The Saints Of ?Lives Of The Saints? Essay, Research Paper
Being compared to a Saint is an honor, which can revive and liven up someone?s life that has been down as people experience now and again. In Ricci?s Lives Of The Saints, Santa Cristina and Cristina Innocente are alike because they were persecuted, have similar family relationships, and leave the world on a positive note. Their similarities can bee seen when people in their surroundings persecute them. Their relationship to their father is also similar for at points they have been unloved. Through death they are both released from their pain. Their departure from the world made a big impact. Following the relevancy of comparison, we take the similarity of Cristina and Santa Cristina as a way to bring closure to how anyone can have ?good? inside of them.
The villagers were not the best of people towards Cristina Innocente. This is similar to how Santa Cristina had been persecuted for being unfaithful. Cristina Innocente had been reduced by the villagers as someone who was evil. They have persecuted her and gossiped about her. Without knowing everything they would say, ?God will make his judgments? It?s not for nothing she was bitten by a snake? (Ricci 51). The villagers believe so strongly in superstitions. Through their eyes, being bitten by a snake meant that Cristina was Evil and was getting what she deserved.
Santa Cristina was also punished liked Cristina Innocente by those around her. Being Christian, Santa Cristina was punished heavily and was hurt frequently up until her death. What happened was:
First the judge ordered that Santa Cristina be thrown into a pit with a hundred venomous serpents; but these Santa Cristina Overcame, through the strength of Christ, and she was brought once again before the court. Now her flesh was torn away by large iron hooks; but Santa Cristina picked up a chunk of her own flesh and threw it into the magistrates face. (Ricci 135)
No matter how much Santa Cristina suffered, she remained strong minded similar to how Cristina Innocente did not care what the villagers thought.
Santa Cristina and Cristina Innocente both had a difficult relationship with their family, more precisely their father. When Santa Cristina became a Christian she broke up all of the gold and silver images of the pagan gods in her father?s house. Her father was not pleased. In the novel, a book called ?Lives of the Saints?, Vittorio reads, ?When her father discovered her crime he beat her without mercy and brought her before the magistrate for final judgment, and thus began a long series of chastisements? (Ricci 135). This shows how much her father hated her for being Christian.
Cristina Innocente also had a similar relationship with her father as to Santa Cristina. Knowing of her misdeeds, he takes his anger out on her. He says, ?You?ve killed me Cristina. You killed your mother when you were born and now you?ve killed me? (Ricci 145). This shows how much her father violently hated her daughter just as how Santa Cristina?s father hater her.
Death was a release for both Santa Cristina and Cristina Innocente. By death, they were released from pain and found new life. Santa Cristina?s death was a release from the punishments of the magistrate. When she was being thrown into the water:
But just as Santa Cristina was about to strike the water, the stone and chains slipped mysteriously off her: for an instant she hovered above the surface of the sea like a shade, dressed now in flowing white, while the sky, a moment before the clear blue, was eclipsed with a mass of purple clouds, a sole shaft trained on Santa Cristina. Then the Archangel Michael was standing beside her; while the soldiers watched, Michael cupped a palmful of seawater and brought it to Santa Cristina?s forehead. At last he reached out his hand to her and he led her up into the heavens, while on earth a great storm was finally unleashed. (Ricci 136)
This whole part symbolizes how Santa Cristina was freed onto heaven and made a saint. She found new life there.
Cristina?s death was also a release from the anguishing pain given by the villagers. The town of Valle del Sole believes in new life. Vittorio believes this him self when he says:
My mother?s body, enclosed in a canvas sack and covered with an Italian flag, lay on a small platform that rose up above the rails and pointed out to sea. After the chaplain had had read from his missal Antonio gave the eulogy. But I wasn?t following-there had been a mistake, the kind of thing that where dead people were not dead or where they could sometimes come back to life again, like that, the way the wheat around Val del Sole, snow covered in winter, could suddenly could suddenly be green again in the spring. (Ricci 235)
Vittorio felt so much that his mother wasn?t really dead that he expected to see her rise from the dead. The author?s poetic thought and metaphorical way of thinking could have suggested that Cristina Innocente was not dead, but alive and free in the innocence of her young child. Cristina Innocente was reborn.
To conclude the world provided by Nino Ricci?s Lives Of The Saints, we see how Santa Cristina and Cristina Innocente are similar because they were persecuted, have similar family relationships, and ended off in the world on a positive note. Santa Cristina was persecuted heavily by the magistrate as how Cristina Innocente was by the persecution of the villagers. Both Santa Cristina and Cristina Innocente had a difficult relationship with their father as they were disowned. Their death showed promise of new life and a departure of greatness. Cristina Innocente by death found new life, but that example doesn?t state that we have to wait that long.
Ricci, Nino. Lives Of The Saints. Ontario, Canada: Cormorant Books Inc, 1990.