Lots of saints are legends of their time. St. Martin, with his magic cloak. St. Joan of Arc.
How about a saint from not only the Wild West, but has already been featured on a television show?
The Vatican has officially started a "Sainthood Cause" for one Sister Blandina Segale. You're gonna love this woman. She was a nun who worked in Ohio, Colorado, and New Mexico as a teacher and a social worker.
She also had balls of steel. I recognize that is a chauvinist way of describing someone's courage, but there's no other way to describe it. You think you got balls? Her's are bigger, and forged of tempered steel.
If you want a Cliff's Notes version of her life, find yourself a TV show called Death Valley Days and look for an episode called "The Fastest Nun In The West." Segale wrote to her sister letters about what was going on in her life, collected in a book called "At The End Of The Santa Fe Trail." The book focused on one of her stories and turned it into a teleplay.
Segale started off simply. Originally from the Sisters Of Charity in Cincinnati, Ohio, she went to Trinidad, Colorado in 1877. She was then transferred to Santa Fe.
This was the start of her legacy. She began by founding schools, both public and Catholic. Not convincing people they were needed, she founded them. But that wasn't enough. She soon became an advocate for Hispanics and Native Americans who were losing their land to white swindlers. Segale also saved a man from a lynch mob, which is the story Death Valley Days focused on.
Segale is also notorious for staring down Billy The Kid. Back when she was in Trinidad, she heard that Billy The Kid was coming to town. A friend of his had a gunshot wound. Four doctors refused to treat him, and Billy was looking for some payback. Segale found the person and took care of his wound. She became Billy's first stop, because he wanted to thank her. When asked if he could do anything for her to pay her back, she asked him to not kill the four doctors.
Billy The Kid honored her request.
That wasn't the end, though. When Segale was traveling to Santa Fe, she rode in a covered wagon that got held up by Billy The Kid. Once the wagon stopped, Billy looked inside and saw Segale. He tipped his hat and his whole gang rode away.
Segale went back to Cincinnati in 1897, where she founded the Santa Maria Institute, which helped recent immigrants. But her legacy lives on. The Santa Maria Institute, those schools, and St. Joseph's Hospital in Albuquerque are still around to this day.
It will take years, maybe even a century, before sainthood is declared, if it ever is. But she has a fighting chance now.
And she was all about fight.
I so hope this happens while I'm still alive.