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Napping in the Catholic Tradition
No patron saint of napping?!
We’re a curious bunch here and got to wondering what other religions (besides Judaism) have to say about napping. I know, I know, religion and politics…I know, but hear me out.
My research turned up a few interesting factoids:
The word “siesta” comes from the Latin word “sext,” denoting the sixth hour of the day (typically around noon)
The Latin word “sext” also refers to monks’ midday prayers
Saint Benedict of Norcia, the sixth century Italian monk, has written that monks must rest after their midday prayer and meal:
And when they rise from table after the sixth hour let them rest upon their beds in complete silence; or if by chance anyone should wish to read, let him so read as that he may not disturb anyone else.
- Rules, c. 530.
Then there’s Saint Elidius (a.k.a. Lide), an Italian bishop, who lived on the Sicilian island of St. Helens. My further research suggests the existence of a seriocomic holiday (sound familiar?) dedicated to the man, where the length of a youth’s single nap is said to determine how much time the other miners would have to nap over the next twelve months.
Finally, my research suggests that some pray to St. Joseph for sleep, among other things. He’s the closest I could find to a patron saint of napping, sidestepping the fact that we differentiate between sleeping and napping. Saint Joseph’s Day (in Western Christianity) is coming on Sunday March 19th — wishing those who celebrate a good holiday.