The Saint of the Day is One of the All-Time Greats

Crescentinus Kevin Kline

It’s June 1st again and some of you are no doubt celebrating the Feast of Crescentinus today. If you aren’t, go get some cold cuts and condiments. It’s as good an excuse as any to have a picnic for somebody who died in the 303–that’s the YEAR, kids, not the area code.

At the risk of boring you dyed-in-the-wool, hardcore, over the top Roman Catholics or Eastern Orthodox Christians, this guy Crescentinus seems worthy of some deeper consideration on his big day. In fact, he might very well score extremely high in our ranking of Top Saints of All-Time, which is certainly a blog topic for another day.

His path to sainthood is admirable. After all, how many saints have slain a freakin’ dragon to set free an entire region? Very impressive. Unless it’s not really true. Or perhaps the “dragon” Crescentinus battled was figurative. Maybe his victory was symbolic. Like, he actually overcame a heroine addiction (see what I did there?) or conquered a fierce, mortal rival who had really bad breath.

But let’s give him the dragon, because he seems to be a sympathetic underdog.

Let’s face it: Why is that St. Crescentinus less famous than St. George, who also slayed a dragon? The latter has had schools and islands and cities named in his honor. All Crescentinus got for his troubles was martyrdom by decapitation. That’s right. He was beheaded.

And here’s another factor to consider as you stroll into your Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts or local coffee shop for a dose of soothing caffeine: Crescentinus is YOUR guy. He’s the saint in charge of relieving headaches. All day today, as the statue of mighty Crescentinus is carried through the streets of Urbino, Italy, his relics are tapped against the heads of worshippers to relieve their headaches. (For those who would rather not be touched by a piece of clothing that’s over 1700 years old, there’s always Excedrin.)

This is a dude whose value has been truly underrated over the years. A valiant Roman warrior who converted to Christianity, knocked off a dragon, and cures people’s headaches to this day! Come on, man! That puts him right up there with running back Curtis Martin, baseball slugger Ralph Kiner, actor Kevin Kline, and James K. Polk (our 11th president) in the Underrated Hall of Fame.

If you don’t trust me, check the impressive stats and longevity of the first two athletes, watch Kline in A Fish Called Wanda or Dave, and read up Polk, who we have to thank in part for the U.S. Naval Academy, the Washington Monument, many of our southwestern states, and the postage stamp.

Crescentinus deserves a little love today, too. Or at least a ham sandwich and some potato salad in his honor.

Dave Coombs is a longtime morning radio host and avid picnicker.

 

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