Introduction : Jesus held him so close in His love for him that He left the marks of His passion on his body -- "Mildred, is it fun to be a cripple?" : the culture of suffering in mid-twentieth century American Catholicism -- The many names of the mother of God -- Material children : making God's presence real for Catholic boys and girls and for the adults in relation to them -- Two aspects of one life : Saint Gemma Galgani and my grandmother in the wound between devotion and history, the natural and the supernatural -- "Have you ever prayed to Saint Jude?" : reflections on fieldwork in Catholic Chicago -- Snakes alive : religious studies between heaven and earth
Publisher description: Explores the relationships men, women, and children have formed with the Virgin Mary and the saints in twentieth-century American Catholic history, and reflects, more broadly, on how people live in the company of sacred figures and how these relationships shape the ties between people on earth. Author Robert Orsi also considers how scholars of religion occupy the ground in between belief and analysis, faith and scholarship.