The intimate connection between religious and sexual exaltation is too well known by physicians to require much discussion. It is shown conclusively in the thousands of cases where intense sexuality has been manifested in the confused clinical histories of religious maniacs; psychoses in which the psycho-pathological conditions give rise to all sorts of sexual delusions such as women who think they are, or will become, the Mother of God; and in men the awful castigations, and even self-crucifixions, which they practised as penances, or punishments for sexual sins.
Thus the nun, Blanbekin, was always troubled in her mind as to what had become of the foreskin of Christ, when He was circumcised, Veronica Juliani, canonized by Pius II in memory of the divine lion, took an actual living lion to bed with her, in honor of the great event; and St. Catherine of Genoa often burned with such "inward fire" that, to cool herself, she would lie on the ground and cry—"Love, love, I can endure it no longer!"
The temptations of Anthony of Padua are too well known to require further comment than to mention the peculiar fact that he seems to be the hero, almost exclusively, of the ladteB. Possibly the feeling is one of guilty self-reproach on their part for what he suffered for them.
Females have no genitals that can be made publicly representative of religious ideas; but while the phallus, or male organ, has figured in almost every religion of antiquity, there are few, if any, religious beliefs of the world, past or present, in which woman has not played an important part.
Bau was worshipped by the Babylonians as the mother of mankind;1 Isis, for her fertility;1 the Mohammedan peoples his paradise with voluptuous, black-eyed houris; the Paschal Feast of the Jews was identified with the bringing forth of their animals' young;1 and with a large section of Christianity the reverence paid to the Holy Virgin is almost, if not fully, equal to that accorded to the Savior Himself.
* She was the Venus of Cyprus, the Minerva of Athens, the Cybele of Phrygia, the Ceres of Elcusis, the Proserpine of Sicily, the Diana of Crete; the eternal .mysterious One, whose veil no mortal has lifted; and the sexual concept concerning whom, doubtless, inspired Cleopatra to dress herself like the goddess, and to assume to be her reincarnation. (Vid. Plutarch, de laid. Osirid.; Herodotus, 2, 59; and Lucan. i, 831.)
* Ewald and Robertson Smith have identified the Paschal Feast of the Jews, as well as the great Ragab Feast of the Arabians, with the young-bearing season of camels and other domestic animals; and the bon-fires and festivals of Easter, or St. John's Eve, are traced by Crimm ("Teutonic Mythology," p. 615), to a similar source.
* Quoted by H. Ellis, loc. cit., i. 233-4.
I have been unable to verify Mr. Ellis's quotation in the original; possibly a different print; but find in Rawling's London Edition, p. 74, very similar sentiments in the story of the " Yonge Amorouse Ladye" who was seized by the Fiend for her sexual thoughts about the priest during mass.