Saturday, 7 April 2012

Modern Day Patron Saints (Part I)

We sit in the 21st century; and yet the Catholic church remains firmly locked in the 17th century. The list of Patron Saints offered up by the Catholic church is so out-dated it would be hard to find anyone who cares about the current crowd of Patron Saints.

So, without further ado, and in trying to get on the good side of the Pope so I can get in the Vatican vault, here are a few candidates for modern Patron Saints.

St. Maurice - the Patron Saint of Armies - was the leader of the legendary Roman Theban Legion in the 3rd century. The 3rd century! Way too long ago to be cared about. Armies need a modern Patron Saint they can look up to, admire, and pray to. Clint Eastwood, a former instructor of the U.S. Army. From his roles in westerns, Dirty Harry, and more recently Gran Torino Clint is a man's man that just screams for the title: Patron Saint Of Armies.

St. Luke - the Patron Saint of Artists - was an Early Christian writer whom Church Fathers such as Jerome and Eusebius said was the author of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. He is considered one of the Four Evangelists. He is venerated as Saint Luke, patron saint of artists, physicians, surgeons, students, and butchers. He is spreading himself too thinly is what he is doing. He died in the year 84. Not 1984 but 84; so long ago. Moving with modern times we need a modern artist. Nelson De La Nuez. He is known for his trademark style called, "Art on the Edge," which is creating artwork on all four sides of the canvas. His style slowly evolved into pop culture merged with surreal worlds, old time advertising and nostalgia to create his original pop art. A modern day Patron Saint aspiring artists can look at for inspiration; Nelson should not just be the King of Pop Art he should be: Patron Saint Of Artists.

St. Joseph of Cupertino - the Patron Saint of Astronauts - was an Italian Franciscan friar who is honored as a mystic and a saint. He was said to have been remarkably unclever, but prone to miraculous levitation and intense ecstatic visions that left him gaping. He died in 1663. Astronauts all over the world look up to Neil Armstrong; an ideal candidate for the position. Who can forget those immortal words from 1969 when Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon - "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." For this reason alone Neil Armstrong thoroughly deserves the title: Patron Saint Of Astronauts.

St. Benedict the Black - the Patron Saint of Black People - was an Italian saint who is venerated in the Catholic Church and Lutheran Church. A patron saint of African-Americans, Benedict is remembered for his patience and understanding when confronted with racial prejudice and taunts. Well times have moved on. Calling him Benedict the Black is not very politically correct for a start; and he died over 500 years ago. Malcolm X on the other hand was an African American Muslim minister and human rights activist. To his admirers, he was a courageous advocate for the rights of African Americans, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans. He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history. Surely a much better, and more modern role model and deserving of the title: Patron Saint Of Black People.

St. Isidore of Seville - the Patron Saint of Computers - was the cardinal archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Milan from 1564 to 1584. He was a leading figure during the Counter-Reformation and was responsible for significant reforms in the Catholic Church, including the founding of seminaries for the education of priests. He is honoured as a saint in the Catholic Church. Not a thing about computers; which is hardly surprising since he died in 1584. On the other hand, love him or hate him, Bill Gates is the grandfather of home computing. Yes Windows has faults but it gave computing to so many homes. Bill Gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution. Gates has been criticized for his business tactics, which have been considered anti-competitive, an opinion which has in some cases been upheld by the courts. In the later stages of his career, Gates has pursued a number of philanthropic endeavors, donating large amounts of money to various charitable organizations and scientific research programs through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, established in 2000; and totally deserving of the title: Patron Saint Of Computers.

St. Giles - the Patron Saint of the Disabled - was one of the earliest followers of St. Francis, from whom he received the habit in 1208. But, and it is an important but, he was not disabled. Surely a Patron Saint would need to have experienced some disability to be the Patron Saint of the Disabled? So who should be the modern holder of this title? None other than Superman himself; Christopher Reeve. On May 27, 1995, Reeve's horse had a refusal. Reeve fell and sustained a cervical spinal injury that paralyzed him from the neck down. Reeve was elected Chairman of the American Paralysis Association and Vice Chairman of the National Organization on Disability. He co-founded the Reeve-Irvine Research Center, which is now one of the leading spinal cord research centers in the world. The man needs no introduction and thoroughly deserves to be known as: Patron Saint Of The Disabled.

St. Fabiola - the Patron Saint of Divorced People - was for a time a member of St. Jerome's circle but fell away, divorced her husband for his dissolute life, and remarried. On the death of her second husband, she returned to the Church, devoted herself to charitable works and aiding churches, and built the first Christian public hospital in the West. One divorce? That is it? My recommendation is Elizabeth Taylor; who has seven divorces to her name. What better person to represent the divorced people of the world than a woman who has done it seven times. It is without a doubt that Elizabeth Taylor should have the title: Patron Saint Of Divorced People.

St. Eugene de Mazenod - the Patron Saint of Dysfunctional Families - was a French Catholic clergyman, beatified on 19 October 1975 by Pope Paul VI, and canonized on 3 December 1995 by Pope John. No questions, and no explanation required, it is without a doubt that Jerry Springer should hold the title: Patron Saint Of Dysfunctional Families.

So far so good. A collection of modern, worthy, Patron Saints are building up. Part II will be done when I can think of nothing else to put here.

Anyone would like to make any suggestions for other modern day Patron Saints - put it in a comment; and if nothing else it will be a comment on here.

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