Your RDA of Irony


I was not named for St. Eugene but December 30th is his feast day. Here is what the Catholic Encyclopedia had to say about him.

St. Eugene
Feastday: December 30

Bishop of Milan, Italy, not documented at this time.

Well, that is edifying….Of course, I am relieved to know that he was not one of those medieval maniacs: “Converted Southern France by depopulating it.”

However, I do enjoy reading about the creative martyrdoms the exasperated Romans inflicted on those annoying saints. “Within three minutes of meeting Eugenius, Marcus Aurelius lost his temper and ordered that the complete works of Aristophanes be tattooed on the bishop’s tongue.”

Unfortunately, this Eugenius seems to be the patron saint of anonymity. Perhaps I can ghostwrite his hagiography, but Milan is not exactly an interesting place. If you had to have appendicitis in Italy, I really would recommend Milan; in Rome or Florence the doctors would take a three hour lunch in the middle of your surgery. (In Naples, the doctors would ship you to Rome or Florence…by bus.) Otherwise, Milan is just Zurich with pasta.

So, what could St. Eugenius have done there….

And, lo with one liter of gelato he did cure the models of Versace of anorexia.

  1. Bob Kincaid says:

    Me, I think he invented opera with his wailings as said tattoos were applied. La Scala was built on the site of the tattoo parlor.

    “Scala” translates roughly as “staircase.” It may well be what St. Eugene was thrown down after suggesting pagan Italians eat a saltine that, he said, would turn into human flesh in their tum-tums.

    Dang, Eugene! Let’s make up a new religion. It would appear to be a great racket!

    I read that Paris Hilton’s grampa just gave away most of her inheritance. Maybe she could be our first martyr: St. Paris of OFF-the-Rack.

  2. The point of this website is to create a cult…and maybe drum up some paying work, too. Even Jesus in the midst of his ministry would not have turned down an order for a credenza.

  3. Leah says:

    St. Eugenius met his martyrdom at the hands of executive assistants and v.p.s for communications, who irritated him to death with their emailed requests for editing out erudition, sarcasm, and any wit that was only be perceptible to someone who had come of age in the era of the landline. Thus, in the tradition of saints who came to sponsor those who happened to use professionally the instruments of their martyrdom (as the martyr who was tortured with shears became the patron saint of tailors), St. Eugenius became the patron saint of bloggers. Or maybe spammers.

  4. Leah says:

    p.s. Milan is actually Zurich with risotto– and not bad it is, too. I also like the placement of the Milan duomo, which is separated only by a big open plaza from the neon signs of the Milanese entertainment district. It’s as if Notre Dame cathedral were picked up and dropped in the Ginza.

  5. Peggles says:

    Sorry Eugene – your namesake seems to have been the Rodney Dangerfield of the sainted.

  6. Poor St. Eugene. He became a pope, I read, but kept a low profile. None of that Borgia nonsense for him.
    I thought that Milan was great for leather…an industrial center. Trenton of Italy?

  7. Eugene:

    There was Pope Eugene…go with him for your namesake. He is buried with St. Peter in St. Peter’s Basilica.
    He refused to join the Byzantine empire and sent them some opaque note, and they threatened to roast him as they had roasted Pope Martin I.
    Fortunately, for him, but not for the Byzantine Empire, the Muslims intervened, and overthrew the Holy Byzantine Empire, and so he was spared and went back to assigning 21 bishops to go and spread the Christian faith all over the world. He died in 667. In Rome. Far less parochial a city than Milan…but I do want some of those leather shoes.

    • Eugene Finerman says:


      There were four Pope Eugenes, and only the first is a saint. Ironically, his guardian angel was Mohammed. Islam was a major distraction for the Byzantines–losing half of their empire. Eventually, the Moslems would wrest Sicily from Byzantium; but that was long after Eugene I. But in Eugenius’ lifetime, Byzantium still controlled most of Italy: Sicily and much of the South, Romagna–including Rome, and northeastern Italy. Venice was a Byzantine outpost; St. Mark’s Archbishop is still referred to as the Patriarch.

      I have speculated about a fifth Pope Eugene….


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