Here’s one from the archives I did for All Saints Day. While the holy day naturally has its solemn side, there’s no denying that Saints and their iconography can be a lot of fun as well. From left to right we have…
St. Denis – During the Decian persecution of Christians around the year 250 AD, an edict was issued requiring everyone within the Roman Empire to perform a public sacrifice to the Roman gods for the well-being of the Emperor. Failure to comply meant death. When Denis, Bishop of Paris, refused the command, he was summarily executed. Legend has it that after his decapitation, Denis’ body stood up, picked up his head, and proceeded to carry it around for a few hours while it preached the gospel. Pretty much an image tailor made for this blog, wouldn’t you say?
St. Veronica – Probably best known for her appearance on the sixth station of the cross and… not much else really. Veronica is one of those Saints who has no mention in either historical documents or in scripture, but is wildly popular anyway. And why not? The story of how she wiped the face of Jesus after he stumbled on the way to Calvary and ended up with a veil imprinted with the image of Christ on it is a pretty irresistible one. The facts about Veronica may be a little fuzzy, but the example of her charity is crystal clear. For her appearance here, I moved the image of Jesus to her t-shirt since most ladies forego veils these days. Sure, it’s a bit of a fudge, but hey, at least it lets us see that smile.
St. Drogo - In contrast to Veronica, Drogo’s life is pretty well documented. After acquiring a disfiguring skin condition while on a pilgrimage to Rome, Drogo chose to adopt the secluded life of an anchorite (and by secluded, I mean voluntarily walled up in a cell for the rest of his life). For better or worse, the facial deformity which resulted from Drogo’s illness eventually earned him the title of patron saint to the hideously ugly. You wouldn’t know that from the holy cards, though, which typically depict Drogo in his pre-diseased condition. For the cartoon, I decided to go with a bag over his head, both as a modern reflection of his patronage, and as a nod to the hole in an anchorite’s cell through which he would receive communion and offer sage advice to those in need.
So, we’ve got one person who died rather than submit to a law requiring him to deny his faith, one who waded through a hostile crowd (including armed soldiers) to minister to someone in need, and one who turned a physical setback into an act of devotion and holiness. Guess that’s why they’re Saints and I’m just one of the poor schlubs who ask them to put in a good word for me.
All you Saints and martyrs, pray for us.