Recently I discovered that my key to the front door of my apartment building had gotten bent somehow. It still fit in the lock, but not perfectly, and I was concerned the bending might have weakened it, so I asked the building manager for a replacement. It took a few days, since they were out of copies and getting new ones made, but it arrived a couple of days ago. And I’m quite pleased with the result. Before, both the building key and my apartment key were of the same design and color, so the only way to tell them apart was by their position on the key ring. Sometimes my attention lapsed and I got them mixed up. But the new building key is gold instead of silver! Now it’s easy to tell them apart. Hooray for lucky accidents!
I’ve just learned that Syfy is developing a series set at a hospital for superheroes — a concept I had over a decade ago but never did anything with, alas. Anyway, I got to wondering about an appropriate name for such a hospital. Good Samaritan seems an obvious choice, but I also got to wondering about saint names. And that led me to an old BBS thread I started that I thought was worth reposting here:
This is just an odd twist that my mind took… in thinking about superheroes, I got to wondering: if there were a lot of superheroes in the world, and if some of them were Catholic, then who would be considered their patron saint, their protector?
So I decided to look at Wikipedia’s list of saints and their various professional patronages (and will someone tell me how come shepherds need so many different patron saints? Is their job that dangerous?) and see what candidates might fit the bill. Here are the possibilities I see:
- St. Adrian of Nicomedia: I’m not sure about this one. He’s a saint of guards and soldiers, but also arms dealers, so he seems to be working both sides of the street there. Maybe he could be the patron saint of your more violent, morally ambiguous crimefighters like the Punisher.
- St. Dominic: Patron saint of scientists. Good for scientist/heroes like Mr. Fantastic and Ant-Man, but limited otherwise.
- St. Erasmus of Formiae, aka St. Elmo: Patron of “anyone who works at great heights,” so he works for flying heroes or for rooftop-workers like Spider-Man, Daredevil, and Batman.
- St. George: He seems like a good candidate. His patronages include archers (Green Arrow, Hawkeye), Boy Scouts (Superman, Captain America), knights (including Dark ones?), and soldiers. And he’s a renowned dragonslayer, helpful to heroes needing a little inspiration while fighting monsters.
- St. Joan of Arc: Patron (matron?) of Girl Scouts and soldiers, so basically the distaff counterpart of George (although they were on opposite sides in a few wars, but that’s okay; superheroes fight each other all the time).
- St. Jude: Patron of police officers. Plus I gather he can take a sad song and make it better.
- St. Michael the Archangel: Another patron of cops and soldiers — plus radiologists, so his bailiwick might cover those heroes who get their powers from radiation.
Given some of the weird modern patronages assigned on the list — radiologists, hospital administrators, payroll clerks, medical record librarians — I think it’s inevitable that if there were superheroes, a patron saint or two would get assigned to them. I’d say George, Joan, and Michael are the most likely all-around candidates.
I wonder, has this ever been addressed in comics? Are there Catholic heroes who have invoked patrons?