Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Who is this saint?

Such are the wonders of social networking that I've had more discussion of this on my Facebook page than on the blog; thank you to those who helped identify this magnificent lady as St Ursula. She was from Britain, though martyred at Cologne, hence the cross of St George flag which is a standard attribute.

Here are a couple more pictures of her.


A little Christmas quiz. Spotted in Farfa Abbey, in Italy.

And why does she appear to have the Cross of St George?


  1. My Site (click to edit)3:53 pm

    As I googled around, I found a site that says this was originally the flag of the Republic of Genoa, if that helps.

  2. Londiniensis4:20 am

    Is it perhaps St Ursula? She is usually depicted with an arrow (she was killed by a Hun leader) and with a pilgrim's staff decorated with the flag of St George (she was 4th century Romano-British). If so, her female martyr-companions - all carrying palms - are 11,000 (?) virgins, the pope is the spurious (?) Pope Cyriacus and the bishop is Sulpicius, Bishop of Ravenna, all associated with her legend.

    No idea why she should be commemorated at Farfa, as the Ursulines do not follow the Benedictine Rule, but the Rule of St Augustine.

  3. Joseph Shaw8:59 am

    Excellent, Londiniensis! At least, that's the conclusion I came to. There are a couple of other Virgin Martyrs associated with arrows - St Christina and St Philomena - but the latter was unknown when this painting was done and neither fits with the other aspects of the scene.