Wednesday, November 14, 2012
The explanation of the image of St. Pedro Calungsod
UPDATE: Nov. 15, 2012 5:00PM
Some of our readers got it right. The white shirt does not symbolize martyrdom. It should be red! But the palm leaf is already indicative that the saint is a martyr as palm leaves symbolizes martyrdom. I saw other photos of St. Pedro where he is holding the instruments of his martyrdom.
Those are the traditional types of iconography for martyrs. Here are the samples:
St. Bartholomew and the knife and his flayed skin in the Lateran Basilica
And the same saint, with his flayed image in the Milan Cathedral or the Duomo
Now here is St. Lucy offering up her eyes
St. Philomena with her anchor and arrows
St. Peter Martyr and the axe embedded on his head
St. Lawrence of Rome, deacon and martyr, holding the collection box of the alms. As deacon, it is his work to tend to the poor and widows, and the gridiron since he was burned alive.
Now you ask me why our own saints, Lorenzo Ruiz and Pedro Calungsod illustrated that way.
I don't know, but I sure am not satisfied. Because the iconography of a saint would tell who he was and what his greatest moment was in his life. The items closely related to them will tell the story, just by looking at their images.
How I wish to see St. Pedro Calungsod portrayed with a spear and a machete.
How I wish to see St. Lorenzo Ruiz, still with the same pose he has today in his images but with his hands and feet tied and his fingers bleeding.
Then when a kid looks at their images and asks, "Why do they look that way?"
Ahhh! What a great way to start to tell their stories!
So to the one who said that white is the color of martyrdom. Read your Catholic Martyrs 101. :)