Tuesday, February 5, 2013

St. Peter Damian coloring page

Saint Peter Damian is a saint for our times.

One thing I'm trying to do with this coloring book is show saints in a variety of emotional states. While it is true that Joy is the ultimate reality of holiness, I'm portraying moments from their earthly lives, and in this life we go through other states, however holy we might be. Being holy does not equal feeling good all the time.

So Saint Peter Damian is angry. Because--and you probably don't want to tell this to your children who will be coloring this page--he confronted terrible corruption in the Church, including sexual abuse of young boys by clergy. This outrage is, unfortunately, not confined to recent times, but was around in the eleventh century too. Peter Damian wrote a long letter, a book really, to the Pope exposing and condemning the abuse and strongly exhorting him to do more about it.

So while this story may not be for the Coloring Book's audience, I do symbolize it in the picture. The letter was called the Book of Gomorrah, and the cliff on which Peter Damian stands has salt deposits, like the cliffs around the Dead Sea, thought to have been the site of Sodom and Gomorrah. But the city below is a medieval Italian one, the world Peter fought to reform.

Sign up for the Liturgical Calendar Coloring Book here.

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