In the 6th Century, she prompted the creation of one of the world’s first wildlife sanctuaries, because she was famous for protecting even the rabbits in her forest from hunters and their dogs. For years after her death, hunters were barred from her woods.
5.) St. Nicholas. I. Long before all of those stories about reindeer and the North Pole, St. Nicholas was known for miraculously saving sailors in the midst of terrible storms at sea.
6.) St. Camillus de Lellis. G. He became a nurse himself and was a pretty amazing health-care worker in his day. He stood 6-foot-6! Plus, his strict orders about sanitation in his clinics helped many of his patients as much as anything else he could have done in the 16th Century.
7.) St. Rene Goupil. C. You don’t even want to know what was done to this poor physician. Suffice it to say his death wasn’t nearly as quick as that of St. Lawrence. He endured pain for so long that his memory became associated with research into alleviating pain.
8.) St. Brigid. E. She was full of miraculous energy, according to traditional stories. Once, in the heat of a local paternity dispute, St. Brigid was called to help. She blessed a newborn baby — and the child suddenly spoke up to identify its own father. In Ireland, you’ll still find straw crosses, reminders of St. Brigid, hanging outside barns.
9.) F. There are many legendary stories of St. Andrew, handed down through the millennia, but the basic associations between Andrew and fish are right there in the gospel stories, which you can read for yourself.
10.) St. Hubert. H. Until this miraculous moment, Hubert was an avid hunter who likely would have disappeared into the mists of history with billions of other souls. Instead, the giant stag he was pursuing turned around, revealed a cross between its antlers and told him to change his life. Yes, a talking animal sent Hubert back out of the woods (without ever touching this prize stag). He dove into the heart of the church for the rest of his life. Nevertheless, hunters still revere his prowess in the woods.
Perhaps it has something to do with our timeless affection for tales of “the great one that got away”?
How’d you do?
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