After reading so many good reviews of Saints Behaving Badly, I asked my library to order it... and surprisingly, they did! I was stunned! So, if any of you folks in Pickens County would like to read this book, it's in our library now.
What can I say about this book? It's a quick read, and fun -- filled with all sorts of facts about these saints that perhaps didn't show up in the stories you were read as a child. It is comforting to see that the saints were real people, facing the same sorts of temptations, that we face today. That somehow escaped me until I read St. Augustine's Confessions in college, and was completely blown away. For the first time I really understood that the cultures may be different, and the languages may be different, but people remain the same throughout the centuries.
And this truly removes all of our "excuses" (or I should say "my excuses," since I can only speak for myself). I can't continue to pretend that somehow the saints were blessed with an extra "holiness gene" that the rest of us poor souls just didn't get. They all struggled, all suffered, all went through doubts, hard times, and dryness. All of them. And yet, by God's grace, they pushed on anyway. That same grace is available to me... to all of us... and if I quiet down long enough, the question comes, "Well... do you want to be a saint, or not?"
And now the fun little tidbit (which I'm sure you are all eager to hear)
Yours truly, is, in fact, a direct descendant of several of the saints mentioned in this book.
I know, I know, the oohs and aahs are rising up all over the country, as folks are grabbing their monitors and shouting, "no way!!! Ouiz is related to REAL, honest-to-goodness canonized SAINTS????"
Yes, I am.
According to my Dad, who loooooooooooooves genealogy and has researched both sides of the family for years, I am the 33rd great granddaughter of......
Yes, the once mass-murderer and later much revered Russian saint is a direct ancestor of mine.
Which also means that I am descended from St. Vladimir (her grandson). His son Yaroslav in turn married St. Olaf's daughter Ingigerd, and their daughter, I believe, married Henry I King of France.
So, little ol' me, sitting here in South Carolina, is a direct descendant of several saints. Of course, so are hundreds of thousands of other people, but hey -- this is my personal brush with greatness, so I'll bask in it for just a moment....
and there it was.