Getting canonized doesn’t automatically make you famous, just so you know, all of you out there who aspire to the honor. Catholicism has too many saints for that. How many are there? More than 10,000 (nobody knows the exact number…there’s never been a head count). So suffice to say that only a very few saints’ names roll off the tongue of your typical Catholic. Just ask St. Guy of Anderlecht, patron saint of sheds and outhouses, St Gertrude of Nivelles, patron saint of suriphobia (the fear of mice) or St. Fiacre, patron saint of STD’s. None of them have popularly-celebrated feast days or fancy sterling saint medallions.
But St. Honoratus is different. He rose to fame, albeit well after his death around 600 AD. The year was 1060 AD and all around Europe small cults were springing up around various saints. Evidently it came to the attention of one of Honoratus’ successors, Bishop Guy of Amiens, that Honoratus had performed a number of miracles in his day, some of them having to do with agriculture. It being rather dry that year, Guy had Honoratus’ bones dug up, placed in an urn, and paraded around the city walls. It rained the next day.
It was thus that St. Honoratus achieved notoriety, at least in that corner of France. I don’t know if his bones are still brought out in Amiens when drought comes. My guess is not, since relics aren’t as big a thing in the Church as they used to be. But as for how Honoratus went on to become the patron saint of baking and pastry, more on that tomorrow.