Saint Drogo: The Saint For The Ugly People
Genre: Historical Fiction
Date Published: July 1, 2013
Number of Pages: 162
Print Price: $11.69
eBook Price: $
“Sometimes the Crosses were self-inflicted, and they didn’t want to be rid of them. Those were the hardest for him. To see someone suffer, to see them drowning in their own darkness.”
When I picked up this book to read it, I was fascinated to learn of Saint Drogo. I had never heard of him. A Saint for ugly people, what does that mean? Within the pages of this book, Eric Engel introduced me to a boy who was afraid of his own father, afraid of the ugliness of his father’s face. His father was known throughout the village as ‘Bubble Face,’ his face having been distorted by a severe bout with smallpox.
But the rejection by the father to the son was just as severe. Drogo’s father rejected him because his wife died while giving birth to Drogo. So the lonely boy wandered the hills of his town looking for the love he didn’t receive at home. Eventually, he found that love in the grace of his heavenly Father.
Growing up to fear both loneliness and disfigurement alike, he grew in faith and love of God only to find that both of these sufferings would be required of him by the very God he trusted. Turning from a life of comfort, Drogo became known for his pilgrimages to Holy places, including Rome. As he grew in devotion, he found that his prayer would cure the illnesses of the sick. Drogo would take the illness upon himself and while the petitioner was cured, Drogo would suffer the malady until it was finally taken away. When he reached out to a woman suffering from the Black Plague, he overcame his natural disgust of the ugly and the dirty. In agony, he was the vessel for her healing as his reputation for curing spread. Fearful of what God was asking him to do he hid for seven years from those who were ill. Finally, he had to face his fears and took on a deformity that left him ugly and disfigured. This illness was not cured and led to the isolation he most feared. He offered it all up for the remainder of his life to cure and relieve the physically and spiritually ill. His appearance was so frightful that he had to hide from those who attacked him.
“The loneliness engulfed him so completely, that he sometimes thought of running outside, in broad daylight, without his mask, and begging someone to talk to him. Even the screams and the rock throwing would prove his existence. It would signify that other people still considered him part of the world”
Eventually, taking sanctuary in a small church, he would offer his suffering for the cure of all the people who came to him for cures. He took the suffering of loneliness and pain upon himself but suffered new attacks from another source.
“The devil was also the source of many sufferings. The prince of lies had visited him many times. Often, he would materialize out of thin air, posing as monsters (more ugly, even than Drogo was), as seductive women, as his brother, as Hughes (both when he was deformed and after he had been healed), and even as Drogo himself.”
Author Eric Engel is a master. He takes just five paragraphs from Wikipedia and, while little is known about this forgotten saint, weaves the story of his life. With just a few other sources, he makes the reader truly see the afflicted saint, and feel his pain and anguish. Fleshing out the troubled times of plague and superstition that Drogo lived in, he opens up a moving truth of this important, yet unknown man. It takes great talent to do this, and Engel is very gifted and talented. I found myself fascinated and absorbed in the tale this author spins. I highly recommend this work and think the life of Saint Drogo explains and inspires the ‘offering up’ all the faithful should tender during the discomforts of our life. It inspires true prayer.Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Original Language: English
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