SEX, DEATH AND RELICS
Cults of Virgin Martyrs with Eric Huang
At Guy's Hospital Chapel on Saturday the 29th October 2022 - 3:30 pm

In the first centuries of Christianity, the vast majority of saints were martyrs, people who died as a result of their faith. The most revered were those who perished whilst still innocent and pure: virgin martyrs. Persecutions by Roman Emperors would create cults of virgin martyrs revered in secret by Christians who lived in constant fear of death, yet craved similar fates for themselves to earn a golden ticket into Heaven. After Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, the lure of martyrs continued unabated, despite the rise of hermit saints who endured self-afflicted hardships and assaults by demons to found the first monasteries and live miraculously long lives.

Worship of virgin cults peaked in the Medieval era with the amassing of relics: the body parts of long-deceased martyrs. Martyrs’ legends then found a flowering of expression in the Renaissance and beyond that sacrilegiously blurred the lines between the sacred and profane. Join Eric Huang as he investigates bejewelled bones and half-naked saints in bondage. Meet virgin martyrs like Saint Margaret who was swallowed by a dragon; Saint Sebastian the patron saint of gay men; Saint Ursula who inspired a cult of 11,000 virgins; and many, many more.

Tickets £12 including a delightful gin cocktail and a 20% donation towards the King's Chaplaincy Trust

Eric Huang
Eric Huang is the creator of Saint Podcast, a history and culture podcast that explores legends of the saints. He began his professional life as a palaeontologist-in-training in California, and left upon discovering it was nothing like Jurassic Park. He was then a tour guide at Universal Studios, a low-paid story reader, and personal assistant to badly behaved people before landing a job at Disney Publishing. Eric’s publishing career began, taking him to Melbourne, then London, in various editorial and publisher roles with Penguin, LEGO, and others. Eric is fascinated by Catholica and sacred art. He currently lives in London.