Thursday, October 13, 2016

The True Story of St. Christina the Astonishing

A marvelous case in which a saint is to be admired but not imitated, except in her spirit of reparation. From Church Pop:
In the middle of the funeral service, she suddenly woke up. Full of energy, she stood right up like nothing had happened. When she realized she was surrounded by a large group of people, she started levitating, and flew up to the roof! This wouldn’t be the only time she levitated. She levitated often, she said, because she couldn’t bear the spiritually stinky smell of sinful people.

When she finally stopped levitating at the funeral, she explained she had in fact died. After her soul separated from her body, she was given a glimpse of the horrors of purgatory. God then gave her a choice: either remain dead and go to heaven, or return to earth and do penance for those in purgatory. Moved to zeal at the sight of those suffering in Purgatory, she chose the latter. The next moment, she came back to life.

And, my, did she take seriously her charge to do penance.

She voluntarily lived in extreme poverty, wearing only rags and living without a home. She avoided human contact as much as possible. But deprivation wasn’t enough: she also sought out suffering to increase her penance. People watched her intentionally throw herself into fires and remain there for extended periods of time. She would appear to be suffering greatly, with terrible shrieking, but then  would exit the fire completely unscathed. She allowed herself to be attacked by dogs and would intentionally run her body through thickets of thorn bushes. And in winter, she would immerse herself in a nearby river and remain in the nearly freezing water for hours or even days on end. As if this wasn’t extreme enough, she would apparently even allow herself to be sucked into water wheels of nearby mills, getting spun around. (Read more.)

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