By Lawrence S. Cunningham
A quick heritage of Saints follows the increase of the cult of saints in Christianity from its beginning within the age of the martyrs right down to the current day.Refers to either famous saints, resembling Joan of Arc, and lesser-known figures just like the ‘holy fools’ within the Orthodox traditionRanges over matters as assorted because the heritage of canonization strategies, the Reformation critique of the cult of saints, and the function of saints in different spiritual traditionsDiscusses the relevance of sainthood within the postmodern eraTwo appendices describe buyer saints and the iconography of saints in paintings.
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Additional info for A Brief History of Saints (Blackwell Brief Histories of Religion)
Hieronymus Bosch devoted a famous triptych to this subject, while Matthias Grünewald devoted a panel of his famous Isenheim altarpiece to the same subject. In the nineteenth century, Gustave Flaubert used the struggles of Antony to fuel his imaginative ﬁctional portrait of the saint in his novel La Tentation de St Antoine. In some now classic studies, Peter Brown has shown how these holy men and women of late antiquity were seen as conduits of divine power and resources of wisdom and healing. 10 Athanasius’ Life of Antony was only the ﬁrst of a whole spate of popular books on the great ascetics and monastics which appeared in late antiquity.
He was also the patron saint of travelers, which explains the ubiquitous medallions which once festooned the inside of automobiles. Despite his appeal in popular religion, his name was removed from the universal calendar of the saints by the Roman Catholic Church in 1969, but his anniversary may be observed locally. A similar series of accretions can be seen in the development of the cult of Saint George, who is known as the “great martyr” in the Orthodox world. ). Saint George was particularly venerated in the British Isles, with soldiers and sailors wearing his colors (white with a red cross) from the fourteenth century on.
His rapid canonization (two years after his death) is almost without parallel in the medieval period where the distinguished path of holiness was to be found via the established orders of the religious life or in the clerical state. More typically, however, saints came from the educated classes with an over-representation of those who were from the clerical or religious ranks or the aristocracy. Dante’s Paradiso is peopled by such saints who not only serve as such models but also typify the heavenly circles that Dante is visiting.