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Saints Behaving Badly - The Cutthroats, Crooks, Trollops, Con Men, and Devil-Worshippers Who Became Saints

Item Number: 1116

Catalog Code: 9780385517201

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Saints Behaving Badly

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“Finally a book that reveals the saints as they truly were before grace intruded. Here are all your favorite intercessors with their venal, cranky, obnoxious, murderous tendencies intact. Destroying centuries of pious legends, Thomas Craughwell has written a darned inspiring book about real saints. If these folks can make the cut, maybe there’s hope for the rest of us.”
—Raymond Arroyo, New York Times bestselling author of Mother Angelica and EWTNews Director

Saints are not born, they are made. And many, as Saints Behaving Badly reveals, were made of very rough materials indeed. The first book to lay bare the less than saintly behavior of thirty-two venerated holy men and women, it presents the scandalous, spicy, and sleazy detours they took on the road to sainthood.

In nineteenth- and twentieth-century writings about the lives of the saints, authors tended to go out of their way to sanitize their stories, often glossing over the more embarrassing cases with phrases such as, “he/she was once a great sinner.” In the early centuries of the Church and throughout the Middle Ages, however, writers took a more candid and spirited approach to portraying the saints. Exploring sources from a wide range of periods and places, Thomas Craughwell discovered a veritable rogues gallery of sinners-turned-saint. There’s St. Olga, who unleashed a bloodbath on her husband’s assassins; St. Mary of Egypt, who trolled the streets looking for new sexual conquests; and Thomas Becket, who despite his vast riches refused to give his cloak to a man freezing to death in the street.

Written with wit and respect (each profile ends with what inspired the saint to give up his or her wicked ways) and illustrated with amusing caricatures, Saints Behaving Badly will entertain, inform, and even inspire Catholic readers across America.

About the Author

THOMAS J. CRAUGHWELL is the author of a dozen books, including Saints for Every Occasion, Do Blue Bedsheets Bring Babies?: The Truth Behind Old Wives Tales, and three volumes of urban legends. He writes a monthly column on patron saints for Catholic diocesan newspapers. Craughwell has written about saints for The Wall Street Journal, St. Anthony Messenger, and Catholic Digest, and has discussed them on CNN and EWTN. He lives in Bethel, Connecticut.




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0385517203
9780385517201
208
7 3/4"  (19.6 cm) x 5 1/4"  (13.3 cm) x 1"  (2.54 cm)
More Doubleday Gifts
2006

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St. Mary of Egypt

Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 04/03


Patron Of: Penitent Women, Reformed Prostitutes, Sexual Temptation

Also known as
    Maria Aegyptica

Memorial

    3 April; 1 April in the Greek Church

Profile

    Beautiful, spoiled, cynical, disenchanted, rich child who was the center of her family's pride, and repaid them by running away at age 12. Ran to Alexandria, Egypt where she worked as a dancer, singer, and prostitute for 17 years. Took ship on a pilgrimage to Palestine, hoping to ply her trade among the pilgrims, and then in Jerusalem.

    On the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross she moved with the crowds to the church, looking for customers. At the church door she found herself repelled, unable to open the door; she was overcome with remorse for her life and exclusion from the Church. She repented, and asked for Our Lady's guidance; a voice told that to find rest, she should cross the Jordan River. The next day she crossed the river, wandered into the desert, and took up the life of a hermit for nearly 50 years as penance.

    She lived on herbs, berries, and whatever came to hand. She met Saint Zosimus of Palestine. She once told him to come back exactly one year from that day; when he did, he found she'd died; with a lion help, he dug her grave. Zosimus later wrote a biography of her, and her life was a popular story in the Middle Ages.

Born

    c.344 in Egypt

Died

    c.421 in the desert near the River Jordan of natural causes
    relics at Rome, Naples, Cremona, and Antwerp

Canonized

    Pre-Congregation

Patronage

    penitent women
    reformed prostitutes
    sexual temptation


All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

   

St. Thomas a Becket

St. Thomas a Becket Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 12/29


Patron Of: Clergy, Portsmouth, England, Secular Clergy

Also known as

    * Thomas Beckett
    * Thomas of Canterbury

Memorial

    * 29 December

Profile

    Of Norman ancestry. Educated at Merton Priory, Paris, Bologna, and Auxerre. Civil and canon lawyer. Soldier and officer. Archdeacon of Canterbury. Friend of King Henry II. Chancellor of England. Ordained on 2 June 1162 and appointed archbishop of Canterbury on 3 June 1162. Opposed the King‘s interference in ecclesiastical matters. Exiled several times. Martyr.

Born

    * 21 December 1118 at London, England

Died

    * murdered on 29 December 1170 in the Cathedral at Canterbury, England

Canonized

    * 21 February 1173 by Pope Alexander III

Patronage

    * clergy
    * Exeter College, Oxford, England
    * Portsmouth, England
    * secular clergy

Representation

    * archbishop with a wounded head
    * archbishop holding an inverted sword
    * archbishop kneeling before his murderers
    * archbishop being murdered in church
    * crosier with a battle-axe head at the top



All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

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