Sanford Biggers: A Catholic Priest

Artist Sanford Biggers on conjuring a deity and that time he met Prince of Darkness

Sanford Biggers was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1934. He was raised in a Roman Catholic family, and spent most of his time with his grandparents, learning about the Bible and the history of Christianity. They spent a lot of time together, and from an early age he had a feeling that God was calling him to do something. “I had a sort of dream one night, that I was to become a priest, and as a little kid, my grandpa would take me to St. Francis Catholic Church in Santa Monica and I would go to confession, and after my grandfather went to bed, I would say my prayers back home.” Even as a girl, he enjoyed talking to the nuns, and it was there he learned more about Catholicism.

When Biggers was eight, his grandfather died, and his beloved grandmother took over running the family business. “She used to give me $5 every day, to be my own pocket and go for a walk. We would walk all over Hollywood, and I’d be so excited to go to school. I didn’t really feel like I belonged to anything.” After several years, his grandmother died, leaving him to finish high school. “My grandmother had always been a very devout Catholic, and since her death, I thought I would have to go through a lot of pain, because I just couldn’t go through life without knowing God. I thought I was too young to really understand.” Biggs finished high school, but there was no church or chapel in Los Angeles when he finished. He did not want to go to confession after he left high school. “I felt I didn’t belong in a religious thing and I didn’t want any pain to be associated with me until the time that I would die.”

He joined the Navy, but after a short period of time, he was discharged, because he felt he no longer belonged in a place where they believed the rules were that way. Biggers went to college on a full scholarship, but he felt that he could not really understand something unless it was spelled out for him in a book. “I began really studying the Bible in the ninth grade. I thought that if God had written out the Bible on paper, then I should know it. That’s what was exciting about books, that they were written. I didn’t feel like

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