Friday, 3 March 2017

Who Is A Saint?

Saints are either historical or mythological. An alternative history entails alternative mythologies and hagiographies. In Poul Anderson's History of Technic Civilization, Dominic Flandry's assassinated fiancee, Kossara Vymezal, is canonized by her fellow Orthochristians on the planet Dennitza, becoming St Kossara.

SM Stirling's alternative histories include the canonization of two historical characters known to us: St Disraeli and St Diana, the latter being the deceased first wife of Charles III. These latter two are not proclaimed by any Pope but are perhaps canonized on the Vox populi vox Dei ("The voice of the people is the voice of God") principle.

In our history, Charles I is canonized by the Church Of England as "King Charles the Martyr" - though not in the timeline of Anderson's A Midsummer Tempest, where he was not executed.

In a timeline prevented by the Time Patrol, Veleda would not have become a saint, because she was not a Christian, but would have been recognized as a sibyl or pagan prophetess.

If you enjoy reading these posts half as much as I enjoy writing them, then you are very happy people. 

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I have, of course, from reading THE PESHAWAR LANCERS, heard of "St. Disraeli." But I don't remember "St. Diana," who had already died before the Change. I really need to start rereading the DIES THE FIRE series.

The Anglican "canonizing" of King Charles I reminded me of how Marie Therese de France, daughter of Louis XVI, made determined efforts to persuade the Catholic Church to begin the process leading to the canonizing of him as a saint. But she was told that as her father (who, btw, died courageously, even nobly) had been executed by the French Revolutionaries for political and not religious reasons, the king was not a martyr.