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Saint Foutin was a syncretic amalgam of Priapus with Pothinus, a figure of uncertain historicity alleged by Irenaeus to have been the first bishop of Lyon. The similarity of the name Pothinus and the Old French verb foutre led to linguistic assimilation[1]; the name Saint Foutin is roughly equivalent in modern English to Saint Fuck.

St. Foutin was immensely popular. He was believed to have a wonderful influence in restoring fertility to barren women and vigor and virility to impotent men. It is related that, in the church at Varages, in Provence, to such a degree of reputation had the shrine of this saint risen, it was customary for the afflicted to make a wax image of their impotent and flaccid organ, which was deposited on the shrine. On windy days the beadle and sexton were kept busy in picking up these imitations of decrepit and penitent male members from the floor, whither the wind wafted them, much to the annoyance and disturbance of the female portions of the congregation, whose devotions are said to have been sadly interfered with.

At a church in Embrun there was a large phallus, which was said to be a relic of St. Foutin. The worshippers were in the habit of offering wine to this deity, as a libation (the wine was poured over the head of the organ); a sacred vessel underneath caught the wine, which was then called holy vinegar, and believed to be an efficacious remedy in cases of sterility, impotence, or want of virility.

See also


  1. ^ Elizabeth A. Chesney, The Rabelais Encyclopedia, article on Saints, Imaginary
  • P.C. Remondino (1891). History of Circumcision. pp. 78–79.  

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