This week’s listmaker: Nora Spitznogle. Nora is the director of programs at Second Helpings by day, and slings whiskey and cheeseburgers at the Red Key Tavern on weekends. She likes you, seriously likes you.
Like any good Catholic schoolgirl, I revere the saints. I love the gruesome stories of famine, torture, and ultimate martyrdom. My absolute favorite part of the whole Saint dealie is the idea of patron saints – someone specific to pray to and pour out my troubles. Here is a list of the patron saints that I call my own.
1. Saint Valentine. St. Valentine was a priest, martyred in 269 in Rome. He is the patron saint of beekeepers, engaged couples, fainting, love, and plague. I mostly pray to him for good weather for my annual Saint Valentine’s Day party. I’m very specific in my request: a consistent temperature of 39 degrees; warm enough to melt the ice on the driveway but cold enough use my front porch as a refrigerator for the chocolate covered strawberries and beer.
2. Saint Expeditus. There are rumblings that Saint Expeditus didn’t really exist. My theory is that he was created by a 303 AD calligrapher writer pushing a deadline to fill a book of saints. Further proof that he is the patron saint against procrastination is that there is disagreement on the date of his birthday – April 18th or 19th. My guess is that someone missed celebrating his Feast Day on the 18th and covered by insisting that it was really the next day. I pray to Saint Expeditus for editors falling for the same trick. A deadline of Tuesday means that submitting at by 7:00 Wednesday morning is okay, right?
3. Saint Anthony. Most people know that Saint Anthony of Padua is the patron saint of lost things. I know him so well that we’re on a first name basis, “Tony, Tony look around. Something is lost and must be found.” He’s helped me find the other sock; my Dad, who wandered out the wrong entrance of 30 Rock in NYC; and the squirrel that was hiding in my basement. He has only let me down once on recovering car keys. Any one seen a batch of keys with a plastic Jesus and a Hatch Show Print key ring?
4. Saint Martha. Saint Martha was the sister of Saint Lazarus and Saint Mary, and friend of Jesus, whom she hosted in her house. She is the patron saint of waitresses and homemakers. I’ve set the bar pretty low in both cases. My Saturday night waitressing shift prayer to Saint Martha is that I won’t catch anyone on fire. So far so good. My daily prayer to Saint Martha is that no one comes to my front door without a six-day notice. I clearly need to double down on that prayer. Or I guess I could pick up the piles of books, mail, cat hair–and, ironically, the vacuum cleaner–strewing the living room floor. I’ve had more barefooted-on-the-freezing-front-porch visits with folks who have knocked on my door than I’d care to admit.