The Wackiest Recently Named Saints

To qualify for sainthood, you have to meet a notoriously high set of standards, including the performance of two bona fide miracles. One miracle? Fuck outta here. Gotta be at least two. So you’d think it wouldn’t happen very often to people who aren’t, like, Mother Theresa, and if it did, we’d hear about it. But saints get named all the time, and if you dig deep enough, you find some pretty wild stories.

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4
Charles de Foucauld

de Foucald began life as a wealthy orphan who “lived a life of indulgence” (and in 19th-century France, that almost certainly meant brothels) “and was known to have an immature sense of humor.” He joined the French army, got discharged after refusing to leave his mistress behind when his regiment went to Algeria, joined again when he got tired of her, then resigned when they wouldn’t let him explore Morocco. He soon hooked up with a rabbi who disguised him as a Jew to make the trek, which he documented in an acclaimed book. He rediscovered religion when he got back to France and did a lot of noble if much less interesting things before being killed by marauders at age 58 and going down as the saint who fucks.

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3
Cesar de Bus

de Bus’ early exploits were remarkably similar to Foucauld’s, if somewhat less impressive. He joined the French navy and then quit due to sea sickness, then bummed around Paris for three years of “pleasure and dissipation” (again: probably brothels). In fact, his route to the church was one of corruption. His brother was a priest, and when he died, de Bus stepped up to the position solely for the paycheck. All that priesting really got to him, though, and he became a true believer. Talk about a miracle.

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2
Pope Paul VI

Popes are obvious candidates for sainthood, but this particular one is a real choice. In 2011 (seven years before his canonization, for those keeping track), documents were uncovered that revealed Pope Paul VI had collaborated with ex-Nazis “to build a rogue army that would be stationed in Africa” and even financially supported some of them in the ‘50s. He’s best remembered as the pope who said “fuck the Pill,” but oh, boy, he shouldn’t be. Maybe not a wacky story, per se, but definitely an interesting one. At least you can legitimately say you’re better than a saint.

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1
Carlos Acutis

Usually, teenage gamers are the farthest thing from saints imaginable, but Acutis was no ordinary nerd. Sure, he liked coding, gaming and Nutella, but he was also a devoted Catholic who maintained a website documenting miracles, earning him the nickname “God’s influencer.” After dying of leukemia in 2006 at age 15, he became the first millennial saint. Just something to keep in mind if you need some fresh fuel in the war against Gen Z. They might have all their hair, but you have a saint.