Home > Uncategorized > Patron saint of superheroes?

Patron saint of superheroes?

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:

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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?

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  1. May 16, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Remembering several comics projects devoted to such premises, mostly through third- or fourth-tier publishers. Marvel and DC didn’t go near the idea if memeory serves me correctly. One or two of my friends actually worked on such series…

  2. David Marshall
    February 19, 2014 at 3:25 am

    Just found this by Googling “Patron Saint of Superheroes”. I’m currently writing a superhero novel, and looking for an appropriate saint’s name for the church for the funeral of an Innocent Bystander who found himself a little too close to a supervillain.

    Hmmm. Using St George would upset my dragon-themed hero…

  1. February 19, 2014 at 6:16 am

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