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Adult: Saints Behaving Badly

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  • mwittlans@aol.com
    Check to see if this title is already in your library s catalog. If it is, put a hold on it and check it out. If not, fill out a patron request form right
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 22, 2006
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      Check to see if this title is already in your library's catalog. If it is,
      put a hold on it and check it out. If not, fill out a patron request form right
      away. This can usually be done online at your library's website.

      Title: Saints Behaving Badly: The Cutthroats, Crooks, Trollops, Con Men, and
      Devil Worshippers Who Became Saints
      Author: Thomas J. Craughwell
      Publisher: Doubleday
      Date Published: September 19, 2006
      ISBN: 0385517203
      Price: 15.95, hardcover
      Comments: How could a librarian resist a title like that? How any library
      patron for that matter?

      Online review from Church Fathers' expert and author Mike Aquilina:

      From amazon.com
      Editorial Reviews

      From Publishers Weekly
      The stories Catholics often hear about the saints can give the impression
      these people emerged from the womb with halos. Craughwell, a well-respected
      Catholic diocesan newspaper columnist, provides the rest of the story. His
      semi-irreverent collection assembles 29 sinners-cum-saints from Christian history in
      an enjoyable and riveting account of their lives and times. The table of
      contents reads like a most-wanted list: thieves, embezzlers, murderers, cardsharps,
      and even a warmonger. Some, such as the apostle Matthew, a former tax
      collector, will be familiar to readers. The brief biographies of the more obscure
      saints, however, are often the most fascinating to read. Craughwell introduces us
      to intriguing figures like St. Moses the Ethiopian, a violent gang leader who
      embraced a life of fasting and prayer after seeking shelter with monks in the
      Egyptian desert in the fourth century. St. Alipius, a student of another
      notorious sinner, St. Augustine, was "obsessed with blood sports." Craughwell does
      not dilute his belief that it is only through divine grace that these women
      and men were able to overcome their self-centeredness and redirect their lives fo
      r a greater purpose. His tone is occasionally patronizing, but the take-home
      point is vital: while we are all sinners, there is always hope. (Sept. 19)
      Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All
      rights reserved.

      From Booklist
      Saints aren't born they're made; out of, as Craughwell's sketches of 28 of
      them demonstrate, oh-so-imperfect human beings, some well-known--St. Augustine,
      St. Patrick, St. Columba, St. Thomas Becket, St. Francis of Assisi--many
      others not. They include all manner of thieves (St. Dismas), bigamists (St.
      Fabiola), egotists (St. Ignatius of Loyola), and even the occasional Viking conqueror
      (St. Olaf). Craughwell provides biographical detail and, of greater interest,
      discussion of how particular saints have appealed to a collective sense of
      right and wrong and notice of how some saints have entered pop culture in modern
      guise (such as the St. Dismas-like hero of the movie The Hoodlum Priest). The
      saint among these 28 whose story is the most moving is probably the Venerable
      Matt Talbot (1856-1925), a chronic alcoholic from Dublin who quit drinking
      cold turkey to pursue a truly saintly, humble life thereafter. June Sawyers
      Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


      “Finally a book that reveals the saints as they truly were before grace
      intruded. Here are all your favorite intercessors with their venal, cranky,
      obnoxious, murderous tendencies intact. Destroying centuries of pious legends, Thomas
      Craughwell has written a darned inspiring book about real saints. If these
      folks can make the cut, maybe there’s hope for the rest of us.”
      —Raymond Arroyo, New York Times bestselling author of Mother Angelica and
      EWTNews Director

      Book Description
      Saints are not born, they are made. And many, as Saints Behaving Badly
      reveals, were made of very rough materials indeed. The first book to lay bare the
      less than saintly behavior of thirty-two venerated holy men and women, it
      presents the scandalous, spicy, and sleazy detours they took on the road to

      In nineteenth- and twentieth-century writings about the lives of the saints,
      authors tended to go out of their way to sanitize their stories, often
      glossing over the more embarrassing cases with phrases such as, “he/she was once a
      great sinner.” In the early centuries of the Church and throughout the Middle
      Ages, however, writers took a more candid and spirited approach to portraying
      the saints. Exploring sources from a wide range of periods and places, Thomas
      Craughwell discovered a veritable rogues gallery of sinners-turned-saint. There’
      s St. Olga, who unleashed a bloodbath on her husband’s assassins; St. Mary of
      Egypt, who trolled the streets looking for new sexual conquests; and Thomas
      Becket, who despite his vast riches refused to give his cloak to a man freezing
      to death in the street.

      Written with wit and respect (each profile ends with what inspired the saint
      to give up his or her wicked ways) and illustrated with amusing caricatures,
      Saints Behaving Badly will entertain, inform, and even inspire Catholic readers
      across America.

      About the Author

      THOMAS J. CRAUGHWELL is the author of a dozen books, including Saints for
      Every Occasion, Do Blue Bedsheets Bring Babies?: The Truth Behind Old Wives
      Tales, and three volumes of urban legends. He writes a monthly column on patron
      saints for Catholic diocesan newspapers. Craughwell has written about saints for
      The Wall Street Journal, St. Anthony Messenger, and Catholic Digest, and has
      discussed them on CNN and EWTN. He lives in Bethel, Connecticut.

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