[gtranslate] Depicting Saints Together Who Had No Earthly Connection - Eglise Catholique Saint James (Saint Jacques)

Depicting Saints Together Who Had No Earthly Connection

Madonna Enthroned with Angels, St. Apollonia, St. Augustine, St. Catherine, St. Joseph, St. Grata, St. Philip Benizzi and St. Barbara

In honor of the great celebration of All Saints, I thought it was appropriate to reflect on the Communion of Saints now in Heaven. While on earth many of the saints did not know one another – as they came from different places and different time periods in history – they are presented today united in Heaven in praising and glorifying God. 

When on a recent visit to the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan, I noticed for the first time how artists would frequently paint saints together who had no earthly connection. They were not contemporaries. They did not live or die together. They were not related. In fact, many of them are not even liturgically commemorated together. Stripping out those instances, the number of saints painted together is still rather large and serves as a nice meditation of how we – should we make it to Heaven – hope to join in their number and their Communion, though the ages have separated us from overlapping on earth with them.

Here are some examples:

Sts. Peter and Dorothy

Virgin and Child with Ss Dominic and Hyacinth (though both from the same Order)

Sts. Anthony, Cornelius, and Cyprian

Madonna and Child with St. James of Galicia and St. Helena

Coronation of the Virgin with Saints Francis and the Benedict

Madonna and Child in Glory with St. Bartholomew, St. John the Baptist, St. Albert, and St. Jerome

Madonna and Child with Saints Lawrence, Nicholas, and Francis of Rome