Wednesday, January 28, 2009

In Honor of Aquinas: A Saints Limerick Contest

sic here, filling in while IC's on her silent retreat.

In honor of the feast day of Saint Thomas Aquinas, I thought I would just remind everyone that although he is perhaps most famous for producing the Summa Theologiae, he also contributed to the development of high literature by penning the first known poem in the limerick form:

Sit vitiorum meorum evacuatio
Concupiscentae et libidinis exterminatio,
Caritatis et patientiae,
Humilitatis et obedientiae,
virtutum augmentatio.


Let my viciousness be emptied,
Desire and lust banished,
Charity and patience,
Humility and obedience,
And all the virtues increased.

So he didn't have the humor thing going on, but still: "Inventor of the Limerick." Think he's patron of all limericists?

Well, in honor of the old Dumb Ox, I submit the following:

There once was a theologian so terrific
he Summa'd the Godhead's ev'ry specific
til a branch hit his head
leaving him dead
and his view of God quite beatific.
Okay, okay, it doesn't quite scan, but it's the best I can do in ten minutes. (Also helps to know he died a while after smacking into a tree branch while riding. Probably too busy contemplating the next part of the Summa to look where he was going. Now that's irony for you.)

Think you can do better? Post your saint-related limerick in the midrash box. I'll post some of my arbitrarily chosen favorites on Monday or Tuesday, just before IC returns from her silent retreat.


dylan said...


Not about a canonized saint, but I hope you don't mind this one:

I admit to the presence of bias:
Of the nuns, I like Sister Matthias;
She dispels Satan's guile
With a prayer and a smile --
People needn't be grim to be pious!

Written about ten years ago, that's the holiest limerick I can manage!

Bismuth said...

For Simon it never got sweeter
Than when Jesus said "You are Peter,
And upon this rock
I entrust my flock."
And thus he became the church leader!

Allen's Brain said...

There once was a saint from Nantucket...

No, that'll never work!

dylan said...

There once was a padre named Pio
Who fought sin with vigor and brio;
With a stigmatized fist
He would pound on his chest
And exclaim "Peccatore son' io!"

(Doesn't quite work, but I figured I'd try one about a recognized saint!)

Dave said...

Ok, I'll take a shot at it:

There once was a saint named Augustine
Who spent his youth stealin' and lustin'
"Take and read," sang a youth
And he soon found the Truth
Now in Jesus alone is he trustin'

SIC said...

Great work so far, guys -- I needed a good laugh today, too!

Allen, extra credit if you DO come up with one from Nantucket that actually works.

DMinor said...

Here are two cents worth:

There once was a maiden named Lucy.
Who did not take vows very loosely.
Well she would not wed,
so she was made dead
by Governor of Syracusy.

Young Patrick was taken to Ireland
Which was full of pagans and firebrands.
With prayer, truth and smarts
He chang-ed their hearts
And gave them a glimpse of a higher plan.

Tim said...

I apologize in advance...

There once was a saint from Nantucket,
Who put all his sin in a bucket.
Out into the sea,
He threw it with glee,
And thereby told Satan to suck it!

Dave said...

Mine is pretty bad, too:

There once was a saint from Nantucket
Saved his crew off the coast of Pawtucket
Through the rain and the hail
He continued to bail
Now he's known as St. Thomas a Bucket!

jenniferfitz said...

From my personal devotion to Mother Theresa as patron saint of People Who Are Too Wealthy For Their Own Good:

When faced with a house full of clutter,
I've been known to piously utter,
"Help me to know,
what should stay, what should go,
Oh Blessed Theresa of Calcutta."

SherryTex said...

Whenever I'm at a loss
I just make the sign of the cross
To St. Anthony plead
To find what I need
And he interceeds with his Boss.

SherryTex said...

When asked to give credance to the Crown,
Sir Thomas Moore turned the King down.
He loved his country and the law
but of God held the most Awe
Now the Best Lawyer in Heaven to be Found.

You've ruined me. I keep thinking up new ones.

Tim said...

Many thought the young man was a saint.
As in rapture he'd shiver and faint.
They composed a cantata,
That praised his stigmata,
'Til the blood was revealed to be paint.

KateGladstone said...

I can improve the scansion of your limerick.

A theologian ultra-terrific
Summa'd Godhead in detail specific,
Till a branch hit his head,
And, before he was dead,
Made his vision of God beatific.

KateGladstone said...

There once was a saint from Nantucket
Who carried his head in a bucket —
For it had been removed —
Till this plan he improved
When he found, like a ball he could chuck it.

KateGladstone said...

Amending DMinor's two:

A young Christian maiden named Lucy,
Who on vows wouldn't be loosy-goosey.
Had resolved not to wed.
so was quickly made dead
by the Governor of Syracusy.

Young Patrick was kidnapped to Ireland:
''Twas the land of the pagan and firebrand,
Till — with prayer, truth, and smarts —
He altered their hearts
And gave them a glimpse of a higher plan.