Fact: Ugly People Don’t Go to Heaven


If you are Catholic and you have kids, then you have the little picture books of saints.

You know the ones I’m talking about.  The thin little paperbacks where each page is devoted to a particular saint, with a colorful illustration and a brief story about the saint’s life.

















My kids love these books.  I love these books.  They’re great little books.  They’re great for teaching children that to get to Heaven, we need to love God and our neighbor, and lead lives of holiness.

And also…we need to look fantastic.

It’s true.  Although the saints led devout lives of service to the Church, and in some cases lived in extreme poverty and even solitude, it also looks like most of them probably found time to co-star in films with Fred Astaire, Grace Kelly, and quite possibly, Legolas.

Don’t believe me?
















See what I mean?

But Heaven wasn’t always such an exclusive club.  The illustrations in the first few books in this series actually give most of us regular-looking folks a glimmer of hope…

Book-of-Saints-Part-1bppk of saints 2


But right around the ninth or tenth book, the talented artist in charge of painting the saints’ portraits just started going for it.

















book of saints 10















And I’m pretty sure I saw Book No. 12  being sold in the check-out aisle at the grocery store.















I don’t mean to be critical at all.  I think pictures of saints should look nice.  Sure, our outward appearance isn’t an automatic indicator of the state of our soul, but I think it is true that holy people can project a certain appeal.  Goodness attracts, right?  Can’t a person’s inner holiness shine through somehow and reflect in a real physical way the image and likeness of God?

As I said, I like these books.  And they really are beautiful pictures – even a glimpse into Heaven maybe.

Which is nice, because with the mug I was born with it looks like a glimpse is all I might get.



oooooooooooooooooooooooHe went straight to Heaven




  • Jp

    I just confirmed with a mirror, I am doomed!

  • enness

    I dunno. Even in the latter ones, some of them look plain and ordinary enough to me. They’d look even more plain compared to the digitally retouched covers of magazines in any drugstore. Quite a number of the pictures are of old men (to put it bluntly). I also see Bill Murray and Jerry Seinfeld.

    I think part of what we’re seeing is that there’s more detail going on around them than before. Do you notice that? And the postures are dramatic…but then, so are the stories, I’ll bet.

    Looking at numbers 1,2, and 5 I’d get the impression, if I were a child, that being really holy means a circle will form around your head.

    In real life, most people are not models but most people are also not “legit” ugly. This includes saints, I’m sure. Weren’t there a few who prayed to God to take away their beauty and get rid of their suitors?

  • ML

    Any who feel that physical beauty is a sign of inner holiness should read the story of Blessed Margaret of Castello, born blind, lame, deformed, hunchbacked and a dwarf. Physical beauty is a gift from God that can be used in His service, but if you’re observant of the world around you, you will realize that its also often used to serve the prince of darkness.
    Physical infirmities, on the other hand, could also be considered as a gift from God which could be used for good purposes. Think, for example, the good you could do if you offered up those ugly wrinkles, or the crooked nose, or whatever it is, in reparation for sins, especially, perhaps, the sin of vanity, or sins against purity. Many graces could be merited in this way.

  • Robert J Campbell

    I lived from 1980 to 1999 in the Netherlands. There were no overweight people there and everyone was very good looking, both men and women. I think that the artist for these Saints books just lived in the Netherlands as he did them.

  • Mary

    I actually used these books at an RCIA (that is for adults) talk on saints. It was a great resource for them. Well written and straight to the point. But I disagree with you on ugly people. Saint have done what we all aspire to do. Reflect. They reflect the beauty of God. So handsome, beautiful, or ugly, they have to be painted that way. They reflect Gods love.

  • Arjay

    You serious Clark?

    Jay (Pug-ugly) Swindler



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