Here is a photo of my favorite Bad Saint, Padre Pio. He faked his stigmata with chemicals, laundered money in the black market of Nazi-occupied Paris, and philandered his way to becoming the number one Christian saint in Italy. Some say he’s more popular than Jesus, but I think that’s just latent anti-Semitism.
Madeleine Johnson, my colleague at The American, has a brilliant satire on the Italian citizenship quiz. Of course, I challenge anyone to guess whether she made this up or not. That’s what’s brilliant–it just might be true.
— Which of the following is known to cause cancer among Italians?
•c. Not wearing a woolen undershirt;
— Padre Pio is:
•a. The center of a lucrative cult that aims to defraud and delude the credulous;
•b. The priest who administered the last rites to Elvis Presley;
•c. A saint whose good works and popularity has attracted envy and hostility from the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy;
•d. The patron saint of taxi drivers.