PATRON SAINTS AND THEIR ATTRIBUTES
252. St. Genevieve (January 3rd) is the patroness of Paris, because she was chiefly instrumental in banishing paganism from that city. Notwithstanding the singular piety of her life, says the Golden Legend, she was beset by demons. Often during her vigils the tapers would be extinguished, and as quickly re-kindled by her prayers and faith. "For God never permitted her to remain in the dark when she prayed for light." Hence she is represented in Christian Art with a lighted taper in her hand, and a demon trying to blow it out from behind her shoulder with a pair of bellows. (Died 507.)
253. St.Julian Hospitator (January 9th) is represented in Christian Art with a stag by his side, because it was while pursuing a stag to the death that he formed the resolution to forsake worldly pleasures and devote the remainder of his life to good works. After journeying into a distant country, he established a hospital on the bank of a great river, in crossing which many travellers were drowned. There he took upon himself the duty of ferrying all corners across in person, and such as were sick or infirm he tended in the adjacent hospital. On this account he is regarded as the patron of travellers, boatmen, and ferrymen. (Died 313.)
254. St. Anthony (January 17th) is the patron and protector of animals, on account of his intense regard for the brute creation during his lifetime. He is inseparably associated in Christian Art with a pig; not because he was ever a swineherd, nor, as Fuller observes, since by living in a cave, and feeding upon roots, he and the hogs had something in common; but rather for the reason that the hog is typical of the demon of gluttony and sensuality, which St. Anthony is supposed to have vanquished by the exercise of piety and the Divine assistance. As the founder of monachism, he wears a monk's habit and cowl. The crutch upon which he leans is given to him out of respect for his age; while the bell suspended from the crutch, or carried in his hand, indicates his power to exorcise evil spirits (see 202), because he withstood so many demons and temptations. (Died 356.)
255. St. Sebastian (January 20th) was bound to a stake and made a target for arrows, which stuck so thickly in his body that it resembled a pin-cushion full of pins. For this reason both archers and pin-makers claim him as their patron. He is also the patron of soldiers, because he was a centurion, or leader of a hundred Roman soldiers. By Italian and especially Roman women, he is held in great veneration on account of his youth, courage, and beauty of person, combined with the attractiveness of his story, into which a woman's charity enters so conspicuously. Above all, he is regarded as the saviour against pestilence and plague. In the year 680 a terrible scourge ravaged the city of Rome for three months, at the end of which time it was revealed to a holy monk that if an altar were set up in honour of St. Sebastian the martyr, the pestilence would be stayed. This was done, and, accordingly, by the saint's intercession, the dread visitant speedily took its departure. All along the east coast of Italy, from Venice to Ban, St. Sebastian is specially invoked when pestilence threatens. In Christian Art he is represented bound to a tree or stake, with a multitude of arrows piercing his naked body. (Martyred 268.)
256. St. Agnes (January 21st), the patroness of maidenhood, is specially invoked by Roman women for the gifts of meekness and chastity. In Christian Art she is represented with a lamb by her side, because, according to the legend, when the Christians visited her shrine on a certain occasion they were rewarded with a vision of the saint, accompanied by a lamb whiter than driven snow. (Martyred 304.)
257. St. Vincent (January 22nd), Deacon of Saragossa, is represented in Christian Art in a deacon's dress, and with a crow, having a pitchfork in its mouth, by his side. We are told that his flesh was lacerated by iron forks, and that, after his body was cast up by the sea on the promontory now designated Cape St. Vincent, it was protected from wild beasts that came there to devour it by crows or ravens. (Martyred 304.)
258. St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch (February 1st), was devoured by lions in the amphitheatre. In Christian Art, therefore, he appears in the dress of a Greek bishop, and with a lion, or two lions, by his side. (Martyred 107.)
259. St. Blaise, Bishop of Sebaste (February 3rd), is the patron of wool-combers, because his flesh was torn off by iron wool-carding combs. His attribute in Christian Art is, therefore, an iron comb. Finally he was beheaded A.D. 316 (see 419).
260. St. Agatha (February 5th) is invoked by sufferers from diseases of the breast, because her breast was ordered to be torn by two slaves with iron shears. She is protectress, also, against fire, from the particular mode of her martyrdom, her body being exposed to the flames, although, to increase the torture, she was not permitted to be burned to death, but taken back to her dungeon, there to die in agony. The legend tells us how, a year after her martyrdom, when Mount Etna was in eruption, the affrighted inhabitants of Catania, in the district, took refuge at her shrine, and finding there her veil, they stuck it on a lance and marched towards the mountain, invoking her intercession, with a result that the fire was at once put out. The veil of St. Agatha, we learn from the same source, was drawn tightly round her lacerated bosom when, by God's command, St. Peter came into her dungeon to heal it with precious ointments. Hence she is usually represented wearing a long veil. The shears are always in evidence, either in her hand or lying beside her. Sometimes she has a dish or salver containing a female breast. (Martyred 251.)
261. St. Dorothea of Cappadocia (February 6th) is represented in Christian Art with roses in her lap or in her hand; or, as sometimes occurs, with an angel standing by offering her three roses and three apples. According to the legend, her profession of faith to the pagans was this: "I serve the Son of God, Christ, mine espoused! His dwelling is Paradise; by His side are joys eternal; and in His garden grow celestial fruits and roses that never fade!" While on her way to execution she was scoffingly asked by a young lawyer to send him some of the roses she had spoken of on joining her bridegroom. Whereupon she answered, "Thy request, O Theophilus, is granted!" Immediately after her martyrdom an angel appeared to him with a basket of celestial fruit and flowers, saying, "Dorothea sends thee these!" and then vanished. (Martyred 303.)
262. St. Apollonia of Alexandria (February 9th) was flung into a fiery furnace, which consumed her; but as a preliminary she had all her beautiful teeth pulled out one by one. Hence she is regarded as the protectress against toothache. In Christian Art she appears with a pair of pincers, either in her hand or lying beside her. (Martyred 250).
263. St. Matthias (February 24th), the Apostle chosen by lot to take the place of Judas, is represented in Christian Art with a battle-axe, the instrument with which he was beheaded by the Jews.
264. St. David (March 1st), patron saint of Wales, was the son of a prince of Cardiganshire, of the royal line of Cunedda Whedig. On the spot where he received his education, now St. David's, he founded a convent with a most rigorous rule; and when, after the synod at Brevy in 519, Dubricius, of Dyvrig, Archbishop of Caerleon, resigned the See to him, he removed the archiepiscopal seat to the same place. He died in 554, and was buried in the Cathedral, where a simple monument marks his tomb.
265. St. Thomas Aquinas (March 7th) is represented in Christian Art with a large open book or books on his knees and a sun on his breast, because he was a distinguished theologian and luminary of the Church. Sometimes a human eye appears within the sun, in allusion to his far-seeing wisdom, inasmuch as he composed the Office of the Sacrament, which is still in use. The Sacramental cup is generally in evidence. As a Dominican, he wears the habit of his order. (Died 1274).
266. St. Longinus (March 15th) is the patron of Mantua, where his relics are preserved. He is believed to have been the centurion who pierced the side of the crucified Christ with a lance, and after witnessing the Divine manifestations around him, exclaimed, "Truly this man was the Son of God!" In Christian Art he wears the dress of a Roman soldier, and has a lance or spear in his hand. (Beheaded 45).
267. St. Gregory the Great (March 12th), the greatest of all the Popes, is represented in Christian Art in his pontifical robes, and with an infant angel holding the tiara. According to the legend, his mother had a vision of St. Anthony, who promised her that her infant son should one day wear the papal tiara. (Died 604).
268. St. Patrick (March 17th) is the patron of Ireland, the people of which country he converted to Christianity. His exorcism of the venomous reptiles has a similar significance as the dragon stories of the East, symbolising the conquest of good over evil, the triumph of Christianity over paganism. In Christian Art he is always represented with a serpent at his feet. (Died 464.)
269. St. Benedict (March 21st), the founder of the Benedictine order of monks, has several attributes in Christian Art. The broken pitcher, or glass, or wine-cup is in allusion to the attempt of some perverted monks to poison him in a cup of wine; but which, when the saint made the sign of the Cross upon it, instantly fell from the hand of the traitor, to be shattered on the ground. The loaf of bread, with a serpent creeping from it, similarly expresses the attempt of the monk Florentius to poison him with a loaf of bread, under the instigation of the Evil One. The asperge for sprinkling holy water is given him because he so often resisted the attacks of the demon; and the thorn bush, because, when the demon tempted him by conjuring up a vision of a very beautiful woman, St. Benedict cast himself into a thicket of briars and nettles. The roses said to have been propagated from these briars are shown in the monastery garden of Subiaco in Italy. (Died 543.)
270. St. Ambrose (April 4th) is the patron of Milan, because he was consecrated bishop of that city eight days after his conversion. His peculiar attributes in Christian Art are a knotted scourge with three thongs, symbolical of the penance he inflicted upon the Emperor Theodosius for his ruthless massacre of 7,000 unoffending human beings; and a beehive, owing to the legend that when he was a child a swarm of bees settled upon his mouth without inflicting the slightest injury. Strangely enough the same story is told of Plato and Archilochus. (Died 397.)
271. St. George (April 23rd) is the patron of Christian chivalry, owing to the signal assistance which he rendered to Godfrey of Boulogne in the first crusade. He is the patron saint of England, because Richard Coeur-de-Lion, while in Palestine, placed himself and his army under his special protection. For the like reason he is the patron of soldiers and armourers. He is represented in Christian Art young, or in the prime of life, and beardless. He wears either the dress of a Roman soldier or a complete suit of armour. His shield bears the Latin cross, which, until the union of the three kingdoms, formed the national standard of England. When mounted he holds in one hand a white banner with a red cross upon it. His lance is generally broken, from the account in the legend that "his lance being broken, he slew the dragon with his sword." The slain monster lies at his feet. (Died 303.)
272. St. Mark (April 25th) is the patron of Venice, because about the year 815 some Venetian merchants obtained possession of his relics and buried them on the spot where the church dedicated to him now stands. As the historian of the Resurrection, his familiar attribute in Christian Art is a lion, conformably to the Oriental fable that the lion's whelp is born dead, but after three days its sire breathes upon it and so gives it life. He holds a pen in his right hand and the Gospel in his left. (Died 68.)
273. St. Peter Martyr (April 28th) was a Dominican monk murdered by hired assassins of two noblemen of the Venetian States whom he had handed over to the secular authorities, and who, in consequence, had been imprisoned. He is represented in Christian Art with an axe buried in his head and blood trickling down his face, and a sword piercing his heart. This was the manner in which the assassins accomplished their fell work. (Martyred 1252.)
274. St. James the Less (May 1st) is said to have resembled the Saviour so closely that, to quote the words of the Golden Legend, "the holy Virgin herself, had she been capable of error, might have mistaken one for the other." This was the reason why Judas saluted his Master with a kiss. Though commonly described as "the Lord's brother," St. James minor was really the son of a sister of the Virgin. He is represented in Christian Art with a fuller's club, the instrument with which Simeon the fuller dashed out his brains. (Martyred 63.)
275. St. Philip (May 1st) has for his attribute in Christian Art a pilgrim's staff with a cross upon it. This is because he carried the Gospel into Scythia, and was eventually crucified (the Greeks say head downwards), and then stoned, A.D. 90.
276. St. Florian (May 4th), one of the eight titulary saints of Austria, is exceedingly popular all over Germany. As the protector against conflagrations his effigy will often be met with on pumps, as well as at street corners, or in open spaces, to mark the spot where a destructive fire was once arrested. This is because, among other miracles attributed to him, he on one occasion put out a fire with a bucketful of water. He was a Roman soldier, and in that character usually figures in Christian Art. (Martyred c. 300.)
277. St. Victor of Milan (May 8th) is the great military saint of North Italy. He was a Roman soldier, beheaded by the Emperor Maximus, after enduring many torments. One of his attributes in Christian Art is an oven, because he was thrust into a hot oven. More frequently however, we see him on a white charger leading his troops to victory. (Martyred 303.)
278. St. Pancras (May 12th) 5 the patron of children, because he was martyred by Diocletian at the age of fourteen. He is generally represented in Christian Art trampling upon a Saracen, in allusion to his hatred of infidelity; and bearing in his hand a stone or a sword, the implements of his martyrdom. (Martyred 304.)
279. St. John Nepomuck (May 16th) is the patron of silence and protector against slander, because rather than reveal the confession of the Empress at the command of the Emperor Charles IV., of Germany, he allowed himself to be cast into the river Moldau from the bridge at Prague, on the precise spot where in modern times a statue has been set up in his honour. Hence he is regarded also in Bohemia and Austria as the patron of bridges and running water. In German pictures he is often represented with a padlock on his mouth, in token of silence. (Martyred 1383.)
280. St.Yves of Bretagne (May 19th) is the patron of lawyers, because he was learned in canon and civil law. By the Bretons he is invoked as "the poor man's advocate," on account of the good use that he made of his knowledge in the interests of the oppressed during his lifetime. In Christian Art he is represented as a Doctor of Laws holding a paper in his hand. (Died 1303.)
281. St. Dunstan (May 19th) is the patron of goldsmiths, because when Abbot of Glastonbury he worked at the forge as an amateur artificer of church plate. His attribute in Christian Art is a pair of pincers, for, according to the legend, the devil paid him a visit one day in the form of a beautiful woman; but finding he could not tempt him in that character, he appeared in proj5riá ersonâ, whereupon the saint tweaked his nose with the red-hot pincers so unmercifully that the howls of the Evil One were heard by all the neighbours. This incident suggested the sign of the celebrated Devil Tavern in Fleet Street, hard by St. Dunstan's Church. (Died 988.)
282. St. Bernardino of Sienna (May 20th) might well be described as the patron of those who are compelled from time to time to have recourse to the pawnbroker. He was the founder of those very serviceable institutions which in France and Italy are styled Moms tie Piete. Conscious of the miseries endured by the poor of his own country, owing to the exactions of the Jewish usurers, he everywhere advocated the establishment of public loan societies, where money might be lent on small pledges disinterestedly and beneficially. For this reason St. Bernardino is represented in Christian Art with a Mont de Piete in his hand, consisting of a little green hill of three mounds, surmounted either by a cross, or a standard having on it the figure of the dead Saviour. Such a figure in Italy bears the name of a pieta, in France, a pieté; this on the three mounds is symbolical of a Christian money-lending establishment. Another attribute of St. Bernardino is a square tablet having the letters I.H.S. upon it within a circle of rays. One day a man who had earned a good livelihood by carving dice and chessmen, came to him complaining that since gambling had gone out of fashion he could no longer subsist by his art. Whereupon the saint told him that if he could carve ivory tablets with the name of Jesus upon them, he would no doubt find many purchasers amongst the faithful followers of Christ. The man did so, and soon became wealthy by this new occupation. (Died 1444.)
283. St. Elmo (June 3rd) is held in peculiar veneration in Sicily and Spain. The celebrated Neapolitan monastery of this name is placed under his special protection. His attribute in Christian Art is a wheel or skein upon which silk is generally wound, because, so says the legend, seeing that he withstood all ordinary tortures, his entrails were wound round such a wheel. (Martyred 296.)
284. St. Boniface (June 5th), the patron and apostle of Germany, was a Saxon monk of the Benedictine Abbey at Nutsall, near Winchester. His life was sacrificed while preaching the Gospel to the pagans in Friesland. In Christian Art he usually appears with a copy of the Gospels transfixed by a sword. (Martyred 755.)
285. St. Barnabas (June 11th), the schoolfellow of St. Paul, is represented in Christian Art as a man of majestic presence, with a copy of St. Matthew's Gospel in his hand. This was the substance of his preaching in Asia Minor, Italy, and Greece; and whenever he encountered any who were sick, he healed them by placing the book on their bosom. (Died C. 38.)
286. St. Vitus (June 15th) is the patron of dancers, and particularly of those afflicted with the nervous disorder known as the St. Vitus Dance, because, as the legend tells us, when his father looked in upon him through the keyhole of the dungeon into which he had been cast for openly professing himself a Christian, he beheld him dancing with seven beautiful angels. One of his attributes is a cock, from his habit of early rising; hence he is often invoked by persons who are addicted to oversleeping themselves in the morning. Another of his attributes is a cauldron of boiling oil, the instrument of his martyrdom. Sometimes, too, he has a lion beside him, in allusion to his exposure to lions in the amphitheatre; or a wolf, which is said to have kept faithful watch over his remains. In all cases he is represented as a very beautiful youth. (Martyred 303.)
287. St. Alban (June 22nd) was the first English martyr. His attributes in Christian Art are a sword and a fountain, because, when he reached the summit of the hilt where he was to be beheaded, he prayed for water to quench his thirst, and immediately a spring appeared at his feet. His burial-place was afterwards revealed to King Offa, who erected a sumptuous shrine over his remains at what is now St. Albans, in Hertfordshire. (Beheaded 305.)
288. St. Martha (June 29th) is the patroness of good housewives. She is represented in homely garments, with a ladle or skimmer in her hand, and a bunch of keys hanging from her girdle. Occasionally we see her with an asperge and holy water, and a dragon at her feet. This is because, according to the legend, she delivered the neighbourhood of Aix, in Provence, of a dragon that lay concealed on the banks of the Rhône. (Died 84.)
289. St. Peter (June 29th) is the patron of fishermen, because he was himself a fisherman. His attributes are the keys, in allusion to his custody of the portals of Heaven, and a book or scroll. When our Lord said to him, "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew xvi. 18), He employed a set form of words well understood by the Apostle. A key was anciently the recognized symbol of authority, and the presentation of a key the usual mode of investiture with supreme authority. Thus we read in Isaiah xxii., 22, "And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder: so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open." The cross keys constitute the arms of the Archbishop of York, and also, when one is of gold and the other of silver, the Papal insignia. The church of St. Peterupon-Cornhill has a gilt key for a vane. The usual weathercock on church steeples was adopted at an early period of Church history as an emblem of clerical vigilance, in commemoration of the cock that crowed thrice after St. Peter denied the Saviour during His Passion. St. Peter was crucified with his head downwards, A.D. 6, because he did not consider himself worthy to die in the same manner and posture as his Divine Master.
290. St. Paul (June 29th) is the patron of the City of London, the church rebuilt upon the site of an ancient temple of Diana having been dedicated to the Apostle by Sebert, King of the East Saxons, about the same time as that monarch founded the Benedictine monastery on Thorney Island, now Westminster, in honour of St. Peter. The latter establishment is said to have been miraculously consecrated by St. Peter himself. The so-called "dagger" in the City arms is really the sword (accommodated to one of the quarters of the shield representing St. George's Cross) with which St. Paul as a Roman citizen was beheaded, A.D. 64. The vulgar notion that it represents the weapon with which Sir William Walworth slew the rebel leader Wat Tyler, is untenable on historical grounds. The sword is the Apostle's proper attribute in Christian Art.
291. St. Anthony of Padua (June 30th) is represented in Christian Art in the habit of a Franciscan friar, and with a flame of fire in his hand or breast, symbolical of his deep religious fervour. He is said to have preached to the fishes in preference to some obstinate unbelievers upon whom he could not make any impression, which incident will generally be found illustrated in churches dedicated to his honour. It has always been usual among the citizens of Padua to speak of St. Anthony as ii Santo, the Saint, without adding any other name. This is because when he died the Franciscans were so fearful of the citizens laying claim to his body in order to bury it in their church, that they endeavoured to keep his death a secret; but we are told that the very children of the city, "being divinely instigated thereto, ran about the streets crying with a loud voice, Il Santo è morto! Il Santo è morto!" (Died 1231.)
292. St. Phocas of Sinope (July 3rd) is the patron of gardeners. He lived by cultivating a garden, the produce of which, after supplying his own needs, he gave to the poor. He is represented in Christian Art in the dress and with the implements of a gardener. (Beheaded 303.)
293. St. Alexis (July 17th) belonged to one of the first families of Rome. From his youth he devoted himself to the service of God, and under his rich silk garments wore a hair shirt. When his parents chose a beautiful bride for him, he, not daring to disobey their wishes, disappeared on the bridal morn. "Behold," said the bride, "he came into my chamber, and gave me this ring of gold, and this girdle of precious stones, and this veil of purple, and then he bade me farewell, and I know not whither he has gone." Whereupon the entire household went into mourning for him. Meantime he put on a pilgrim's dress and journeyed into Mesopotamia, where he ministered to the sick, and lived in great poverty and humility. After long years he returned to his father, who, not knowing him, ordered him to be taken in out of pity, and the servants put him in a hole under the stairs. Presently, when it was revealed to his father in a dream who he was, he looked in upon him, but, alas! too late; for Alexis had died of neglect and want. Hence he is the patron of pilgrims and beggars. The church dedicated to him at Rome stands on the site of his father's mansion. Pictures of St. Alexis are frequently seen in hospitals and refuges for the poor. He is represented always in ragged attire. (Died 400.)
294. SS. Justa and Rufina (July 19th), patronesses of Seville, were two poor sisters, daughters of a potter. In the city of Seville they sold earthenware, and gave all they could to the poor. One day some idolatrous women went to their shop to buy pots for heathen uses, but the sisters refused to sell them the pots they desired, whereupon the women broke up all their earthenware. The sisters retaliating by breaking an image of Venus, they were martyred, Justa on the rack and Rufina strangled, A.D. 304. In Christian Art they are represented with earthen pots beside them.
295. St. Bonaventura (July 14th), Cardinal and Bishop of Albano, is often represented in Christian Art with his cardinal's hat lying at his feet or hanging on the bough of a tree. This is because when the two nuncios of Pope Gregory IX. brought him the red hat, they found him in the convent garden washing the plate from which he had just dined, and he requested them to put it down on the ground, or leave it hanging on a tree, until he could take it in his hands. His attributes are a book, on account of his great learning, and the pyx or Sacramental cup, from the incident related in the legend, that since he considered himself unworthy to receive the Sacrament, it was presented to him by an angel. (Died 1274.)
296. St. Vincent de Paul (July 19th) is greatly revered in France for the many good works that he performed. He it was who established foundling hospitals for deserted children, the celebrated La Madeleine Hospital at Paris for abandoned women, and the lay order of the Sisters of Charity. Effigies of him are extremely popular throughout the country. He appears in the habit of a Franciscan friar, with an infant either in his arms or at his feet, and not unfrequently with a sister of mercy kneeling by his side. (Died 1660.)
297. St. Margaret (July 20th) is the chosen type of female innocence and virtue, and the special patroness of women in childbirth. This is because, when led out to be beheaded, she thanked God that the end of her travail had come, and prayed that in memory of her miraculous deliverance out of the womb of the dragon, women in labour who invoked her might find help through her sufferings. For, according to the legend, after the Governor of Antioch had cast her into a dungeon, the devil came and tempted her in the form of a dragon, but as she made the sign of the Cross he fled; then returning, he swallowed her up, and the next moment burst; or, as another account says, he suffered her to quit his maw. Hence, the saint is usually represented in Christian Art with a dragon at her feet, with the end of a cross thrust between his teeth. In this character she appears on the Corporation seal of Lynn Regis, i.e., King's Lynn, as patroness of that ancient borough. The garland of pearls generally worn round her neck is in allusion to her name, which among Oriental nations signifies a pearl. (Beheaded 306.)
298. St. Victor of Marseilles (July 21st) was a Roman soldier martyred in the Diocletian persecution, because when commanded to offer incense to Jupiter, he broke the idol and overturned the altar. For this he was crushed by a millstone and then beheaded, A.D. 303. He is represented in the Roman military dress, with a millstone beside him.
299. St. Mary Magdalen (July 22nd) is the patroness of frail and penitent women, because she threw herself at the feet of our Lord, weeping bitterly for her sins. Her attribute in Christian Art is the alabaster box of precious ointment which she poured upon the head of our Lord during His Passion; sometimes this takes the form of a cup with a cover, according to the fancy of the artist. (Died 68.)
300. St. Christina (July 24th) patroness of Bolsena, in the Venetian States, is represented in Christian Art with a millstone, the instrument of her martyrdom, A.D. 295.
301. St. Christopher (July 25th) was originally called Offero, but when he forswore Satan and confessed Christ, he changed his name to Christoffero. He was a man of colossal build and strength, and his image will often be met with in out-of-the-way Continental places hewn out of a rock, or in the side of a church, of gigantic proportions. Persons who look upon such a figure of the saint are believed to be exempt from the perils of earthquake, tempest, and fire for that day; since, at the time of his martyrdom, he said that those who remembered him and trusted in God should not suffer death by earthquake, tempest, or fire. St. Christopher is depicted in Christian Art as wading across a swollen stream bearing the infant Christ on his shoulders, and a pilgrim's staff in his hand, in allusion to an incident in the legend. (Beheaded 364.)
302. St. James the Greater (July 25th) is universally regarded as the patron of pilgrims to the Holy Land, because after establishing the Christian religion in Spain, he returned to Judaea on a pilgrimage and was there beheaded. In this character he is represented in Christian Art in the garb of a pilgrim, with staff, gourd, and scallop-shell. The church of St. James the Greater, on Garlic Hill, Upper Thames Street, has an effigy of the saint, nicknamed by Cockneys, "Old Jemmy Garlic," habited as a pilgrim, on the top of the clock; while the scallop-shell serves to mark the parish boundaries. The scallop-shell is the recognized symbol of all pilgrims to the Holy Land, inasmuch as it abounds on the shores of Palestine. When returning to his own country, the pilgrim always displayed the scallop-shell in his hat, to show that he had carried out his pious intention. Particularly is the scallop-shell an attribute of St. James the Greater, pursuant to the account in the legend, that, when his body was miraculously conveyed to Compostella, in Spain, the marble slab on which it rested was covered with scallop-shells (see 449). St. James, or according to the Spanish form of his name, St. lago, is also the great military patron of Spain. His mission to defend the Christian Church against the Infidel was however reserved until after his death. In the course of the celebrated battle of Clavijo he suddenly appeared on a milk-white charger, waving aloft a white standard, and leading the Christians to victory. This manifestation was in response to the soldiers' invocation of his name, "Sant lago!" being the battle-cry of that day. Hence the name of the ancient city (Santiago) which contains the cathedral founded in his honour. (Beheaded 44.)
303. St. Pantaleon of Nicomedia (July 27th) is represented in Christian Art bound to an olive tree, with a nail driven through his body. This was the manner in which he suffered martyrdom. Instead of the palm he bears in his hand an olive, because, according to the legend, when the tree on which he suffered had its roots bathed with his blood, it brought forth leaves and fruit. As a skilled physician who went about healing the sick without fee or reward. St. Pantaleon is patron of all physicians. (Martyred 303.)
304. St. Ignatius Loyola (July 31st), the founder of the Jesuits, or Society of Jesus, is distinguished in Christian Art by the monogram of the order, I H S; sometimes surrounded by a glory in the sky; sometimes on a tablet borne by angels. In effigies of the saint, the heart crowned with thorns, symbolical of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is his peculiar attribute; being also the device of the order. (Died 1556.)
305. St. Lawrence (August 10th) was roasted alive on a gridiron; therefore his attribute in Christian Art is the instrument of his martyrdom. The church dedicated to him in Gresham Street, City, has a gridiron for a vane, while that at Norwich shows not only the gridiron but the saint stretched upon it. Again, the palace convent of the Escurial, in Spain, was built by Philip II. in the form of a gridiron; the palace buildings comprising the handle, and the rest divided into courts so arranged as to compose the bars. Miniature gridirons of wood, metal, stone, and paint, are also in evidence all over the structure. It was dedicated to St. Lawrence because the battle of Quintin was fought and won on the feast of St. Lawrence. Not everyone knows that Philip II. built the Escurial in order to recompense the monks of the Order of St. Jerome, whose convent he had been obliged to bombard during the siege of Quintin. St. Lawrence is commonly said to be the patron saint of lazy people, because he was too lazy to turn himself over on the gridiron. The Golden Legend, it should be added, is not responsible for this not very witty statement. In addition to the gridiron hanging from his girdle, or lying by his side, the saint is represented at times in a deacon's dress, with tongues of fire embroidered upon it, in allusion to his martyrdom. Where the gridiron is omitted he has a plate of gold or silver, or it may be a money-bag in his hand, because the treasures of the Church were in his keeping. (Martyred 258.)
306. St. Clare (August 12th) the foundress of the Minoresses, or Grey Sisters, has for her attribute in Christian Art the pyx, containing the Host, in allusion to the miraculous dispersion of the Saracens by its means. The legend states that when the Emperor Frederic was ravaging the shores of the Adriatic, she comforted her nuns with the declaration that God would not permit him to invade their convent. Full of faith, she placed the pyx of ivory and silver on the threshold, and kneeling down with the sisterhood, sang, "Thou hast rebuked the heathen, Thou hast destroyed the wicked, Thou hast put out their name for ever and ever." In consequence whereof; says the legend, the barbarian left them in peace. (Died 1253.)
307. St. Hippolytus (August 13th) is regarded as the patron of horses, because he suffered martyrdom by being bound by the feet to the tails of two wild horses. This is how he is usually represented in Christian Art. Occasionally we find him having a bunch of keys hanging from his girdle, as the gaoler of St. Lawrence. (Martyred 252.)
308. St. Roche (August 16th) devoted his whole life to the service of those who fell victims to the plague; consequently his intercession is invoked by the pious in times of pestilence. In votive pictures, which are common in Italian churches, St. Roche and St. Sebastian (see 255) usually appear together. St. Roche was himself stricken down in the desert by the plague, and in that dread situation, though cut off from all human kind, was miraculously fed every day by a dog bringing him a loaf of bread. This explains why the saint is represented with a dog beside him; also why he raises his pilgrim's habit on one side, for the plaguespot is distinctly seen on his thigh. When the plague was devastating the city of Constance, in the year 1414, a young monk who had travelled much in France, reminded the council convened there at the time to put down the heresy of John Huss and his followers, of the saint through whose intercession many persons had been saved from the plague. Accordingly the council caused an effigy of St. Roche to be borne in solemn procession through the city, and the pestilence was forthwith stayed. (Died in prison 1327.)
309. St. Helena (August 18th), the mother of Constantine the Great, is represented in Christian Art with a crown on her head as empress, and embracing the Cross, because it is to her that modern Christians are indebted for the finding of the True Cross. She is called "Stabularia," on account of the church which she built on the spot at Bethlehem where our Lord was born. The Jews, however, give her this name because, as they say, she was originally the daughter of an innkeeper. (Died 328.)
310. St. Bernard of Clairvaux (August 20th) has for his attributes in Christian Art a demon fettered to his feet, or to a rock beside him, in token of his success in putting down heresy, and writing materials, in allusion to his homilies in praise of the Virgin. (Died 1153.)
311. St. Bartholomew (August 24th) is represented in Christian Art with a flaying-knife, because he was flayed alive. In olden times, before the dissolution of the monasteries, little knives were distributed to the people at Croyland Abbey as a memento of the Apostle on his anniversary. (Martyred 71.)
312. St. Dominic (August 24th), the founder of the Dominican Order of Preaching Friars, has several attributes in Christian Art. The lily in his hand symbolizes the purity of his life, and the book his great learning. The dog beside him, holding a flaming torch in his mouth, and the star which appears either on his forehead or over his head, are thus accounted for in the legend. A short time before the saint was born his mother dreamed that she had brought forth a black and white dog carrying a lighted torch in its mouth. Then, when his godmother held him in her arms at the font, she beheld a star of extraordinary magnitude descend from heaven and settle on his brow. These portents readily gave rise to the belief that the infant was destined to shed a lustre upon the world; moreover, the character of the dog afterwards suggested to Dominic the peculiar habit-white tunic and scapulary and black hood and cloak-of the Order that he instituted. (Died 1221.)
313. St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo (August 28th), is regarded as the patron of theologians, on account of his numerous writings in the interests of the Church. His proper attribute in Christian Art is a flaming heart, symbolical of the ardour of his piety. Sometimes it is a heart transfixed by a sword, to express the poignancy of his repentance for having delayed his conversion until a comparatively late period of his life, in spite of the prayers of St. Monica, his mother. Occasionally he is seen with nothing more than a pen and a book. (Died 430.)
314. St. John the Baptist (August 29th) is represented in Christian Art at all times in a coat of sheep-skins, in allusion to his life in the wilderness. (Beheaded 31.)
315. St. Giles (September 1st) had royal blood in his veins, but he abjured the world and betook himself to a wilderness near the Rhône. There the king discovered him one day while pursuing a wounded hind that had taken refuge in the cave of the recluse. From this incident St. Giles is generally represented in Christian Art with a hind pierced by an arrow beside him. Of the one hundred and forty-six churches in England dedicated to him, all, or nearly all, were originally situated on the outskirts of the town, in allusion to his love of solitude. In London we have those of St. Giles-in-the-Fields, St. Giles, Cripplegate, and St. Giles, Camberwell. He is the patron of beggars, cripples, and lepers, on account of the many pious offices that he rendered such sufferers before he forsook the world. Leper hospitals have invariably been dedicated to St. Giles. (Died 541.)
316. St. Rosalia (September 4th) is the patroness of Palermo, and of Sicilian mariners, by whom she is highly venerated. Her grotto in the mountain on the west side of the Bay is now a place of pilgrimage, and her statue on Mount Pellegrino is visible from the sea. Twice she saved the city from the plague by her intercession. In Christian Art she is generally represented clad in ragged, loose attire, recumbent in a cavern. (Died 1160.)
317. St. Adrian (September 8th) had his limbs struck off on a blacksmith's anvil, and was afterwards beheaded. His attributes in Christian Art are an anvil and a sword, or an axe. While in prison awaiting execution all women were denied access to him, but Natalia, his wife, accomplished her object by cutting off her hair and presenting herself in male attire. Though she survived him a short time, she, too, laid down her life for the Faith; her festival is kept on the same day as is that of her husband. (Died 290.)
318. St. Euphemia (September 16th) is represented in Christian Art attired in a plain, dark brown mantle, such as was worn by the Greek philosophers in token of their renunciation of worldly pleasures; and with a lion by her side, because when she was cast to the lions, they merely licked her feet. (Died 307.)
319. St. Januarius (September 19th) was thrown into a fiery furnace, but came out of it unharmed. For this reason he is the patron of Naples, and protector of the city against eruptions of Mount Vesuvius. He is represented in Christian Art in episcopal robes, as Bishop of Benevento, and with Vesuvius in the background. (Beheaded 305.)
320. St. Eustace (September 20th) was a Roman captain of guards, passionately fond of the chase. One day, after bringing a stag to bay, he discovered that it had a crucifix with the dead Redeemer upon it between its horns. This caused him to reflect upon the new Faith of which he had heard so much, the consequence being that on the very next day he was baptized. His martyrdom was not long delayed, for on refusing to offer incense to the false gods when celebrating the victories of Trajan, he was shut inside the brazen bull. In Christian Art he is represented as a Roman soldier, and his attributes are either a stag with a crucifix, or a brazen bull. (Martyred 118.)
321. St. Matthew (September 21st) was originally a publican, or tax-gatherer, in the service of the Romans. In this character he is represented in Christian Art with a purse or money-bag. Occasionally we find him seated at a desk, with money spread out before him. As the Evangelist, he appears with book, pen, and inkhorn, and generally an angel standing by dictating the Gospel to him. He was put to death at Naddabar with a halberd, but in what year is not stated.
322. St. Maurice (September 22nd), as commander of the famous Thebain Legion, massacred on the shores of Lake Geneva by the Emperor Maximin, because they refused to offer sacrifices to the gods, is the patron of foot-soldiers. This Thebain Legion consisted of 6,666 Christians, and was so called because levied in the Thebaid to assist the Emperor in his invasion of Gaul. An Austrian by birth, the saint is patron of Austria; and is represented in Christian Art in full armour, bearing either the Austrian standard or leaning on the shield of his country. (Martyred 286.)
323. St. Thecla (September 23rd) is represented in Christian Art in a mantle of dark brown or grey, the plain colours generally affected by Greek philosophers and others who forsook the world, and with wild beasts around her. The legend states that she was exposed to the lions in the amphitheatre at Antioch, but these refused to touch her. (Martyred first century.)
324. SS. Cyprian and Justina (September 26th) suffered martyrdom together at Antioch in the year 304. Justina was a virgin renowned for her chastity. In vain did Cyprian, the magician, resort to his various artifices to subdue her. At length, finding that his demons were no less foiled by the virtue of this maiden than himself, he worshipped the God of Justina, and by so doing obtained her hand in marriage. With her he was shortly afterwards thrown into a cauldron of boiling pitch, but by a miracle they escaped unharmed. Eventually they were beheaded. St. Cyprian is represented in Christian Art in the habit of a Greek bishop, trampling on his magical books. Justina has in her hand the palm of martyrdom, and at her feet a unicorn, the emblem of chastity, because, according to the fable, such an animal was not to be captured save by a virgin whose chastity was proof against every temptation.
325. SS. Cosmo and Damian (September 27th) are the patrons of physicians and those who attend the sick. The most noted physicians of their age, these brothers gave their services to rich and poor alike, without fee or gratuity; all they did was for charity and the love of God. By their intercession, it is said, the Emperor Justinian recovered from a dangerous illness, and afterwards built a superb church in their honour. They are represented in Christian Art together, in the habit of mediaeval physicians, viz., a scarlet robe trimmed with fur, red hose, and red cap. Each holds a box of ointment in one hand, and a lancet, or, in some cases, a pestle and mortar in the other. Their statues, executed by Michael Angelo, are conspicuous objects in the Medici Chapel at Florence, because, as physicians, they were the special patrons of the noble house of Medici, now extinct. (Beheaded 301.)
326. St. Michael the Archangel (September 29th), Prince of the Heavenly Host, is regarded as the patron and protector of the Christian Church, because he remained faithful to God, and defeated Lucifer and his apostate angels in the great battle waged in Heaven, as related in the Apocalypse xii. . He is represented in Christian Art as a beautiful young man, winged, clad in armour, and with sword and shield combating the dragon (see 86, 268.)
327. St. Jerome (September 30th), the founder of monachism in the West, is erroneously represented in Christian Art in cardinal's robes, for cardinals were not instituted until three centuries after his death. This is done, however, to invest him with becoming dignity as one of the great fathers of the Church. His attributes are a miniature church held in his hand, and an open book. Sometimes he is accompanied by a lion, in allusion to his life in the wilderness. He is the patron of scholars and students, more particularly of theology, on account of his writings, notably his translation of the Scriptures, known as the Latin Vulgate. (Died 420.)
328. St. Francis d'Assisi (October 4th), the founder of the Franciscan Order of Preaching Friars (see 31), has for his attributes in Christian Art a lamb and a lily, the emblems of meekness and purity, and the stigmata, or five wounds of the crucified Christ. We are told in the legend that it was manifested to him in his cell that he should be transformed into a resemblance to Christ, "not by the martyrdom of the flesh, but by the might and fire of Divine love." When the vision had passed away, he discovered that in his hands, feet, and side he carried the wounds of the Redeemer. (Died 1226.)
329. St. Justina of Padua (October 7th) was a virgin of royal birth in the city which claims her patronage. She is represented in Christian Art crowned as a princess, and with a sword transfixing her bosom, in accordance with her martyrdom, AD. 303.
330. St. Bridget (October 8th) is regarded as the patroness of fallen women, not because she was at any time of her life unchaste, but from the fact that Henry VIII.'s palace of Bridewell, i.e., beside the well of St. Bride or Bridget, was converted into a House of Correction for refractory females. She is represented in Christian Art with a lamp in one hand, typical of heavenly light and wisdom and a cross in the other, as the foundress of the first community of religious women in Ireland, or, indeed, in the VVestern World. Her long white veil is such a one as was always worn by early converts. The oak which appears in the background is in allusion to her cell among the grove of oaks at Kildare, literally "the cell or place of the oak." (l)ied boo.)
331. St. Denys (October 9th) is the patron of France, where he preached the Gospel, and in whose capital city he suffered martyrdom. The legend expressly states that after he was beheaded he rose and carried his head off in his hand to the summit of Mont Mars (now Montmartre), the angels singing hymns by the way When, in the fulness of time, King Dagobert I. removed his relics to the famous Abbey of St. Denys, founded by him in his honour, the saint thus became the patron of the French monarchy, and his name the battle-cry of the French armies. Moreover, the or'fiamme, or sacred banner of France, had its origin in being consecrated on his tomb. In Christian Art St. Denys is represented carrying his head in his hand. Occasionally, too, we find him with his mitred head on his shoulders, and another, a bared one, in his hand. This is to show that he is making an offering of his head to the Church. (Martyred 272.)
332. St. Theresa (October 17), the patroness of Spain, is represented in Christian Art kneeling in prayer, with an angel a short distance above piercing her heart with a flametipped arrow, in token of the Divine love with which she was animated. The Carmelite Convent which she founded at her birthplace, Avila, in Castile, is now her shrine. The nuns, it may be added, never occupy the choir-stalls in the chapel, but sit on the steps, because, as they say, the angels were accustomed to sit there whenever the saint attended Mass. (Died 1582.)
333. St. Luke (October 18th) is the patron of painters, in accordance with the tradition that he painted a portrait of the Virgin; This may have arisen from the discovery in the Catacombs of a rude drawing of the Virgin thus inscribed: "One of seven painted by Luca." We know, however, that the life of the Virgin in connection with the Infant Saviour is treated with much greater minuteness in St. Luke's Gospel than in that of any other Evangelist; hence the assumption that he painted her portrait can be readily condoned. In Christian Art St. Luke is represented with an easel and painting materials. Beside him is usually an ox, symbolical of sacrifice; in other words, that in St. Luke's Gospel we have the fullest description of the Sacrifice of Christ. At Charlton Fair in former times nearly all the visitors from Greenwich and Deptford bore a pair of horns on their heads, while every booth had a pair of horns displayed on its front. This was in allusion to the saint, on whose day the fair was held. (Died 70.)
334. St. Ursula (October 21st) is the patroness of young girls, more particularly school-girls, and the promoters of all institutions designed for the education of her sex, on account of her great learning. The legend of St. Ursula and her 11,000 virgins has been greatly modified in modern times. It is suggested that instead of ten companions, each with a retinue of a thousand virgins, she had but one companion, named Undecimilla, and that this name was originally mistaken for undecim millia, or 11,000. Whatever may have been the real facts, it is certain that the church dedicated to St. Ursula at Cologne contains more tombs of virgins than can properly be accommodated. The revenues of this church, which are considerable, belong to an abbess and six canonesses, who, to do honour to the saint must all be countesses. In Christian Art St. Ursula wears a crown, as princess; has an arrow in her hand, the attribute of her martyrdom; and carries a pilgrim's staff, surmounted by a white banner with a red cross, the Christian standard of victory. (Martyred 453.)
335. St. Romain (October 23rd) is regarded as the apostle of Normandy, because he established the Christian religion in that province. As Bishop of Rouen during his lifetime, that city was naturally placed under his special patronage after his death. According to the legend, when the Seine overflowed its banks and threatened to destroy Rouen, he commanded the waters to recede; but no sooner had they done so than from the mud and slime there arose a dragon, which inspired all the inhabitants round about with terror. By the help of a murderer, however, the good bishop eventually vanquished it. Hence it was that until the Revolution the Chapter of Rouen possessed the privilege of pardoning once a year a criminal condemned to death. This dragon legend forms the subject of illustration on one of the windows of Rouen Cathedral. (Died 639.)
336. SS. Crispin and Crispianus (October 25th) are patrons of Soissons, in France, where, after preaching the Gospel throughout the country, they suffered martyrdom. They are everywhere regarded as patrons of the shoemaking craft, because they supported themselves by mending shoes during the whole of their Christian mission. In Christian Art they are represented with the palm in one hand, and an awl or shoemaker's knife in the other. (Martyred 287.)
337. SS. Simon and Jude (October 28th) have for their attributes in Christian Art a saw and a halberd, the respective instruments of their martyrdom, A.D. 80.
338. St. Hubert (November 3rd), Bishop of Maestrecht and Liege, is represented in Christian Art in episcopal robes, with mitre and crosier, and a stag lying upon a book held in his left hand. He is honoured as apostle of the Ardennes and Brabant, into which provinces he carried the Gospel, and whence, by his zeal, the last remnants of idolatry were destroyed. The account of his conversion is similar to that given of St. Eustace (see 320). Though professedly a Christian, he was addicted to neglecting his religious duties for the sake of following the chase. One day during Holy Week, when all good Christians were supposed to be at their devotions, he encountered a stag having a crucifix between its horns, at the same time as he heard a voice admonishing him to repent of his misspent life. Thereupon he retired from the world, took orders, and was subsequently made bishop of that part of France which he converted to the service of God. Under the circumstances nothing was more natural than that, in an age when every vocation had its protecting saint, St. Hubert should have been chosen the patron of hunters. (Died 727.)
339. St. Winifrid (November 3rd) is the patroness of virgins, because she was beheaded for refusing to marry Prince Caradoc. According to the legend, her tears falling on the ground gave rise to the famous St. Winifrid's Well, at Holywell, Flintshire, where she suffered, the waters of which well still retain their miraculous powers. Like St. Denys she is generally represented in Christian Art carrying her head in her hands. (Beheaded seventh century.)
340. St. Charles Borromeo (November 4th), we are told, when the pestilence was ravaging Milan, went three times barefooted round the city in his cardinal's robes, and with a halter round his neck, humbly offering himself a sacrifice for the people in order to minister the Sacraments to the dying; yet neither he nor any one of the twenty-eight voluntary priests who accompanied him caught the infection. In commemoration of this incident he is usually represented in Christian Art as a cardinal, barefooted, and with the halter round his neck, his right hand giving the benediction. A colossal statue of him in this character was set up on the borders of Lago Maggiore in the year 1696. (Died 1584.)
341. St. Leonard (November 6th) is the patron of prisoners, captives, and slaves, whom he visited, interceded for, and ransomed. In many of the churches dedicated to him, more especially in France, the fetters of released captives may yet be seen. Such fetters are his peculiar attributes. Since the Benedictines claim him as a member of their Order, he is often represented in the black and white tunic and girdle, but more frequently in the dress of a deacon, the highest dignity that he would accept. (Died 559.)
342. St. Martin (November 11th) is the patron of vintners, and incidentally of drunkards, for two reasons. In the first place, when the emperor who had invited him to a banquet wished to do him a great honour by offering him the wine-cup before he drank himself, the saint instantly handed it to a poor priest who was standing behind him; "thus showing that he accounted the least of the servants of God before the greatest rulers of the earth." Secondly, November 11th, or Martinmas Day, was originally the Vinalia, or Feast of Bacchus, among the Romans. When, therefore, the Christian Church merged Bacchus into St. Martin, those who were employed in the vineyards came to look upon the saint as their patron; while drunkards were recommended to invoke him to save them from their besetting sin. The story of St. Martin dividing his cloak with a beggar is familiar to everyone. The Hall of the Vintners' Company, in Thames Street, contains a carved representation of their patron saint and the beggar. St. Martin is the patron of Tours, of which city he became bishop. (Died 397.)
343. St. Edmund, King and Martyr (November 20th), was slain by the Danes with arrows in the church at Thetford, Norfolk, and afterwards beheaded. He is represented in Christian Art with an arrow in his hand, and often with a grey wolf crouching at his side, because, according to the legend, when the Christians were searching for his body they found a grey wolf watching over his severed head. The king was buried in the church of the monastery which received the name of Bury St. Edmunds, in his honour. (Slain 870.)
344. St. Cecilia (November 22nd) is said to have excelled in music to such a degree, that, finding all known instruments inadequate to give full expression to that flood of harmony with which her soul was filled, she invented the organ, and consecrated it to the service of God. As the patroness of music and musicians, she is always represented in Christian Art playing some musical instrument. The earlier examples however, show her lying on her right side with a veil drawn closely around her head and a wound in her neck, exactly in the same posture as that in which her body was discovered, after it had been pointed out in a dream to Pope Paschal in the ninth century. As the legend tells us, she was wounded in the neck and left to bleed to death. Such a representation of the saint forms part of an altar-piece in one of the side chapels at the Brompton Oratory. (Martyred 280.)
345. St. Clement (November 23rd) is the patron of tanners, whose trade he himself followed before his conversion. His attribute in Christian Art is an anchor, because he was bound to an anchor and cast into the sea. The church dedicated to him in the Strand had formerly an anchor for a vane; the parish boundaries are still indicated by an anchor, while the beadles have an anchor on their staves and buttons. (Martyred 100.)
346. St. Felicitas (November 23rd) is the patroness of male heirs, because her seven sons were martyred one by one before her eyes. She is represented in Christian Art, hooded and veiled, as matron and widow, and with her seven sons around her. (Beheaded 173.)
347. St. Catherine (November 25th) and her wheel are inseparable in Christian Art. But the wheel is generally broken, because, after she was bound upon it, by the intervention of Heaven it was shattered, and the flying fragments dealt death to her executioners. Under her feet is seen the turbaned head of the tyrant Maximinus, symbolical of the triumph of Christianity over the Infidel. Instead of the sword, the actual instrument of her martyrdom, a book is placed in her hand, in token of her learning. The crown upon her head bespeaks her royal dignity. As a king's daughter she is patroness of princesses and ladies of noble birth. She is patroness also of students, philosophers, and theologians, because she put to confusion all the rhetoricians and scholars who came to dispute with her from all parts of the empire. (Beheaded 307.)
348. St. Andrew (November 30th) is the patron of Scotland, because his bones were brought from Patras, a town in the Peloponnesus, and interred in the cathedral of what is now St. Andrews, co. Fife, in the fourth century. He is represented in Christian Art with a transverse cross and ropes, upon which he was crucified. Hence the term, "St. Andrew's Cross." A statue of the Apostle with his attributes appears on the front of the Royal Caledonian Asylum, Islington. (Martyred 70.)
349. St. Eloy (December 1st) is the patron of Noyon, of which city he was made bishop. He is represented in Christian Art either in episcopal robes, holding a book in one hand, and a hammer or tongs in the other; or in a short artisan's dress with hammer and tongs. At his feet, in either case, are anvil, bellows, and other implements of the blacksmith's, Iocksmith's,or metal-worker's craft. This is in allusion to his former occupation; having been bound apprentice to a goldsmith. Later in life, even after his consecration as bishop, he found time to fabricate the church plate and decorate the shrines of the saints. Therefore he is the patron of goldsmiths and workers in the precious metals generally. Farriers and blacksmiths claim him for their patron on account of the following astounding legend. One day, when a horse was required to be shod, he plunged and kicked so much, that it was said he had the devil in him. St. Eloy was then appealed to, but instead of exorcising the devil he quietly cut off the animal's leg, placed it on an anvil and shod it properly, after which he replaced the leg by merely making the sign of the Cross. This legend is represented in bas-relief on the pedestal of his statue in one of the niches of the exterior of Or-San Michele, Florence. The statue was executed by Nanni di Banco, and dedicated by the Guild of Blacksmiths in the year 1420. (Died 659.)
350. St. Francis Xavier (December 3rd), the patron and apostle of the Indies, was one of the earliest Christian missionaries in the Far East. He met his death while attempting to reach China. He is represented in Christian Art with a crucifix. (Died 1553.)
351. St. Barbara (December 4th) is invoked against tempest and lightning, and all explosions of firearms and gunpowder, because, according to the legend, after her father had followed her into the mountains and cut off her head for embracing Christianity, a fearful tempest with thunder and lightning arose, and God caused a fire to descend upon him, in which he was utterly consumed. She is also invoked against sudden death; those who are devoted to her believing that they will never die impenitent, or without having first received the Sacraments. For this reason St. Barbara, in Christian Art, differs from every other female saint, by carrying the Sacramental cup and wafer. The tower in which her father confined her is always associated with her in one form or another. Sometimes it is a massy building in the background; at others she is leaning upon it; not infrequently she holds a miniature representation of it in her left hand. The sword in her right hand is the symbol of her martyrdom. When the tower does not appear in her left hand, its place is occupied by a copy of the Gospels. (Beheaded 303.)
352. St. Nicholas (December 6th) has several attributes. He is the patron of serfdom, and, therefore, of Russia, because he protected the weak against the strong, the oppressed against the oppressor, the poor against the rich; of travellers, sailors, and merchants, because he on several occasions allayed a tempest at sea when invoked by the mariners; of poor maidens, because, out of compassion for a distressed nobleman about to sacrifice his three daughters to a life of infamy, he cast three purses of gold through his chamber window under cover of night, to enable the girls to marry honourably; of boys, especially scholars, from the astounding miracle related in the legend, to the effect that he restored to life three school-boys whom a wicked innkeeper had murdered and salted in a tub; of parish clerks, because of scholars, who were formerly styled clerks; and of thieves, for having once prevailed upon a gang of robbers to restore their plunder. In the Middle Ages robbers and thieves always called themselves Knights or Clerks of St. Nicholas. As patron of mariners and seaport cities, St. Nicholas is represented in Christian Art with an anchor by his side, or a ship in the background; of scholars, with three naked boys rising out of a tub; of marriageable girls, by three golden balls embroidered on his cope, or placed on a copy of the Gospels in his hand. In all cases he appears in episcopal robes, with mitre and crosier, and beardless, in allusion to his youth when consecrated Bishop of Myra. (Died 326.)
353. St. Lucy (December 13th) is the patroness of the poor, on account of her boundless charity. She is invoked by persons afflicted with diseases of the eye, because, rather than accept the hand in marriage of a lover who desired her for the sake of her beautiful eyes, she plucked them out, and sent them to him with this message: "Here hast thou what thou so much desirest; and for the rest, I beseech thee, leave me now in peace!" Nevertheless, as the legend expressly tells us, her sight was restored to her the next day. Her martyrdom, instigated by her rejected lover, was accomplished by a poignard thrust into her neck. In Christian Art she is generally represented as bearing a dish or platter with two eyes on it. Occasionally, the blood is seen trickling from the wound in her neck. (Martyred 303.)
354. St. Thomas (December 21st) was a fisherman; yet his attribute in Christian Art is a builder's square. The reason of this is explained in the following account of the Golden Legend. During the time that Thomas was at Csarea, the Lord appeared to him, saying, "The King of the Indies, Gondoforus, hath sent his provost, Abanes, to seek for workmen well versed in architecture, who shall build for him a palace finer than that of the Emperor of Rome. Behold, now, I will send thee to him!" In obedience to this Divine command, Thomas presented himself to Gondoforus, who gave him much silver and gold to build for him the sumptuous palace he coveted during his enforced absence in a distant country. At the end of two years he returned, but instead of a palace he found that Thomas had bestowed all the silver and gold entrusted to him upon the sick and the poor. Thereupon Gondoforus cast him into prison, to await a horrible death. Meantime, the king's brother died, and Gondoforus resolved to build for him a magnificent tomb. But the dead man suddenly appeared to his brother the king, andsaid, "The man whom thou wouldst torture is a servant of God. Behold! I have been in Paradise, and the angels showed to me a wondrous palace of gold and silver and precious stones, and they said, 'This is the palace that Thomas the Architect hath built for thy brother, King Gondoforus!'" Then the king hastened to deliver Thomas out of prison. And Thomas spoke to him thus: "Knowest thou not that those who would possess heavenly things have little care for the things of this earth? There are in heaven rich palaces without number, which were prepared from the beginning of the world for those who purchase the possession through faith and charity. Thy riches, O king, may prepare the way for thee to such a palace, but they cannot follow thee thither!" This beautiful story is fittingly illustrated on one of the stained-glass windows of Bruges Cathedral, the gift of the Builders' Company of that city. St. Thomas is the patron of masons and builders for the reason just stated.
355. St. Stephen (December 26th) was the earliest Christian martyr. The manner of his death is well symbolized by the stone which appears on his shoulder, and another on the side of his head. The book carried in his left hand refers to the Gospel that he preached just before being stoned. His dress is that of a deacon, because St. Peter himself appointed him to that office during his ministry. (Martyred 35.)
356. St. John the Evangelist (December 27th) has for his attribute in Christian Art a Sacramental cup with a winged serpent issuing from it. This is in allusion to the legend that when Aristodemus, the priest of Diana, challenged him to drink a cup of poison, St. John made the sign of the Cross upon it, and then drained its contents, which proved innocuous. In memory of this incident, consecrated wine was formerly sold to the laity on St. John's Day. As Evangelist, St. John is attended by an eagle, because, since that bird soars higher into the heavens than any other, so his soul, in virtue of its singular purity, mounted up to receive the light of Divine Wisdom. (Died 99.)