Melania the Younger was a saint born in Rome in 383
who has inspired Christians for centuries with her decision
to renounce her wealth and live as an ascetic.
Melania Trump is a former model
who was born in Slovenia in 1970
and is married to President Donald Trump.
This is a mashup of their lives.
Melania wanted to be just like her grandmother when she grew up.
She was the apple of her family’s eye and
"like the rose or lily when it begins to flower,"
her uncle said.
"She was a special kind of beauty,
not the classic type,"
a friend recalled.
The Bible told her:
"Listen my daughter, look, and pay careful attention:
forget your people and your father’s house,
for the king has desired your beauty."
From a very young age, Melania knew what she wanted to do.
She was very mature.
She didn’t want to be just another woman.
"I always liked myself.
Even when other kids teased me, I didn’t care.
I knew what I wanted to do.
I found my passion at such an early age,"
she told an interviewer.
She wanted to be a fashion designer.
She wanted to forgo marriage,
renounce her possessions,
and live as a chaste, holy woman.
Just like her mother.
Just like her grandmother.
But a woman’s duty was to marry and give birth to children.
Women who decided not to marry and have children confounded their families.
So when she was old enough, she married a man who came from an affluent family and held a prestigious office.
"Sometimes they say love is hard to find.
When you meet the right person everything seems fantastic,"
Marriage made her "hate the world utterly,"
her biographer claimed.
In her marriage, Melania had a very "traditional" role.
Her husband wanted to have sex.
She was expected to have children and be good mother.
"I am a full time mom; that is my first job.
The most important job ever," she said.
She pleaded with her husband not to make her have sex.
Her husband wanted to have sex. She had a child.
Melania knew what her role was and she was happy with it.
Her husband didn’t change the diapers, and she didn’t want him to.
She begged her husband not to make her have sex.
"I think the mistake some people make is they try
to change the man they love after they get married," she said.
"You cannot change a person. You accept the person."
"Take all my wealth and just give my body its freedom,
so that I may do what I desire in accordance with God’s will,"
she said to her husband.
Melania knew that sometimes men are egged on to behave badly with respect to sex.
"Avoid the gaze of men
for even if you do not consider yourself attractive,
a man who looks at you may be seduced,"
she advised her followers.
"The boys, the way they talk when they grow up and
they want to sometimes show each other,
'Oh, this and that' and talking about the girls," she said.
Eventually her husband found satisfaction elsewhere.
"One day she took [her husband] aside and
asked him tactfully and with respect whether
he did not have any feelings of lust or desire for her,
seeing that she was his wife.
He smiled...and readily replied,
‘You can be confident of me in the Lord:
since we gave our word to God I regard you just like your mother Albina,’"
her biographer recalled.
He made passes at other women, even married ones.
"You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful—I just start kissing them.
It’s like a magnet.
I don’t even wait,"
he said, when he thought no one was listening.
Melania and her husband owned property in many different countries.
They traveled all over the world.
One of their beautiful estates, with a spa and an outdoor pool, was situated between the sea and the woods.
When she went swimming, on one side she watched boats sail and on the other, a diversity of animals frolic.
Their house in the city was so large and magnificent that when they wanted to sell it, no purchaser dared to come forward.
Their ocean-side estate, whose name means "Sea to Lake," covered 20 acres.
The living room had gold leaf.
The dining room was painted with frescoes.
The entrance was lined with 15th century tiles.
Her husband decided to make it a private club because "126 rooms made it a very big house."
She wore fine jewelry and silk clothes.
She was very concerned with her skin.
"I take care of my skin and my body," she said.
"She was so physically delicate that when she wore a very expensive linen garment
with embroidered motifs of purple and gold on top of another linen garment,
it happened that one of the motifs touched her body and immediately brought out a bruise
which did not disappear for many days," her biographer wrote.
Later, under her silks, she wore a rough wool garment
that constantly scratched her skin to remind her of
the frailty of human flesh.
Later, she would wear white.
She says she has "thick skin."
Her husband liked to wear very fine clothes.
She picked out clothes for him that she thought would be suitable.
She ate very little.
Seven pieces of fruit every day.
She ate only every two days, without any oil,
then every five days,
then only on the weekends, once on Saturdays and once on Sundays.
She was not accustomed to drinking wine.
Christianity was on the rise.
She and her husband were Christians, and they championed their faith.
They were Protestants.
They were Catholics.
Every action and her whole way of life was a prayer,
according to her biographer.
"She is, in fact, positively Biblical,"
a journalist wrote of her.
Melania was very good at taking care of others.
She was involved in "many different charities involving children,
involving many different diseases."
Once, she healed a woman whose mouth had been sealed shut
so that she could neither speak nor eat and was in danger of starvation.
Another time she intervened when a surgeon was about to cut a stillborn out of woman
and saved her life.
They kept their bibles in a "very nice place."
They decided to stop having sex,
sold off all their property,
gave away their money,
and spread the message of Jesus Christ.
The couple faced much criticism for their way of life.
Some described her husband as
"the very embodiment of what the Bible calls a fool."
"All of the senators criticized them and accused them of being foolish
and behaving irresponsibly in giving everything away,"
her biographer recalled.
But they persisted in their goals.
They refused to give into negative thinking.
They supported each other.
Melania worked hard; she knew that good things came to those who endured.
Her name meant black in Greek.
I used to work in an Emergency Department, where I learned that a melena is a black, tarry stool. I believe that celibacy is underrated; for more information please read A History of Celibacy by Elizabeth Abbott.