I see the Holy Knuckle of Lisieux is back.
Do you remember it? The touring relic of Saint Therese, condemned like Vanderdecken forever to sail the seas beaming holiness at the Faithful. I last wrote about it here.
Well, it’s back, and it’s on tour again.
What is it? Oh, it’s a bit of Saint Therese, the Little Flower.
That’s right. A bit of somebody, in a box. Why? Because it’s a Catholic thing, that’s why. They’re nuts.
It isn’t the whole skeleton or anything now, you understand – just a single knuckle. They keep it in a box, called a reliquary, which is very heavy and lined with lead because the knuckle is highly radioactive and unstable. In fact, if the box contained anything more than a knuckle – two fingers for instance – it would reach critical mass and the whole thing could explode.
You can’t see it, this blessed knuckle. There’s no window in Saint Therese’s Box for the faithful to behold the Holy Finger-Joint. They have to just believe that the knuckle is inside it, which is hard for me to do, not being a believer. For all I know, the box might contain Schrödinger’s cat, both dead and alive. Or it might be a highly decorative, lead-lined beer cooler, for booze made with heavy water. Or it might contain a hip-joint instead of a knuckle. Or an eye-socket. Or the ears of Nosferatu. Or the head of Alfredo Garcia.
They’re obsessed with hands and bits of hands and fingers. Here we have assorted parts of the Little Flower touring the planet, and it only seems like yesterday that there were thousands of Padre Pio gloves in every kitchen drawer, ready to cure cancer or banish leprosy at the first emergency call from a grateful mayor and chief of police.
I think saint-worship has a great future in branding.
Padre Pio kitchen gloves, and Padre Pio aprons. Padre Pio work-boots.
Padre Pio cordless drills for making holes in your hands.
Mother Teresa mittens. Mother Teresa budget rusty used hypodermic needles. The Mother Teresa Private Clinic.
Anyway, enough of this rambling. The knuckle is back for another tour, and this time I might go out and do what I said I would. Make a fortune selling things to the crowds as they wait to see Saint Therese’s Box. While the flower-sellers make money peddling roses and daffodils stolen from the Park, I’ll flog them my extra-special Saint Therese’s Freeze-Packed Barbecue Spare Ribs. Saint-in-a-bucket. Genuine Class One Relics in a delicious honey and cider sauce.
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