For years Iíve thought that my birthday being Saint Blaiseís day (3 February) was appropriate. As youíll know, he is the patron saint invoked to cure sore throats. Iíve spent a lifetime roaring on Wimbledon FC. Would that FiFís leadership had also developed sore throats warning that the Pilling Report was another step nearer Sodom and Gomorrah.
Now Iíve got to share Blaise. Firstly with St Flu-jab, today held to be a better remedy than the priest crossing candles across the throat of the faithful, as was once the custom. Other rivals with more croaking voices than mine are General Synod and other Anglican talk-shops where politically correct verbosity must have produced many sore throats, but hasnít produced any increase in Anglican worshippers.
So Iíll have to invoke another saintís patronage. As a member of FiF the choice is obvious. All together now: St Jude, patron of desperate causes. But then Iíll be one of a crowd, admittedly not large, though as a Wimbledon fan Iím used to that. However, I want the saint to be able to hear just me, and FiFers can be a noisy lot. Listen to them outsinging the Prots at Walsingham. Have a look round for a less well-known February saint.
As I took another swig of ale to help finish this article, one answer dawned. It could be St Amand of Maastricht, patron of beer and wine sellers. Unfortunate that heís linked with Maastricht Ė reminds me of the wretched Treaty. However, Amand founded a monastery in that lovely place Ghent Ė a good town to visit now that the beauties of better known Bruges, like those of Venice, are obscured by a flood of more tourists than it can sustain.
Given my name, how about St Allan, though heís a January man? If the faithful write the name of those that they donít like on a pebble and throw it into his Denbighshire well, itís said heíll chastise them. Now whose names should I write?
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