Monday, April 4, 2016


Even the more common name of "shingles" isn't known by all. I only heard of it when I was in my 20s when a priest I lived with suffered from it. Growing up as a kid I never heard of shingles.

In Chamorro, shingles is called "tininon San Antonio," or "Saint Anthony's burn."

Shingles is a painful skin rash caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox.

So that explains the tinino part....the burn.

But why San Antonio?

First of all, we're not talking about the Saint Anthony almost everybody knows - the Franciscan Saint Anthony.

No; here we are talking about a different Saint Anthony. The first one, actually, who was a hermit monk in the desert, and is thus called Saint Anthony of the Desert, among his various names.

A legend about Saint Anthony says that he went down to fires of hell to try and rescue souls. Centuries later, people afflicted with shingles prayed for his help, since the fires of hell had no power over him.

A medieval man suffers from tininon San Antonio

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this explanation. Just 6 months ago I wanted to the history because my niece had this starting in her upper rib area and my mothers first words were exactly tinino San Antonio