Antwerp's St Andrew's Church, a revelation.
The choir stalls and the 36 saints
By analogy with monasteries and chapters, parish churches provided A series of seats, usually in wood, along the long sides of the choir. These seats are reserved for those who pray and sing the choir prayers. to clergy and church officials for the performance of sections of the The daily official public prayer in the Roman Catholic Church. On five [before the Second Vatican Council eight] moments spread over the day [and night], in abbeys, monasteries and chapter churches people come together to pray and chant these prayers.. The figures on the handles, the inlaid rims and the reliefs above the bottom row seats are all characteristic of sixteenth-century Mannerism, while the gigantic claws that function as plinths of the wainscoting are typical of High Baroque.
Following the dissolution of St. Salvator’s A set of buildings used by monks or nuns. Only Cistercians, Benedictines, Norbertines and Trappists have abbeys. An abbey strives to be self-sufficient. – also called ‘Abbey of Pieter Pot’, after its founder – the so-called Relics of 36 Saints found refuge in St Andrew’s in 1802. These 36 small panels with the saints’ depictions (by Theodoor Boeyermans, 17th century) embellish the panelling of the In a church with a cruciform floor plan, the part of the church that lies on the side of the nave opposite to the transept. The main altar is in the choir. stalls (K) (2 x 14) and of the brotherhood stalls in the aisles (B) (2 x 4). Each caption notes the saint’s respective feast day as marked by the Church, which corresponds to the person’s dying day, if the latter is known.
These are the 36 saints (if their dying day is unknown, the saint’s feast day is mentioned):
This is a title that the Church bestows on a deceased person who has lived a particularly righteous and faithful life. In the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Church, saints may be venerated (not worshipped). Several saints are also martyrs. Adrian, Someone who refused to renounce his/her faith and was therefore killed. Many martyrs are also saints., Roman officer († 304), (8 Sept.)
Saint Agatha, virgin martyr, Sicily (3rd century), (5 Feb.)
Saint Agnes of Rome, virgin martyr, Rome († 304), (21 Jan.)
Saint Alexius of Rome, ascetic, Rome († 417), (17 July)
Saint Anselm of Canterbury, doctor of the Church, The bishop in charge of the archdiocese. In actual practice, this also means that he is the head of the church province. of Canterbury, († 21 Apr. 1109)
Saint Augustine of Canterbury, ‘This is the name given to the principal twelve disciples of Jesus, who were sent by Him to preach the gospel. By extension, the term is also used for other preachers, such as the Apostle Paul and Father Damien (“The Apostle of the Lepers”). to the English’, archbishop († 26 May 604)
Saint Barbara, virgin martyr, († 306, Heliopolis, Egypt), (4 Dec.)
Saint Bartholomew the Apostle, disciple and martyr, Armenia († ca. 70), (24 Aug.)
Saint Benedict of Nursia, founder of a Organisation of unmarried women or men who want to live in community to devote themselves to religious life. They follow the rule of their founder: e.g., Augustine, Benedict, Norbert, Francis, Dominic, Ignatius, … When joining the Order, members take three vows: obedience (to the superior), poverty (no personal possessions) and purity (no physical relationship)., Monte Cassino († 21 Mar. 543/7)
Saint Blaise, martyr, Priest in charge of a diocese. See also ‘archbishop’. of Armenia († 316) (3 Feb.)
Saint Catherine of Alexandria, virgin martyr, Alexandria (4th century), (25 Nov.)
Saint Cecilia, virgin martyr, Rome († 230), (22 Nov.)
Saint Christina of Bolsena, virgin martyr, Tuscany († 304), (24 July)
Saint Cunera, virgin martyr, companion of Saint Ursula, (12 June)
Saint Dorothy, virgin martyr, Rome († 303), (6 Feb.)
Saint Giles, A person who lives alone and isolated from the world in order to live a sober and pious life. The home of a hermit is called “hermitage”., The man who has been chosen by the abbey community of which he is a member to lead that community for a fixed period. Provence († 721), (1 Sept.)
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Thuringia, († 19 Nov. 1231, Marburg)
Saint Felicitas of Rome, martyr, Rome († 162), (23 Nov.)
Saint Gertrude van der Oosten, Delft († 6 Jan. 1358)
Saint Hathebrand, Frisian A male member of a monastic order who concentrates on a life of balance between prayer and work in the seclusion of a monastery or abbey., († 1198), (30 July)
Saint Hyacinth of Poland, Dominican, († 1257, Kraków), (16 Aug.)
Saint Ignatius of Antioch, bishop and martyr, († 110, Rome), (1 Feb.)
Saint Ivo of Kermartin, jurist, Britanny († 19 May 1303)
Saint Josaphat, Indian prince, ascetic (27 Nov.)
Saint Juliana of Liège, virgin, prioress († 1258), (5 Apr.)
Saint Lutgardis of Aywières, virgin († 16 June 1246)
Saint Margaret of Cortona, penitent woman, Tuscany († 22 Feb. 1297, Cortona)
Saint Mary of Egypt, penitent woman, Transjordan desert (5th century), (9 April)
Saint Rabanus Maurus, first abbot of Glanfeuil Abbey in Saint-Maur-sur-Loire († 15 Jan. 584)
Saint Moses, Arab hermit in the Sinai desert, martyr († ca. 395), (28 Aug.)
Saint Paulinus of Nola, bishop († 431), (22 June)
Saint Pelagia, penitent woman, Antioch (5th century), (8 Oct.)
Saint Placidus, Benedictine monk, martyr (6th century, Messina), (5 Oct.)
Saint Roch, Montpellier, pilgrim († 1327), (16 Aug.)
Saint Scholastica, virgin and The woman who has been chosen by the abbey community of which she is a member to lead that community for a fixed period. at Monte Cassino, († 543), (10 Feb.)
Saint Thecla, virgin martyr, Seleucia (1st century), (23 Sept.)
In those splendid processions of yore, the relics were carried along in a huge portable case, including a monumental silver A decorated casket in which a relic is preserved. (by Jan Verschuylen, 1845) with extra poles for no less than 16 men; for a long time, the men who carried the shrine would come from the gendarmerie in Korte Vlierstraat. For the yearly celebration, this shrine carrying the 36 small panels was placed in the centre of the church on a huge pedestal, constructed for the occasion. Now, the A remnant of the body of a saint or a (part of) an object that has been in contact with a saint, Jesus, or Mary. The very first sanctuaries were built on graves of saints. Remnants of these saints were distributed to other churches and chapels. The first altars were usually the sarcophagi of the saints. Hence the custom of placing relics under the altar stone. Relics are also kept in shrines, and sometimes displayed in reliquaries. shrine is at the back of the south Lengthwise the nave [in exceptional cases also the transept] of the church is divided into aisles. An aisle is the space between two series of pillars or between a series of pillars and the outer wall. Each aisle is divided into bays..
Eight more saints
Sainthood has remained an all-time human ideal to be attained; thus, eight photographs of more recent saints were added to the 28 small Baroque paintings in the choir stalls. At the north side, we note the confessors:
Mother Teresa (1910‑1997), founder of the Sisters of Charity and Nobel Peace Laureate of 1979.
Don Bosco (1815‑1880), patron saint of youth, founder of the Salesian Society
Thomas More (1478‑1535), humanist, philosopher, author of a. o. Utopia, chancellor of England, beheaded by Henry VIII because of his Catholic beliefs.
Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer (1902-1975), founder of the lay movement Opus Dei.
At the south side, we recognize people who have paid for their engagements with their deaths, sometimes as martyrs:
Saint Damien De Veuster (1840‑1889), missionary, ‘Apostle of the Lepers’ on Molokai (Hawaii).
Edith Stein (1891‑1942), Carmelite Female member of a religious order of Jewish origin, killed in a concentration camp.
Maximilian Kolbe (1894‑1941), Friar Minor, who volunteered to die in place of a family Priest who is a member of a religious order. who had been sentenced to death at Auschwitz concentration camp.
Mother Mary of Jesus (1841‑1884), founder of Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, with a Complex of buildings in which members of a religious order live together. They follow the rule of their founder. The oldest monastic orders are the Carthusians, Dominicans, Franciscans, and Augustinians [and their female counterparts]. Note: Benedictines, Premonstratensians, and Cistercians [and their female counterparts] live in abbeys; Jesuits in houses. in Merodelei in Berchem (Antwerp). She was murdered.
… and a mirror
Finally, a mirror aims to show you the 37th saint. Who, you wonder, could that be? Look hard, you might see a candidate… “I? / Me?”