Five of the Wackiest Saints in History
Much like Boxing Day (and who needs a holiday devoted to Mike Tyson anyway?), All Saints Day is often neglected in favor of the much more fun holiday that precedes it. We guess Christmas and Halloween just have too much glutted goodness going on.
But tomorrow’s celebration of those who’ve seen the Glory of God should not be taken lightly, unless you’re compiling a list of five wacky saints. In which case…
5. St. Arnold of Metz
Come on, Houston. You just knew this guy had to top the list. Namesake for the local brewing company, St. Arnold is the patron of hop-pickers for one very simple reason: He said beer was better than water. (The totally hilarious and not at all misogynistic discovery that a beer was better than a woman would take another few centuries.)
Bishop Arnold advised his seventh-century parishioners against drinking water, saying it was nasty and foul, and we bet it probably was. But beer, on the other hand…
Shortly after Arnold’s death, legend has it the procession carrying his body stopped at a pub and discovered the publican had only one mug's worth of beer. But that mythical mug never ran dry and Arnold got the drunken funeral he deserved. And the rest, as they slur, is history.
4. St. Ignatius of Loyola
When someone becomes a saint, we say he’s canonized (one n). Ignatius, on the other hand, got cannonized (double n) during a 1521 battle between the Spanish and the French. A flying cannonball wounded one leg and broke the other, which had to be broken again and reset in order to heal.
This operation (if you can call it that, considering there was no anesthesia back then) left the man who would become the patron saint of the Jesuits with one leg shorter than the other, so he ordered the doctors to attempt to stretch that leg with a series of weights. Ouch. Somewhere in there he found God, we’re guessing when the docs had to use a saw to cut off a particularly pesky bit of bone.
3. St. George of Lydda
Sure, we all know George slew a dragon (or a dinosaur, depending on your scientific outlook) back in the day, but what makes him special is just the sheer amount of random shit he’s got patronage over.
England. Belgium. Brazil. Masonry. Scouting. Equestrians. Syphillis. Archers. Butchers. Lepers. Saddlers. Shepherds. Germany. Greece. Ethiopia. Knights. Plague. Sheep. Canada. Horses. Herpes. The list goes on and on.
Come on, George. Spread the wealth around a little. No one’s going to call you a socialist. We promise.
2. St. Brigid of Kildare
Two words: abortion. Okay, that’s actually just one word, but it’s a pretty serious thing to associate with a Catholic saint, and that’s just what certain people do when they hear the name Brigid. (Or maybe they think of Sylvester Stallone’s ex-wife, but that’s a totally different name altogether.)
You won’t see mention of abortion in the official version of Brigid’s life, but that doesn’t mean certain people on the Internet don’t consider her a proto-feminist. And we all know everything on the Net is totally true.
1. Ricky Williams
We were actually undergrads at the University of Texas back in this Heisman winner’s heyday. We saw him once on campus, talking to this smoking-hot sorority chick. And, um, we guess there’s really not much point to that story.
Williams went on to be drafted fifth overall by the New Orleans Saints after Coach Mike Ditka traded away all the team’s other picks, not to mention two more picks for the next year, a 1983 Ryne Sandberg Topps rookie card and one night with Mrs. Ditka, just for the chance to have the dreadlocked hoss on his squad.
Williams became a truly wacky Saint, smoking a lot of weed and doing a lot of yoga and pretty much anything else you can think of that sounds really fun but actually has little to do with scoring touchdowns.
We bet he was fun to hang out with in college.
-- Keith Plocek