From The Curious History of St. Briggs the Benevolent
St. Briggs the Benevolent has long been overshadowed by the figure of St. Brodie the Quick-Tempered, whom Briggs is said to have accompanied on his early travels. Briggs was born in Ireland, probably on the Dingle peninsula. Little is known of his childhood, but he is believed to have been one of the young latecomers mentioned in Navigatio Sancti Brodi Abbattis who joined Brodie on his voyage to the Promised Land. “The latecomers were led to the boat by the neck for prayer.” Modern translators, however, have substituted “latecomer” with “stowaway” or “reluctant passenger,” and there is considerable evidence for the latter, slavery being a preferred means of cheap labor for the seawardly mobile.
We can be certain that Briggs did not sail with Brodie long and embarked on missionary voyages of his own. However, strange circumstances surround his many journeys, and he was frequently poorly received. In Triumph Over Self-Satisfaction, Fr. Eugene O’Dolomiter writes: “came to Iveraugh a strange figure of a noseless monk in a boat made of skins.” Michael Fenner’s A Compleat History of Inch amplifies this matter:
[Briggs] volunteered to baptise every man, woman and child in the vicinity, but the wild-looking stranger was rejected by the people of the towne, His odd appearance set their hearts hard against him and the Children threw stones and old vegetables, some of which he bore back to his curious boat.
The origin of Briggs’s deformity is not known. While many histories suggest he was born with his peculiar disfigurement, Victor Farladoon’s Dingle, Sweet Dingle claims he lost his nose in a fishing accident with his brothers:
Be assured, sir, the salmon of the Shannon had themselves God’s own cartilaginous feast.
Local legend suggests his father took him out to the bluffs late one night after stumbling home from the ale hut. In a scene reminiscent of Abraham and Isaac, he sliced off his only son’s only nose when the sought-after sign from God failed to materialize. But consider this: in Fr. Keenan’s History of Glenemmett Abbey appears a monk with “strange nostril flaps who protested vehemently whenever the name Brodie was spaketh.” Could this be Briggs? Is it possible that Brodie played a role in Briggs’ disfigurement? In fact, the Ballad of Brodie suggests the oft-peeved saint was prone to just such fits of pique:
If Brodie’s comin’ after ye
To run, ye would do well
Or ever more they’ll say of ye,
“However does he smell?”
[Tr. Joshua Rifkin]
Despite his violent background, Briggs was a gentle man. So benevolent was Briggs, he abstained from eating flesh-meat of every animal. His missionary zeal was boundless. He sought the most out-of-the-way places: Jiddah, Salala, Madras and Banagalbe, and was not deterred by hardship or extreme weather. His turn-offs were said to include carnivores and negativity.
The far-traveling saint’s journeys ended in Greenland. In the native traditions of the Esquimaux, the curious figure of a man with no nose crops up again and again. In a place where polar bear attacks and the extreme vagaries of the weather account for all manner of disfigurements, Briggs revered as a holy figure. He lived with the Esquimaux for many years, adopting their habits and customs. He could not bring himself to hunt or take part in the great feasting parties afterward, choosing instead to subsist on a diet of sea kelp and skua guano.
Eventually his old wanderlust returned. Perhaps word of Brodie’s many successes and growing fame had reached him. Briggs pushed farther north in the hopes of making his way back to Ireland. Unfortunately, he never made it. While waving goodbye to the Esquimaux men and women who had sheltered him, Briggs was attacked by a monstrous bull seal and dragged beneath the ice.
From The Mortifications of St. Karen McCorry
St. Karen was an apprentice scribe at a scriptorium in Waterfoot. The scriptorium was besieged by raiders, led by Olaf Greentooth, and she was carried off to a stronghold in Dublin. Olaf delighted in inflicting barbarous cruelties, as noted in Sister Mary Nolan of the Scented Candle’s august history, Angel at the Keyboard, the Life and Times of Karen McCorry:
MORTIFICATION THE FIRST.
Each morning Karen did imbibe a substance like unto the milk of the cow, yet unlike the milk of the cow.
MORTIFICATION THE SECOND.
On numerous occasions was Karen made to wear a suit of nails and spurs, laundered with extra starch.
MORTIFICATION THE THIRD.
For Olaf’s pleasure Karen’s feet were bound in tight leather shoes for eight hours a day or more.
Olaf dreamed of taking his stronghold public. So great was his desire, no punishment was deemed too gruesome, no excess of barbarism too extreme. In Beastly, Beastly Olaf, Claire Billups reveals that
[Karen] was frequently subjected to the Judas cradle and ergonomic efficiency seminars (with follow-up surveys). She was forced to endure Japanese clover nipple clamps and thumbscrews. She suffered daily from carpal tunnel syndrome. Worst of all, she endured the unspeakable horror of “The Commute” with nothing save morning radio to console her.
St. Timothy Regan, a testimonial, by Ciaran Conkey
“Tim got Missy Dandridge out of the bleedin’ confessional and took her down to Dublin for a bit of fun. They ate ecstasy and drank Vodka Red Bulls till their eyes turned yellow. He gave her holiness a shift in the car park outside the club as the sun was coming up and he still made it to the pitch on time. The suffering bastard made three goals and didn’t miss a tackle all match. I don’t know if they should canonize the cunt, but he’s a feckin’ miracle worker to be sure.”