Sunday, February 28, 2010

Accumulata - the Patron Saint

Richard doesn't know if he made up the word accumulata or if he heard it somewhere. He has an extensive vocabulary of customized words and I was sure this was one of them. On line, I found a website,, whose creator claims to have invented the word. Not only did he invent the word but he has lay-canonized a patron saint of junk, "Our Lady of Accumulata". In her photo, she is appropriately placed amongst a pile of stuff and wears bits of this and that. The web site creator is predictably a seller, buyer and collector of many things.  I laughed when I read that he designed his web site in a minimalist style and it is indeed uncluttered, sleek and simple. Such an unaccumulatic look.

There are many patron saints of the ridiculous and trivial. For instance, St Lawrence is the Patron Saint of Cooks. The legend is that while he was being martyred by roasting him on a gridiron suspended over a fire, he was so strong-willed that instead of giving in to the Romans and releasing information about the Church; at the point of death he exclaimed"'I am done on this side! Turn me over and eat." And if you believe that one you can consider  St. Denis -- Patron Saint of Headaches. In a.d. 258, Denis, the first bishop of Paris, was imprisoned, tortured, and beheaded. Would that qualify him to advocate on behalf of headaches? Here's the trump card. His headless body is said to have carried his severed head away from his own execution. I'd call him head strong.

And Edward the Confessor -- Patron Saint of Kings, Difficult Marriages and Separated Spouses. Edward became the King of England in 1042. He was a very peaceful leader,  concerned with the fair treatment of all people and wanted to do away with unjust taxation. He built churches, the most famous being Westminster Abbey. Early in life, he took a vow of chastity but he took a wife, Editha, to please the people of his kingdom. He remained celibate throughout his life and died in 1066. Based on a track record of zero relationships, I don't think you'd want to waste much time sending up prayers to Edward for anything except perhaps great architecture or lower taxes. 

Santa Barbara is the patron saint of fireworks which also includes artillery men, military engineers and others who deal with explosives. Her story is dreadful but in a nutshell she was true to her faith during terrible torture. Every morning her wounds were healed. Torches that were to be used to burn her went out as soon as they came near her. Finally she was condemned to death by beheading. Her father himself carried out the death-sentence, but in punishment for this he was struck by lightning on the way home and his body consumed. 

I was curious about whether there was a patron saint for ear problems and found Saint Polycarp of Smyrna the patron saint for dysentery and ear ache. There is no explanation about why he has this patronage, but he has a very cool name and that's good enough for me. 

1 comment:

  1. unacumulative- that's a word I could really get behind ! My namesake saint was the most boring of that bunch. Great stories told in your usual great way!