Feb 21: Patron saint of insomniacs!

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SleepyBhamster
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2020 4:04 pm
Location: Birmingham, Alabama, USA

Feb 21: Patron saint of insomniacs!

Post by SleepyBhamster »

Thought you might find this interesting. This is Facebook post I made last year when I was still suffering from insomnia and RLS (iron treatments in Sept/Oct have kept the RLS at bay):
When I was young I read a children's book of saint stories that featured St. Peter Damian. The two things I remembered were that his feast day was my birthday--February 23--and that we should pray to him for a good night's sleep. I had insomnia even as a child and would pray to him frequently for help.

One day I found out that his feast day was actually February 21; St. Polycarp was the 23rd. I was quite annoyed about this as I had no idea who Polycarp was, but I sure didn't like his name. (I know and appreciate him now.) I stopped praying to Peter Damian for help sleeping because I figured that wasn't true either.

But here I am awake at 2am on his feast day, and guess what? I looked up his biography and he suffered from severe insomnia when he was young and overly zealous with his penances and so indeed is the patron saint of insomniacs. AND his feast day really was on February 23 until 1969 when it was changed to the 21st.

I will now pray to him for some sleep!

Yankiwi
Posts: 480
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:20 am
Location: West Coast, South Island, New Zealand

Re: Feb 21: Patron saint of insomniacs!

Post by Yankiwi »

Thanks, I've made a note of St. Peter Damian.

Back in 2014 I posted about who I thought could be a patron saint for RLS people.
After looking on line I found the perfect saint for us.
Saint Bartholomew the Apostle
He's the patron saint against neurological disease and against twitching.
He was flayed alive at Albanopolis, Armenia. There's a gruesome statue of him with his own skin draped around him in Milan (I saw a photo on Wikipedia.)
And to answer a question of "what is a patron saint" I cobbled together some information from the internet:
A patron saint is a saint regarded as the special guardian of a person, group, trade, country, etc (eg St Patrick for Ireland or St Christopher for travellers).
The veneration and recognition of saints is found in various forms of Catholicism including Eastern Orthodox and among Anglicans (Episcopalians). Some branches of Protestantism regard saints as a form of idolatry.
Saints aren't prayed to directly but as intercessors who can understand our earthly struggles and will join us in prayers to God for assistance.
A patron saint isn't going to cure RLS but might help in some small way, to ease symptoms for a little while, help us find the right treatment or just help us cope.

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