MOST METAL MARTYRDOMS: PART THE SECOND

So I don’t think I can really write about Catholicism today, because I haven’t been to church in two weeks. This is because I have a job now, which I really like, and that means income, which I really like even more, so I have been snatching up any hours people will throw my way or apologetically foist off on me (“Oh god, I accidentally scheduled a project meeting for the middle of work on Sunday– it’s such a busy day, but do you think you could–” “YES I WILL WORK SEND ME TO WORK CAN I COME EARLY CAN I STAY LATE LET ME WORK“). For the last two weeks, these snatched-up hours have been Sundays. …I really, really wish I felt guiltier about this, honestly, but…. income….

It is, unfortunately, one of those weeks where I don’t feel interesting enough to talk about anything. I haven’t done anything exciting; in fact, making my life more productive is sort of something I’ve been hoping to do in weeks upcoming. So, since I’m a bad Catholic and a dull person at the moment, have another filler post, this time on the topic of the Funniest Goddamn Martyrdom Of All Time.

Image

Source.

This is Saint Peter – a Pope from the 1200s – as he is most often portrayed in art and sculpture, several seconds (presumably) after being ambushed on the road and hit in the head with a meat cleaver. He belongs to that category of saints, many from the medieval period, known as “People who are literally only famous for getting martyred.” As such, he is almost always shown in this position, because we’ve had a few Peters since then and this is really his biggest selling point.

Image

(Same source as above.)

Like so many martyrs, he never looks overly troubled by it, and neither does anyone around him. But unlike, say, Saint Sebastian, who always seems to be smiling coyly at his martyrers (that is totally a word), swooning gently or looking up with self-consciously posed anguish, Peter never seems even to have noticed the problem that is the several inches of metal in his brain. No, he’s thinking about higher things.

Image

(Source.) <– This is a tumblr post on him, and features a fantastic image from over a church door of Saint Peter with his head wound gaping and a dagger sticking out of his back and his finger to his lips, admonishing the entering monks to be silent inside. Because saints have priorities.

I like this picture because he actually seems to have noticed what’s going on – if not the cleaver in his head, then the dagger in his heart, at least, enough to inquire of the head-of-cabbage floating babies in the corner what the fuck is going on. He still hasn’t managed to look actually perturbed, though, or even surprised; he’s not touching or looking at either wound, it’s more like he’s offering a very stern opinion about the whole ordeal, like this just wasn’t the martyrdom he pictured, Lord, that’s all, not that he didn’t appreciate the effort and all but really, You might have given it a little more thought…

Image(Source.)

This painting was clearly done in the moments after his death. His followers, I’m guessing, all sort of gathered around to grab him and prop him up – you can see the string the naked child in the foreground is leading him on – and then they did the painting before the real decomposition started. That explains the Warm Bodies vacant stare. One thing I’m disappointed about – none of the paintings seems to have capitalized on Peter’s legend, which is that he dipped his hand into the wound on his head so he could scrawl the first line of the Nicene Creed in blood before he died. Like– ???!!!??? Hell if it’s true! Why wouldn’t you mention that?!

Is this going to be a series? I wonder how long I could run a competition of MOST METAL MARTYRDOMS IN CHURCH HISTORY before it got old. It would have to get old – I could write a new martyrdom every week into the new millennium and not run out of saints. Ever. Or they could just stay placeholders for weeks like this one. I don’t know yet – but this likely isn’t going to be the last one. I haven’t even gotten to Saint Lawrence yet.

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