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The Choir Invisible: Bringing Pale Saints into Focus

Susan Compo, Option, Fall 1992

THE PALEST SAINT, not unlike the prettiest star, has to be Saint Gerard Majella, an 18th Century Italian anchorite who, before his death at age 29, managed to rake up such skills as becoming invisible, creating a twin and flying. Majella, who wound up as the patron saint of childbirth, became embroiled in controversy when a local girl named him as the father of her child. Yet he came away unscathed, alibied by someone who’d seen him deep in prayer at the hour of the alleged procreation. The subject of Majella’s duality was never mentioned.

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