By Christ’s sacred foreskin!


What a weirdly fascinating article, on the history of that most holy relic, Jesus’s prepuce. It also, by the way, includes the very best explanation for the prolific numbers of body parts of dead saints and prophets.

Once brought to light, the Holy Prepuce reproduced itself at a rapid rate. In a few hundred years, dozens of churches, including Saint John Lateran in Rome (the seat of the Pope) claimed to own a piece or all of the Holy Prepuce. Some suggested that there were so many different Holy Prepuces because it could, like the fish and loaves, multiply to feed hungry pilgrims.

But of course! If you believe in multitudes being fed with a few loaves and fishes, then it is no problem at all imagining that fragments of corpses are replicating. Fingerbones, shinbones, toenail clippings, whole skulls, and obviously, bits of penises, all slithering together at night in the dark corners of cathedrals, briefly writhing and clattering together, and then, voila, spawning a new relic. I imagine it also gives those immortal dead saints a little bit of an erotic outlet. You can’t blame them.

As long as they leave me out of it. Old Catholic mystics seem to have been more than a little pervy, with kinks I never even imagined before. Here’s Catherine of Siena, engaged in a little imaginary sexy vision game with Jesus.

“My beloved,” [Christ said], “you have now gone through many struggles for my sake. . . . Previously you had renounced all that the body takes pleasure in. . . . But yesterday the intensity of your ardent love for me overcame even the instinctive reflexes of your body itself: you forced yourself to swallow without a qualm a drink from which nature recoiled in disgust [i.e., pus from the putrefying breast of a dying woman]. . . . As you then went far beyond what mere human nature could ever have achieved, so I today shall give you a drink that transcends in perfection any that human nature can provide. . . .” With that, he tenderly placed his right hand on her neck, and drew her toward the wound in his side. “Drink, daughter, from my side,” he said, “and by that draught your soul shall become enraptured with such delight that your very body, which for my sake you have denied, shall be inundated with its overflowing goodness.” Drawn close . . . to the outlet of the Fountain of Life, she fastened her lips upon that sacred wound, and still more eagerly the mouth of her soul, and there she slaked her thirst.

All right, all right, I know, consenting adults and all that. You can do all the pus-drinking and wound-sucking you want in the privacy of your church. But you should know that all the sexual behaviors you currently condemn are looking pretty damned sane and healthy in comparison right now.

Comments

  1. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    With that, he tenderly placed his right hand on her neck, and drew her toward the wound in his side. “Drink, daughter, from my side,” he said, “and by that draught your soul shall become enraptured with such delight that your very body, which for my sake you have denied, shall be inundated with its overflowing goodness.” Drawn close . . . to the outlet of the Fountain of Life, she fastened her lips upon that sacred wound, and still more eagerly the mouth of her soul, and there she slaked her thirst.

    Wow. I knew Anne Rice went on to write Jesusy books, but wow. I didn’t realise the blood drinking stuck around. Although, to be fair, there were clues that I should’ve spotted.

  2. =8)-DX says

    Umberto Eco explains relic production and the associated culture of legend/artifact creation in his wonderful novel Baudolino. For example the main character’s father’s wooden soup bowl is presented as the grail and even transforms and becomes holy in the mind of our shady narrator.

    None of this is surprising, except to Christians ignorant of the history of their cult.
    =8)-DX

  3. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    I must admit my first thoughts went to the type of urban fantasy that includes vampires.

  4. komarov says

    It’s not vampirism, it’s the holy search for Jesus Christ. Drink the blood, and if you start feeling, er, delightful, you’ve found Him. (Unless your subject had one or more delight-inducing substances in their blood)

    This is the reason why the second coming has been delayed for so long: Jesus is among us but nobody has ever found him, because our society frowns on drinking the blood of others. The vatican should probably start campaigning on the issue, put some fervour and bloodlust into their congregation. Who would doubt the end times if billions of faithful christians started stalking the night, thirsting for blood?

  5. cag says

    Christians have been known to stretch it a bit. They do like to stroke their “egos”. The consider themselves a cut above. But then I may be making a mountain out of a Mohel.

  6. paganeng says

    First of all, eww! Thought that JC was going for a BJ. Speaking of weird relics, we saw the container of JC’s blood in Bruges, Belgium at the Basilica of the Holy Blood, which I call the holy blood bank. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_of_the_Holy_Blood)
    Evidently, Thierry of Alsace went crusading with the 2nd Crusade and after slaying a bunch of heathens, AKA wedding parties, showed back up in Bruges on April 7, 1150 claiming that he had the precious blood of JC.
    Evidently, they break the container out every year during the feast of the ascension and 2nd line it through the city.
    We lived in Sicily for 2 years and you could not swing a cat by the tail without hitting a church with its own special relic. While living in Germany we visited many churches containing some bizarre relics. My favorite is Saint Munditia. (https://reliquarian.com/2013/02/15/saint-munditia-a-holy-skeleton-near-the-rindermarkt-in-munich/)
    I know that this makes xtians seem backwards and ignorant but have you checked out the core Mormon beliefs which are sort of L. Ron Hubbard like.
    God, I love being an atheist.
    Cheers

  7. unclefrogy says

    that last quote high lights for me what I dislike about contemporary Vampire stories.
    They only work within the christian tradition and are full of christian ideology which when taken away lose all of their power all their menace and terror and become just another beast to fight and kill.

    how much the believers fight to maintain their belief in their mythology as fact.
    uncle frogy

  8. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Fingerbones, shinbones, toenail clippings, whole skulls, and obviously, bits of penises, all slithering together at night in the dark corners of cathedrals, briefly writhing and clattering together, and then, voila, spawning a new relic.

    And I thought Cthulu was a disgusting, writhing mass destined to threaten my sanity. Turns out that there’s a Catholic mass that’s even worse.

  9. The Mellow Monkey says

    Crip Dyke

    And I thought Cthulu was a disgusting, writhing mass destined to threaten my sanity. Turns out that there’s a Catholic mass that’s even worse.

    *slow clap*

    I have nothing I could possibly add to this thread after that.

  10. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    I wonder how much the random peasants they got to give their foreskins for this hoax were compensated.

  11. wzrd1 says

    OK, the wound sucking fetish certainly is odd, but I can overlook the necrophilia if someone can explain a phenomenally foolish action.

    Who the fuck gave the Roman Catholic Church replication technology? That suicide cult is just zany enough that if they manage to locate their replicator, they might just replicate a chunk of solar core on earth, with disastrous results!

    Yeah, replicators don’t exist on this planet. So, it must have been someone habitually enjoying the holy magic mushrooms again.
    Or more likely, spoiled rye and barley, spoiled by ergot.

  12. kerryberry says

    Interesting story: I recently started dating someone who is effectively atheist but grew up in a very conservative, religious community in South Africa. We were talking about planting a garden and about seeds when it became apparent to me that she thought that the plant simply accumulated around the seed in some magical way. I had to walk through how the mass of the plant had to be built up with atoms/molecules that it got from the soil/fertilizer.

    It had never struck me before that religious people might not think transubstantiation and multiplying foreskins are crazy if they don’t understand how plant matter grows. If things can just materialize out of thin air all the time, then why not JC relics?

    When people lack a basic science education/literacy, it isn’t surprising that they can be led to believe anything foolish.

  13. kenbakermn says

    I guess the prepuce is something, but I’d like to know what happened to all the holy deuces.

  14. some bastard on the internet says

    Some suggested that there were so many different Holy Prepuces because it could, like the fish and loaves, multiply to feed hungry pilgrims.

    Or maybe JC had the largest foreskin in the universe!

    Which begs the question, “Can God have a foreskin so large, that he himself couldn’t circumcise it?”

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