Today is the memorial day of Christina the Astonishing (1150 – 1224), also known as Christina Mirabilis. She was a Christian holy-woman born in Brustem (near Sint-Truiden, Belgium) in 1150. She is sometimes considered a saint and is the patron saint of both lunatics and therapists.
Born a peasant, Christina was orphaned at 15. When she was 21 (22 according to some sources), she is said to have suffered a massive seizure. According to the story, her condition was so severe that witnesses assumed she had died. A funeral was held, but during the service, she "arose full of vigor, stupefying with amazement the whole city of St Trond, which had witnessed this wonder." She levitated up to the rafters, later explaining that she could not bear the smell of the sinful people there. Then, "The astonishment increased when they learned from her own mouth what had happened to her after her death." Christina is as much remembered for her faith as for her numerous and violent fits of ecstasy. Christina died in 1224 of natural causes, aged 74.
Mary Delany, Artist
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