Tag Archives: Saints

12th Century: The Unknown Language

Saint Hildegard, a 12th century German Benedictine abbess, was a mystic, composer, and philosopher who wrote works on topics as diverse as theology, botany, and medicine. She began experiencing visions at the age of three, ultimately chronicling a lifetime of … Continue reading

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1913: St. Bride

John Duncan: St. Bride (1913) St. Brigid of Kildare (c. 451 – 525) is said to have been carried by angels from Iona, a small island in the Hebrides, to Bethlehem (and back in time) to serve as a midwife … Continue reading

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340 AD: Patron Saint of Beekeepers

According to tradition, a swarm of bees settled on the face of the infant St. Ambrose, leaving a drop of honey and thus foretelling the saint’s eloquence—his honeyed tongue. He is the patron saint of bees and beekeepers. A certain … Continue reading

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17th Century: The Dog-Headed Saint

In Eastern Christian Orthodox iconography, Saint Christopher sometimes appears with the head of a dog. As a consummate outsider who would become the patron saint of travellers, Christopher came to be associated with tales of far-flung peoples who blurred the … Continue reading

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1437: Freeing the Poor

Sassetta: The Blessed Ranieri Frees the Poor from a Prison in Florence (1437-44) This painting—now in the Louvre—was once part of an elaborate altarpiece in the Church of S. Francesco in Sansepolcro, Tuscany. The altarpiece contained 60 images and was … Continue reading

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1495: Weighing Souls

Juan de la Abadía (the Elder): Saint Michael Weighing Souls (c. 1480-1495) (source) Note the Devil trying to cheat by pushing down the scale; St Michael doesn’t like this and points his spear threateningly.

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1685: Lift Up Thine Eyes

The masterful trompe l’oeil frescos on the (flat) ceilings of the Church of Sant’ Ignazio di Loyola in Rome were painted by Andrea Pozzo in 1685. One depicts the apotheosis of St Ignatius—he rises up out of the ceiling into … Continue reading

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