This past weekend, my husband and I had dinner with a couple of our friends at O’Lunney’s, a not-so-tiny Irish pub and restaurant in Times Square. At one point, our conversation turned to some of the more obscure saints, including St. Simeon Stylites, who was known for sitting on a pole for 37 years. I’m not sure how the topic arose, but when it did, I realized that you really could probably find a saint who is made to order for you.
Sure, the concept is not an original one, as most Catholics know that there is a plethora of saints. However, as our friend told us about St. Simeon, a man who lived around 400 A.D. in Syria and sat on a small platform on top of a pole for 37 years to pray and fast, I realized how amazing the Church is to have so many diverse people represented among the saints. Who would have thought there would be a saint who went to such an extreme as sitting on a pole in order to pray!? Of course I had to look up this unusual saint when I was at my computer to make sure I had the facts right.
I do admire the lives of the saints and all that they can teach us about how to live. I know that I couldn’t live my life completely based on St. Simeon—for one thing I am afraid of heights and the thought of living on a pole frightens me—but the idea of removing yourself from regular life to pray and fast? That’s not such a bad idea.
Do you know of any obscure saints? Please share!