|Abstract: ||Nineteenth century phenomenologist Gerardus van
der Leeuw studied human phenomena as it relates to power.
He identified gift giving in sacrificial traditions as the locus of
power; donor and recipient are bound to each other, giving of
themselves, and enabling the continual flow of power. This
essay applies van der Leeuw’s schema to consider the case of
the Christian mystic, Saint Faustina (1905-1938), whose life
was characterized by sacrifice. Faustina mimicked Christ as
sacerdos et hostia through the embodiment of self-sacrifice.
Through van der Leeuw’s understanding of the sacrificial,
Faustina is re-conceptualized from a figure of humility and
meekness to an individual of great power; subject and object
become blurred as Faustina and God participate in an
exchange of power, leaving Faustina powerful, but ultimately
without agency and locked into a life of servitude.|