The Cutthroats, Crooks, Trollops, Con Men, and Devil-Worshippers Who Became Saints
Format: eBook, 208 pages
ISBN: 978-0-385-51997-7 (0-385-51997-4)
Pub Date: September 19, 2006
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From thieves and extortionists to mass murderers and warmongers, up-close and embarrassingly personal snapshots of those sanctified people with the most unsaintly pasts in the history of Christianity.
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-saints. 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), Saints Behaving Badly will entertain, inform, and even inspire Catholic readers across America.
“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
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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