How to Patron Saint Your Way Through the Day


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Start with St. Drogo, the patron saint of coffee. Even though he was a hermit and may have subsisted on a mixture of barley and water (which at least you have the decency to hold off on until noon), as you sip your first cup of java, think how darn busy your schedule is.

Halfway into your second cup, you’ll likely feel a few jitters, but you’ll need to appear at your desk when your boss needed to reschedule a meeting that had already been cancelled twice because you were hungover, and simultaneously materialize at your girlfriend’s apartment for that important talk about commitment. Better yet, see if she’ll meet you at a coffeehouse. She still doesn’t understand why you called out someone else’s name during sex (it was Fiacre, the patron saint of people with sexually transmitted diseases, but try explaining that to her).

Also, be sure she doesn’t put your off your game by reminding you St. Drogo is also a patron for unattractive people.

After the liquid beginning of your day, carry on with St. Honore and have a nice French pastry. It’s overpriced, yes, but it will get you through the rest of your morning’s spiritual commute.

You’ll be spending most of your day with St. Cajetan, that patron of work. Midway through the day you’ll probably recollect that he’s also the patron saint of gamblers and wonder if you should quit your job and begin marketing your dream, sleds for hamsters.

Ken from accounting will send you an email with reminders that the company is switching health care providers and that performance reviews are coming up. The timing might be a coincidence, though you suspect he knows your quota has fallen slightly in the last quarter and that, since you’re getting older and have been occasionally ill, prayers to St. Cosmas or St. Agatha or even the archangel Raphael aren’t going to cut it if something big happens. You grow angry and your mind wanders; you want a drink, and aren’t sure whether coffee or a beer would be better. You don’t have proof, but you’re pretty sure Ken went as St. Matthew for last year’s Star Wars themed Halloween and just told everyone he was George Lucas. Other concerns push Ken from your thoughts. By this time you’ve decided you don’t have cancer or micropsia yet. You feel okay, and while the day seems shorter now, the stack of reports on your desk doesn’t look any smaller.

When it’s time to head home you’ll be calling out to St. Anthony of Egypt because you’ll either want to butcher someone or you need to prepare a decorous meal to convince your girlfriend the relationship is worth saving. Remember, the body is a temple, and troubled as your life may seem, this isn’t a scene from Rosemary’s Baby. Besides, keep in mind that there’s no St. Rosemary, but at least one St. Rose whose patronage is against vanity. You’re girlfriend is right, you do think everything’s about you.

It’s late. Your stomach hurts. Dinner with your girlfriend was a failure from the start, failing to launch at all (thanks Joseph of Cupertino), though your effort, and forgetting her recent conversion to a vegan lifestyle, certainly got a rise of out her. You make up for it, covering emotional pain with an extra-large order of fries. Your abdomen aches and your bowels are anyone’s guess, not quite a sacred mystery, so you put in a word to St. Erasmus as you open the fridge, intent on ending the day in a similar liquid delirium as it began. Drink up. For tomorrow’s hangover there’s always St. Bibiana. See you then.


Matt Kolbet is a teacher and writer who lives a short drive from Portland, Oregon, in the wine country of the Willamette Valley. His second novel, Lunar Year, about teachers wagering on student exam results, was recently published by Champlain Avenue Books.


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