Malta’s list of patron saints is quite exhaustive, and there’s a prayer or a feast for everything. Yet somehow we don’t have patron saints for some of our more iconic characteristics, so here’s a few (real) patron saints we could adopt.
1. St. Clare of Assisi
Patron saint of TV writers
One of the first followers of Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Clare died in 1253. Some seven centuries later, Pope Pius XII designated her as the patron saint of television. Apparently, when she was too ill to attend Mass, she had been able to see and hear it on the wall of her room.
As with most saints, St. Clare holds patronage over a handful of other things (including laundry and needlework), but television and TV writers is the one we reckon Malta would mostly be concerned with, seeing as we definitely need a saint (or five) to help elevate us from some of the horrible Maltese shows out there.
2. St. Fiacre
Patron saint of people with STDs
Legend has it that, wanting to live alone in the woods, Fiacre was offered as much land as he could clear in one day. Using his mage spade, he toppled trees and uprooted bushes, and eventually built a hospice where he would cure blindness, leprosy, tumours, and venereal diseases.
Being the patron saint of people with STDs, St. Fiacre would be a welcome addition to our country, where the situation with sexually transmitted diseases has reached an alarming high. It’s time to accept the situation and do everything in our (or random saints’) power to help ourselves.
3. St. Theodore of Sykeon
Patron saint for and against rain
The story goes that in the early seventh century, a twelve-year-old boy from a small village that was struck by a bubonic plague epidemic was granted the gift of healing. Fast forward a millennium and a half, and St. Theodore of Sykeon (or Skyeote) is the patron saint of both for and against rain.
4. St. Teresa of Avila
Patron saint of headache sufferers
Teresa was born in 1515, only a couple of years after Christopher Columbus had discovered the New World. This whole mess of a situation that the world was in it saw the arrival of Teresa, who famously moved for inner peace amidst all this outer turmoil, cementing her as the patron saint of headache sufferers (and for some, also the patron saint of people who are ridiculed for their piety).
Back to Malta in 2017, we would greatly benefit from a patron saint of headache sufferers to help us cope with the constant gossiping, loud (and crazy) people on the bus, and the daily horrible traffic jams.
5. St. Bibiana
Patron saint of hangovers
The tradition surrounding Bibiana is more of a legend, since not much is known about this saint. What we do know is that, ever since her death sometime in 4th century Rome after long bouts of hardships and torture, St. Bibiana became the patron saint of epilepsy, insanity, torture victims, single laywomen, and torture victims.
With a name derived from the Latin word for drink, it was perhaps inevitable that St. Bibiana would also become the patron saint of hangovers, which should propel her as the patron saint of Paceville.
Alternatively, we could just adopt St. Arnold, the patron saint of beers, to watch over Farsons and make sure that the Cisk continues to flow.
6. St. Columbanus
Patron saint of motorcyclists
Columbanus of Bobbio, an early Irish saint, has officially been endorsed by The Vatican as the patron saint of motorcycles. Often depicted with a beard and sometimes even taming a bear, Columbanus has the perfect biker aesthetic going for him.
And with all the unfortunate motorbike accidents that still haven’t ceased to shock Malta, it seems like we might need all the help we can get.
BONUS: St. Barbara
Patron saint of things that go boom
Barbara’s rich father tortured and beheaded her when she converted to Christianity and did not follow his orders. God helped her get her revenge, as one day her father was struck by lightning and killed. Since then, she’s been called upon for everything that sounds like an explosion, from actual lightning to fireworks.
Valletta already honours her holiness, and some people pray to her when a lightning storm hits the island. But at the rate with which construction sites, fireworks, hunting, and every conceivable thing in the country vying for the loudest sound of the day, St. Barbara needs to become the new patron saint of, well, basically all of Malta.