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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Blind Faith

I had a customer over at the shop fuss at me the other day.  Well, not at me.  At least, not about me. She was fussing about saint extrapolation. I was explaining to her why St. Blaise is the patron saint of knitters, which is admittedly a bit of a stretch.  He was tortured with wool combs. Wool combs=wool=knitting.

Kind of like six degrees of Kevin Bacon.  Yes, I've heard of that little game. In fact, I am only two degrees from Mr. Bacon myself as I know a woman who went to college with his wife. Indeed, our entire parish enjoys this distinction.  But I digress.

Specifically, she had difficulty understanding why the Church would think that saints who had suffered because of something would have an affinity for that thing.  Which brings us to today's question from a reader:

Hi Sister,

I have eye trouble (i.e. myopia, bad eyesight)...please do help me find a patron saint to pray to!

The official patron saint of eye problems is St. Lucy. As far as we know, she had no eye or vision problems. She did, however, lose her eyes, either because she pulled them out herself or someone did it for her. In one version of her story, losing her eyes is part of her tortured martyrdom.  In another version (the version I always thought was hard cold fact), she pulled out her own eyes because her would be boyfriend, who was the reason she was in prison in the first place, had once admired them.

Saints undergoing martyrdom often react defiantly.

I can understand how that story, either version, just doesn't really work for someone who has eye problems. But there is a bit more to St. Lucy.  Her feast day is a festival of light in some countries, light as in the way Jesus is the Light of the World. And you need light to see.

So, you see, you're not going to escape St. Lucy's eyeball influence, one way or the other.

If this just doesn't float your boat, you could try St. Vivenzio of Blera.  He went blind, but had his sight restored so he could fulfill and instruction he had gotten from God in a dream.


Muffy's Marks said...

Wouldn't pulling your eyes out be a sin? Isn't it a desecration to destroy His image and likeness God has created in us? I'm confused.

The Lady Dragon said...

St. Raphael the Archangel is also a patron of eye issues for obvious reasons. St. Harvey (Herve) a 6th century abbot whose feast was historically celebrated on 6/17 was also invoked against eye troubles.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know that about St. Blaise and knitting! I'm a big fan of knitting so will enlist him in my baby hat knitting projects (this is my tiny random obscure prolife work).

Ladytats said...

St. Sebastian is the patron saint for lace workers, I can only think that is because he was shot full of arrows, so looked like a pin cushion. Every time I mention him, ( I tat lace) my priest rolls his eyes. he he,

Eve said...

The crossed candles used for the blessing of throats on St. Blaise Day (Feb 3) also resemble knitting needles in use.

Anonymous said...

I am going to be entering university in the fall as a meteorology student. Could you please tell me who the patron saint of meteorology and weather is? Also, because some meteorologists work at news stations, do you know who the patron saint of news is?
Thank you,
A loyal reader of your blog

Lena said...

Dear sister Mary Martha,
Are comments the only way of contacting you? I can't find any "send a question" link. Also, would it be possible to add some sort of index or tags to your blog so that people can search the archives by topic and not only by date?

Anyway, I live in a small village in Sweden (please excuse any flaws in my English). As you know, Sweden has not been a Catholic country for a few centuries now, and we suffer from priest shortage. The vicar of our parish comes to celebrate mass a few times per month, which everyone here thinks is very good of him because he has to drive 13 kilometres just to get here and he also sometimes drives to celebrate mass in other places, in other directions, on the same day, and then of course he also has to drive back home eventually.

He showed me once how to prepare for mass so that when the priest arrives, everything is ready. Sadly, I don't have perfect photographic memory and I can't remember the details and the correct order of it all. So I thought that perhaps you could help me with some images and explanations? I think such information might also be useful to anyone who wants to help their hard-working priests a little.

Thank you.

Lena said...

Dear Sister Mary Martha,
I meant 130 kilometres of course. I think I wrote 13 but 13 kilometres is a walkable distance, so that wouldn't have made any sense. Sorry and thanks again!