Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mad Dogs & Saints

Despite the promised forecast of a heat wave across Galway for the next week, most of yesterday it pissed raining – and there’s a reason. It’s all because I forgot to put the Child of Prague statue back out onto the raised beds where I grow my chilli peppers, zucchini and aubergines all under a West of Ireland sky. For those in the know, the Child of Prague is a wacky little statue of the boy child Jesus holding a round globe in his hand with a cross sticking out of it. Forget the whole story of some Czech prince having an apparition of this gay looking kid Jesus and skip a few hundred years to what is reality today. It’s this: if you put the statue of the Child of Prague out in the garden, it won’t rain the next day.
I have been doing so since the start of May, and my garden has become a sun trap. Of course all of these blessings have their downers. I’m nursing mild sun stroke right now, as I am forced to sit in the garden most days due to my house cleaning allergy. So I went online to look for a patron saint of sunstroke, but there doesn’t seem to be one, and that probably explains why so many people get it: it’s because there’s no saint to prevent it.
I did come across St. Hubert though, who has nothing to do with sunstroke, but as he is the patron saint of mad dogs, I thought if I pray to him I might get whatever it is you get from saints. Apparently it’s dispensations or something; or less time waiting in purgatory to get to heaven. It’s a bit like having the priority boarding card for Ryanair. Well St. Hubert was a bit of a mad dog himself.
His Granddad was the  King of Toulouse and Hubert spent his days off hunting. While hunting a stag on a Good Friday morning, he received a vision of a crucifix between its antlers. ( I’m guessing he was on something strong, because after all, it was Good Friday, and the pubs were closed).  When his wife died soon after this incident, Hubert renounced all his worldly positions, not just his titles and wealth, but also his son, to his brother, and studied for the priesthood. You’d think he’d be made patron saint of bad fathers but no, his association with the hunt led to his patronage of furriers and trappers, and against rabies and bad behavior in dogs, primarily hunting dogs. It really is great to have a saint like Hubert to help furriers and trappers. I just don’t get it with the rabid dogs though, I mean, do dogs pray?

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