Which Catholic saint played checkers? -- answer

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Which Catholic saint played checkers? -- answer

Postby Pedro Saavedra on Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:19 pm

Fellow papists on this forum may be aware of the fact that St. Theresa of Avila, St. Charles Borromeo and St. Ignatious of Loyola all played chess. There is at least one Catholic saint who played checkers, and the matter is so documented that this saint's checkerboard is kept in a reliquary along with other possessions of the saint. I will add that far from being an obscure saint, the name will be very familiar to Catholics.

I will post the answer in a day or two.
Last edited by Pedro Saavedra on Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Which Catholic saint played checkers?

Postby Mr. Checkers on Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:20 pm

Many saints were avid checker players, especially those that lived and worked in the poorer countries of the world. St. Francis of Assissi would be a good choice, since he was the most beloved of all the saints, but he lived earlier than checkers as the game we know it today was played. Please give us a few days to work on this very interesting question. (Cont.)
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Re: Which Catholic saint played checkers?

Postby Ingo_Zachos on Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:00 pm

I know that St. David and St. Agnes r always connected with checkered patterns, but it does not refer to the games of draughts/checkers or chess I was told.
But of course many "modern age" popes that became saints played chess or draughts/checkers.

BTW: Is there a fictious "gooddess of checkers" like caissa for chess ?
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Re: Which Catholic saint played checkers?

Postby Mr. Checkers on Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:48 pm

In researching the checker playing Catholic Saints this afternoon I was very pleased to find that checkers is being played extensively throughout the Catholic school systems across America. That is great news to hear that this saintly activity is being promoted there. And of course "Thou Shall Not Steal" takes on a whole new meaning in this case. (Cont.)
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Re: Which Catholic saint played checkers?

Postby Pedro Saavedra on Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:11 pm

Last night I put the question to my wife, who does not play checkers and did not know the answer for a fact, but she took a wild guess and guessed right.

I also want to correct the phrase "checkers as we know it" since most of us are aware of many national variants. The saint, for example, did not play 3-move restriction. So let us mean by "checkers" any of the family of variants that at least some of us play from time to time (e.g., had I been talking about an Italian saint the game could have been Italian checkers).
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Re: Which Catholic saint played checkers?

Postby Mr. Checkers on Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:25 pm

Mother Teresa (saint of the gutters) played checkers with the poor, sick, homeless, lepers etc. in India for many years. (Cont.)
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Re: Which Catholic saint played checkers?

Postby Ingo_Zachos on Thu Aug 10, 2006 5:43 am

Mother Teresa is not a saint.
Must be someone else.

St. Peter would be a wild guess, but it is the same category as St. David: the "checkered board" that is taken as a relic is NOT a checkerboard.
Someone told me a chequered board was a secret symbol for christians (like the fish) in the days they had to hide their belief.
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Re: Which Catholic saint played checkers?

Postby Pedro Saavedra on Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:41 pm

St. Therese of Lisieux, The Little Flower, wrote in her autobiography:

"What shall I say of the winter evenings at home, especially the Sunday evenings? Ah! How I loved, after the game of checkers was over, to sit with C
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Re: Which Catholic saint played checkers?

Postby Mr. Checkers on Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:00 pm

Excellent checker trivia question Pedro. We enjoyed it very much even though we fell short in coming up with the correct answer. (Cont.) .
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Re: Which Catholic saint played checkers?

Postby rich beckwith on Sat Aug 12, 2006 2:31 pm

Yes, enjoyed the question Pedro.

On a lighter note, I will point out that checkers goes back even further to the book of Genesis (Gen 14:9) where it describes the situation as five kings against four!
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