Saint

Depiction & Attributes

About the Saint

A

Acathius of Melitene

Crown of thorns; usually depicted in bishop's vestments.

Bishop of Melitene in the third century. Died around 251 and was venerated by the Eastern Orthodox Church. Feast is 31 of March. Known for his doctrinal teachings and miracles. (Not to be confused with another and later Bishop Acacius of Melitene who opposed Nestorius.)

Agatha of Sicily

Agatha is shown in art carrying loaves of bread, but may also be represented by a veil, bells, shears, tongs or breasts on a plate.

Born in either Catania or Palermo in, Sicily (both claim the honor), sentenced to be burned at the stake by the Magistrate Quinctianus, and was saved by an earthquake, but not before she faced torture including the removal of her breasts. Died in 251after a final prayer to God. Body found incorrupt in the 11th century. Saint Agatha is always part of the Litany of Saints.

Agnes

Agnes is depicted holding a lamb, and a palm frond, symbol of her martyrdom.

Agnes of Rome is a virgin martyr of the third century. She is one of seven women who, along with the Blessed Virgin Mary, are commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass.

Albert the Great

Albert the Great is depicted holding a globe, holding a book and quill, or lecturing dressed in bishop's vestments.

German priest made Bishop of Regensburg in 1260. Taught Theology at the University of Paris, where he formed a group that included St. Thomas Aquinas. Known for his erudition and study of natural sciences and wrote books. Died November 15, 1280, made saint in 1931. Proclaimed Doctor of the Church.

Ambrose

Most often shown holding a quill and pen, often accompanied by an ox, bees, a dove, or beehive.

Bishop of Milan from 374-397. His witness and counsel converted St. Augustine to Catholicism. Died April 4, 397. He is a Doctor of the Church.

Andrew, the Apostle

Almost always shown with an X-shaped cross, either behind or in front of him.

Former follower of St. John the Baptist before following Jesus, he introduced Simon Peter to Him. Crucified on the decussate cross by Governor Aegeas at the time of Emperor Nero’s persecution of the Christians, on November 30, 60 AD.

Anne,
Mother of Mary

Usually portrayed as a middle-aged or elderly woman, teaching or holding Mary. Frequently depicted with a red robe with green mantle. May be also represented by a book or a door.

St. Anne (Hannah [grace] in Hebrew) was married to St. Joachim, and became the mother of Mary, mother of Jesus.

Anthony the Great

Often symbolized by a pig, bell, or monk’s habit when depicted in stained glass windows or doors.

An ascetic, he lived a mostly secluded existence, writing books on the Faith. He promoted asceticism and instructed monks on the various aspects of it.

Anthony of Padua

Often depicted holding the child Jesus, lilies, and bread.

Known miracle worker and orator. He was canonized within a year of his death by Pope Gregory IX. He is the patron saint of lost items.

Athanasius of Alexandria

Portrayed as bishop discussing with a pagan or holding a book or standing over a heretic.

Bishop of Alexandria and called ‘Father of Orthodoxy’; he was a Confessor and Doctor of the Church. Also, a staunch defender of the Faith against heresy, notably Arianism.

Augustine of Hippo

Depicted dressed in bishop's vestments, holding a crozier, or writing. Also depicted holding a fiery heart.

Augustine, born in the 4th century, was a Roman African, early Christian theologian and philosopher whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. He was converted through the prayers of his mother, St. Monica, and was baptized by St. Ambrose. Authored "City of God" and "The Confessions".

B

Barbara

May be represented by cannon or ciborium, but more often by a tower.

Martyr of the third century. Condemned to death by Martianus, provincial prefect, by beheading. Her pagan father, who was assigned the deed, was hit by lightning afterwards as punishment.

Bartholomew the Apostle

Symbolized in art holding a flaying knife and holding his own skin in his hand.

One of the twelve apostles. Said to have been killed by flaying and upside-down crucifixion, as ordered by Astyages of Armenia. He is sometimes confused with Nathaniel, due to the scarcity of information on his person and works.

Benedict (of Nursia)

Depicted wearing a black robe; with a broken cup, or a cup with a snake emerging, a crosier, and raven.

Called the ‘Father of Western Monasticism’, born in 480 and died 543. He established around 12 or 13 monasteries, being abbot of all. Instituted the "Benedictine Rule" which outlined the way of life for monasticism. Founded the Benedictine Order.

Bernadette Soubirous

Depictions of St. Bernadette usually show her with Our Lady of Lourdes.

The French-peasant girl who was present at the Marian apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Bernard of Clairvaux

St. Bernard is depicted in white robe, often holding a church and crozier.

Doctor of the Church, Burgundian noble, writer, peacemaker and abbot. St. Bernard was also a papal advisor and healer of schisms that divided the Church for a while. He founded the Cistercian Order.

Bernardine of Siena

Depicted in church art as an old friar with three mitres at his feet and with the sun or tablet with IHS inscription in hand.

Franciscan friar minor because he refused any bishopric, St. Bernardine was a powerful and eloquent sermon-giver and preacher who converted a lot of people. He was named ‘Apostle of Italy’ and initiated the Second Crusade. He died in 1444.

Blaise

Commonly portrayed with two candles, wax, or iron comb, in reference to his healing a dying boy with a fishbone in his throat.

Martyr to the Faith and bishop of Sebaste, Armenia. He was beheaded during the time of Emperor Licinius. There is a special blessing invoking health of the throat on his feast day, February 2.

Bonaventure

Depicted in bishop’s vestments. He is often holding a staff and paper, a ciborium, cardinal’s (galero) hat, or communion.

Doctor of the Church, Franciscan, Cardinal of the Church, and friend of St. Thomas Aquinas. Two centuries after his death in 1274 his head was found intact and fresh.

Boniface

Portrayed in church art holding a sword, book, axe, or fox, and wearing a bishop’s mitre.

Called ‘Apostle of Germany’ for his effective missionary work there. Was named Archbishop by Pope Gregory III, was killed by heathens around 743 at Dorkum by the River Borne. Born Winfrid or Wynfryth.

Bridget of Sweden

Depicted in art with a book and pen, a crown or a pilgrim’s hat, staff and bag.

Born Birgitta of wealthy parents, St. Bridget showed early piety, and after being widowed led a pious and ascetic life, later creating the Order of St. Saviour, the Brigittines. She was also a recognized mystic and was mother of St. Catherine of Sweden.

Brigid of Kildare

Depicted with a crosier or Brigid’s Cross, and holding an open scroll, staff or bowl of fire.

Also known as St. Bridgit of Ireland and ‘Mary of the Gael’, she is a patron saint of Ireland. She founded the Convent of Cill-Dara (Kildare). She died in 525.

C

Catherine of Alexandria

Often associated with a spiked wheel, crown, or book.

St. Catherine of Alexandria was imprisoned for converting pagans to Christianity. Won converts in jail and was beheaded. Angels were said to have taken her to Mt. Sinai. Ranked among the 14 most helpful saints in heaven.

Catherine of Ricci

Depicted with stigmata and holding a cross.

Named Alessandra Romola at birth, she was a nun known for her fervor and holiness, in her rapture or ecstasies showing the Virgin’s sufferings during the Lord’s Passion via stigmata. She died in 1590.

Catherine of Siena

Depicted with stigmata and holding a cross and lilies and wearing a crown of thorns.

Born Catherine Benincasa, a nun of the Dominican order, St. Catherine bore the stigmata which, hidden in her life, showed clear on her death. She was an acclaimed virgin, martyr, writer and counselor. Her feast is celebrated every April 29.

Cecilia

Portrayed playing a musical organ, piano, mandolin, violin or harp.

Martyr and church music patroness, she married and converted a pagan Valerianus, his brother, and their executioner, which caused the prefect Turcius Almachius to order their death. She sang praises to God as she was beheaded. She was a most venerated martyr in the ancient Church.

Cerbonius

Depicted with geese or a bear licking his feet.

Native to North Africa, St. Cerbonius escaped to Italy during the Vandal’s Arian persecutions. Became Bishop of Populonia and Massa Marittima and sentenced to death by bear attack. But the animal licked his feet, so he was exiled instead to Elba.

Charles Borromeo

Represented in his cardinal’s robes, carrying the cross but barefoot.

Leader of the Counter-Reformation to negate the influences of Protestantism. Archbishop of Milan, Pius IV’s secretary, cardinal-priest.

Christopher

Shown crossing a river and carrying the Child Jesus on his shoulder.

Martyred in the time of Decius, 3rd century. Legendary bearer of young Christ crossing a river. Feast day July 25. Famous as patron saint of travelers.

Clare of Assisi

Depicted with a monstrance or bearing a ciborium, by which miracle she saved Assisi from the ravages of war.

Cofounded the Order of Poor Ladies or the Poor Clares. Saved Assisi from the predations of Frederick II’s army. Feast day August 11.

Clement

Symbolized by an anchor, fish or Mariner’s Cross.

Called the 4th Pope, and known as Clemens Romanus to identify him from Clement of Alexandria. Said to be Jewish by birth, but was converted by St Peter and worked alongside Saints Paul, Luke and Timothy. Martyred in AD100. Feast day November 23.

Corbinian

Commonly shown with a saddled bear or one with pack on its back.

A Frank who preached in Germany, was a hermit then a bishop ordained by St. Gregory. Name of Waldegiso. Feast day September 8. Pope Benedict XVI used the image of the bear in his coat of arms.

Saints Cosmas & Damian

Usually depicted together with a phial or box of ointment.

Twins known for their charitable medical work. Persecuted and martyred by Emperor Diocletian around Year 283. Patron saints of druggists and pharmacists. Feast day September 26.

D

Daniel

Usually depicted in sacred art with a lion or in a den of lions.

The prophet Daniel who was saved from death in the lion’s den.

Denis

Depicted as a man holding his severed head in hands.

Italian Bishop of Paris. Martyred under Emperor Decius. Said that his corpse picked up his head after beheading and walked a while, hence the symbolism. Feast day October 9.

David of Wales

Depicted with a dove on his shoulder or nearby.

Bishop and abbot. Legend has it that one time when he was preaching a dove descended onto his shoulder and the earth rose to lift him so he could be heard. Feast day March 1.

Dorothy of Caesarea

Depicted in church art with flowers or fruits and flowers.

Virgin and martyr. Decapitated for refusing to recant her faith. On her way to beheading, she was met by a girl bearing roses and apples, which were sent to a mocking imperial advisor. Shocked by the gift, the advisor converted and changed his name to Theophilus, one who loves God.

Dominic

Commonly depicted in the habit of the Dominican order: White habit and black mantle; there is usually a star and a dog with a torch in its mouth.

Founder of the Order of Friars Preachers, a mendicant order of the church. Friend of St. Francis of Assisi. Patron saint of astronomers. Feast day is August 8.

Dunstan

Depicted with hammer or tongs, symbols of his tussle with the devil.

Abbot, archbishop of Canterbury, smith, jeweler, reformer of the church. Most famous saint of England prior to St. Thomas Becket. Feast day May 19.

Dymphna

The Irish St. Dymphna may be depicted with a crown, sword or lily. A princess with chained devil at her feet.

Irish virgin saint known as ‘The Lily of Eire’. Martyred when she refused to marry her own father, a pagan. Patron saint of those with mental disorders. Feast day May 15.

E

Edmund the Martyr

Depicted as a saint with arrows in his body.

Said to be a king of East Angles who resisted the invading Danes, who tortured him and shot him with arrows before beheading him for refusing to recant his faith. Feast day November 20.

Eligius

Eligius may be shown as Bishop with crosier; usually mounted on a horse.

King’s counselor, goldsmith, founder of monasteries. Patron saint of goldsmiths, metalworkers and mechanics. Converted pagan Flanders to Christianity. Feast day December 9.

Elijah

Shown in iconography near or in a cave, where he sought refuge when fleeing death on the order of Queen Jezebel. Also depicted on a fiery chariot being taken to heaven. Usually depicted with a red mantle.

Major prophet of the Old Testament whose writings are in a book of his name. Reappeared on Mt. Sinai with Moses and Jesus in the Transfiguration.

Elizabeth of Hungary

Depicted giving alms, though most often with flowers, bread, pitcher, that she shared with the poor and wearing a crown.

Princess and queen of Thuringia. Vowed chastity after death of husband Louis IV. She opened a hospital near her castle where she served the sick and hungry. Third-order Franciscan.

Elizabeth of Portugal

Always shown in church art in a nun’s habit with a crown nearby.

Queen, peacemaker, nun and charitable woman. Prevented war twice, the second time causing her death.

Eustace

Shown in church art as a man in hunting clothes with a stag, bull, and crucifix.

Erstwhile Roman officer named Placida who refused participation in a pagan rite after a battle, and thus was executed. Also known as Eusthathius. Feast day September 20.

F

Florinus of Remüs

Shown with a bottle or glass of wine.

Worked as a priest at Remüs (Ramosch). Is known to have performed miracles, including turning water to wine.

Francis of Assisi

Francis may be shown in church art wearing a brown habit and preaching to a wolf or birds, sometimes fish or other wild animals. Francis may be shown with the stigmata.

Founder of the Franciscan Order. Born into a wealthy merchant family but espoused extreme poverty as freedom from earthly life.

Francis Xavier

Francis Xavier is usually shown in cassock and surplice, holding up a crucifix in his left hand, and blessing with the right hand.

A Jesuit priest, he was a missionary to the East including India, Japan and China. He died en route to a missionary voyage to China; he is remembered for being an effective missionary.

G

Archangel Gabriel

Gabriel the Archangel is depicted with a trumpet, but more often with a lily or scroll stating, “Ave Maria Gratia Plena”. Is often shown at the Annunciation with the Virgin Mary.

Gabriel is said to be one of the seven who stand before God. He announced the birth of Jesus, helped Daniel, and many others. He is respected in Christian, Judaic, and Islamic religious literature.

Genesius

Always shown with theatre masks at his side.

Roman comedian martyred when, upon playing a satiric role before Diocletian of becoming a Christian, was instead converted and was beheaded when he refused to recant.

Genevieve

Illustrated with a lit candle, bread, or keys.

Patroness and savior of Paris twice: during the invasion of Attila’s Huns, and by the Merowig Childeric. She excelled in works of charity and in pious attitude. Feast Day January 3.

George

Shown as a soldier or knight in amour with shield and sword, often on a white horse with Cross of Saint George. St. George may be shown also with a dragon underfoot.

Roman tribune and secret Christian under Diocletian but was beheaded when he refused to recant despite torture and promises of fame and wealth.

Gertrude of Nivelles

Represented in church art as abbess with mice running up her pastoral staff.

Abbess of Benedictine monastery at Nivelles, builder of monasteries and churches, beloved by her people. Patroness of travelers.

Giles

Depicted in Benedictine habit, but always with a hind or male deer. Sometimes represented with a crosier or arrow.

An abbot who shunned people and kept a hind as his only companion. He also built a monastery and had a high reputation for sanctity and for miracles among the Franks.

Gregory the Great

Portrayed wearing a Papal Tiara with a crosier, and a dove (often shown at his ear).

Pope, abbot, ambassador to Byzantium, wrote books on the Faith, especially ‘Magna Moralia, on the Book of Job. Father of Gregorian chant.

H

Helena

Depicted wearing a royal crown while supporting a cross.

Constantine the Great’s mother who converted to Christianity after he won the war against Maxentius. Endowed and built churches in Italy and Rome, and sought the ‘True Cross of Christ

Hedwig

Depicted wearing a crown and ermine cloak, usually holding a small church in her hand.

Duchess and widowshe died in a Cistercain convent, having taken vows. She was the aunt of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Many miracles were reported after her death, and she was canonized in 1266.

Hubert

Depicted in hunter's clothing and with a stag with a cross between its antlers.

Saint Hubertus or Hubert became Bishop of Liège in 708 AD. Patron saint of hunters, mathematicians, opticians, and metalworkers. Known as the Apostle of the Ardennes, he was called upon, until the early 20th century, to cure rabies through the use of the traditional St. Hubert's Key.

Honoratus of Amiens

Depicted with a baker’s peel or shovel; bishop with a large Host; bishop with three Hosts on a baker’s shovel; loaves of bread.

Bishop of Amiens, pious and humble. Refused bishopric at first but when ordained, showed oil of unknown origin on his forehead and was pointed by a ray of light. Feast day May 16.

I

Ignatius of Antioch

Commonly depicted as a bishop surrounded by lions or in chains, symbolic of his martyrdom.

Anointed by St. Peter as Bishop of Antioch and was martyred under Trajan by being fed to the beasts.

Ignatius of Loyola

Seen in sacred art holding the Eucharist, in a chasuble with Jesuit-style collar, a book, often inscribed with “Ad majorem dei gloriam”, or the letters AMDG.

Founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), former soldier who was converted on his sickbed, and led thereafter a life of piety. Wrote the Spiritual Exercises.

Isidore of Seville

Depicted in church art, stained glass windows and literature in bishop’s garb and holding a staff, reading or writing in a book. Some illustrations shown also with bees and a pen.

Bishop of Seville, Doctor of the Church, converted the Visigoths from Arianism, writer whose great works include Etymologiae, Proemia, Officia and De Natura Rerum. East day April 4.

J

James, son of Zebedee (James the Greater)

Illustrated with a pilgrim’s staff, scallop shell, key, sword, pilgrim’s hat, astride a white charger, or with the Cross of Saint James.

A major apostle of Jesus claimed by some sectors as a cousin to the Lord. Worked his apostolate in Judea and Iberia. A fisherman with his brother John and father Zebedee. Mother is Salome. Martyred by Herod Agrippa, grandson of Herod the Great. Feast days July 25, April 30 and December 30.

James, son of Alphaeus (James the Lesser)

Identifiable in church art as an apostle with the square rule, halberd, club, saw, symbolizing his work as carpenter, apart from James the son of Zebedee, who was a fisherman.

An apostle, also known as James the Less, James the Just, or James the son of Alpheus, to differentiate him from James the Greater, son of Zebedee. Mentioned often in the list of apostles as James the Younger.

Jerome

Portrayed in church art in cardinal vestments, with a lion, cross, skull, books and writing material, indicating his various expertise.

Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus was a Christian priest, confessor, Doctor of the Church, ascetic, historian and theologian who translated the Scriptures from Hebrew and Greek into Latin, to become the Latin Vulgate.

Joan of Arc

Illustrated in church stained glass as a young lady wearing a shield with the Cross of Lorraine, symbolizing her martial victories over the English.

Famous ‘Maid of Orleans’ who led the liberation of most of France from English domination during the Hundred Years’ War, after visions called her to battle. Uneducated but intelligent, she was burned at the stake at age 19 for heresy after a mockery of a trial.

John Chrysostom

Depicted as a saint in a bishop’s robe holding a Bible, also a cross sometimes.

Preacher, theologian, Doctor of the Church, liturgist, Archbishop of Constantinople, he is counted as one of three Hierarchs and died as a result of an unjust exile by Empress Eudoxia of the Byzantine Empire.

John of God

Portrayed in church and religious art as a monk giving alms, or with a heart and sometimes also with a crown of thorns.

Was a shepherd, then a soldier, and finally a priest. He sold his property and gave the proceeds to the poor, did charitable work and founded the Brothers Hospitallers of St. John of God. Feast day March 8.

John the Baptist

Portrayed with a lamb, head on a platter, wearing an animal skin (the camel-skin coat), pointing at Christ or a lamb, or carrying a long crude cross.

Cousin of Jesus, itinerant preacher who ‘baptized with water’ as Jesus’ precursor. Beheaded by Herod Antipas whom he denounced for incestuous marriage.

John the Evangelist

St. John is portrayed in church art with an eagle to symbolize his heights in Christian teachings. Also represented with a chalice with a snake in it. He is also leaning on Jesus at the Last Supper.

The apostle ‘whom Jesus loved’. He preached in Asia Minor and lived until the reign of Trajan. Named by St. Paul as one ‘pillar of the Church’ for his preaching of the Gospel.

Joseph,
spouse of Mary

Joseph is usually portrayed as an older man holding the Child Jesus, sometimes with a staff with lily flowers, or with his carpentry tools: rod, plane, square and wearing a purple robe and brown mantle.

From the line of King David and Jacob, Joseph’s trade was carpentry, and he lived a pious and law-obedient life.

Juan Diego

Portrayed wearing a tilmàtli (cloak of cactus fiber worn by Aztecs) with the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe in it.

Mexican native who had a vision of the Virgin of Guadalupe, whose image miraculously appeared in his tilmatli cloak. Feast day December 9.

Jude the Apostle

Depicted a book, staff, medal and tongue of fire on his forehead, being an Apostle during Pentecost.

St. Jude Thaddeus, of the 12 Apostles, also named Lebbaeus, preached in Edessa and Mesopotamia.

Justin Martyr

Shown with an open scroll and cross, and sometimes with an axe or sword, symbolizing his death.

A martyr of the third century; he converted and defended Christianity as the true religion. He was beheaded for not recanting his faith.

Justina of Padua

Shown as a young woman holding a palm leaf, also with a unicorn, a sword or a book or setting a cross on the devil’s head.

A young woman who vowed chastity and was beheaded during Diocletian’s persecutions for her faith. Feast day October 7.

K

Kateri Tekakwitha

Illustrated as a Native American dressed in native clothing and with a lily or among lilies, which symbolized her short and beautiful life. Sometimes holding a crude cross.

A Mohawk (North American native) orphan and virgin who led a life of piety and charity, and taught children about Jesus. Called ‘Lily of the Mohawks’, her smallpox scars cleared after her death.

Kevin of Glendalough

Often represented in church art with a blackbird, which, legend says, built a nest in his palm.

Irish monk, Abbot of Glendalough, ascetic and naturist. He largely lived a solo life among birds and animals.

L

Lawrence of Rome

Illustrated in church art and icons carrying a cross, Gospel Book, palm leaves, purse of money, dressed in a deacon's dalmatic, or holding a gridiron, his supposed means of death.

Deacon and martyred under Emperor Valerian who had him gridironed as a Christian. Distributed the Church’s wealth to the poor to keep it off the emperor’s hands. Feast day August 10.

Louis IX of France

Mostly illustrated dressed in royal attire of crown and blue robe decorated with golden fleur-de-lis and holding a scepter, sometimes also on horseback. Crown of thorns and nails are also common attributes.

The only canonized King of France, a crusader (7th and 8th), and died in Carthage during the 8th Crusades. He was a devout Catholic and built churches fought heresies and protected the church from other influences. Third-Order Franciscan.

Lucy

Portrayed in Christian art holding a martyr's palm frond and carrying a plate with eyes on it, in reference to her torture.

Virgin who gave away her wealth to the poor. Martyred when her betrothed betrayed her as a Christian to the Roman authorities. Feast day December 13.

Luke the Evangelist

St. Luke is often depicted with an ox, which sometimes has wings, and also with a book, brush, or palette.

New Testament gospel author and an Apostle. Greek, physician by profession, accepted as historian of his time. Luke preached in the places named in Acts of the Apostles. He is said to have painted the first image of the Virgin Mary and Child Jesus.

M

Margaret of Scotland

Shown as a queen reading or holding the Bible.

English Queen of Scotland who devoted her life to charity, religious reform, personal piety and adherence to the Church, for all of which she was canonized. Feast day November 16.

Mark the Evangelist

Symbolized with a winged lion and /or a book, symbolizing his gospel writing.

Preached in Asia Minor and founded the Church of Alexandria. Said to own the house where Pentecost occurred as well as appearance of Jesus after His death. The Gospel of Mark is attributed to him. Feast day April 25.

Martha

Shown in with a dragon named Tarasque, who she conquered and killed. Sometimes also with water and/or bread along with Jesus and her sister Mary.

Middle child of the family who are friends of Jesus – Lazarus, Martha and Mary- - in the New Testament. Legend gives that she was of royal parentage, her father being Duke of Syria. Feast day July 29.

Martin of Tours

Depicted as a horse-riding soldier sharing his cloak with a beggar. May also be depicted with a goose.

Roman cavalry soldier converted when he dreamt the beggar he gave half his cloak to was Jesus. He lived as a hermit, and then a monk, preached to Western Gaul, became Bishop of Tours and established a monastery. Feast days November 11 and 12.

Martin of Porres

Frequently portrayed dressed in the Dominican habit, with a broom, a cat, a dog and a mouse eating from the same plate, symbols of his love of animals and charitable servitude to the people.

Son of a Spanish grandee and former slave, Martin was an herbalist, lover of animals, levitator, bi-locator, Dominican brother, clairvoyant, vegetarian and a founder of a free hospice for sick people. His body remained intact and fragrant 25 years after he died. Feast day November 3.

Mary Magdalene

Depicted with a jar of ointment which she used to ‘anoint’ the feet of Jesus. She is also shown as weeping at the foot of the cross or with a red egg.

One of the most prominent women in the New Testament other than the Virgin Mary. Was a sinner, forgiven by Christ, and faithful follower of Jesus. Is sometimes considered the sinful woman who anointed Jesus’ feet. Was also the first to see Christ after His resurrection.

Matthew the Evangelist

Portrayed in Christian art as an old man either holding the Bible, a quill, or writing in a book. Also depicted with a winged man or angel.

He was a despised tax collector who followed Jesus and became an ardent Apostle. He preached in the Holy Land and was martyred by Ethiopian pagans. The Gospel of Matthew is attributed to him. Feast day September 21.

Archangel Michael

Portrayed in art as a winged soldier about to strike the Devil he is stepping on. Also, with a banner, holding a sword, and a dragon.

Archangel or Prince of the Seraphim, he has been honored as protector of the Church. Fought the Devil over the body of Moses and slew the Dragon. Feast day September 29.

Monica

Usually depicted as an elderly anguished woman in prayer; sometimes holding a crucifix.

A Christian who suffered under a pagan husband, and mother of St. Augustine of Hippo, for whom she wept much before he converted to the Faith. Feast day May 4.

N

Nicholas

Variously portrayed in church art as a bishop holding a staff, with three purses or balls, in a boat, with children, or gifts.

Bishop of Myra, Lycia, later identified with Santa Claus. Imprisoned in the time of Diocletian’s persecutions; and released at the time of Constantine. Also called Nikolaos of Myra, or the Wonderworker.

 

Norbert

Depicted in the white habit of the Norbertines, usually holding a monstrance and standing over a heretic depicted as a demon.

Founder of the religious Order known as the Praemonstratensians or the Norbertines. Combated rampant heresies—particularly regarding the Blessed Sacrament, revitalized many of the faithful who had grown indifferent and dissolute, and effected peace and reconciliation among enemies. He became archbishop of Magdeburg in central Germany, a territory half pagan and half Christian. In this position he zealously and courageously continued his work for the Church until his death on June 6, 1134.

 

P

Paul the Apostle

Shown with a book or scroll, sometimes with a horse. St. Paul is usually depicted with a long sword.

Erstwhile Paul of Tarsus, he first persecuted Christians but was converted and preached about Jesus. Wrote books in the Bible –the Epistles-- and was called ‘Paul the Apostle’. Jailed twice in Rome and was beheaded. Feast day June 29.

Peregrine Laziosi

Depicted in the habit of the Servite Order; one leg covered in a cancerous sore, a staff.

Peregrine Laziosi is an Italian saint of the Servite Order. He is the patron saint for persons suffering from cancer, AIDS, or other illness.

Peter

Illustrations of St. Peter often depict him receiving keys from Christ. He may be illustrated as an old man with keys, symbolized by a rooster, or holding a book, or as a fisherman with nets.

Simon the fisherman, first apostle and first Catholic pope. He preached around Jerusalem, headed the first church there, but later transferred to Rome where he was beheaded during Nero’s persecution of early Christians.

Peter of Verona

Portrayed as a Dominican with a hatchet in his head or a severe head wound; or writing the words “Credo in Unum Deum” in the dust.

His parents were Cathars (pure ones) but he became a Dominican monk on the influence of St. Dominic. Preached against Catharism, made Inquisitor for Lombardy by Pope Innocent IV. Killed by Cathar-hired killers by hacking at his head and stabbing his heart. Feast day April 28.

Philip the Apostle

Mostly shown holding a rolled scroll or paper or holding a large wood cross. Sometimes with a basket of bread and cross with a carpenter’s square.

One of the Apostles from Bethsaida, and preached in Greece, Syria and Phrygia. He was beheaded in Hierapolis, though other stories said he died on the cross upside down. Feast day May 3.

Phillip Benizi

Depicted in the habit of the Servite Order; a papal tiara is often placed at his feet.

Servite priest and cardinal of the 13th century. He is credited with the revival of the Order of the Servants of Mary; he was elected pope but refused out of deep humility.

Philip Neri

Illustrations show him as an old man holding lilies and a book, sometimes a small red fox.

Called the ‘Apostle of Rome’ for his indefatigable preaching to resuscitate the church in those days of turmoil and clerical apathy. Became a priest without studying for it, and later confessor. Formed the Congregation of the Oratory. Visionary who lived a life of piety, charity, and happiness. Feast day May 26.

Philomena

Most often shown as a young woman with an anchor, lilies, or palm leaf of martyrdom.

Believed to be a 13-year old virgin Greek princess beheaded by Diocletian for refusing to be his wife. Miracles at her torture signify her devout Christianity. Feast day August 11.

R

Archangel Raphael

Pictured with fish or an angel about to spear the devil under his foot.

One of the archangels but mentioned only in the Book of Tobit in the Christian Bible, and the Book of Enoch in the Jewish one. Feast day September 29 of October 24.

Raymond Nonnatus

Raymond is depicted holding a monstrance, with the Cardinal’s galero at his feet, and golden coins; often depicted with a lock through his lips.

Raymond was a Mercedarian priest of the Order of Our Lady of Mercy. He gave himself to Muslims as ransom for Christian prisoners. He died on his way to Rome when he was called to be Cardinal.

Rita of Cascia

Most often depicted as a nun holding a crucifix, in prayer, or being hit on the forehead by a ray from a crucifix.

An Augustinian widowed nun known for her piety, charity, prayer, austerity and mortification. Had a partial stigmata and miracles were attributed to her after her death. Feast day May 22.

Roch

Portrayed as a pilgrim with a wounded leg, led by an angel, and accompanied by dog with bread in its mouth.

Son of the governor of Montpellier, he gave away his riches upon demise of his father, went to Rome, and helped people stricken with plague on the way with the sign of the cross. Died in prison suspected as a spy.

Rose of Lima

Recognized in church art as a nun with a Crown of Thorns or roses and holding a crucifix.

Her real name was Isabel but named Rose for her beauty. Consecrated herself as virgin, known for her piety, charity and mortifications, and was admitted as tertiary to Order of St. Dominic.

S

Scholastica

Scholastica is depicted dressed in a black habit, holding the pastoral staff of an abbess and a white dove.

Scholastica was the twin sister of St. Benedict. She founded a religious community for women near Monte Casino, where Benedict had founded a religious order for men. Scholastica and Benedict remained very good friends throughout their lives and would spend many hours each day in each other's company. When Scholastica died, Benedict saw her soul rise to the heavens in the form of a white dove.

Sebastian

Portrayed as a young man tied to a post and pierced by arrows.

A Praetorian guards captain under Diocletian and Maximian who converted colleagues and superior. When discovered a Christian, was shot with arrows, was healed, and so was beaten to death. Patron of athletes.

Stephen

Pictured as a young man holding stones, the means of his martyrdom.

One of the seven deacons of the early church in Jerusalem, and was accused of blasphemy after arguing with a Jew. He was stoned to death, witnessed by Saul the Pharisee, who was to be Paul the Apostle later. Feast day is December 26.

Simon

Often depicted as an old man with a saw and sometimes reading or holding a book or rolled scroll.

One of the Apostles, named the Zealot or the Canaanite, to differentiate him from St. Peter. Showed special zeal for honoring his Lord, and preached in many places after the Resurrection. Feast day October 28.

Teresa of Ávila

Teresa of Avila is depicted in her Carmelite habit writing on an open book with a dove hovering near her shoulder, or a golden arrow transversing her heart. Often depicted wearing a biretta.

A Carmelite nun, she was a likeable woman, but she did not want to be, afraid of temptations she might encounter. She had visions, was able to levitate, and suffered self-inflicted mortifications, founded convents and became a Doctor of the Church. Feast day October 15.

Thérèse de Lisieux

Usually portrayed as a young Carmelite nun holding a crucifix entwined with roses.

A Carmelite nun at age 15, she died of tuberculosis at age 24. She lived a life of piety, prayer and love of Jesus, expressed in her last words. She was called ‘The Little flower of Jesus’. Declared a Doctor of the Church by St. Pope John Paul II. Feast day October 1.

Thomas Aquinas

Thomas Aquinas is pictured as a monk writing on a book or scroll, most times with a hovering dove or gazing at the sun.

A Dominican friar and Doctor of the Church, he defended the Church against heretical works, writing on its behalf treatises and books, the most famous being ‘Summa Theologica’, which became a basis for learning and an essential dogma. Feast day January 28.

Thomas the Apostle

Doubting Thomas is often portrayed in art examining the wounds of Christ. He may also be depicted in church art as a young man holding a rolled scroll or a square rule.

Famous for being ‘Doubting Thomas’, he is one of lesser Apostles, who, on preaching in India was killed after converting Queen Tertia and Prince Vazan of the Kingdom of Mazdai. Thomas is also called Didymus, the Twin. Feast day July 3.

Thomas More

In Catholic art and stained glass, Thomas More is depicted as a Renaissance man, sometimes with an axe symbolizing the manner of his death.

Social philosopher, lawyer, humanist and statesman, Lord Chancellor of England, lawyer, author of Utopia (among others) and opponent of Protestantism, particularly of the Church of England and Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine. Was beheaded for his opposition and refusal to convert to Anglicanism. Feast day is June 22.

Urban

Pope Urban is depicted the Papal Tiara and holding a sword pointing down, and alternatively, holding a Bible and grapes.

Pope Urban I was believed to be buried in the Appian Way. Opposed Hippolytus’s schism. Feast day May 25.

Urban of Langres

Portrayed as a bishop with grapes or a vine at his side.

Bishop of Langres, hid in a vineyard during the persecution of Christians (4th century). Is known for converting the vine dressers who helped him in his ministry in the area. Feast day January 23 or April 2.

Ursula

Portrayed as a beautiful woman shot with arrows along with female companions.

Said to be a British Christian princess, who, to postpone her marriage to a pagan prince undertook a journey to Rome but was killed on her way back. Feast day October 21.

Ursus of Aosta

Depicted with a bird on his shoulder striking a rock with water gushing forth.

Irish missionary to Gaul, archdeacon of Aosta, Italy, miracle worker. Opposed Arianism successfully. Struck rock for water in midst of hot season. Feast day February 1.

V

Vedast

Portrayed in church art with a wolf carrying a goose in its mouth, sometimes with a child or a bear.

Cathechist of Clovis the Frankish king. Evangelized with Archbishop Remigius the apostle of the Franks, in Vedast’s 40- year tenure as Bishop of Arras. Feast day February 6.

Verdiana

Portrayed as a woman with snakes.

A hermit who lived with two snakes in a small cell for 34 years praying and working miracles, after a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Feast day February 1.

Vincent de Paul

Depicted wearing a cassock and usually holding a child in his arms or surrounded by children; also holding a heart or crucifix.

Of poor parents, he became a priest, was captured by pirates and became a slave, escaped after two years, returned to France to establish seminaries and the Congregation of the Mission. Lived a life of charity and humility. Feast day September 27.

Vincent Ferrer

Depicted wearing a cardinal’s hat, or working with captives.

A Dominican priest, he was Master of Sacred Theology and later Doctor of Theology, preached in Western Europe, converted pagans and Jews, and worked on charitable purposes. Feast day April 5.

Vitus

Portrayed in church art as man with a rooster or lion; typically also holding a book. May be seen inside a cauldron being boiled alive.

Recognized as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers of the Church, he was martyred by Diocletian even after he healed the emperor’s son, because he would not recant his faith. Feast day June 15.

W

William of Montevergine

Shown in Christian art as a friar with a wolf and pastoral crook, but also shown praying before a makeshift cross.

Of noble parentage, he went on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, became a hermit yet attracting followers, thus started the Monastery of Montevergine (Mountain of the Virgin). He founded other monasteries. Also called William of Vercelli, his hometown. Feast day June 25.

Winnoc

Depicted as an old man with a hand-mill, grinding corn, or holding a grinding stone.

A noble of Breton parentage, St. Winnoc entered a monastery and worked in the most menial of tasks. Abbott of Winhout. Feast day November 6.

Wolfgang of Regensburg

Depicted as a bishop arguing with a devil or holding a miniature church building.

Bishop of Regensburg, reformist of the church, lived a monk’s life of solitude and humility. Feast day October 31.

X

Xystus

Identified in church art and religious iconography as a pope with book and martyr’s palm.

Perhaps the sixth Bishop of Rome from St. Peter (thus the name), and reigned at the time of Hadrian. Introduced several rules in the church. Feast day April 6. (Also known as Sixtus)

Y

Yrieix

Depicted in church art with a Bishop’s Mitre, and also with a dove on his head.

A Roman convert to Christianity, became Abbot of Limoges. Also known as St. Aredius. Feast day August 25.

Z

Zachary

Zachary is portrayed in church art making peace with kings, sometimes having an olive branch and a dove over him.

Last of the Byzantine popes, he lived a life of meekness and discretion, improving the Church and helping the poor. Feast day March 15.

Zenobius of Florence

Portrayed in church art as a cleric bringing a dead man or child back to life; sometimes with a flowering tree.

Bishop of Florence, worked miracles including bringing dead persons back to life. Feast day May 25.

Zita

Depicted in church art as a young woman with a bag or keys.

Born into a poor but religious family, she became a household servant, but went to Mass each day and helped the poor. Feast day April 27.

 

Saint and Symbols

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