Saint’s Day

We here at the Local don’t have any official religious affiliation. With a lot of spooky imagery of skulls and devils and blood-wrenching sights of destruction and gore, it’s that slippery misconception that just because we’re ghoulish, we’re not spiritual. We might not be. Who knows? It’s not a requirement on the Union application.

But since everyone’s wishing a happy ‘Saint’s Day’ today, I figured I’d look up to see if we’ve got one. Lo and behold, we do.

Saint Anthony – Patron Saint of Grave Diggers,
Feast Day: January 17

Interesting. Granted, I would have preferred a day off in the Spring or Summer. But a man takes what he can get.

Saint Anthony was born in Egypt in the year 251. His parents were wealthy Christians. They died when he was a young man, leaving him in charge of his younger sister and a large estate.

Nice cat. Doing some charity. I can get behind that.

About six months later, he heard the Gospel ‘Go sell what thou hast and give it to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven.’ He decided that this Gospel was talking to him, so he gave away most of his land and money to the poor. He only kept enough to take care of himself and her sister. Later, when he heard the Gospel ‘Be not solicitous for tomorrow’ he gave away the rest of his estate, placed his sister in a convent, and became a hermit.

GET THEE TO A NUNNERY! Seriously? A guy hears a B-side of a record and flips his shit? Maybe that’s why he’s the gravedigger’s saint, since he took ‘You Can’t Take It With You’ to heart.

He lived in the wilderness for many years. The devil tempted and tormented him while he was living in the desert. But Saint Anthony persisted in his prayers and fasting, and finally Satan gave up and stopped attacking him.

From another account, Ol’Scratch got so pissed off at the boy that he beat the tar out of Anthony’s hide. He got saved from some villagers and he tried the hermit schtick again. Hung out in some cells, tried to be a martyr, converted some heathens. The whole rock-star Saint thing back then. Today, we have Criss Angel doing some wacky shit and headling Vegas. Saint of MINDFREAKING doesn’t really have a ring to it, though.

When Saint Anthony was very old, and he knew he was going to die, he visited his disciples one last time and asked them to bury him in a quiet and private place. He went back to his cave, where he died on January 17, 356. He was one hundred and five years old.

He went back to his cave. Dude was committed. What can I say?

So, there you go. If you rock that way, the saint of Gravediggers is Anthony the Abbot (and Costello.)

Looking about, some fool asks the following:

Now this sounds a really depressing job to me, and why do gravediggers need a Saint of their own to pray to, what do they ask him for, more graves to dig? Not good news for the rest of us if he decides to answer their prayers!

A gravedigger never has to worry about work, my friend. But there are days when he or she prays that the grave they did isn’t their own. It’s not a depressing job, either. Work with your hands. Get a lot of fresh air. Peace and quiet. Not to mention all the nice people you get to meet. Plus, job security. Once you’re in, you’re set for life. And even afterward.

As for Saint Anthony, turns out, he’s also the Patron Saint of Bacon. Huh. Don’t know what to thing about that.


against pestilence; amputees; animals; basket makers; basket weavers; brushmakers; Burgio, Sicily; butchers; Canas, Brazil; cemetery workers; domestic animals; eczema; epilepsy; epileptics; ergotism (Saint Anthony’s fire); erysipelas; gravediggers; graveyards; hermits; hogs; Hospitallers; Lost items ; monks; Mook, Nederlands; pigs; relief from pestilence; shingles; skin diseases; skin rashes; swine; swineherds

Finally, the common link between basket weaving, scabies and gravedigging! Thank you, St. Anthony.

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