It's amazing the cool, unique, and just plain crazy stories you can find about the saints if you take some time to delve into our brothers and sisters of the faith. Who needs TV, the movies, or video games, when you have these incredibly unbelievable stories of real life people.
But, not only are some of their stories just strange, some of their patronages are...well...rather unique and interesting as well. should we say.
Don't believe me? You think the saints lived boring lives? Let's take a look at some of the strangest tales you can find deep in our Church's history of those who loved Jesus.
St. Denis- the head carrying saint
Yes, you read that right. In the 3rd Century, St. Denis (also called Dionysius) was born and raised in Italy, was sent as a missionary to modern day France around 250 A.D. by Pope St. Clement, and later he became the bishop of Rome. During his incredible youth, he was testifying, preaching, and converting many pagans to Christianity. This caused a problem for St. Denis. He made the pagan priests extremely furious with him. So much so, they decided it was time for him to die. They planned to execute him by beheading him.
Well, as you would expect, the beheading of course did in fact end the life of this dear saint. But, not in the way the pagan priests exactly hoped for. To their shock and surprise, after he was beheaded, Denis picked up his head, tucked under his arm, and walked with it for several miles down the road. Six miles to be exact, before walking without a head caught up to him and he collapsed and died.
The Basilica of St. Denis now stands at the spot where he died. In his depictions, he is often represented and painted as a headless body holding its decapitated head in its hands.
St. Columba- The Loch Ness 'Nessie' monster fighting saint
He may not be the official patron saint of 'Nessie' the Loch Ness Monster, but he should be if there ever will be one.
The earliest account of the sightings of the Loch Ness Monster are reported by St. Columba in the 6th century AD.
Although it's a story that has circulated countless times, it's still quite interesting to hear and read.
It is said that Columba came across Nessie while he was crossing the river Ness. When he reached the bank, he saw the people burying a little guy who, according to the people, had been attacked and killed by a monster in the water.
After hearing what happened to the person, Columba tells those with him to swim out and bring him to the coble on the other bank.
They did as they were asked and instructed to do.
The monster, waiting on more prey, was hiding at the bottom of the river and saw the water being disturbed. It emerged and came after those swimming.
Columba then saw the monster lunging after them and raised his hand, formed the sign of the cross in the air, invoked the name of God, and commanded the monster to not go any further or touch the men.
The monster became terrified and ran away, without harming anyone else.
Despite multiple sightings of the Loch Ness Monster, it has never attempted to attack anyone else or come even close enough to another person to do harm since then.
St. Joseph of Cupertino - The Levitating Saint
It's true. He loved Jesus and it was obvious to anyone around him when the name was said. St. Joseph of Cupertino was a priest and monk in the 17th century who had mental disabilities. But, one thing he didn't lack was a love for Jesus and that saints.
In fact, he loved them so much that when he heard their names, he would go into ecstasy and levitate. It also happened during Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, public processions, and in front of large crowds.
He was moved to a monastery and they tried to keep his location secret after he became such a popular sensation, even levitating in front of huge crowds during an audience with the Pope.
But, their attempts at keeping his location a secret failed. As you can imagine, it was hard to keep it a secret when he continued levitating at the mention of the names of Jesus and the saints. As a result, the crowds and popularity followed him and quickly returned.
St. Margaret of Antioch - Dragon killing saint
Just when you thought you had a bad day, try getting eaten by a dragon.
St. Margaret of Antioch converted to the Catholic faith when she was young, but she was raised in a pagan family. So committed to her faith and having an undeniable devotion to Christ, she took a vow of celibacy.
But, this caused problems for the Roman governor, a pagan man, who wanted to marry Margaret and didn't care about her vows. After she refused to marry him, he had her put in prison and tortured while she was being held prisoner.
But, at a point during these torture sessions, Margaret was confronted by Satan himself. Satan appeared to her, in the form of a dragon, and he ate her. (and she thought Jonah had problems with the whale)
But, the cross Margaret was wearing began to irritate and bother the stomach of the dragon - Satan. The cross even became a weapon and avenue of escape when Margaret used it in the same form of a knife and cut her way out of the dragon...from the inside out...using the cross.
And, for your last crazy and wild saint story of the day:
St. Vitus- Patron Saint of Oversleeping
Yes, there's a patron saint for that and we all need him from time to time.
St. Vitus was a Benedictine monk near Bergamo, Italy. He was a disciple of St. Albert and was martyred in 1095.
Converted at around the age of 12 by his tutor, Saint Modestus and his nurse, Saint Crescentia, his pagan father strongly objected to his conversion. His father, a pagan Sicillian senator named Hylas, had all three of the individuals- including his son- arrested and scourged for Vitus' conversion.
All three were freed from prison by angels.
Vitus was arrested again after he would not sacrifice to pagan gods during a celebration after Vitus freed the son of Emperor Diocletian from an evil spirit.
Because of Vitus' refusal to offer sacrifices to pagan gods, the cure of the son was attributed to sorcery and therefore landed Vitus in jail for the second time.
He was tortured and condemned to death. They threw him in with lions for the lions to kill him, but the lions would not come near him or touch him.
So, they resulted to boiling water as an execution method. They threw Vitus in a boiling cauldron with a rooster. The rooster served as part of the sacrifice.
Therefore, giving him the position of patron saint of those who oversleep because of the rooster's connection with waking up. The rooster has become a symbol of Vitus and his interest in helping you get to work and your destinations on time.
This is just the tip of the iceburg of the exciting stories you may just stumble across when you dig into the lives of our brothers and sisters.
So, who said Catholicism was boring?