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Cecilia, Saint

(216 words)

Author(s): Götz, Roland
[German Version] (saint's day: Nov 22), virgin and martyr. The patroness of a Roman titular church, who gave it its name, was transformed by the legendary Passio (5th/6th cent.) into a 3rd-century patrician lady who took a vow of chastity prior to her wedding and convinced her husband Valerianus to do the same. Having donated her house in order to build a church, she suffered martyrdom by beheading during a persecution. The veneration of Cecilia probably began in the 5th century; the celebrati…

Dorothy, Saint

(194 words)

Author(s): Götz, Roland
[German Version] (feast-day Feb 6), virgin and martyr, died possibly in 287 or c. 304 under Emperor Diocletian in Caesarea (Cappadocia). According to her legendary Latin Passio, the prominent virgin Dorothea rejected the advances of the pagan governor and after various torments, which she survived without injury, she was beheaded. From paradise, by the hand of a young lad she sent roses and apples to the writer Theophilus, who…

Eustace, Saint

(187 words)

Author(s): Götz, Roland
[German Version] (Eustathius/-os, Eustasius, Placidus), Saint (feast day Sep 20), martyr. His legend combines oriental and biblical motifs: the pagan Placidus, general of Emperor Trajan, was converted on a hunt by the apparition of a stag with a shining cross in its antlers and changed his name to Eustace. He suffered the loss of position and possessions, exile, and separation fr…

Ferrata, Domenico

(169 words)

Author(s): Götz, Roland
[German Version] (Mar 4, 1847, Gradoli, Italy – Oct 10, 1914, Rome), cardinal. After studying and teaching in Rome, Ferrata entered the papal diplomatic service in 1877 with missions to Switzerland (1883, 1888) and Belgium (nuncio 1885–1889). As secretary of the Congregation for Extraordinary Affairs (1889–1891) and nuncio in Paris (1891–1896), he promoted Catholic cooperation with the laicist French Republic (“realliement”). Elevated in 1896 to cardinal by Leo XIII, he worked as prefect of variou…

Saints, Icons, and Attributes

(1,593 words)

Author(s): Götz, Roland | Thümmel, Hans Georg
[German Version] I. Terminology Pictorial representation of saints using all available artistic techniques has played a role in the evolution of the cult of the saints (Saints/Veneration of the saints) as well as of images in Christianity (Veneration of images). The image of Mary (Mary, Representations of) has always had a special place among images of the saints. Images of the saints combine commemoration, instruction, and cult: they keep alive the memory of the saints and tell how they lived and d…