Semester's end might be the dog days of blogging, so here is a fact-filled page on St. Bernards. An excerpt:
Christians, scorned by the pagan empire, were often thrown into arenas to battle St. Bernards. The St. Bernards, however, were noble and no friend to the corrupt emperors. They would usually swallow their enemy whole, only to regurgitate them back up later unharmed and somewhat drunk on brandy. Because of this, the image of a man emerging out of the mouth of a St. Bernard took on a pious association. To this day many churches feature statues and stained glass depictions of St. Bernards vomiting up Christians in lieu of traditional pietas.
Many believe that Emperor Nero orchestrated the burning of Rome out of jealousy towards the St. Bernards, the gods' most favored creature. Whether true or not, one cannot deny that the St. Bernard had a tremendous influence on Roman culture and history.