Vodka Saints

In this most enjoyable Litany of the Saints we do not pray but rather drink for their blessings: a shot of vodka per saint, down in one. As the litany progresses the hagiography gets stranger and stranger...

Saint Christina the Astonishing

It was the day of her funeral and her body lay in the coffin in church for mourners to pay their respects. Suddenly, unexpectedly, she flew up from the coffin to the rafters of the church where she sat and berated the congregation for their sins. This is taken to be a sign of great holiness and she is taken on as an advisor to the local bishops. Many suicide attempts follow: throwing herself under carriages, off cliffs, into vats of boiling oil, but all without success. (History does not recount why she is not still with us today.)

John Without Hands

In the fourth century AD John went to preach to the Muslims. He won fame, respect and fortune for his great wisdom and humility (the fortune he gave away to charity). John was made a trusted advisor to the Shah. The Evil Wazir felt excluded and jealous and set about plotting John's come-uppance. Presently he engineered a surge of fundamentalism in which all non-Muslims had either to repeat the declaration of faith ("There is no God but Allah and Muhammed is his prophet") or leave the country. John did neither and so was publically tortured. First his fingers were chopped off. "Speak now the declaration" demanded the inquisator, but John remained silent. Then his hands, then his feet, then his arms, then his legs. At each stage the inquisitor repeated his demand but John only smiled beatifically. Finally John's entire body was chopped off at which John laughed with joy and exclaimed how much he was enjoying himself. At the sight of this two hundred of the spectators fell to their knees in amazement and converted there and then to Christianity. (The illustration shows John's head).

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Has it ever struck you that Saint Thomas Aquinas looks very similar to Darth Vader, Lord of the Sith?

Vader: "I am your father, Luke. Search your feelings... you know it to be true.

Aquinas: "God is your father, Luke. Search your reason... you know it to be true.

Saint Mary McKillough

Unusually for a saint, Mary McKillough has not yet actually been canonised. But this will happen shortly, so we drink to her in anticipation. She will be the first Australian saint. Her trials were many, most particularly against the Australian church hierarchy. Mary McKillough has also been deemed the patron saint of Pavlovas.

Saint Gorbachev

Throughout the years of his rule, Saint Gorbachev was faithfully toasted every Christmas and Easter. You could never imagine toasting Boris Yeltsin, though, could you?

Saint Isidore of Seville

(Not to be confused with Isidores of Pelusium, Thessalonica or Labour.) Isidore lived 560-636AD, when the ancient institutions and classical learning were fast disappearing.* His greatest work, "Etymologiae", an encyclopaedia, was "a completely derived work, unenlightened by firsthand observation, and sometimes faulty in its scholarship."* He has recently been proposed as patron saint of the internet; one might guess why. Feast day April 4th.


Awaiting research...

Albert the Great, made patron saint of scientists by Pope Pius XII

St Laurence (grilled on both sides) patron saint of rotissiers

Cassian of Imola (a schoolmaster martyred with his pupils' pens) patron saint of parish clerks

The Madonna (assumed bodily into heaven) as heavenly advocate of French aircraft pilots and crew

(See also "The Oxford Companion to the Year")