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 sainthood.
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. Theres St. Olga, who unleashed a bloodbath on her husbands 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.
Thomas J. Craughwell is author of more than two dozen books. Among them are Saints Behaving Badly (Doubleday, 2006), Saints Preserved: An Encyclopedia of Relics (Image, 2011), and Stealing Lincoln's Body (Harvard University Press, 2007), which was adapted into a History Channel documentary. His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Inside the Vatican, and Our Sunday Visitor. A popular speaker, Craughwell has lectured for Catholic Courses, and has appeared on EWTN, CNN, and Ave Maria radio to discuss saints, the canonization process, and Catholic history. He writes out of his home in Bethel, Connecticut.