(From Claudio Coello, via Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.)
(Saint Dominic, patron of: astronomers; astronomy; Dominican Republic; falsely accused people; Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico, U.S.A.; Valletta and Birgu, Malta; and Managua, Nicaragua.)
I ran into the names of a few patron saints while researching a post that's due Friday morning:
- Chemists (apothecaries)
Now that I think about it, I don't know of a patron Saint of X-ray crystallographers either. Röntgen discovered X-rays, and there weren't any molecular biologists before the 1930s.
Aristotle wrote "Meteorology" about 2,350 years back, and folks were making systematic observations from the 1400s, at least: but meteorology didn't take off until around the 1600s or 1700s, depending on who you listen to.
We've got at least a half-dozen patron Saints of physicians, including St. Luke the Evangelist. He's got a rather large portfolio: he's also patron of artists, surgeons, students and — I am not making this up — butchers; and several other occupations.
I think the explanation is that "physician" is an occupation that's changed over the millennia, but which predates ancient civilizations like Sumer.
Folks haven't been meteorologists for more than a few centuries, tops: and nobody was a molecular biologist, computer programmer, or nuclear physicist, until a few decades back.
Given time, I'm pretty sure that someone one of those job titles will be recognized as a Saint: and may wind up as patron saint of one or more of those disciplines.
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences includes several molecular biologists, and that's another topic:
Inquisitior started in Lombardy, and that's yet another topic. Topics. (July 22, 2012; September 19, 2011)
- "Science, Faith, and Albertus Magnus"
(February 23, 2014)
- "Smallpox, Science, and Silliness"
(February 12, 2014)
- "2 + 2 = 4, Therefore … : Getting a Grip about Faith and Science"
(February 5, 2014)
- "Jeanne d'Arc: Barbecued History"
(December 16, 2013)
- "Ancient Style and Today's Discussions at the 'Vatican Science Academy' "
(October 2, 2011)