We Catholics put our Saints on top of a pillar of holiness. But did you know that St. Simeon Stylite lived on top of a pillar to achieve holiness… for 37 years!
The Saints were so human. They’re also funny and quite entertaining. The book Saint-Watching by Phylis McGinley is a compilation of stories that range from the hysterical to the downright weird of those canonized brothers and sisters of ours.
Here are a few sneak peeks:
St. Christina the Astonishing hated the smell of unwashed flesh. So, when the poor and needy came to honor her during her funeral, her coffin rose to the ceiling to get away from their dirty stench. Being the obedient Nun that she was, she (and her coffin) came back down at the scoffing of the priest doing the service.
St. Bridget could make hens lay eggs on command for visitors. She could also make trees shake their fruit to the ground.
St. Ignatius (who apparently was quite the pool shark) was robbed (not playing pool). Two weeks later, he had heard that his thief had gotten sick. So, he traveled 100 miles on foot to take care of him.
St. Mary Mazzarello, after receiving her last rights, said, “Well that’s my passport. I expect I can leave now!?”
St. Charles Borromeo was apparently a chess whiz. So much that he was once quoted saying, “If the end of the world came, I’d keep playing chess.”
Last but not least, St. John Bosco was commonly thought to be crazy by his co-clergy. When they came to take him to the asylum, he cordially allowed these fellow priests to enter the carriage first. Once they were in, he slapped the horse and yelled “To the asylum!” Since the men at the asylum were awaiting a “crazy man,” they were not surprised to see two that claimed they weren’t John Bosco.
Hardcover: 243 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult; Second printing before publication. edition (August 18, 1969)
Live Jesus in our hearts forever!