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

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

St. Lawrence

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

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

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

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.

One Reply to “Five Food-Related Patron Saints”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *