Saint Patrick's Day is just around the corner again, boilermaker hangover at the ready, but the whole affair seems a little tired. Sure, you'll go and drink until you puke green, you'll dye your naughty hairs to prove how dedicated you are to the patron saint of Ireland, you'll buy a t-shirt with shamrocks proclaiming that "everyone's a little Irish!" to make up for the fact that a.) you're not and b.) you want to drink heavily despite that, and you'll tell the lady next to you at O'Leary's Pub that she drives the snakes right out of your pants, but really, you've done all that before. You even tried spicing things up a bit by updating your classic preparation of corned beef and cabbage with a peek at the traditional recipes in Swift's Modest Proposal, and holding a Leprechaun movie marathon, pushing all the way through the In Tha' Hood and In Space installments of the franchise, all to no avail.
Sigh. It almost looks like this year you'll just have to resign yourself to another round of consuming...another round.
But hope, faith, chastity, and virtue (all the things that you, of course, are celebrating on this sainted day) are not lost. Turn your attention to some of the lesser known saints this March and you'll be sure to have a revived appreciation for the Catholic faith that makes drinking as a celebration of a life of asceticism somehow appropriate!
Mar. 12 - Saint Theophanes the Chronicler
This pinnacle of 9th-century virtue wasn't going to take his inherited riches and child-bride lying down! Unless, of course, she was married to Christ, and they could both devote their minds, bodies, and spirits to "continual mortification" and self-denial. Known for near-constant bouts of distemper and "the stone," and his practice of sleeping on a rock with a hair-shirt on, Theophanes is best celebrated by plucking one of god's floral creations and getting stoned, enough so that you, too can live through a horrible hairy sensation (on the tongue), no desire for women, and the kind of stomach cramps only six bags of Cool Ranch Doritos can bring on.
Mar. 13 - Saint R[o/u]deric
Beaten up by his brothers, an Atheist and a Muslim, Roderic spent the remainder of his life in prison denying that he planned on switching religions. His steadfastness earned him...a beheading! Celebrate Roderic by slow-cooking a suckling pig on a rotisserie. The open flames recall the inquisition he didn't live through, and the sweet, dripping, falling-off-the-bone meat reminds us of why we adhere to the Catholic faith and not the religion of his Moorish oppressors: it doesn't ban bacon!
Mar. 14 - Saint Mat(h)ilda
Saint Mat(h)ilda was one of those crazy-rich queens who had the luxury of denouncing her husband's ill-gotten gains while simultaneously spending them freely on the things she loved best, like monasteries. Celebrate by reading Matilda and watching a marathon of The Real Housewives of Orange County to relate to this misunderstood woman and all the sacrifices she didn't really have to make.
Mar. 15 - St. Louise de Marillac
After a loveless marriage to an older man and a rehabilitation through faith and her work with the sick, underprivileged and neglected, Louise went on to establish more than 40 houses (of worship) all over 17th century France. Celebrate by reading a biography of Cindy McCain.
Mar. 18 - St. Cyril of Jerusalem
Cyril lived out his vows of asceticism, chastity, and service in the privacy of his own homes, despite a toney address in the middle of the sinful city. Like Cyril, today you may feel like an exile from human life, and you may have vague memories of selling off unnecessary valuables to feed...what did you trade your wife's pearls for last night? Devote yourself to the memory of St. Cyril even more devoutly by staying home, alone, and refraining from sex, drinking, eating, turning on lights, moving, oh JESUS I can't believe green is STILL coming out both ends!