Christina, Patron Saint of Lunatics

Christina the Astonishing, regarded by some as a saint, some as a holy person, and some as a crazy woman: you be the judge.

Born in the 12th century in Belgium, she had a massive seizure in her early twenties. Assumed dead, a funeral was held where she arose and “levitated to the rafters.” She related that she had seen Purgatory, Hell, and Heaven where she visited with His Majesty, vowing to return to Earth to lead sinners on a path of conversion with the promise of everlasting paradise.

According to some of her contemporaries, she would throw herself into fires, frozen rivers, allow dogs to tear at her flesh, all the while imploring God’s mercy. Though covered in blood, her skin would immediately heal. She lived in the forest, slept in rags, and fed herself by breastfeeding from her own boobs, even though she was a virgin. (Obviously she was a contortionist too.) Hmmm …

Today she is remembered not only for her devout faith but for her violent fits of ecstasy. Her remembrance day is July 24th, which happens to be my birthday, one of the reasons I took note of her life. That she is associated with “lunatics” is a major plus. In fact, it’s a cherry on the sundae since mental illness looms large in my life.

So, to repeat, was she a saint, a holy person or simply crazy? While I have my opinion, I’ll leave that to myself so that you can make your own decision. I’ll simply say, I’ll pay her a fancy and give her a wink when I feel the need to cross my fingers or knock on wood. BTW, the definition of lunatic is one suffering from insanity or lunacy, formally believed to be related to phases of the moon. And speaking of the moon, maybe I’ll let my cheddar grow mold in tribute to the green cheese on Earth’s natural satellite, along with its jumping cow (“Hey! diddle diddle”), the man who smiles down on us on the same days the Wolfman appears, and Saint Christina too. Why not? Whatever works—right? And if it helps, you’ll be the first to hear.


About waywardweed

I am a consumer and parent of two sons, one with a mental illness and the other a third-year law student.
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