Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Today's Fascinating Amputee Fact: There is a Patron Saint for those with missing limbs -- St Anthony of Padua.

Quite what the connection is between the 13th century Franciscan priest and people who have had their legs chopped off remains unclear. I suspect it may have been a bit of an afterthought because St Anthony would seem to be the busiest saint in Christendom. He is also the patron saint of (wait for it)....

Against shipwrecks, against starvation, American Indians, animals, asses, barrenness, boatmen, Brazil, domestic animals, elderly people, expectant mothers, faith in the Blessed Sacrament, fishermen, harvests, horses, Lisbon, lost articles, lower animals, mail, mariners, oppressed people, Padua, Italy, paupers, poor people, Portugal, pregnant women, sailors, seekers of lost articles, shipwrecks, swineherds, Tigua Indians, travel hostesses, travellers, watermen.

Does the man ever sleep?

So, I'm in esteemed company along with Tonto, Ronaldo, gypsies, pensioners, Desert Orchid, air hostesses, your pet dog Rover...oh yes, and the good people of Lisbon. I feel so much better knowing that. And while I'm at it, can anyone explain to me what a "lower animal" is? And how can mail have its own patron saint? Does a letter from the Reader's Digest, informing you that you've won $50,000 really need spiritual guidance?

As a Catholic schoolboy I was always told to pray to Saint Anthony when I lost something and he would intervene to help me find it. Taking this to its logical conclusion I assume this means that if I pray to him now he'll help me find my missing foot. Cheers, St A, but I already know where it is. It's in a sack of contaminated surgical waste in the bins behind the BUPA hospital in Cardiff.

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