Book Review: Saints Behaving Badly: The Cutthroats, Crooks, Trollops, Con Men, and Devil-Worshippers Who Became Saints by Thomas J. Craughwell


Saints Behaving Badly: The Cutthroats, Crooks, Trollops, Con Men, and Devil-Worshippers Who Became Saints (2006) by Thomas J. Craughwell is a collection of short essays of Saints who lived rather unsaintly lives. Usually this was before their conversion, of course, but sometimes even after turning their lives to God we see that even the saints are all too human. In fact, Craughwell believes that St. Olaf (patron of one of a parish I worshiped at in Virginia) would not be canonized under today’s rules of sainthood.

This is illustrative to the rest of us ordinary folk in that 1) it’s never too late to turn to God, and 2) while we strive for perfection we’re still human and won’t achieve it. So buck up and do your best like the good people in this book.

The book includes some of my favorite saints, with their sin listed after their name in the chapter heading such as:

I also learned about some interesting saints I was not aware of in the stories of St. Mary of Egypt who after living a life of sexual adventure moved to the desert where she was a hermit for decades and Venerable Matt Talbot, the patron of recovering alcoholics.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by asimplesinner on 20 March 2008 at 2:46 am

    I will have to check this book out… People always have this idea of the saints being statues that stair at the ceiling with their hands folded… Easy enough to become a saint if you wandered through life that way… but who can? They did not!

    I like to post a saint a day at our group blog and my favorites are the ones more recently beatified that we have photos of. They are real people, with real smiles, and real problems… Always good to remember that!

    Reply

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