St. Patrick's Day is an excuse for Americans to party (read: get drunk), wear green clothes and eat all kinds of green food that any other time of year would look rotten. The Patron Saint of Ireland for which the holiday is named after was actually the son of two Romans living in Britain. He dedicated his life to converting the Irish from polytheism to Christianity, using the shamrock to explain the Trinity. Unlike most saints, St. Patrick was actually celebrated for his piety during his lifetime. He died peacefully of old age and received a proper burial at the time. Not everyone was that lucky.What Saints died horrible deaths? Here are all the saints who died horrible, horrible deaths.
St. Edmund - Tied to a Tree, Arrowed
Edmund was the king of an Anglo-Saxon kingdom, East Anglia, when it was attacked in the 9th century by Danish Viking Lord Ivar the Boneless.
Yes, the world is a worse place today because people have don't have names like this anymore.
Anyway, the Danish Viking Lord Ivar the Boneless came to wreak some havoc on our buddy St. Edmund. Refusing to give up his faith in Christ (as this would allow his kingdom be a pawn of the heathens), Edmund didn't put up a fight.
So, The Vikings beat him and strapped him to a tree before continuously pelting him with arrows as he called out to Christ for help. Nobody was home.
Infuriated by his resolute faith, they chopped off his head and threw it into the woods.
Edmund's people went in search of his head, calling out "Where are you friend?" and expecting it to somehow respond, which makes sense. According to the story, the head actually did respond, shouting out, "Here!" (in an ancient tongue, of course, where it probably sounded a bit more like "polo")
So when they did find the head, they found it in a hungry wolf's paws, uneaten.
Edmund's followers believed the wolf had been sent by Christ to protect it, instead of by its stomach to almost eat it.
The king was given a proper burial and his wounds miraculously healed, his head reattached to his body and his skin did not decay even after years of his burial.What I want to know is who the sick bitched is who opened the coffin to find that out?
St. Mercurius - Tortured with Sharp Nails and Burned before being Beheaded
Mercurius fought under the Roman Emperor Decius in 250 and defeated the Berbers, an indigenous people of North Africa, after the Archangel Michael, aka heaven's Wizard of Oz, gave him courage.
A guy named Decius appointed him prince after his victory because of his achievement as a warrior and also because their names rhymed.
Apparently, they weren't good enough buddies, though, because Decius then began persecuting Christians, which was cool back then.
He invited Mercurius to the palace to worship the Gods but the Archangel's dose of courage had worn off and Mercurius took a sick day off from Christianity and decided to take a load off.
The next day he disappeared into a crowd to avoid Decius. When the emperor finally caught on that Mercurius refused to worship the gods, he threw him in jail.
Mercurius endured numerous tortures, from being hung between two poles to being stabbed with sharp nails and burned, in complete silence. Braveheart (at first) style.
The Archangel healed him and Decius denounced the miracle as witchcraft.
The people of the area loved Mercurius, though, so Decius sent him away to be beheaded so the people wouldn't rise up and cause too much trouble at the site of his duress.When Mercurius had a vision of Jesus finally inviting him to heaven after all that torture (tough man to please) Mercurius begged his executioners to carry out his sentence, at which point he was beheaded.
St. Valentine - Beaten with Clubs and Stones, Beheaded
February's romantic holiday is not really based on love at all.
St. Valentine was a Christian priest in Rome during the third century who married couples and aided persecuted Christians in finding love, cause he was a badass and getting married at some point was a rebellious thing to do. And he didn't even dress up as Elvis.
But for these ceremonies and his cause, he was imprisoned by the Roman Emperor Claudius II, who took a liking to him until Valentine tried to convert him to Christianity -- which is always when conversations go South, isn't it?
Anyway, he was beaten with clubs and stones.But when he wouldn't renounce the faith in his Christian God, he was beheaded on February 14 around 270 A.D.
St. Dymphna - Flees from Incest, Pays for It
Passed on through oral tradition, this story is about an Irish girl living in the 7th century whose Christian mother died when she was 14.
What happened next involves a sick mix of necrophilia and incest.
Dymphna's pagan father wanted to find a new wife who looked like his previous one, kind of like most families do with dogs.
When he got around to realizing that no one could look exactly like his wife, he went for his next best option: his daughter. So, she fled with her servants to Belgium. When he found her hiding place, he tried to convince her to return to Ireland with him. She refused and he decapitated her on the spot, cause everyone was really good at doing that back then for some reason. If he couldn't have her, no one could.Dymphna is the patron saint of people with mental illnesses, incest victims and runaways.