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Pudibunda was a woman and saint who decided on her wedding night that God had called her to a life of spotless virginity; member of the Order of Faithful Fidgettines (Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies; 16).

Inspiration

Pudibund: shy, bashful, prudish[1].

Allusion

In the book Death Wears a Red Hat (1980) author William X. Kienzle (1921-2001) alludes to the book Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies, specifically the story of Pudibunda.

When a reporter leaves a message for Father Leo Clark asking him if he has any information on Saints Cecilia and Raphael, he retrieves a volume from his book-lined study and returns her call. When asked by the reporter if he could indeed tell her anything about these saints, Clark replies he could but with far more than is needed:

"Oh, yes. Indeed I can. The trouble is that I may tell you more than you want to know. Please feel free to cut off my water at any point during the flood."
Lennon tucked the receiver between her shoulder and ear and prepared for vigorous note-taking in her own version of speedwriting.
"Regarding Cecilia," Clark began, "I thought I would read you a paragraph from one of my favorite little books. It's St. Fidgeta and Other Parodies, written by John Bellairs and published by Macmillan. The paragraph explains the sanctity of a fictitious St. Pudibunda, who, on her wedding night, decided that God had called her to a life of spotless virginity, and I quote: 'The causes of her death that very night are not known, but the pious may guess at them.'" Lennon was laughing uncontrollably. Clark waited for her return to sobriety.

Marilyn Fitschen recalls that when she and John read that Saint Fidgeta was referenced in another book "it pleased John to no end.[2]"

Reference

  1. Wiktionary: Pudibund
  2. Correspondence with Marilyn Fitschen.

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