By Louie de Palma
Reader Road Warrior
As we anticipate St. Patrick’s Day, we’re faced with an unusual question: Between the old-timey saints and modern miracle workers, whose stunt was better?
Sure, Justin Timberlake brought sexy back (and not a moment too soon). But St. Patrick brought 33 dead people back. To life. From the grave. Beyond his record as the saint with the most resurrections, he also had 967 other miracles to boot. Why this doesn’t make him a necromancer instead of saint, I’ll never know. It’s similar in the way Jesus can come back from the dead and somehow not be a zombie.
The faith side of me totally gets all of that. Zombies bad, resurrected dude good. Necromancers bad, saints who resurrect dead people good. But the more logical side of me sometimes wonders if these religious figures and holidays were tactical ways to merge a people’s culture with older but similar pagan or Celtic traditions. For instance, St. P was key in converting Celts and the only saint to perform off-the-charts resurrections. However, the Celts happened to believe that the veil between death and life was very thin. In addition, remaining in contact with deceased ancestors was encouraged and revered. Resurrection makes conversing pretty easy, making St. Patrick a badass. Long story short, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is like celebrating the Mexican Day of the Dead, and St. Patrick and Jesus might have been Haitians into voodoo. Not that it matters.
What matters is a simple case of who does it better. Having read about St. Patrick’s resurrection miracles, I found I might just be competitive in the resurrection department. I’ve selected just three examples to support my bid for best saintly necromancer—that is, if I’m not outclassed by Michael Jackson. I understand he resurrected a lot more than 33 people for the music video “Thriller.”
I: The Dead Horse Resurrection.
Let’s start with the time St. P resurrected a dead horse. He did so only to prove to a man he didn’t kill it. Then after resurrecting the horse, he cured the man of illness for good measure. That strikes me as a little flippant and pompously show-boaty. Furthermore, it points a suspicious finger at the saint. I mean, if you’re so good at resurrecting things, what’s to stop you from killing them? As a matter of fact, I’m surprised they haven’t petitioned this miracle already.
It’s important to remember a horse is a symbol of transportation. And since my colleagues and I have taken over this taxi company, we’ve resurrected it from a dead business into a thriving and trustworthy transportation option once again. In addition, no one suspects us of killing the cab first. I’d call that a win, but it’s so obvious it would feel like beating a dead horse (no animals were actually hurt in the making of this resurrection).
II: The giant
St. P once resurrected a prince’s grandfather so he could baptize him, thus freeing him from an eternity in hell. Nice guy. Even more impressive, this guy happened to be a giant.
Even so, I think I’ve topped this. If I had a gold piece for every giant grandpa I’ve crammed into my taxi dead to the world only to bring them back to life at their resting place, I’d have more money than a leprechaun. One giant man in particular I resurrect multiple times a week. The last thing he says before he passes out is, “It’s just us. Don’t worry,” which is comforting. You never really know how many spirits are in them, or how many they’ve swallowed that day.
III: Resurrection of two women
There were two women buried in a hill. Ol’ St. P resurrected them from the dead, and they admitted their idols were false and vain.
I can match Pat in this category, too. The other day I drove two women who were over the hill. They worshiped their cats and they had varicose veins. Without me driving them to the store, they and their cats would surely be dead.
Have a great St. Patrick’s Day. Just remember what you’re celebrating: Patrick, the necromancer and saint! Be safe out there and expect miracles. Try not to die, but if you’re in need of a resurrection just give us a call. And don’t forget, we did it better.