The story goes that the young woman declared that she had seen purgatory and decided that her suffering in their stead would help guide souls out of the cleansing fire straight into heaven. So suffer she did, and no, she didn't half-ass it with some minor self-flagellation. Witnesses testified that she had been seen crawling into live ovens, handling fire, standing in freezing water for hours, getting mauled by dogs and, finally, being dragged around and around by a mill wheel. And all that without sustaining so much as a single scratch.
However, they found her Steve Martin impression lacking.
When she wasn't out flinging herself into danger, she would sleep in tombs and caves, climb trees and buildings or simply levitate to avoid contact with the people she identified as sinners by their smell alone. Hmm ... a woman who died but then came back more powerful than ever, with the ability to fly, who was pretty much invulnerable? And exhibiting subtle signs of mental imbalance? Yep, she was pretty much the Catholic Jean Grey.
"Hail Jean, full of Grey, Cyclops is with thee ..."
St. Joseph of Cupertino Could Fly
Most saints used their miraculous powers to help their fellow man: healing the sick, feeding the hungry or something equally altruistic. As far as we know, there was only one saint who used his miraculous powers just to look really, really badass. St. Joseph of Cupertino was an Italian friar who could, according to legend, fly. And none of this David Blaine "hovering an inch and a half off the ground" crap, either. He's reported to have been capable of soaring into the sky and flying over crowds of people like Superman in a robe.
Also, he was apparently the Crucifix Hamburglar.
The first reported instance of Joseph giving gravity the finger was during a procession on the feast day for St. Francis of Assisi. Joseph was just helping out, walking around like the rest of us land-based humans, when he suddenly became overwhelmed by the spirit and soared into the air, hanging out over the crowd until one of his superiors ordered him to come down. Joseph was apparently so embarrassed by the incident that he ran to his mother's house instead of, we don't know, continuing to do barrel rolls all day while screaming "I can freaking fly, bitches!" like we'd do in the same situation.
"Dude, I'm open! Open! No, up here!"
This wasn't a one-off, either. Joseph's flights became so frequent that the friars reportedly had to forbid him from doing it because he was causing a distraction. Evidently friars had better things to do with their time back then than watch somebody break the laws of physics.
"Joseph, don't make us tether you!"
This ban may have been for Joseph's own safety, however, since he's reported to have been a bit of a moron. Known for being incredibly simple, he couldn't read or write and his lack of intelligence was supposedly so pronounced that it actually led to him becoming, among other things, the patron saint of the mentally handicapped. In other words, if the stories are to be believed, then one day God apparently thought to himself, "I wonder what would happen if I gave the idiot superpowers?"
You can read more from Richy Craven at A Series of Terrible Decisions or follow him on Twitter. Alternatively you could read more of Dustin Koski's articles over at Toptenz.
For more reasons the bible is like comic books, check out 5 Real Deleted Bible Scenes In Which Jesus Kicks Some Ass and The 9 Most Badass Bible Verses.