Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Does Anyone Recognize This Saint? If Not, What Do We Do With the Statue?

A reader sent this photograph to me and asked if had any idea who the saint is? I couldn’t identify him, and so thought I would open this up to the readers of NLM who are far more knowledgable than me.

I have two questions for you:

First, who is this?

Second, if you don’t know who this is for certain, who might it be?

I ask this second question in case we don’t get an answer to the first. I think this is a statue that is worthy of veneration as liturgical art by virtue of its style. It would be something that I would happily light candles in front of and pray to. However, if we could work out who it might be, we could then name the person and adopt it as a legitimate image of this person in the absence of any other information.

To be able to do this we would need to make sure that it had the attributes of the Saint. So, we might ask, who would have worn such black robes and held such articles in his left and right hands. The dark hair, mustache, and prominent forehead need to be consistent at least any known or traditionally accepted facial features of our candidate saint. For example, they remind me of St Ignatius of Loyola, but the garments don’t seem right. I would have expected a cassock, but perhaps I’m wrong?

Let’s think out of the pulpit: might it be a Dominican blackfriar?

If we can decide who it might be, then we could complete the creative process of the sculptor, so to speak and add the details to make this person an authentic image. This might be more symbols appropriate to the Saint, but not necessarily. At the very least the addition of a clearly visible name would be necessary to make it truly worthy of veneration as a piece of sacred art.

I look forward to your comments!

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