Friday, May 4, 2012

The New Saint in Town

Tom had a little inventory problem.  It seems that his religious statuary business had a surplus of statues that couldn't be moved.

A little-known fact about the pious statue trade is that some move more readily than others.  For example St. Anthony, St. Francis, and St. Jude get a lot of movement; St. Simon Stylites does not.  The same is with female saints:  good movers are St. Therese of Lisieux or St. Bernadette; St. Agatha with her loped-off boobies looks kind of creepy and her image won't grace many gardens!

Anyway, back to Tom's problem.  It seems that he got a order of 200 statues of some generic female saint that were not accessorized in order to allow the pious to show their knowledge of hagiography.  He painted a few, but nobody wanted them. 

"Dammit, who was she?"  Tom muttered.  He was overheard by Madeline, also known as the Prophetess, who was was saint-shopping for another statue to put on her porch in the appropriate season.  Madeline, a nice but eccentric Catholic girl, offered to help him on it. 

But Saint Jane Doe resisted identification.  Furthermore, the statues were unpainted, which made the job harder.  (This is usual; Tom got his statues wholesale; he painted and further accessorize them to fit the more common, sellable saints.)

Finally, the Prophetess, in one  of her infrequent spells of being practical, suggested that Tom paint her to be a saint that people could pray to to fill certain wishes that they had.

Tom asked, "Is there a saint who was known for repelling mothers-in-law?"

"Be serious," the Prophetess replied; then suggested.  "How about St. Catherine?"

"The one that told her Pope where to get off?"  Tom asked.

"No, Saint Catherine of Alexandria, the patron saint of girls who want to get married."  (Madeline had become more interested in her; having heard her biological clock ticking.) 

So Tom tarted up the statues to look like they were Egyptian, tagged them as "St. Catherine, the patroness of girls who want to become married, and included this prayer to St. Catherine:

         A husband, St. Catherine,
         A good one, St. Catherine,
         A handsome one, St. Catherine,
         A rich one, St. Catherine --
         And soon, St. Catherine!

The Prophetess also suggested seeding the Times-Picyaune's personal ads* with something like:

"Thanks to St. Catherine for helping me find a nice husband."

Sales soon were brisk; and a new saint gained popularity.  Especially around her feast day, November 25; and especially from anxious mothers worrying that their daughter might get knocked up before marriage.

This went so well that Tom offered the Prophetess a discount if she would handle another hard-to-move saint.  It seems that his statuary got a large supply of statues of St. Paul.  Now St. Paul, that mysogenic grump was a nonstarter for sales, so Tom was looking for a little, er hagiographic rebranding.

After some thought Madeline the Prophetess suggested that the saint be rebranded as St. Fiacre.  As she put it, this was win-win-win-win for those involved.  You see, St. Fiacre was the patron saint of gardeners and cabbies; and is invoked against hemorrhoids.  (Madeline was not aware that she was piling it on.)  And St. Fiacre's status rose in the heavenly pecking order -- after all, there's a lot of people engaging in sedentary pursuits.

Tom thought: "Another win.  This will sell statues!"

*Catholic saints must read the Times-Picyaune; the personals section occasionally has thank-you notices to saints.


Bilbo said...

"...invoked against hemorrhoids ... piling it on..." Best thing I've read all day!

Big Sky Heidi said...

It would be nice if a saint would come forward for effective birth control.

Berth control? Is that a shipboard problem?

Funny tale, Angel.

Grand Crapaud said...

Hagiographic rebranding! I love that concept! And I agree -- St. Paul would not be the most popular guy around. Although they named a town in Minnesota after him, for some reason.

Hell Hound said...

A funny story. It's amazing how some people like their statues. Those for santeria are popular here. But so are goats for sacrificing.

Bilbo said...

By the way, I had to look up "hagiographic." I though it had something to do with portraiture for very ugly ladies.

Svejk said...

She was not the saint of cute, hot chicks, I'm afraid.

Mike said...

St. Joesph has to be the sadest Saint. Buried unpside down in more front yards by realestate agents than anyone can count.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Mike-- You have a point.

Bilbo -- we need a word for saints that are unappealingly depicted. Maybe saints should get glamor photographs.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

What kinds of saintly symbols go with being the patron saint of hemrrhoids?