History: The Saints

The upper level gallery walls hold the second grouping of eight. Here the various Liberal Arts and medicine are represented by various saints, either as patron or one closely associated with the discipline illustrated.

  • ST. CECILIA - A Roman martyr of the third century, St. Cecilia is the patron of music, portrayed here holding a harmonium and accompanied by angels with cello and lute.

  • ST. DAVID - Another patron of musical art, King David is shown writing his psalms while holding a harp. The combination of instrument and written text endow the scene as a evocation of choral music.

  • ST. PAUL - Oratory is represented by St. Paul, the eloquent preacher, seen here delivering a sermon at Athens. The Apostle to the Gentiles thus spreads the word through persuasive speech.

  • ST. LUKE - A convert of Paul, the Greek physician St. Luke was also a painter, thus depicted as patron of the visual arts. Here he paints the Virgin and Child, said by tradition to remain today as the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, the Black Madonna of Poland.

  • ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST - St. John is deemed patron of literature because of his artistic rendering of the Gospel, his epistles, and the masterpiece of the Book of Revelations. His symbol, the eagle, is shown beside him as an image of strength and keenness of vision.

  • ST. IVES - Relatively unknown, St. Ives was a 13th century French lawyer, and thus the patron of attorneys and students of law. He gained renown especially as an advocate and lawyer for the poor.

  • ST. CAMILLUS - Another little-known saint is presented as patron of medical science and the nursing profession. A 16th century Italian soldier, and himself afflicted with life-long illnesses, St. Camillus became a nurse and later a priest, founding first an order of lay infirmarians and then the Fathers of a Good Death. His spiritual director was the great St. Philip Neri.

  • ST. THOMAS AQUINAS - Philosophy, the queen of the Liberal Arts, is represented by the 13th century Thomas of Aquino, in Italy, portrayed in his Dominican habit. His many philosophical treatises, sampled in the plaques beneath the dome paintings, still form the foundation for Christian doctrine.

    In this last of the 20 murals, St. Thomas is depicted with the dove of the Holy spirit at his ear, an image of divine inspiration. This is a popular view of Aquinas, since only the Bible is accepted as literally inspired. However, the image is quite appropriate as a final commentary on the creation of Gonippo Raggi.