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There's a Saint for That

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The editors at Online Christian Colleges decided to research the topic of weird saints.


For those with a very specific spiritual need, a simple prayer to God may not be enough. Sometimes it's helpful to appeal directly to a patron saint. Whether you're a craft-beer producer, a nervous bride or just have a toothache, chances are Christian tradition has recognized someone who may be willing to take up your cause.


- St. Matthew
- Matthew, one of Jesus' 12 apostles, was a tax collector by profession before becoming one of Christ's followers.
- From: Galilee
- Born: 1st century AD
- Died: Unknown


- St. Dymphna
- Dymphna's father, consumed by grief over the death of his wife, demanded a new wife (one who resembled his late spouse) be found in the village. When none could be found, he demanded Dymphna, his 14-year-old daughter, marry him. Dymphna fled but was soon found by her father, who murdered her by cutting her head off.
- From: Ireland
- Born: 7th century
- Died: 7th century


- St. Ambrose
- Legend holds that as an infant, a swarm of bees settled on Ambrose's face, leaving behind a drop of honey; it's said that led to his golden way with words.
- From: Germany
- Born: 330
- Died: 397


- St. Vitus
- During the late Middle Ages, people in many countries celebrated the feast of Vitus by dancing before his statue; the dancing became popular, and Vitus began being considered the patron saint of dancers and entertainers in general.
- From: Sicily
- Born: 290
- Died: 303

Dogs and knee problems

- St. Roch
- Orphaned at age 20, he sold all his possessions and traveled to Rome to care for plague victims. He contracted plague himself, then ran into the woods to die. He encountered a hunting dog that brought him food and licked his leg wounds, which began to heal.
- From: France
- Born: 1348
- Died: c. 1376

Air travelers and astronauts

- St. Joseph of Cupertino
- Born in a stable, Joseph became prone at a young age to visions of God - and pretty much anything else of a spiritual nature. It was said he would become entranced by any reference to God or holy things.
- From: Naples, Italy
- Born: 1603
- Died: 1663


- St. John Chrysostom
- Known as a preacher, theologian and liturgist, some of his homilies remain controversial for helping develop Christian anti-Semitism.
- From: Antioch
- Born: 347
- Died: 407

Dysentery and earaches

- St. Polycarp
- According to contemporary reports, Polycarp was sentenced to death by burning at the stake, but when the flames failed to reach him, he was instead stabbed to death.
- From: Turkey
- Born: 69
- Died: 155

Toothache and dentistry

- St. Apollonia
- Martyred for not renouncing her faith, Apollonia had all of her teeth knocked out after being hit in the face by anti-Christian protestors.
- From: Egypt
- Born: Unknown
- Died: 249


- St. Francis Borgia
- Once a wealthy and influential duke, Francis became a Jesuit priest after the death of his wife, spreading the Society of Jesus all over Spain and Portugal, which led to his becoming the patron saint against earthquakes after a 1756 quake in Lisbon killed about 50,000.
- From: Spain
- Born: 1510
- Died: 1572

Gardeners and cab drivers

- St. Fiacre
- Raised in a monastery where he developed a knowledge of herbal medicine, Fiacre's association with taxis came in the 17th century when the Hotel de St. Fiacre in Paris became the first to hire out coaches.
- From: Ireland
- Born: 7th century
- Died: 670


- St. Isidore of Seville
- Isidore was born into a family of saints (three siblings are revered as saints in Spain). His contribution to the world was focused on information and knowledge, as he wrote an encyclopedia along with other books on grammar, astronomy, geography, history and theology.
- From: Spain
- Born: 560
- Died: 636

Maids, domestic workers

- St. Zita of Lucca
- At age 12, Zita became a housekeeper for a wealthy family in Italy, about eight miles from her childhood home. She stayed with her employer's family for the next 48 years, attending church every day.
- From: Italy
- Born: 1212
- Died: 1272


- St. Nicholas
- As well as being one of the origins of the Santa Claus legend, Nicholas was credited with helping a poor family pay their daughters' wedding dowries by secretly throwing gold coins down the family's chimney into the girls' stockings, which were drying by the fire. No word on whether his belly shook like a bowl full of jelly.
- From: Turkey
- Born: 270
- Died: 343

Married women

- St. Monica
- Tied through an arranged marriage to an adulterous older man, she also lived for years with her ill-tempered mother-in-law. Many Christians believe her prayerful life led to the reformation of her son Augustine, who later became a saint himself.
- From: Algeria
- Born: 331
- Died: 387


- St. Thomas the Apostle
- Known as "Doubting Thomas" for initially being skeptical about the resurrection of Christ, many biblical scholars believe Thomas was the only apostle to travel outside the Roman empire to spread the gospel.
- From: Galilee
- Born: 1st century
- Died: 72

Metal workers

- St. Eligius
- Born in France, Eligius became a skilled, popular and wealthy metal smith who was said to be very generous with the poor, paying ransom for many slaves and building churches.
- From: France
- Born: 588
- Died: 660

Convulsive children

- Saint Scholastica
- The twin sister of St. Benedict, she founded an order of nuns near her brother's monastery. According to Christian tradition, she once asked God to whip up a storm so she could spend more time with her brother.
- From: Italy
- Born: 480
- Died: 547

Mad dogs

- Saint Hubert of Liege
- While hunting on a Good Friday one year, Hubert saw a young white stag with a crucifix between his antlers; this vision was so powerful that he became a monk and eventually a bishop. Among the artifacts at his shrine are his hunting horn and mantle (supposedly given to him by the Virgin Mary), which when placed on a small cut on the forehead is alleged to cure rabies in humans.
- From: France
- Born: c. 658
- Died: 727

Juvenile delinquents

- St. Dominic Savio
- Born into a peasant Italian family, Dominic joined St. John Bosco as a student at the Oratory of Turin when he was just 12. He so impressed Bosco with his desire to be a priest and help with neglected boys. In poor health since birth, Dominic died from a lung problem just a few years later.
- From: Italy
- Born: 1842
- Died: 1857

Advertising and public relations

- St. Bernardine of Siena
- A firebrand Italian priest and missionary, his preaching was frequently directed against witches.
- From: Tuscany, Italy
- Born: 1380
- Died: 1444

Vintners, brewers, merchants, innkeepers, bartenders

- St. Amand
- Known as a missionary, Amand did his work mostly in a region that now has a rich history of wine and beer making - Belgium, northwest Germany and Bordeaux, France.
- From: France
- Born: 584
- Died: 675


- St. Mary Magdalene
- One of Jesus' most celebrated disciples, Mary was said to have washed Jesus' feet and anointed them with expensive perfumes.
- From: Unknown
- Born: Unknown
- Died: Unknown