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Happy Saint Homobonus’ Day!

Happy St. Homobonus Day! Well, yesterday, anyway.

Everyone knows that there are patron saints for all kinds of things. If you lose something, you can pray to St. Anthony to help you find it, or perhaps you could just pray to St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes. I work in a theatre, making costumes for the shows that we produce. Although none of us in the costume shop are of a religious persuasion, a few weeks ago, we were wondering who the patron saint of stitchers or tailors is. Turns out, there are several. After a quick glance on the web, we adopted one to be ours: St. Homobonus of Cremona, Italy. Yesterday was the feast day of St. Homobonus. Who the hell, you might wonder, is he? Homobonus, whose name means “good man,” was the son of a merchant and tailor, trained by his father (we had to pick a patron saint who actually knew how to sew…). He used the wealth he earned from his prosperous business to help the poor in his community, and attended mass every day, actually dying (apparently of natural causes) during mass one day in 1197. His head is preserved at the church of St. Giles where he died.

Saint Homobonus is the patron saint of tailors, merchants, and cloth workers. He was canonized only 2 years after his death, and is said to have achieved sainthood by doing “ordinary things extraordinarily well.” In more recent years, he has been claimed as the patron saint of business people as well. In fact, you can now purchase a plastic statue of him with a prayer card that reads: Prayer to Assist in Upward Mobility: Most holy St. Homobonus, I ask for your divine assistance in my corporate environment. Please encourage my superiors to reward me with a sizeable bonus and a meaningful promotion. And please protect me from downsizing, scandal, and undesirable relocation. Amen.

Whether you are a tailor needing help setting that sleeve or a poor shmoe in a cubicle dreading your upcoming day in the corporate world, say a little prayer to Homobonus. Just saying his name will make you feel better. Anyway, hope you had a very happy St. Homobonus Day!