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The Saints Go Marching In: Prompt

After reading Mary Biddinger's wonderful poem, "Saint Monica Burns It Down," published in Valparaiso Poetry Review and posted today on my blog, I looked up Saint Monica. I am not familiar with many saints, and was curious what it is about Monica that made Biddinger choose this particular saint for her poem.


Wikipedia did not let me down! (Read its page on Saint Monica here.)


Saints Patrick, Joan of Arc, Francis of Assisi, Nicholas, George, and Francesca Saverio Cabrini are very familiar to many people, even non-Catholics. Due to my own interests, Saints Bernadette, Cecelia, Anne, Dymphna, and Lucy are also familiar to me.


But there are thousands of saints, more than 10,000 in fact. I remember reading some saints' stories as a tween as I waited in my dentist's waiting room--the number of stories that involved women and violence was/is horrifying. I have no recollection of their names; I may have purposefully blocked out their names.


Decades after that, I buried--upside down, of course--a small statue of Saint Joseph because that is supposed to help you sell your house. We did sell our house--finally; I wonder if it took a long time because we weren't selling a house in a heavily Catholic area, and the people of other religions could not feel the "Buy This House" vibe that statue was sending.


Back to the prompt (wouldn't it be funny if it had nothing to do with saints?).


This week, do some research and write about a saint, particularly a lesser-known one. You can stop a saint known for putting up with a spouse's adultery by getting revenge, as Mary Biddinger does in her poem. You can imagine a saint from centuries ago in today's world. You can delve deeper into a saint's biography, the canonization process, or how saints get chosen to look over certain groups of people (for example, Saint Jude, the patron saint of lost causes, and Saint Michael, the patron saint of police, and Saint Lidwina, the patron saint of ice skaters).


Obviously, a piece of visual art could easily depict whichever saint you choose doing whatever you choose her/him to do. Artists will find a lot of inspiration, even moreso than writers (although we have plenty of depictions of siants in literature), from Crivelli to Caravaggio, from Artemisia Gentileschi to Mary Beale, and from Rubens to Bono de Ferrar.


Here are a few web sites to help with your research:



There are also plenty of books out there with bios of saints (and not just in waiting rooms on Long island).


As always, have fun!



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