Thursday, July 24, 2008

Saint Christina & Saint Christina the Astonishing

As a young girl she became a catholic. Christina could not have been her given name. Her father, an officer of government, threw her in Lake Bolsena, she survived. She was tortured and executed during the Diocletian pogroms in 297.

There were many roman, virgin martyrs. It is a form of female certitude, assertiveness and independence, this ‘feminist’ age in America can not fathom. Juvenile girls, all women, had no legal standing in pagan Rome. They had biological and economic utility in family and marriage and outside of that as slaves and concubines, but totally dependent on fathers and husbands or masters and owners. Choosing virginity was opting out. This was not appreciated, and the empire crushed rebels.

In the 18th century her catacomb remains were found and disinterred. In 1925 her relics came to Cleveland, Ohio. She lay in a crypt chapel at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, until one day, in February 1992, she was stolen. A few days later she was found on the parking lot of Saint Sava’s (Broadview Heights, there are 2 Serbian churches in Cleveland, both Saint Sava) . To-day she is back in the cathedral. There is some more story there, but I have not been privy to it.
St Christine at St. Christines.1889. Moriz Schlachter. Ravensburg, Germany.
Christina The Astonishing Lyrics
by Nick Cave

Christina the astonishing
Lived a long time ago
She was stricken with a seizure
At the age of twenty-two
They took her body in a coffin
To a tiny church in Liege
Where she sprang up from the coffin
Just after the Agnus Dei
She soared up to the rafters
Perched on a beam up there
Cried "The stink of human sin
Is more that I can bear"
Christina the astonishing
Was the most astonishing of all
She prayed balanced on a hurdle
Or curled up into a ball
She fled to remote places
Climbed towers and trees and walls
To escape the stench of human corruption
Into an oven she did crawl
O Christina the astonishing
Behaved in a terrifying way
She would run wildly through the streets
Jump in the Meusse and swim away
O Christina the astonishing
Behaved in terrifying manner
Died at the age of seventy-four
In the convent of St Anna

Cave sings in a haunted chant. He is a most melancholy artist. He occasionally touches on specifically Catholic subjects, he has one song on Brompton Oratory, for example. This song, virtually, reads every word in a short encyclopedia article, that, would quickly limn every detail that has survived over many centuries

Christina Mirabilis *1150, †1224 was a Belgian woman who experienced, in medical terms, false death and a variety of epileptic seizures. She exhibited behaviors that startled
the populace then, and would now. Some of the actions would be seen as paranormal or supernatural manifestations and occurrences.

Her life can pose questions on the nature of madness and holiness, certainly she was touched by God in some ways, that, most of us are not. Was her life akin to a prophet
’s? Does what appears to be a seizure mask something greater?

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