In keeping with the Irish theme for the month of March I came across this story today.
DUBLIN (AP) — Somewhere in Ireland, a burglar has the heart of a saint.Officials at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin said Sunday they're distraught and perplexed over the theft of the church's most precious relic: the preserved heart of St. Laurence O'Toole, patron saint of Dublin.
READ THE WHOLE STORY HERE
There have been several stories over the past few years of these types of ancient artifacts being stolen - but why? A private collector could never resell these items. It is a shame that something that is freely viewable to the world has to be taken.
It made me wonder who St. Laurence O'Toole was and why his heart was stolen. Actually, I was interested in why his heart was preserved in the first place.
There is a Wiki page for this saint but when I went to the list of Saints on Catholic.org his name wasn't listed. This made me wonder what was up with that. Was he a real Saint? Was this story a scam?
It seems the reason his name didn't come up on the list of Saints is because he was a "Patron" Saint. To become a saint, a full fledged saint, the person must be appointed by the Pope. I'm still not entirely clear on the criteria to become a patron saint but it seems as though it is not exclusively a Papal decree. Apparently, there are also Celtic saints, Buddhist saints, Muslim saints and other saints. Being that St. Laurence O'Toole was from Ireland I started my search with the Catholic saints.
I went back and forth from the Catholic Encyclopedia and Wikipedia to try to piece together the story behind when St. Laurence O'Toole became a saint. The story was a little confusing to me but what was clear is that he love Ireland and was a keen politician bringing peace between countries.
In searching for information on the patron saints I did find it sort of funny that the patron saint of expectant mothers is Saint Elmo.
I have always considered St. Christopher to be one of my patron saints - The Patron Saint of Travelers.
Do you have a Patron Saint?