Tuesday, 28 July 2015

The Fourteen Auxiliary Saints.


Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless otherwise stated.




The Fourteen Auxiliary Saints.
Artist: Rene de Cramer.
“Copyright Brunelmar/Ghent/Belgium”.
Used with Permission.



Saint Christopher,
one of the Fourteen Auxiliary Saints,
(Feast Day 25 July).
Saint Christopher Carrying The Christ Child,
by Hieronymus Bosch (circa 1485)


The name of "Auxiliary Saints" is given to a group of fourteen Saints particularly noted for the efficacy of their intercession. They were often represented together.

Saint George
Feast Day 23 April

Is to be recognised in statuary and pictures by the dragon he strikes down. He is invoked against herpetic diseases. He is, with Saint Sebastian and Saint Maurice, the Patron Saint of soldiers.

Saint Blaise
Feast Day 3 February

Is to be recognised in statuary and pictures by his two candles, crossed. He is invoked against diseases of the throat.

Saint Erasmus
Feast Day 2 June

Is to be recognised in statuary and pictures by entrails wound around a windlass. He is invoked against diseases of the stomach. He is the Patron Saint of mariners and seamen.

Saint Pantaleon
Feast Day 27 July

Is to be recognised in statuary and pictures by his nailed hands. Invoked against consumption. He is, with Saint Luke and Saints Cosmas and Damian, the Patron Saint of medical men.



Detail of Saint Giles and the Hind,
by the Master of Saint Giles, circa 1500 A.D.


Saint Vitus (or Guy)
Feast Day 15 June

Is to be recognised in statuary and pictures by his Cross. Invoked against chorea (Saint Vitus's Dance), lethargy and the bite of venomous or mad beasts.

Saint Christopher
Feast Day 25 July

Is to be recognised in statuary and pictures by the Infant Jesus, Whom he carries. He is invoked in storms, tempests, plagues, and for the avoidance of accidents in travelling. Also, in the Blessing of motor cars.

Saint Denis
Feast Day 9 October

Is to be recognised in statuary and pictures by his head, which he holds in his hands. Invoked for people possessed of devils.



Deutsch: Altar der Vierzehn Nothelfer der Basilika Vierzehnheiligen, Bad Staffelstein.
English: Altar of The Fourteen Holy Helpers, Vierzehnheiligen Basilica,
Bad Staffelstein, Germany.
Photo: July 2007.
Source: Own work.
Author: Zairon.
(Wikimedia Commons)


Saint Cyriacus
Feast Day 8 August

Is to be recognised in statuary and pictures by his Deacon's Vestments. Invoked against diseases of the eye and diabolical possession.

Saint Acathius
Feast Day 8 May

Is to be recognised in statuary and pictures by his crown of thorns. Invoked against headaches.

Saint Eustace
Feast Day 20 September

Is to be recognised in statuary and pictures by his stag and hunting equipment. Invoked for preservation from fire (eternal or temporal).



Saint Barbara Shrines in German mines.
Schacht Konrad mine (left)
and Schacht Asse II mine (right).


Saint Giles
Feast Day 1 September

Is to be recognised in statuary and pictures by his Benedictine cowl and his hind. Invoked against panic, epilepsy, madness, nocturnal terrors.

Saint Margaret
Feast Day 20 July

Is to be recognised in statuary and pictures by the dragon she keeps in chains. Invoked against pains in the loins and by women about to become mothers.



Deutsch: Altar of the Vierzehnheiligen. Die Basilika Vierzehnheiligen bei Bad Staffelstein im Landkreis Lichtenfels ist eine Wallfahrtskirchen in Oberfranken, Deutschland.
English: A statue of one of the Saints (Saint Giles) on the Altar of The Fourteen Holy Helpers. Basilica of The Fourteen Holy Helpers, Bad Staffelstein, near Bamberg, in Bavaria, Germany.
Photo: 16 April 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: Mattana.
(Wikimedia Commons)


Saint Barbara
Feast Day 4 December

Is to be recognised in statuary and pictures by her tower and the ciborium surmounted by a Sacred Host. Invoked against lightnings and sudden death. Patron Saint of miners and artillery soldiers.

Saint Catharine
Feast Day 25 November

Is to be recognised in statuary and pictures by her broken wheel. "The wise Counsellor" is invoked by students, Christian philosophers, orators and barristers.



English: Two of The Fourteen Auxiliary Saints, depicted in a Stained-Glass Window in the Parish Church of Saint Pelagius, Weitnau, Bavaria, Germany.
The Saints are Saint Erasmus and Saint Acathius.
Deutsch: Pfarrkirche St. Pelagius, Weitnau, Nothelferfenster, St. Erasmus und St. Achatius.
Photo: September 2007.
Source: Own work.
Author: Andreas Praefcke.
(Wikimedia Commons)


The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia.

The Fourteen Holy Helpers are a group of Saints, Venerated together, in Roman Catholicism, because their intercession is believed to be particularly effective, especially against various diseases. This group of Nothelfer ("helpers in need") originated in the 14th-Century, at first in The Rhineland, Germany, largely as a result of the epidemic (probably of bubonic plague) that became known as The Black Death.

Devotion to "The Fourteen Auxiliary Saints" began in the Rhineland, now part of Germany, in the time of The Black Death.

At the heart of The Fourteen Auxiliary Saints were three Virgin Martyrs:

Sankt Margaretha mit dem Wurm,
Sankt Barbara mit dem Turm,
Sankt Catharina mit dem Radl,
das sind die heiligen drei Madl.

Saint Margaret with the dragon
Saint Barbara with the tower
Saint Catherine with the wheel
those are the three holy maids.



English: The framed Altarpiece in the Church of Saint Martin, Alsace, France,
depicting The Fourteen Auxiliary Saints.
Français: Alsace, Bas-Rhin, Erstein, Eglise Saint-Martin, Autel-retable
et tableau des 14 intercesseurs (Autel 1804; tableau 1878 Caroline Sorg).
Photo: 2014.
Source: Own work.
Author: Ralph Hammann.
(Wikimedia Commons)


As the other Saints began to be invoked, along with these three Virgin Martyrs, they were represented together in works of art. Popular Veneration of these Saints often began in a Monastery that held their Relics. All of the Saints, except Saint Giles, were accounted Martyrs.

Saint Christopher and Saint Giles were invoked against the plague. Saint Denis was Prayed to for relief from headache, Saint Blaise for ills of the throat, Saint Elmo, for abdominal maladies, Saint Barbara for fever, and Saint Vitus against epilepsy. Saint Pantaleon was the Patron of physicians, Saint Cyriacus invoked against temptation on the deathbed, and Saints Christopher, Barbara, and Catherine for protection against a sudden and unprovided-for death. Saint Giles was Prayed to for a good Confession, and Saint Eustace as healer of family troubles. Domestic animals were also attacked by the plague, and so Saints George, Elmo, Pantaleon, and Vitus were invoked for their protection. Saint Margaret of Antioch is the Patron of safe childbirth.



English: The High Altar,
Church of Saint Blaise, Dahlenheim, Alsace, France.
Saint Blaise is one of The Fourteen Auxiliary Saints.
Français: Alsace, Bas-Rhin, Dahlenheim, Église Saint-Blaise,
Chœur avec stalles et maître-autel (XVIIIe)
Photo: 2015.
Source: Own work.
Author: Ralph Hammann.
(Wikimedia Commons)


As the Saints' joint Cultus spread in the 15th-Century, Pope Nicholas V attached Indulgences to Devotion of The Fourteen Holy Helpers, though these no longer apply. While each had a separate Feast Day, The Fourteen Holy Helpers were in some places celebrated as a Group on 8 August, but this Celebration never became part of The General Roman Calendar for Universal Veneration.

When that Calendar was revised, in 1969, the individual Celebrations of Saint Barbara, Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Saint Christopher, and Saint Margaret of Antioch, were dropped, but, in 2004, Pope Saint John Paul II re-instated the 25 November Optional Memorial of Catherine of Alexandria, whose voice was heard by Saint Joan of Arc. The individual Celebrations of all Fourteen Holy Helpers (or Fourteen Auxiliary Saints) are included in The General Roman Calendar as in 1954, The General Roman Calendar of Pope Pius XII and The General Roman Calendar of 1960.

Comparable to the cult of The Fourteen Holy Helpers was that of The Four Holy Marshals, who were also Venerated in The Rhineland as "Marshals of God." These were Quirinus of Neuss, Saint Anthony the Great, Pope Cornelius, and Saint Hubert.

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