May 2006

Christina the Astonishing

Christina the Astonishing © Aris Dervis 2006

© Aris Dervis 2006


Christina the Astonishing

Feast Day July 24

Patroness of Psychiatrists and Therapists

Christina, the youngest of three sisters, was born in Belgium and orphaned at fifteen. She was assumed to be dead after suffering from a cataleptic fit, but at her funeral Mass she flew out of her coffin and took refuge in the rafters of the church. The mourners fled in horror, leaving only one sister and the priest, who finally persuaded her to come down. She had been offended, she explained, by the garlicky breath of the congregation. She was tormented throughout her life by her acute sense of smell (she found men particularly offensive), and to avoid noxious odors was forced to sit in baptismal fonts, perch on towers, balance herself on weathervanes, and crawl into ovens and other remote places. Many people became convinced she was "full of devils," and attempts, usually unsuccessful, were made to confine her. She even once escaped after being chained to a pillar- and she was suffering from a broken leg at the time. Later in life, however, she achieved respectability and many notable people sought her inevitably wise advice.

From Saints Preserve Us by Sean Kelly and Rosemary Rogers, Random House

Christina the Astonishing has a huge web presence. Google her and you will find countless entries referring to a Nick Cage song of the same name.

She will graciously answer your questions if you contact her at: Ask St. Christina.

Christina's glamour portrait is available as an 8x10 print, greeting card, candle and t-shirt.