Tag Archives: Saints

1906: Martyr

F. Holland Day – Saint Sebastian (1906) Although the traditional iconography shows Saint Sebastian pierced by arrows, this is not actually how he dies and becomes a martyr. The 13th century Legenda aurea, a collection of hagiographies by Jacobus de … Continue reading

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2014: Jahmal

Gabriel Garcia Roman: Jahmal (2014); from a series, Queer Icons

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1919: Temptation

John Covert: Temptation of Saint Anthony # 2 (1919)

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6th Century: St. Brendan’s Isle

The 10th century Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis relates the story of Saint Brendan the Abbot (c. AD 484 – c. 577), who takes a group of fourteen monks on an expedition in search of the island of Paradise. After a … Continue reading

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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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