Living the Life of a Saint

842 Words4 Pages
In a Catholic society, such as Valle di Sole in Lives of the Saints by Nino Ricci, it is common for people to be named after saints, making Hagiography, a study of the lives of the saints, a study of high importance. Essentially, in Ricci’s novel, the characters draw many parallels from their name saint, such as personality, notable events, and martyrdom, which eventually leads to living a life comparable to their name saint, as if destined by fate. To begin, Cristina Innocente lives a life parallel to her name saint, St. Christina of Bolsena, by bringing a wave of change to their hometowns. For example, a biography of Saint Christina on Catholic Online states that “[after an] angel called her… Christina smashed all the [Pagan] idols in her room and threw them out the window,” a bold act of courage, rebelliousness, and change, especially coming from a person who was expected to become a Pagan priestess in a town so devout to Paganism. Although much more controversial than the acts of her name saint, Cristina Innocente also sends shockwaves by embracing secularism through pursuing a scandalous, sexually liberal life of self-expression. In an interview with Nino Ricci by Mary Rimmer, he explains further, stating, “When people live in that sort of repressive environment… They start out thinking “What are my options here? What can I do? I need some avenue of self-expression”... So for Cristina to take a lover was a rebellious act within the rules of her society.” By her engagement in a daring affair, she is indirectly advocating liberalism in a society where conservative Catholic catechism, mythical superstitions, and traditional beliefs, is the norm. Conclusively, Cristina shares many features with her name saint by advocating for ... ... middle of paper ... ...rallel to their name saints. Undeniably, Cristina Innocente is no saint, nor is she anywhere close to being a saintly character. However, as Nino Ricci has stated in the interview, “The saint’s stories are presented as didactic stories with clear morals...In fiction and life...it’s never that clear.” In the end, no one truly knows if someone was morally right or wrong until after death, and even that is subject to controversy and change. However, if there is one aspect that is certain, it is that Christina may not be a saint, but she surely lives up to the life of her saintly counterpart. Works Cited Ricci, Nino. Lives of the Saints. Dunvegan, Ont., Canada: Cormorant, 1990. Print. Ricci, Nino. “Nino Ricci: A Big Canvas.” Interview by Mary Rimmer. Studies in Canadian Literature 18.2 (1993) "St. Christina." Catholic Online. Catholic Online, n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2014.
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