Christina the Astonishing
Born in Belgium in 1150 and soon orphaned. At the age of 21 Christina suffered a massive seizure after which she was declared dead and said to have visited God who gave her a glimpse of both Purgatory and Hell where she saw numerous friends suffering. She made a deal with God to return to earth and let her suffer the torments there in the stead of her friends who would then be cleansed by her actions and they could then ascend to heaven.
When she returned to earth, she levitated to the ceiling of the shire where her body was lay in state, and after being coaxed down by a priest began her journey of living a life of poverty and torment for the sake of those she loved. She would sleep on rocks, wear rags and beg for food, throw herself into ovens and reportedly laid for hours in freezing rivers during the dead of winter. She even allowed herself to be dragged under the waters by a mill wheel, and through it all never suffered injury.
For this I chose to paint Christina in ice blue. Her hair rises as though carried by a great gust of wind ascending up towards the heavens and releasing the beauty and joy bestowed upon her friends and loved ones as the result of her torment. I try to show this through the flowers, bee, butterflies and doves evolving forth and the red flow behind represents the cleansing of the blood in transition and the release of it in loving and life giving sacrifice for the sake of others.
I think of Christina as the perfect empath. We can give her our pain and our stress and she will bear it out in our stead allowing us to refocus our gaze to the cosmos.