How come Catholic Saints have such gory stories?
Why did Jesus Christ have such a gory story?
Shin is right: the formula since Christ (and because of Christ) has practically been the same throughout history.
I would also venture that many non-Catholic saints also fit this model, as well.
Who are the Non-Catholic Saints?
Just about every religion has individuals who have led exemplar lives and were subsequently martyred. While there’s no official canonization process in other denominations of Christianity or in other religions, a couple of examples might be Dietrich Bonhoeffer (for Protestantism) and Husayn ibn Ali (for Shi’a Islam).
The older term for saint is martyr, meaning someone who would rather die than give up their faith, or more specifically, witness for God. However, as the word martyr took on more and more the meaning of “one who died for the Faith,” the term saint, meaning holy, became more common to describe the whole of Christian witnesses, both martyrs and confessors. The Catholic Church teaches that it does not, in fact, make anyone a saint. Rather, it recognizes a saint. In the Church, the title of Saint - with a capital ‘S’ - refers to a person who has been formally canonized (officially recognised) by the Church, and is in Heaven with God.
I am going to venture that the noble people you mentioned are martyrs in modern terms, but have not been recognized by the Church and are declared that with all probability they are in Heaven with God.
As far as the OP’s question, saints have lived extreme lives or endured extreme things to be an example to us all. For example, Saint Anne had a daughter whom no one believed was a virgin who gave birth out of wedlock, and her grandson was crucified – a lamentable shame in her times. So, she is not the perfect model for mothers and grandmothers who are troubled by the events in their children’s lives.
The examples of the lives of the Saints are extreme in order that we may find comfort in their intercession, because they are familiar with particular circmstances and troubles.
I think it’s also the times that most of the saints lived in…It was a barbaric time centuries ago…There’s evil people around still but I think there’s more law and order in modern times.
I guess I wouldn’t tell little children these stories though;) They are awfully gruesome!!