This episode will focus on the strange saints you've probably never heard of. Yes, it's time to revisit that divine font of lulz that gave us gems like the fervent young lady on whose tongue Christ's sexy severed foreskin materialized--if only David Bowie had been around back then, she her hnnhgh been satisfied with a T-shirt or two. In any case, if you've ever wanted to hear about "saints" doing silly things and/or flying, this is the episode for you.
A form of evangelism whereby you attract attention to what you have to say through ackin a foo. Instead of fire and brimstone, you opt for topsy-turvy whimsy that puts society on its head and invites questions as to what's up with all this Kingdom of God business. Well, think less Willy Wonka whimsy, more insanity. Pants-on-head mental for the Lord. And you thought the Pentecostals had that down pat!
The idea is that not only does it gather focus on you, it also does so in a way that doesn't inadvertently praise you--praise that should be going to God up above. And it also amplifies the fundamental Christian message that no matter how cuckoo bananas and caked in black cocaine you get, you are still loved and forgiven by the one and only holier than thou. Nothing's sacred, because everything is.
Holy fools rub elbows with the downtrodden and flea ridden while they pretend to be stark raving, while other ascetic types would be playing at purity up in their isolated monasteries.
There's also the idea that deliberately provoking the ass beatings you're sure to get is a Christlike humility, rejecting the worldly society that treasures violence and lust for power. It even polices other priests, less they turn their noses up at the masses whose feet they're supposed to be washing.
Finally, it skirts with the notion that normal, sane minds can't possibly survive an encounter with the truly divine and remain untouched.
The holy fool tradition has been seen in various Christian traditions, ranging from the Desert Fathers of the Middle East to the ascetics of the Eastern Orthodox Church... or they could just be regular old fools the lot of them, depending on how jaded you're feeling at the moment.
St Simeon SalusEdit
St. Simeon Salus (also known as Abba Simeon), was the first holy fool, and boy did he hit the scene with a bang. After a sojourn in the desert for prayer, he returned a changed man, the townsfolk figuring the sun had cooked his brains something fierce as he dragged a dead dog tied to his waist. It was probably a bigger breed, and not some toy poodle--you know, for the visual impact he was aiming for. His exploits in the cray cray include:
- Tossing nuts at women during mass. Unfortunately, the Eucharist couldn't be flung at him in retaliation due to the Jesus' flesh's curious lack of aerodynamics. But, come to think of it, The Eucharist would make a cute little flesh frisbee.
- On the way out of the church, Simeon overturned (έστρεψεν) the tables of the pastry chefs. BASTAAARD!! But, apparently he also fed the hungry (perhaps with soil covered doughnuts?)
- sometimes he pretended to have a limp, sometimes he jumped around, sometimes he dragged himself along on his buttocks, sometimes he stuck out his foot for someone running and tripped him. When he dragged himself along on his buttocks, it was to warn of the coming of Kirk Hastings. Indeed, legend has it that he was the one who invented "The Hokey Pokey".
- Other times when there was a new moon, he looked at the sky and fell down and thrashed about. Sometimes he was able to trip up multiple people while thrashing about, earning score multipliers for his combos. This would have been aided by the lack of moonlight - he only partook in strategic thrashing abouts.
- He defecated in the open and consorted with prostitutes. However, even prostitutes have standards. Ems: Did he always do those things in that order? Also, there's a story about the prostitute thing. Apparently, due to their own lack of hygeine, the prostitutes of the time had poor hearing, and thought he was St. Simeon of Phallus. A crazy guy with a big dick? Where is he? Sounds like a customer I wanna score, right there.
- He ate sausages on Good Friday, presumably good sausages
- He ran through women's bathhouses. At least he didn't linger to leer.
- He was notorious for eating beans to summon a great flatulence, much like Adolf Hitler. Well, at least he never met Samson, coz if he'd set his coat tails on fire, that would have ended badly.
So yeah, while he did do good deeds in secret, to the public at large he was just a dick. He stoically endured many a falling down and thrashing of fists his way, but can you really blame them when he pulled shit like this:
""His ministry also included trying to save a man whose eyes suffered from leucoma (a whitening of the cornea). Jesus had previously used saliva and clay to cure a man of blindness, and when the man with eye disease approached Simeon, he anointed the man's eyes with mustard, burning him and aggravating the condition to the extent that he reportedly went blind. Later the eyes were healed by the advice of Simeon, who used such way to explain the man's sins and bring him to correction."
Yeah huh. We'll take your word for it. Pssst somebody body check this guy for some detached eyeballs.
Ems: "What, you say your eyeballs are starting to drip from your sockets? That just means it's working!"
Joe: "Who's the one between the two of us that can SEE the state of your eyeballs? That's right, it's ME. Now sit still, it takes for fucking ever for the stupid mustard to exit the bottle." (hitting bottle noises).
It was only after Simeon died that all of his good deeds and even miracles were revealed, and the city came to understand his supposed madness was just an act. Though there probably could have been a veneer more hygienic than swinging dead dogs around the children.
Also, get this. He was known as "Abba Simeon", right? Well, ABBA used the word "fool" in some of their songs, so he was also obviously a prophet.
We make fun, but honestly... is it true humility if it's ultimately a ruse? If a saint loves humiliation, is it really humiliation to them anymore? Isn't he supposed to be actually suffering as opposed to pretending to suffer? Not to mention being a dick (St. Simeon of Phallus), however calculated, would just turn people off. From my perspective, it's far more honest to just come out as better than most people because, if you're a saint, you just are.
St Lydwine of SchiedamEdit
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lidwina - patron saint of ice skaters (lol)
http://archive.org/stream/schiedamvirgin00kempuoft/schiedamvirgin00kempuoft_djvu.txt (ctr + F - "worms" and "intestines")
Poor Lidwina's life peaked at 15. She suffered an injury and cracked her rib while ice skating--probably the work of a late 14th century Dutch Tonya Harding--and thereafter her days became a series of compounding woes. Wikipedia says:
""She never recovered and became progressively disabled for the rest of her life. Her biographers state that she became paralyzed except for her left hand and that great pieces of her body fell off, and that blood poured from her mouth, ears, and nose.""
Holy shit, I would have LED with that bit of information! Oh, and how appropriate it is that she is the patron saint of ice skaters. WHAT?
It's also attested that, quote, "Lidwina shed skin, bones, parts of her intestines, which her parents kept in a vase and which gave off a sweet odor. These excited so much attention that Lidwina had her mother bury them."
Joe: What is she, a fucking boa constrictor!?
How exactly does one "shed bone"? And, if my child WAS doing that, my first instinct would be to make an artistic arrangement of them in a vase. Methinks the cray cray gene is dominant in this family.
To this day, Lidwina's intestines sell big on the black market as an aphrodisiac for wealthy Chinese magnates.
She also housed tons of worms under her skin at any given time, so people would clean out her intestines and stuff 'em back in, all freshened up.
"Several hagiographical accounts of her life exist (that means biographies of hags - oh sorry, saints). One of these states that while the soldiers of Philip of Burgundy were occupying Schiedam, a guard was set around her to test her fasts, which were authenticated. I can just see that guard sitting in front of her, stuffing his face with chocolate doughnuts, spaghetti carbonara and butter chicken, slowly licking his fingers and asking "You hungry, Lid Weiner??? Hmm?"
It is also reported that four soldiers abused her during this occupation, claiming that Lidwina's swollen body was due to her being impregnated by the local priest rather than from her sickness"
They've gotta point. There's only so much bulge malnutrition can give you, and remember she was lacking her skeleton and skin, making it easy to confirm whether or not she was truly with child. On that note, I know priests have pretty sick ideas as to what is a turn on, but a woman with worms coming out of her gut, bits of her body dropping off and bones falling all over the place surely is a stretch, even for them.
Joe, are you fapping?
""When moved by others, she was bound with cloths to keep the parts of her body together, so much was it worn and emaciated. She lived a considerable time almost without either nourishment or sleep, and had many sores on her face, legs, and other parts, like scurvy induced inflammations and ulcers. For the thirty last years of her life, she never quitted her bed. The three or four first years of her sickness she was obliged to use violence, and to make continual efforts to maintain her soul constantly in the perfect sentiments of patience and resignation.""
God did nothing to assuage her anguish, because "Lidwina" is not a real name.
BTW, did anyone ever stop to consider that she might be a zombie? Why the fuck not?
St Joseph of CupertinoEdit
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Saints (see link at the bottom - lol)
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/saint.php?n=598 - patron saint of air travellers (lol) Ladies, gentlemen: the description of St. Joseph of Cupertino on Catholic News Agency;
On September 18, the Church celebrates the life of St. Joseph of Cupertino, a mystic who was perhaps most famous for his ability to fly.
But you see, as if flying weren't comical enough, St. Joseph of Cupertino was also known to be quite "cognitively challenged". Aside from his sainted appellation of "open-mouthed," (for his "gaping manner"), he was also supposedly a very poor student. Quote:
""He had an irascible temper and read very poorly, giving others the impression that he was dumb and good for nothing. Aside from that, he was so continually drawn into ecstasy that it was impossible for him to be attentive to the tasks at hand. Thus, when he secured a job, he lost it very quickly.""
Oh, but I think it was exactly when he was attentive to the "task at hand" that he pumped out one ecstasy after the other! Probs. fantasizing too much about Ledwina.
Ems: Do you suppose he flew into a brick wall headfirst? Would that make him a......MORTAR?
""Joseph was a very poor student, however during his final examination, the examiner happened to ask him a question on the one topic he knew well. He passed and was admitted into the priesthood""
That subject was definitely "Human Flight, Self."
""It was also soon recognized that though he knew little by way of worldly knowledge and had little capacity to learn, Joseph was infused with a divine knowledge that made him capable of solving some of the most intricate theological quandaries."
For example, whether the Catholic Church was correct (yes) and whether St. Joseph of Cupertino reached escape velocity by farting the rosary (of course, but he went the wrong direction and didn't realize he was heading towards the sun before it was too late).
"Vatican, I think we have a problem......"
""For the last 35 years of his life as a priest he was unable to celebrate Mass in public because he would often, without being able to help it, be lifted up into the air when he went into an ecstatic state, which happened at nearly every Mass. It took only the slightest reference of anything having to do with God in order for this state to be induced in him.""
This guy is a fucking living punchline.
He is the patron of air travelers and students preparing for exams. Don't do both at the same time or you'll cross his poor eyes, and we don't need any more pairs of eyes rolling around after Simeon. He is said to have worn a prickly hair shirt and bound his loins with chains, as well as deliberately made his own food unpalatable. I think he was just too dumb to have known any better. He even fastened a metal plate to his body to press on his sores, from when he would go flying into vases and the like. At that rate just wear a metal suit and zip around like Iron Man.
Legend has it that he was the inaugural winner of "Cupertino's Got Talent".
St Francis of AssisiEdit
Many of you will know of St Francis of Assissi.
There were a few things about him that made him "special".
His father was pretty well off, which was all good for Frank while he was a snotty adolescent. But, after being a total party animal for several years, Francis started to spend more time in prayer. He went off to a cave and wept for his sins.
One day while riding through the countryside, Francis came face to face with a leper. Repelled by the appearance and the smell of the leper, Francis nevertheless jumped down from his horse and kissed the hand of the leper. When his kiss of peace was returned, Francis was filled with joy. As he rode off, he turned around and saw that the leper had disappeared. He always looked upon it as a test from God...that he had passed.
His search for conversion led him to the ancient church at San Damiano. While he was praying there, he heard Christ on the crucifix speak to him, "Francis, repair my church." Francis assumed this meant church with a small c -- the crumbling building he was in. Acting again in his impetuous way, he took fabric from his father's shop and sold it to get money to repair the church. His father complained to a bishop about this dickishness he saw as theft, and Frank was ordered to cough up the bikkies for his dad. He said "nuh uh", took off all his clothes and stood stark raving naked in front of the large number of people present. Then he went off into the freezing woods -- singing.
Frank also exhibited stigmata, but not just your everyday bleeding from holes stigmata. Oh no. This guy also had black nail like protuberances made from his flesh sticking out of his hands and feet. And yes, that did make it hard for him to walk, but thus was invented the stigmataletto. He also was able to levitate - sometimes so high that other people couldn't reach him. College basketball scholarship - right there.
But, St Frank is best known for his love for and ability to commune with our animal friends. In fact, he preached to them - just like they were hoomans. It is said that, one day, Francis and some of his mates came to a place in the road where the trees were filled with birds. Francis told his companions to "wait for me while I go to preach to my sisters, the birds." The birds surrounded him, intrigued by the power of his voice, and none of them flew away. He is often portrayed with a bird, typically in his hand. Chick magnet.
Joe: Cheep cheep don't be a sissy cheep cheep
Another legend tells how there was a nasty arse wolf hanging around a city where Frank Lived. It was scaring the crap out of people and even eating some of them. Frank felt sorry for the townspeople, and went up into the hills to find the wolf. All his companions shat themselves and ran off, but Frank pressed on. When he found the wolf, he made the sign of the cross and commanded the wolf to come to him and hurt no one. Miraculously the wolf closed his jaws and lay down at his feet. Frank said "Brother Wolf, you do much harm in these parts and you have done great evil. All these people accuse you and curse you...But brother wolf, I would like to make peace between you and the people." Then Francis led the wolf into the town, and surrounded by startled citizens made a pact between them and the wolf: the townsfolk were to feed the wolf regularly. In return, the wolf would no longer prey upon them or their animals. Finally, to show the townspeople that they would not be harmed, Francis blessed the wolf.
Joe: Setting the stage for the video game Okami.
Pope John Paul 11 eve commented that "as a friend of the poor who was loved by God's creatures, Saint Francis invited all of creation – animals, plants, natural forces, even Brother Sun and Sister Moon – to give honour and praise to the Lord."
St. Frank had some followers, including St. Juniper. There are several stories about "Brother Juniper". The most famous of these is about how when his sick brother asked for a pig's foot, Brother Juniper took a kitchen knife and ran into the forest, where he saw a herd of swine feeding. There, he cut the foot off of one of the swine and carried it back to the brother, leaving the swine to die.
This angered the herdsman, who complained to Saint Francis. Saint Frances confronted Brother Juniper, who joyfully exclaimed, "It is true, sweet father, that I did cut off the swine's foot. I will tell thee the reason. I went out of charity to visit the brother who is sick." Brother Juniper likewise explained to the angry herdsman who, seeing the "charity, simplicity, and humility" in Brother Juniper's heart, forgave him and delivered the rest of the pig to the brothers.
Way to follow St. Francis's example, Juniper.
Another time Juniper had been commanded to stopquit giving items of his clothing to the half-naked people he met on the road. Desiring to obey his superior, Juniper once told a man in need that he couldn’t give the man his tunic, but he wouldn’t prevent the man from taking it either. In time, the friars learned not to leave anything lying around, for Juniper would probably give it away.
In the end, years of poverty and wandering made Francis ill. When he began to go blind, the pope ordered that his eyes be operated on. This meant cauterizing his face with a hot iron. Francis spoke to "Brother Fire": "Brother Fire, the Most High has made you strong and beautiful and useful. Be courteous to me now in this hour, for I have always loved you, and temper your heat so that I can endure it." And Francis reported that Brother Fire had been so kind that he felt nothing at all.
And, to complete the craziness, there was a film made in 1989 about St. Francis. Who played the lead role? Mickey Rourke.