You Who Make the Sky Bend: Saints as Archetypes of the Human Condition
Most saints began as children, as all humans do. Martin de Porres’ white father abandoned him; Dymphna fled an incestuous father. Rosa de Lima threw her mother into despair. Brendan built a boat from leather and butter; Francis of Assisi talked to animals. Teresa de Ávila wielded a wry sense of humor, and Catherine of Alexandria argued fifty master philosophers into cowering silence.
A few, though, did not know childhood or death. Archangel Michael’s name was a battle cry; shining Gabriel calmed the terrified before delivering his messages. Desperate for the powers associated with Librada (relief from bad husbands and boyfriends) and Expeditus (exceedingly swift help), people conjured these saints from relic and desire.
You Who Make The Sky Bend relates the saints to stages of the human condition, thus placing them into the wheel of life. For they touch lives. The saints remain on call, as if their form is a kind of ethereal transmitter tube lit by their filament souls. Many people talk to them, daily, weekly, or on the unforeseen morning when misfortune pushes past their threshold. And many people believe they are heard—by the saint, their better selves, their own hearts.
Sandlin, Lisa K., "You Who Make the Sky Bend: Saints as Archetypes of the Human Condition" (2011). Faculty Books and Monographs. 68.