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February 2016
Jesus in Love Newsletter
LGBT spirituality and the arts
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In This Issue
Walatta Petros
Saint Sebastian
Gay Passion of Christ
Ash Wednesday
New books: Feb 2016
Holocaust remembrance
RIP David Bowie
Brigid and soulmate
Friendly Saint Aelred
David Kato
PFLAG founder
Passion cards & prints
Thank you

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Saints of interest to LGBTQ readers range from new research on an African nun to an old favorite of gay men: Sebastian. This issue prepares the way for Ash Wednesday and the queer Christ's Passion.
Saint Walatta Petros: Ethiopian nun shared a lifetime bond with a female partner
Walatta Petros

Saint Walatta Petros is a 17th-century Ethiopian nun who had an intense lifelong friendship with another nun and led a successful movement to drive out foreign missionaries.

Controversial evidence of same-sex love in her history is revealed in her biography, which was just published in English for the first time. More info 

(Credit: Walatta Petros received souls in the form of doves as a gift from Christ. SLUB Mscr.Dresd.Eb.415.e,2
Saint Sebastian: History's first gay icon  Sebastian by Christopher Olwage


St. Sebastian has been called history's first gay icon and the patron saint of homosexuals. He was an early Christian martyr. Countless artworks show him as a near-naked young man being shot with arrows.  Little is known about his love life, so his popularity with gay men is mostly based on how he looks. More info 


(Credit: "Self Portrait as Saint Sebastian" by  

Christopher Olwage
Gay Passion of Christ book available now
Book cover Passion of Christ A Gay Vision

Meet Jesus as a young gay man of today in a modern city with "The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision" by Kittredge Cherry with art by Douglas Blanchard.   

Passion book open to Jesus Rises  

Highly recommended for Lent, Holy Week and Easter


More info
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Queer martyrs rise from the ashes

Dutch massacre of sodomites in 1730
Next week is Ash Wednesday on Feb. 10, 2016. It is an appropriate time to reflect on the sins of the church and state against queer people.

Christians traditionally put ashes on their foreheads as a sign of repentance on Ash Wednesday. Queer martyrs rise from the ashes we recall the thousands who were executed for homosexuality throughout history. The death penalty for homosexuality continues today in 10 countries.  More info
New LGBT Christian books: Feb 2016

"Brother-Making in Late Antiquity and Byzantium: Monks, Laymen, and Christian Ritual" by Claudia Rapp
"Two Pews from Crazy: My Insane Journey from Christian Fundamentalism to a Faith of Love Alone - LGBTQ Minister" by Cyd Andrews-Looper

Click for summaries of both books 
Holocaust: We all wear the triangle

Jesus falls 1st time -  Nazis persecution
International Holocaust Remembrance Day honors the victims of the Nazi era, including LGBT people. Nazis used the pink triangle as a badge to identify gay prisoners in concentration camps. Among them was an anonymous gay priest killed in Sachsenhausen, Germany. Nazi persecution of queers is matched with Jesus falling under his cross in a painting by Mary Button.  More info
(Credit: Station 3 from "Stations of the Cross: The Struggle For LGBT Equality" by Mary Button) 
RIP David Bowie: Queer messiah figure

Saint David Bowie

David Bowie, genderbending British rock star, died Jan. 10 at age 69.

He inspired many LGBTQ people and was a model for some visions of the queer Christ. Bowie helped move society toward acceptance of LGBT people. More info
(Credit: "Saint David Bowie" from Granny's Hope Chest)
St. Brigid loved her female soulmate

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St. Brigid and her soulmate Darlughdach were 6th-century nuns who brought art, education and spirituality to early medieval Ireland. 

They were so close that they slept in the same bed. Brigid shares her name and feast day with a Celtic goddess.  More info

(Credit: "Saint Brigid and Darlughdach of Kildare" by Rowan Lewgalon and Tricia Danby)
Aelred: Gay saint of friendship

Aelred by Robert Lentz
Saint Aelred is one of the most lovable saints, the patron saint of friendship and also, some say, gay.  He was the abbott of a Cistercian abbey in 12th-century England. "There can be little question that Aelred was gay and that his erotic attraction to men was a dominant force in his life," wrote Yale historian John Boswell. More info

(Credit: "Saint Aelred of Rievaulx" by Robert Lentz)  
David Kato: Ugandan LGBT rights martyr
David Kato by Rod Byatt

David Kato, Ugandan LGBT rights activist, helped launch Uganda's LGBT rights movement. He was beaten to death in 2011 in a case that some blame on anti-gay religious rhetoric. More info

(Credit: "David Kato" by Rod Byatt)  

PFLAG founder loved her gay son
Jeanne Manford

Jeanne Manford, founder of PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), died three years ago on Jan. 8, 2013, at age 92.

Her support for her gay led her to start PFLAG in 1973. It has grown to 350 chapters with 200,000 members. More info
Gay Passion of Christ prints and cards

 Hands holding Passion greeting card


Prints and greeting cards of Doug Blanchard's 24 gay Passion of Christ paintings are available.


High-quality giclee reproductions come in many sizes and formats. Images include the Last Supper, crucifixion and resurrection. More info 

Thank you to 37 donors in Dec-Jan!

Kitt Cherry with thank-you sign
A big thank-you to all 37 people who supported Jesus in Love with gifts to the Year-End, Christmas and December offerings!

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Click to see donors' names and comments such as: "What a gem your blog is! I find something to really engage my attention every time I read it."
Visit the Jesus in Love Blog to check out its new format, optimzed for smart phones and handheld computers as well as desktops!

My goal is to bring the message of God's all-inclusive love to people wherever they are, even when it means going mobile.

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Kittredge Cherry
Publisher, Jesus In Love Newsletter
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The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision
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