{    Cnytr   }

{Monday, May 18, 2009  }

.:{6 Saints Who Could Kick Your Arse}:.

I enjoy this very much, mostly because St. Simon/Simeon the Stylite is pretty foundational when it comes to hard core Catholicism. I've lately enjoyed visiting Orthodox churches which have icons of him (and other stylites!) painted on their walls.

I'm also quite pleased that Vikings and kings have made it onto the list. Back in the days when men were men and the pagans were scared. I've written occasionally about militant Catholicism. This article is probably an excellent example.

Think Lent is tough? Think one meal and two collations is hard? Aww, poor thing, you don't watch TV on Fridays? Read about St. Simon Stylite and then go crying to your spiritual director.

Here's what the article has to say about St. Simon (um, pardon the colloquial):

Unlike those first guys up there who kind of stumbled into sainthood and badassery due to extreme circumstances, Symeon chose both willingly.

The man had a real hate-on for the pussified way all the rest of us live and decided he couldn't take it any more. At first he tried to shun the luxuries of mid 5th century life by shutting himself in a little ramshackle Unabomber-style hut for three years, where he figured not eating or drinking anything at all for the entire period of Lent would be a good idea.

After the hut proved too expansive and extravagant for him, Symeon packed up his loincloth and moved to a crevice in a rock in the desert. In a space about 20 yards in diameter, he set up shop but soon learned that when you decide to live your life as a religious sideshow, you're going to attract attention. Soon pilgrims arrived to watch him presumably just sitting on his rock. They asked him for advice and prayers and probably threw peanuts and tried to get him to do tricks.

Realizing the rock was still too awesome a place to spend his life, Symeon raised a stone pillar with a little platform on top, climbed up and sat there. He went through a couple of these pillars before he settled on one over 50 feet high where he stayed ... for 36 years. [...sometimes I seriously wish I could do that. ~LB]

He continued to get visitors and for a while each day, a ladder was used so people could come up and chat with him while those below waited their turn and tried to avoid getting pooped on from 50 feet up. [A topic of much discussion between friends, Latin teacher and self when said saint was discovered in high school. Ha. Hahaha. ~LB]

If you're still not clear on the badassery involved here, keep in mind this was all taking place in Syria, where summer temperatures can get over 100 and in winter dip below 50, which is probably just slightly more awful when you're on a stone pillar 50 feet off the ground.

And without much further ado: 6 Saints Who Could Kick Your Arse. HT: Curt Jester via Twitter/Facebook.
[Warning: some offensive language. If you can tolerate it, it's hilarious. But be ye warned and let not the innocent be corrupted.]

Update: Okay it's usually my policy with my blog, unlike with my random Google newsreader mass-emailings, to actually read more than two paragraphs of the article before I post it. That being said, I still stand behind at least St. Ignatius and St. Simon Stylite as paragons of badass Catholicism. King Louis and some others ... um, want a more sympathetic portrayal. Frankly I think Louis was a poor choice (one could have chosen PETER MARTYR who died writing the CREDO in his OWN HEAD-BLOOD), and there are arguments to be made for St. Olaf et ceteri. I might have added some more caveats or explanation before posting this originally. But as usual, this blog stands behind the policy of quod scripsi, scripsi.

Also, the article still gets some approval, at it contains the following:

Yes, that's a cross holding a freaking battle axe in each hand. Take that, other religions.

We all win, really.
posted by Lauren, 4:49 PM


I am bound by my alma mater to come to the defense of St. Olaf, who most certainly is an awesome, badass saint.

Fram fram, Kristmenn, Krossmen, Kongsmmen!
commented by Blogger Quantitative Metathesis, 7:34 PM  

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