Afternoon Inquisition

AI: Patron Saint of ….what?

Now that we’ve all sobered up from St. Paddies Day, I’d like to point out another important Saint: Saint Urho.

St. Urho (pronounced “oorho”) is a completely made-up saint. Essentially, Finnish Minnesotans were sick of green beer and Irish hoopla in March, and decided they needed their own holiday on March 16th:

“The legend says St. Urho chased the grasshoppers out of ancient Finland, thus saving the grape crop and the jobs of Finnish vineyard workers. He did this by uttering the phrase: “Heinäsirkka, heinäsirkka, mene täältä hiiteen” (roughly translated: “Grasshopper, grasshopper, go to Hell!”). His feast is celebrated by wearing the colors Royal Purple and Nile Green. St. Urho is nearly always represented with grapes and grasshoppers as part of the picture…..

I think you can now see my interest in this holiday: you get to drink lots of wine and cuss at insects. It’s a holiday made of win.

So…If you were going to invent a patron saint for yourself or a favorite activity, who and what would it be? And what would your celebration be like?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.


Bug_girl has a PhD in Entomology, and is a pointy-headed former academic living in Ohio. She is obsessed with insects, but otherwise perfectly normal. Really! If you want a daily stream of cool info about bugs, follow her Facebook page or find her on Twitter.

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  1. St. Ivory, the Patron Saint of Patron Saints. He was the first patron saint, therefore ensuring there’d be at least one other patron saint in the future to have tenure over. Being smug is fun and Patrón is yummy, okay?

  2. Whoever it was that invented the TV remote control. Especially the guy/gal/thing that added the 30 second skip button on the DirecTV remote. Although he/she/it may be a GOD for doing that one. All hail St. Remote!

  3. St Foofoo, patron saint of bunnies (I may have a slight obsession with bunnies)

    St. Trogdor, patron saint of dragons and burnination

  4. St. Robert, a very useful saint invoked by repeating “Hail St. Robert, full of grace, help me find a parking space” while driving. It turns out he’s also the saint of confirmation bias.

  5. @davew: COTW, all kinds of win.

    Mine will be Saint Mark of Twain the patron saint of snark and ridicule which is to be celebrated at will on any given day.

  6. Some thoughts:

    – St. Snooki, patron saint of the Jersey shore
    – St. Ohai, patron saint of LOLcats
    – St. Manos, patron saint of bad movies and/or hands of fate
    – St. Gervaise Brook-Hamster, patron saint of Upper Class Twits

  7. Saint E. Claire Day. One would have to wear a hat and eat only sweets starting at noon. No restrictions on what kinds of hats or sweets. Could be a baseball cap and a bag of m n’ m’s or a fancy hat and scones. Totally up to you. Parties would feature everyone bringing their favorite sweets. It would be in January since there are no good holidays then and it’s still cold enough to enjoy the official St. E. Claire day drink, cocoa.

    (re: Dave – I was a religious studies major. Got it instantly – also voting for COTW.)

  8. St. Mario, the patron saint of video games. Call upon him when you’ve come to a boss fight you just can’t beat.

    St. Carl, the patron saint of science

    St. Dopi, the patron saint of podcasting.

    St. Sid, the patron saint of the Civiliation games.

    St. Al, the patron saint of parody.

    St. Bug Girl, the patron saint of entymologists

    St. Gaye, the patron saint of gays and lesbians

    I have a friend who would totally nominate St. Steven Jobs, patron saint of laptops.

  9. @davew: COTW!

    I am reminded of the following, from Christopher Moore’s “Lamb”:

    “The sin of Onan. Spilling the old seed on the ground. Cuffing the camel. Dusting the donkey. Flogging the Pharisee. Onanism, a sin that requires hundreds of hours of practice to get right, or at least that’s what I told myself.”

    And now I must away and Flog the Pharisee, once again, for no one will flog him for me. ;-)

  10. COTW for @davew but St. Onin had it way harder before…

    St. Humnahumna patron saint of internet porn and St. Whaaa patron saint of weird Japanese stuff.

  11. I, or one of my friends, I can’t recall, have already invented St. Hadang, the patron saint of Terrain Croquet. There’s not much celebration. I don’t even think he has his own day, but as one of the world’s top players I’m a “knight of the order of St. Hadang, with bronze feet”.

  12. I think it’s about time there was a patron saint of air hostesses……oh yeah, there is, it’s St Bona of Pisa. Or maybe a…….patron saint of fear of mice?? Oh wait, there is, it’s St Gertrude of Nivelles. Or maybe a……..patron saint of the internet?? Oh wait, there is, it’s St Isidore of Seville. Ok last one…..a patron saint of STD’s? Oh wait, there is one, it’s St Fiacre.

    Satire is dead, there’s probably a patron saint of people who invent patron saints.

  13. I’ve skipped the saint and just invented a holiday (which may or may not be connected to one or more saints): Arbitrarimas.

    Arbitrarimas falls whenever you feel like it and is traditionally celebrated with good food and/or drink of some sort and you may or may not give presents as the mood takes you. It’s my favorite holiday!

  14. Saint Awesome Day.

    Saint Awesome is the patron saint of boobies.

    Saint Awesome started out as a lowely pug herd. Every day Awesome would wake before the sun rose and would wrap her supple, finely muscled young body in a thin layer of muslin. Then she would let her herd of pugs out of the pen and she would drive them up to the gummie bear fields so they could graze from sunup to starshine. Now Saint Awesome was a hot young thing and she would get board watching the pugs and would look around for a little piece to help the time pass.

    Now back BB (before boobies) you couldn’t tell the difference between a man and a woman with their shirts off at a distance. So Awesome would see other pug herd grazing in the distance and think. He will do. And she would make the long walk through the gummie bears only to find out it was another girl.

    Now Awesome was no one’s fool and she would take what she would get. So there would be some moderatly hot lez action under the warm sun amongst the gummie bears. But Awesome also liked the man shaft. And she was getting tired of wanting the shaft to only get some hot sweet tounge. So Awesome prayed to gawd.

    Dearest gawd, provider of pugs, licorice and gummie bears, lord of the shaft, creator of the flexible and muscular tounge. Gawd of the writhing loins and the tasty cleft. Gawd please keep me from the long walk for shaft and only getting tounge. Gawd in your kindness let me know the difference between a shaft and a tounge at a distance, so that I will know which way to walk depending on what I desire.

    And gawd spake to Awesome and said. Truley my hot creation how woulds’t thou desire that I should I make the difference obvious at a distance?

    And Awesome lay back and did feel the warm sun on her body and dids’t touch her cleft while she thought. And finally she said to gawd. Give us some lovely mounds on our chest that I might know the difference between man and woman from far away and that I might have something to play with whilest I go downtown should I so choose. And gawd made it so. And these were the two miracles that allowe Awesome to be named a Saint by Pope Spankieus the XXY.

    I celebrate every Saint Awesome day by looking at boobies. Saint Awesome day is determined by the old lunar calander and occurs during spring break.

    Many educated women celebrate by going to warm and sunny places and showing their boobies in appreciation.

    However there is a darkside.

    The evil demon moob gave some men boobs to confuse the issue.

  15. And let us not forget St Theobroma, patron saint of chocolate. On her sacred feast of Cacao, we celebrate by riding nude through the city, throwing truffles to the masses.

  16. That would be St. Mañana, the patron saint of procrastination. His saint’s day is February 29, because we can’t be bothered to organize a feast every year – and even then it’s often delayed to somewhere in March. Besides, we prefer to honor St. Mañana a little bit every day of the year. Maybe I’ll tell you more of his fascinating life story tomorrow.

  17. @Gabrielbrawley: Awesome! But all this time I was confused. I was sure that the boobies were developed for feedin the bebbehs, but I should have known they were put there by gawd (in her wisdom). St. Awesome be praised!!!

  18. I have nothing to add other than to say that you I love you all and that reading this “on the sly” at work was very difficult.

    Also, St Awesome be praised, I have a new sunburn in her honor.

  19. @prfesser: I think I could be that patron saint. Every time the SO talks about arylation or hydroboration I conjure up my best, “very interesting” look. I think I convince him about 25% of the time.

  20. Let’s take a moment to look at an actual Irish saint (old school one).
    St Dympna
    Her feast day is May 15 and she is the patron saint of those who suffer from mental illnesses and nervous system disorders, epileptics, mental health professionals, incest victims, and runaways.

    And Dympna is my middle name, I grew up in a town where the local mental institution is called St Dympna’s…

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