A saint in a Hurry

[El divino impaciente]
Year: 
1933
Type: 
Public: 
Publisher: 
1st Sands
City: 
London
Year of publication: 
1935
Pages: 
147
Moral assessment: 
Type: Literature
Nothing inappropriate.
Some morally inappropriate content.
Contains significant sections contrary to faith or morals.
Contains some lurid passages, or presents a general ideological framework that could confuse those without much Christian formation.
Contains several lurid passages, or presents an ideological framework that is contrary or foreign to Christian values.
Explicitly contradicts Catholic faith or morals, or is directed against the Church and its institutions.
Literary quality: 
Recommendable: 
Transmits values: 
Sexual content: 
Violent content: 
Vulgar or obscene language: 
Ideas that contradict Church teaching: 
The rating of the different categories comes from the opinion of Delibris' collaborators

José María Pemán (1897-1981) was a journalist, poet, narrator, playwright, essayist and great speaker. A native of Cádiz, he married Carmen Domecq and they had 9 children.

A Saint in a Hurry is a theater play about the life of St. Francis Xavier. Divided into three acts, the author places us in different moments of the saint's life: Paris before giving himself to God; Rome where, already a Jesuit, he receives the order to go as a missionary to the Indies under the protection of the king of Portugal; Lisbon in front of the king, before his journey; Malacca, Macassar or Funay preaching the Gospel. St. Francis Xavier received the nickname of Apostle of the Indies. He traveled more than 120,000 km (three times the diameter of the earth). He baptized thousands of people. 

The play premiered at the Beatriz Theater in Madrid on September 22, 1933 and was a great success with both critics and audiences, not only in Spain but also in Europe and Latin America. In 1934, four companies performed it simultaneously. That year 100,000 copies of the book were sold. "A Saint in a Hurry" received the "Espinosa Cortina" Prize, which the Royal Spanish Academy awards every five years to the best comedy of the five-year period.

The origin of the play was a conversation with the Benedictine Father Rafael Alcocer who was in Cadiz giving a conference. They talked about the religious theater of authors such as Claudel, Maritain or Henri Gheon. Manuel Herrera Oria, theatrical entrepreneur, offered Pemán to help him organize any play that the writer would do on religious themes. Those were years of religious persecution in Spain. Partly due to the political-religious environment of the time, the play was a huge success. This play was a kind of Catholic response to the attacks received.

Fantastic play with delicious prose.

Author: Paolo Ganna, Italy
Update on: Jan 2024