Welcome, the Patron Saint of Comedy!

saint genesiusI think Catholicism may be the most OCD religion in the world. I know, with the rosaries and Hail Mary’s and huddled masses it isn’t shocking, but that they have so many, very specific saints is pathological.

For example, Saint Genesius of Rome, the Patron Saint of Comedians.[1] He must have killed before he was killed.

It seems he was in a play that mocked Christianity for Emperor Chuckles McDiocletian’s amusement, when things suddenly got real. Genesius started seeing angels, made the mistake of telling everyone within earshot, and then asked to be baptized for real, on stage. What a drama queen! For coming out of the dressing room closet as a Christian, Diocletian had Genesius’ head removed, c. 286 or c. 303, doesn’t matter. What matters is what made Genesius a saint; not being a funny guy, for being a dead funny guy.

Of course it all started with a legend, as most religious stories do. Genesius of Arles (only one to a town please) worked as a legal clerk, heard about Christ and wanted to get baptized. At this point in the story he got some really terrible advice:

He…was not trusted by the bishop he found, who instead advised him that martyrdom was at least as good in the eyes of God. Genesius was eventually beheaded.

Martyrdom is at least as good?! That’s quite a span: dipped in water or decapitated. Meh, same difference. Genesius didn’t even bother to get a second opinion, he headed (headed…get it?) straight toward the sword. I guess that’s why he wasn’t named Geniusius!


[1] Also the patron saint of actors, clowns, comics converts (what are they?!), dancers, musicians, stenographers, printers, lawyers, epileptics, thieves, torture victims, and apparently, even magicians.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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