I never expected there would be a patron saint of romantic novelists – and there wasn’t. But not even novelists get a look in! There are patron saints for Bookkeepers, Bookbinders, Booksellers, book trade . . . but not the book writers it seems
Poets in general have a choice - Brigid of Ireland , Cecilia , Columba ,David – Cecilia is also the patron saint of musicians so I suppose that’s linking poetry and music. And there's a really wierd story of poor Theodore the Written-Upon who had a 12-line iambic verse cut into his forehead
So – not novelists – but writers in general have some possibilities: Francis de Sales, John the Apostle, Lucy, Paul the Apostle
What a strange bunch –
Francis de Sales 1567 – 1622 was a priest, preacher and writer on theology. But I did find a quote of his that might be appropriate to romantic fiction writers –
John the Apostle was originally a fisherman but he left that to be with Jesus. As an author - he wrote the fourth Gospel, three Epistles, and possibly the Book of Revelation.
Perfection of life is the perfection of love. For love is the life of the
I couldn’t find any quotes from him but I did find this amazing traditional story –
Emperor Dometian had him brought to Rome, beaten, poisoned, and thrown into aPerhaps that’s a metaphor there for the writing life – you might go through the torments of the damned writing a book, but when it’s finished, it looks as if you’ve just ‘stepped out unharmed’.
cauldron of boiling oil, but he stepped out unharmed and was banished to Patmos
Lucy – well, I have a sister named Lucy so the grim story of Saint Lucy is one I (unfortunately) grew up on
Lucy vowed her life and chastity to God so her rejected pagan bridegroom, Paschasius, denounced Lucy as a Christian to the governor of Sicily. The governor sentenced her to forced prostitution, but when guards went to fetch her, they could not move her even when they hitched her to a team of oxen. The governor ordered her killed instead. After torture that included having her eyes torn out, she was surrounded by bundles of wood which were set afire; they went out. She prophesied against her persecutors, and was executed by being stabbed to death with a dagger
Romance ? Er – no ? And the traditional picture of poor Lucy with her eyes on a dish in her hand is not one I’ve ever like to study too closely.
Paul - or Saul - the Apostle. Well I’ve had a hero called Saul and one called Paul so perhaps that's a better start - Saul is the man who had the dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus and then travelled extensively, preaching. He also wrote many Letters which are collected in the Bible. But Saul/Paul was not very keen on women and he constantly preached that women should be subject to their husbands - though he did tell husbands to be faithful to their wives and ‘do not be harsh with them’.
So which one of those would you choose for a Patron Saint for you as a writer? It might be worth knowing who are the appropriate saints to turn to in case you want to pray for success in your writing – though none of them really seem to me to fit with being a romance writer.
I suppose though that as at the moment I’m wrestling with a recalcitrant Sicilian whose home is Syracuse, the most interesting one for me right now is poor Lucy with her eyes in a dish. Her dates and place of birth and death are – born 283, died 304 – in Syracuse, Sicily.
So maybe I should send a quick prayer to Lucy to help me with Vito.