Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Saint was a Royal Enfield kind of guy

The patron saint of motorcycling was strong, good looking, and appreciated beer.

My friend who pointed me to the Royal Enfield motorcycle that has become a Hindu God followed up by asking me who, in Christianity, is the patron saint of motorcycling. To my surprise, there is one.

St. Columbanus (543-615) never saw a motorcycle, but Internet references seem to agree that he is our patron. Unlike many ancient saints, his life is well documented, since he was a renown founder of monasteries. He seems like a good fit for a saint to watch over motorcyclists.

  • He was well travelled. Born in West Leinster, Ireland, he founded monasteries in Europe and died in Bobbio, Italy.

  • He was good looking, so much so that this exposed him to the shameless temptations of some of his countrywomen.

  • He was independent. His mother threw herself across the door to keep him from leaving home; he stepped across her.

  • He was outspoken, and took on bishops and popes.

  • He was brave. Stories have him facing down bears.

  • He revered tradition, quarrelling with the church to preserve his Celtic practices.

  • He apparently liked his beer, and is credited with a miracle of providing more when the supply had run out.
St. Columbanus is usually portrayed in monkish garb, with a hood, carrying a book marked in Celtic and taming a bear. His feast day is commonly given as Nov. 21, the anniversary of his death, but it is celebrated throughout Ireland on Nov. 24. I'm going to drink to him on Nov. 24. I think that is the way he would have wanted it.


  1. Anonymous1/31/2009

    Why do push this type of nonsesne. Many of your readers see religion as having been a blight on humankind for too long a time!

    1. Anonymous5/15/2014

      Hi Anonymous,
      If that is the case, why are you pushing athiesm???


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