Jesus in Love logo
August 2014
Jesus in Love Newsletter
LGBT spirituality and the arts
Join Our Mailing List
In This Issue
John of La Verna
Louie's poem
Art at
Mary and Martha
Jacob wrestling
Bearded woman saint
Boris and George
Artist Artemisia
Holy fools in love

glbt spirituality & arts
Find me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter
Quick Links to Jesus in Love
Vision statement

Jesus in Love supports lesbian, gay, bi trans and queer  (LGBTQ) spirituality, with an emphasis on art and literature. It promotes artistic and religious freedom and teaches love for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. It is based on these beliefs: God loves all people, including sexual minorities. The creative process is sacred. The queer visions, especially the gay Jesus and LGBT saints, will free people to experience the divine in new ways and lead to a more just world.


Jesus in Love was founded by lesbian Christian author Kittredge Cherry as her personal gift to the world.  


LGBTQ inspirations and role models can be found in many times and places... from a queer medieval friar in Italy to today's church leaders, poets and artists. Meet some in this month's newsletter.
John of La Verna: A friar kissed by Jesus 
Jesus embracing John of La Verna

Chapel at Mount La Verna Blessed John of La Verna is a medieval Italian friar known for his visions of kissing and being kissed by Jesus.  He also had an intense relationship with a fellow friar. Franciscan scholar Kevin Elphick writes a profile of Blessed John as a queer saint and gives a vivid personal story of a his trip to John's chapel in Italy.  More info   

(Left: Jesus embraces Blessed John. Right: John's Chapel at Mount La Verna, photo by Kevin Elphick

Poem: Christ, what did you feel when your beloved John lay across your lap?

Louie Crew


A gay man prays, wondering if Jesus also felt same-sex attractions, in a poem by longtime LGBT church activist and poet Louie Clay (né Louie Crew).


He asks Christ, "What did you feel when your beloved John lay across your lap casually?"  

More info features "Art That Dares"
Advocate web page posted a big article about "Art That Dares" in July. It says: "Kittredge Cherry's eye-opening book, 'Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, and More' can be breathtaking... The content still has the jolt of the revolutionary to it and bears reexamination."

See article 


Mary and Martha: Sisters or lesbians?

Mary and Martha by Bernardino Luini
Mary and Martha of Bethany were two of Jesus' closest friends.  The Bible calls them "sisters" who lived together, but reading the Bible with queer eyes raises another possibility.  Maybe Mary and Martha were a lesbian couple.  

They formed a nontraditional family at a time when there was huge pressure for heterosexual marriage.  More info

(Credit: "Mary and Martha" by Bernardino Luini)

Wrestling with God to join sex and spirit

Jacob Wrestling with the Angel by Leon Bonnat When Jacob wrestled with the angel in the Bible, they embodied a conflict between body and soul.  Artists have created many homoerotic images of the scene.


The story of Jacob wrestling with the angel speaks powerfully to LGBT people who are  reconciling sexuality and spirituality. More info


(Credit: "Jacob Wrestling with the Angel" by Leon Bonnat)

St. Wilgefortis: Bearded woman

Saint Wilgefortis
St. Wilgefortis prayed to avoid marriage to a pagan king -- and her prayers were answered when she grew a beard! 
People have honored this virgin martyr since the 14th century, but today some wonder about the queer causes behind her beard.  More info

(Credit: St. Wilgefortis sculpture in Prague, Curious Expeditions)
Saint Boris and George: United in love

St. Boris and George by Robert Lentz
Saint Boris, a popular medieval saint in Russia and Ukraine, loved George the Hungarian. As military conflict grows between the two nations, may remembering the queer love between Boris and George help bring peace. The feast day of Saint Boris is July 24 -- the same day that same-sex marriage became legal in New York in 2011. More info

(Credit: "Saints Boris and George the Hungarian" by Robert Lentz)

Gentileschi shows strong Biblical women

Judith and Her Maidservant by Artemisia Gentileschi Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi inspires people with her paintings of strong Biblical women -- created despite the obstacles that she faced as a woman in 17th-century Italy.   


Many queer people and our allies can relate to her battles against discrimination and sexual violence. More info


(Credit: "Judith and Her Maidservant" by Artemisia Gentileschi)

Wojnarowicz art stirs controversy
by mixing gay and Christian imagery

Painting David by Douglas Blanchard
Interest is surging in David Wojnarowicz, a gay artist, writer and activist whose use of Christian imagery still causes controversy more than two decades after his death from AIDS at age 37.


He rose from a homeless teenage hustler to become a celebrated artist and frequent target of the religious right. Wojnarowicz mixed gay imagery with religious symbols from his Roman Catholic childhood to express the holiness and intensity of gay experience.  More info 


(Credit: Detail from "Painting David" by Douglas Blanchard)

Holy fool and hermit loved each other

Symeon and John by Jim Ru

Sixth-century Syrian monks Symeon and John were were joined in a same-sex union and lived together as desert-dwelling hermits for 29 years. After a tearful split-up, Symeon went on to become known as the Holy Fool of Emesa. More info 


(Credit: "Symeon and John" by Jim Ru

Give now! Summer support needed 

Smiling sun Do you like this newsletter? Donate now by clicking the button below.  Thank you!

Donate button
Summer is a slow time, but I still have to pay for Internet access and other office costs.
I leave you with a quote from scholar Kevin Elphick's article posted today at the Jesus in Love Blog:

"One of the purposes of the genre of saints' lives, "hagiographies," is to ensure that the contemporary faithful might find examples from the past with which to identify, and personally recognizable models of sanctity to emulate. As such, the time is overdue for the LGBTQ communities to name and claim our patron saints."


May you find examples today to inspire your own spiritual journey!


Kittredge Cherry headshot
Kittredge Cherry
Publisher, Jesus In Love Newsletter
Jesus in Love Newsletter is made possible by these  
Nativity Project ad
Art for the birthing
of Magdalene Christianity  
Images by Janet McKenzie  
celebrating women of the New Testament 
as models for the emerging church of today. 

MCC LA by Trudie Barreras

Artist Trudie Barreras will do pet portraits in pastel, or watercolor sketches of your home or favorite scenes, for a $25 gift to Kitt for Jesus in Love.  To see samples of Trudie's work, visit her website, Contact us for further details.


See A GAY FAIRY TALE now. What happens when a Prince truly loves another Prince?
Lethe Press ad
Sergius and Bacchus mug
Innovative religious art

Cards, plaques, T-shirts, mugs, candles, and framed prints


Save 10% on products associated with any feast day this month.


The Trinity by Douglas Blanchard

Buy prints and greeting cards
By Douglas Blanchard

High-quality giclee reproductions
in many formats and sizes
Art That Dares book cover

By Kittredge Cherry

Packed with color art by 11 contemporary artists
"An amazing, disconcerting, and sacred book"
Santos Queer logo

Santos Queer presenta en las fechas adecuadas durante todo el año tanto santas y santos como mártires, héroes, heroinas y personas consagradas de especial interés para las personas  lesbianas, gays, bisexuales y transexuales (LGBT) y sus aliados.
Kittredge Cherry Update screenshot

$25 per month or $300 per year
includes newsletter plus your ad here

KC Update has reflections on LGBT spirituality

and a report on my latest activities.

Subscribe now or view a sample issue   

Exclamation point on sign
Your ad here
$25 per month

Jesus in Love Newsletter reaches more than
800 subscribers interested in LGBTQ spirituality.
Click here to buy an ad or get info