Five Food-Related Patron Saints

Five Food-Related Patron Saints

If you didn't already know this, Catholics have a patron saint for simply everything. It doesn't matter that the item in question didn't exist during the time the saint lived, there is a patron saint for every need.

Mislaid your keys? "St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please come around; something is missing and cannot be found."

Trying to park at the mall the day after Thanksgiving? "Mother Cabrini, Mother Cabrini, please find a spot for my little machine-y."

In desperate need of a little male companionship, "St. Anne, St. Anne, find me a man, find me a man as fast as you can!" (One wonders whether this one has the same success rate when used by gay men.)

Well, people who work with and eat food can certainly use a little divine intervention here and there. Here are five food-related patron saints you may need recourse to one day:

St. Martha

Five Food-Related Patron Saints

This is Martha as in "Martha and Mary, sisters of Lazarus". You know, the dead guy that Jesus reanimated, thus creating the world's first made-to-order zombie. Martha appears in various places in the capacity of a server, helping to give refreshment to Jesus and his entourage, and so is thought to lend her especial protection to waiters and waitresses. There does not, sadly, appear to be a patron saint of good tippers; the appearance of a good tipper appears to be strictly aleatory.

St. Lawrence

Five Food-Related Patron Saints

Owner of one of the more grisly tales to come out of the Catholic canon, St. Lawrence is the patron saint of cooks because of the manner in which he died: having been told by the Roman authorities to turn over the Church's great riches, he assembled the halt and the lame, the blind and the decrepit in a room and told the quaestor that this was the great riches of the Church. He was handed over to be put to death. The quaestor was so angry that he ordered Lawrence barbecued on a huge grate over charcoal. Lawrence, who had absolutely nothing left to lose, endured for a time and then called out, "I am well-done; turn me over."

St. Benedict

Five Food-Related Patron Saints
jimforest @ CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

While he is indirectly related to the herbal, stomach-calming liqueur known as Benedictine (named after the religious order he started), St. Benedict is important for a different reason. After having spent the better part of his life laying down rules for monasteries, he was beseeched to take over a monastery whose abbot had died. He agreed, and the monks hated him. They hated him so much they tried to poison his wine; he prayed over it and the cup shattered. They tried to poison his food, and a great raven came and stole it before he could eat it. It's no wonder Benedict is the saint who keeps people from food poisoning.

St. Monica

Five Food-Related Patron Saints
clairity @ CC BY 2.0

St. Monica married a non-Christian man named Patricius who was, by all accounts (namely, the only one still extant, the Confessions of St. Augustine, her son), a loser. Monica survived her drunk and disorderly husband by converting him and then outliving him; when she saw her son sliding into the same behavior, she very patiently waited him out too. For her patience, she has become the patron saint of alcoholics and those who drink.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Five Food-Related Patron Saints
andreanna @ CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Why include the patron saint of todo México in this list? Well, who do you think does all the work in the kitchen? Anyone who's ever been in a restaurant kitchen, anyone who's ever even read Anthony Bourdain, knows that los mexicanos are the best and most consistent cooks in SoCal. It might be some fancy chef's recipe but Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe watches over the ones executing it.


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