Archive for February, 2015

Saint Bibiana: The patron saint of hangovers

February 13, 2015

written by Michael Oudyn


It turns out there is a patron saint of hangovers. Santa Bibiana is her name,  preventing hangovers is her game.  Why such an obviously useful saint is virtually unknown is one of the great mysteries of our times.

Saint Bibiana with her magic herbs

Her hagiography goes something like this. Bibiana lived in 4th century Rome with her pious Christian family all of whom were persecuted and/or martyred by the Romans. Our Bibiana, a real looker, steadfastly refused to renounce Christianity so she was handed over to a vicious lesbian called Ruffina who first tried to seduce her and then tried to force her into prostitution. But our Bibiana held firm. So a totally frustrated Ruffina fell into rage and had Bibiana tortured in various hideous ways, including the drinking of molten lead. But Bibiana “endured the torments with joy” and died a martyrs death. “Her body was then left for the dogs, but none would touch her.”  Two days later she was buried.

All this is well and good but how did this teetotaling prodigy of chastity and Christian zealousness become the patron saint of hangovers? (more…)