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

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Crown Publishing Group, Sep 19, 2006 - Religion - 208 pages
30 Reviews
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.
 

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Contents

St Dismas Thief
4
St Callixtus Embezzler
10
St Hippolytus Antipope
18
St Christopher Servant of the Devil
24
St Pelagia Promiscuous Actress
30
St Moses the Ethiopian Cutthroat
40
St Alipius Obsessed with Blood Sports 5 7
62
St Vladimir F ratricide Rapist and Practitioner
89
Blessed Giles of Portugal Satanist
126
Blessed Angela of Foligno Gossip and Hedonist
135
St Ignatius of Loyola Egotist
141
St Camillus de Lellis Cardsharp and Con Man
156
St Peter Claver Dithering Novice
172
Venerable Matt Talbot Chronic Alcoholic
180
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About the author (2006)

THOMAS J. CRAUGHWELL is the author of Saints Behaving Badly, Saints Preserved, This Saint Will Change Your Life, and Pope Francis: The Pope from the End of the Earth. Every month he writes a column on patron saints for Catholic diocesan newspapers. He has also written about saints for the Wall Street Journal, St. Anthony Messenger, and Catholic Digest and has discussed saints on CNN and EWTN. His book, Stealing Lincoln's Body, was made into a two-hour documentary on the History Channel.

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