Wednesday, August 03, 2011

I'm No Saint (But I Want A Name Like One)

I'm thinking of calling myself Maria the Astonishing. Or maybe Auntie Maria the Astonishing (it's a work in progress). It has a superhero quality that I like, and has the advantage -- like Gorgeous George or Vlad the Impaler -- of letting people know what they're up against. It's helpful, is my point.

I got the idea from the fabulous blog Got Medieval. If you don't read it yet, why not? It's on my blogroll. The author is a doctoral student in medieval studies and he's hilarious (it surprised me too). If you've ever wondered about the difference between a catapult and a trebuchet (and I know you have), you'll find this blog to be an invaluable reference.

Regarding the name Maria the Astonishing, it comes from a medieval Belgian saint named Christina the Astonishing, who apparently came pretty close to being buried when she was only mostly dead. Legend has it that after waking up during her funeral mass, she levitated to the ceiling because she couldn't bear the smell of sinful people. Pretty astonishing, I would say. I realize that people in the medieval era didn't bathe all that much, but you'd think she'd have been used to it, and having been mostly dead for a couple of days she couldn't have smelled too fresh herself.

I just want to steal her name, you understand. After her near death experience, she went on to renounce all comforts and actually seek out ways to suffer. That would not suit me at all.


Anonymous said...

I think you should be Maria the Magnificent!

Maria said...

Why thank you! I'm blushing!