A patron saint is a person of accomplishment that has been canonized by the Church. This act formally can officially be done only by the Pope, however a lot of patron saints are recognized by people despite not being officially canonized.
The people of great importance often are though to watch over certain things, place, or groups of people. There are so many patron saints that just about everything has a patron saint for it. even small and obscure things, like the things on this list!
The Patron Saint of Hangovers
Bibiana was a Christian raised by her Christian parents Flavius, a roman knight, and his wife Dafrosa. They lived rather nicely with her parents and her sister Demetria. A man named Apronianus was appointed Governor of Rome in 363. Apronianus had a particular dislike for Christians. When he found them out, he had Flavius tortured and sent off in exile where he died of his wounds.
Dafrosa was beheaded. Bibiana and Demetria were stripped of their possessions and forced to live in poverty. This had no effect on their faith, however, they spent their days fasting in prayer. Seeing this punishment was ineffective in converting them, Apronianus summoned them both to his estate. Demetria fervently confessed her faith and was killed on the spot. Bibiana was not quite as lucky.
Apronianus had a woman try to seduce her, but she remained a faithful virgin. This angered the Governor. He had her tied to a pillar and beaten by lead rods. She took the beating with a smile and died from her wounds.
She is a strange saint to be a patron over hangovers, but hangovers are a strange thing to have a patron for. Perhaps it is symbolic of having to suffer for something we love.
The Patron Saint of Coffeeshop Owners and Ugly People
Drogo was the son of a Flemish noble. His birth was the reason for his mothers' death, this plagued him with guilt all of his life. Eventually he left his noble hom and all of his things to become a pilgrim. He traveled around and visited various Christian shrines.
Drogo found sheparding work in france and was rumored to be able to be in two places at once. People said that he could be out in the field tending his flock, but also walking into Sunday Mass at the same time.
During one of his travels, Drogo fell ill with an affliction that horribly marred his face. His face became so deformed that it frightened anyone who say him. Since he was such a devout christian he had a cell built for himself in the church. Only a small window was open where he received holy bread and water. He lived the rest of his life, some forty years, in this cell away from people.
From his legend, it is not hard to see the connection between himself and being the patron saint of ugly people. Though his legend suggests that ugly people hide themselves away, this may not be the best life lesson.
Why he is the patron saint of coffee shop owners, I will never understand. Considering he lived the remainder of his life on bread and water, coffee was not something he had much interaction with.
Saint Genesius (Maritinus)
The Patron Saint of Plumbers, Actors, Clowns, Torture Victims
Genesius was an actor and comedian in Rome. One day he was performing a play before the Emperer Diocletian which satirized a Christian about to be baptized. His play was going well until suddenly the Lord struck him! (Perhaps the Lord threw a bible at his face for mocking him) Genesius was instantly converted to Christianity. The pause in the play displeased Diocletian and he ordered Genesius to be brought before him.
Genesius confessed his new found faith with vigor, which is not a smart move in front of a still highly paganized Rome. Diocletian had him tortured until he would do a sacrifice to the pagan Gods. He persisted in his faith and was beheaded for it.
Saint Genesius is often seen as having the most odd mix of people to be patrons to. After reading his legend, one can make sense out of actors, clowns, and comedians. After the end of the story, torture victims now make sense.
Plumbers, however, are a little baffling. Perhaps because he was mocking a baptism did he end up with this one. What with plumbers working frequently with water.
The Patron Saint of Herpes and Syphilis
Saint George is the most well known of all the saints on this list. His legend is a popular one. He is made famous for slaying a dragon that was plaguing a Roman outpost. The outpost had been sacrificing maidens to the beast, but George charged in and slayed the dragon who was about to devour another maiden.
The maiden he saved turned out to be the Roman Emperor Diocletians' wife. This made George one of the Emperor's favorite soldiers. However, George was a secret Christian among the Roman army and Diocletian had a strong hate for the heathen religion, he killed every Christian he could find.
One day he decreed that every Christian in his army be killed and every true pagan soldier should sacrifice something to their Gods. George, while a Christian in secret, was also a fearless man. He marched into Diocletian's chamber and scolded him for his cruelty. He then relinquished his position in the Roman army.
Diocletian had him seized and tortured in many creative ways before chopping off his head. Saint George has been a revered warrior of Christ ever since.
He is a patron of many thing, but the strangest thing is that he is a patron saint of those that suffer from herpes and syphilis. This is somewhat inexplicable. The only theory that people have come up with is that George was a frequent traveller and who knows what you can pick up when going port to port. This seems to suggest that George himself had suffered from these maladies, but a Christian is usually a person of celibacy.