23 November 2010

St. Eulalia (1885)

Intrigued by the image on this painting by John William Waterhouse, RA (1849-1917), I had to look up the backstory. 
Eulalia was a devout Christian virgin, aged 12–14, whose mother sequestered her in the countryside in AD 304 because all citizens were required to avow faith in the Roman gods. Eulalia ran away to the law court of the governor Dacian at Emerita, professed herself a Christian, insulted the pagan gods and emperor Maximian, and challenged the authorities to martyr her...

She was then stripped by the soldiers, tortured with hooks and torches, and burnt at the stake, suffocating from smoke inhalation. She taunted her torturers all the while,[4] and as she expired a dove flew out of her mouth. This frightened away the soldiers and allowed a miraculous snow to cover her nakedness, its whiteness indicating her sainthood.
Image via La Muse Verte.

1 comment:

  1. White snow? Praise the Lord, truly a miracle. Back in those days snow was usually orange.


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