Though we have no desire to live by the teachings of Cathol and his popular ism, we are huge fans of the saints. To us, saints represent God's Avengers, and yeah, some of them are in charge of stupid things like equestrians, but there are also plenty of them with real-life superpowers.
Today is the feast day of Charles Borromeo, who we like because his name sounds like a combination of "bro" and Chromeo. Borromeo was cardinal archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Milan from 1564 to 1584. Born into a wealthy family he was a towering figure in the church. On the one hand, he led a crusade against heresy that ended up with people being tortured out of Protestantism. Those who refused were burned...headfirst.
On the other hand, he did personally lead a charge against the bubonic plague, visiting every parish where there was contagion distributing money, helping to arrange medicine and housing for the sick, and reprimanding any church official who was worried about catching the disease. When it came time to choose between a possible swollen, infected death or arguing with Saint Set Your Head on Fire, guess which one the clergy choose.
Today we honor Borromeo with a playlist that reflects his particular areas of expertise.
Though bubonic plague is known more for swollen lymph nodes called buboes from which it gets its name it also caused severe gastrointestinal problems. Borromeo is the saint in charge of rumbly tummies as well as ulcers because of his role in fighting the plague. Any excuse to reference the Last Dragon, really.
We have to level with you, we have no idea why Boromeo has the apple orchard gig. There's a lot of that when you're dealing with saints. It's like being hired at a law firm and being told that you are also in charge of removing wasp nests. Whatever, how about some rockabilly courtesy of the Tiger Army?
We've already discussed how Borromeo looks after digestion, but it bears repeating. If you've ever been deep in the throes of an acid reflux attack or a bout of Montezuma's Revenge you know how much you could use direct intercession with the Almighty. Surely this comes as no surprise. The Butthole Surfer's "Ulcer Breakout" has nothing to do with ulcers, but what do you want from a Satanist putting together a playlist for a saint?
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
In addition to a whole lot of random, vaguely connected stuff, saints get cities to look after. In Borromeo's case he picked up Monterey. California, not Mexico, otherwise we'd have used Frank Sinatra. Nothing wrong with the Animals, though.
As befits a man who reached as high as Borromeo reached in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church he is the saint of spiritual leaders and church officials. Then again, there is that whole setting people's heads on fire thing so we decided to go with a slightly more... forceful spiritual leader. Friends and enemies, here's Charlie himself, head of the love and terror cult.