St. Adrian, St. Agatha, St. Agnes, St. Alexis, St. Ambrose, St. Andrew

St. Adrian

The patron saint of the Flemish brewers is represented in art with an anvil and a sword or axe close by it. He had his limbs cut off on a smith's anvil, and was afterwards beheaded.

St. Agatha

A saint who was tortured and martyred in Sicily during the Decian persecution of 251. She is sometimes represented in art with a pair of shears or pincers, and holding a salver on which are her breasts, these having been cut off. The Veil of St. Agatha is a miraculous veil belonging to St. Agatha, and deposited in the church of the city of Catania, in Sicily, where the saint suffered martyrdom. It is believed to be a sure defense against the eruptions of Mount Etna.

St. Agnes

A saint martyred in the Diocletian persecution (ca. 303) at the age of 13. She was tied to a stake, but the fire went out, and Aspasius, set to watch the martyrdom, drew his sword, and cut off her head. There is a picture of the incident by Domenichino. St. Agnes is the patron of young virgins. She is commemorated on January 21.

One of Keats' best known poems is The Eve of St. Agnes.

St. Alexis

Patron saint of hermits and beggars. The story goes that he lived on his father's estate as a hermit till death, but was never recognized. It is given at length in the Gesta Romanorum (Tale xv). He is represented in art with a pilgrim's habit and staff. Sometimes he is drawn as if extended on a mat, with a letter in his hand, dying.

St. Ambrose

Bishop of Milan in the 4th century. He is represented in Christian art in the robes of a bishop. His attributes are (1) a beehive, in allusion to the legend that a swarm of bees settled on his mouth when he was lying in his . cradle; (2) a scourge, by which he expelled the Arians from Italy.

St. Andrew

One of the twelve disciples of Jesus; the brother of St. Peter. He is depicted in Christian art as an old man with long white hair and beard, holding the Gospel in his right hand, and leaning on a cross like the letter X, termed St. Andrew's cross. His day is November 30. It is said that he suffered martyrdom in Patrae ( 70 A. D.).

St. Anne

The mother of the Virgin Mary and wife of St. Joachim.

St. Anthony the Great

The patron saint of swineherds. He lived in the 3rd or 4th century, and was the founder of the fraternity of ascetics who lived in the deserts. The story of his temptations by the devil is well known in literature and art. It forms the subject of Flaubert's novel, La Tentation de St. Antoine. His day is January 17. Not to be confused with St. Anthony of Padua, who was a Franciscan of the 13th century, and is commemorated on June 13.

St. Anthony's cross

The tau-cross, T ; used as a sacred symbol and in heraldry.

St. Anthony's fire

Erysipelas is so called from the tradition that those who sought the intercession of St. Anthony recovered from the pestilential erysipelas called the sacred fire, which proved so fatal in 1089.

St. Anthony's pig

A pet pig, the smallest of the litter, also called the "tantony pig"; in allusion to St. Anthony's being the patron saint of swineherds. The term is also used of a sponger or hanger-on.

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