The Saints In Art - R
( Originally Published 1908 )
RANIERI, ST. (Fr. ST. REGNIER). (The Patron Saint of Pisa.) (17th June)
Born about 1100. On his conversion from the vanities of the world he went to Palestine, and lived for twenty years as a hermit. He is said to have performed many miracles, mostly by means of water. Hence he is called San Ranieri dell' Acqua. He at length returned to Pisa, and died there, in the odour of sanctity.
Frescoes illustrating his life by Spinello Aretino are in the Campo Santo at Pisa.
RAPHAEL, ST. (the Archangel). (24th October)
Is, by tradition, the Guardian Angel of humanity, the prince of all guardian angels, and he watches specially over pilgrims and wayfarers. He is the angel in the story of Tobit (Apocrypha). Tobit, a Jewish exile, had fallen into poverty, and become blind, and he prayed for death. To him was sent the angel Raphael ; and he led the young son, Tobias, into Media, to marry Sara, his rich kinswoman. But she was haunted by an evil spirit, who had slain her seven husbands, each on his wedding day. Raphael bade Tobias take a certain fish, whose gall would afterwards heal his father's blindness, and whose heart and liver would drive away the evil spirit from his bride.
Raphael is represented winged, with a staff as a pilgrim, or a sword as a guardian. In illustrations of Tobit, Tobias (who is generally only a boy) is carrying the fish, and Raphael, a small box for the gall.
Notable picture by Perugino, in National Gallery, and two, formerly attributed to Botticelli, in Accademia, Florence, and Turin Gallery.
RAYMOND, ST. (de Penaforte). (23rd January)
Was born of a noble Spanish family in 1175. He joined the Dominican Order soon after the death of its founder, and became in due time the third General. His recorded miracles fill fifteen folio pages. On one occasion, when in Majorca, he reproved the King of Aragon, whose confessor he was, for a fault, and threatened to leave for Spain, but was forbidden. So he spread his cloak on the waves, and tying one corner of it to his staff, set upright for a mast, he made the sign of the cross, and was wafted safe to Barcelona.
He is represented in his Dominican habit, gliding over the sea on his mantle.
RAYMOND NONNATUS, ST. (Span. SAN RAMON). (31st August)
Closely associated with St. Peter Nolasco (q.v.), the Founder of the Order of Mercy, with whom he made several voyages to Africa, to redeem captives from the Moors. He was made Cardinal by Pope Gregory IX. in 1240, and died the same year.
REGULUS and FREDIANO, SS. (Patrons of Lucca). (18th March)
One was an African bishop, who took refuge in Tuscany, and was martyred at the invasion of Totila ; the other was Bishop of Lucca in the sixth century.
REPARATA, ST. (8th October)
Was for many years the Patroness of Florence, and the cathedral there was formerly dedicated to her. Legend says that she was a virgin of Cs area, who, at the age of twelve, bravely suffered torture and martyrdom under Decius. It is difficult to distinguish her from other youthful virgin martyrs ; she is not uncommon in old Florentine pictures.
ROCH, ST. (Ital. SAN ROCCO). (Protector against sickness and plague.) (16th August)
Born of noble parents at Montpelier, in Languedoc, at the end of the thirteenth century. According to legend, he determined from his youth to imitate the life of CHRIST, and before he was twenty years of age, on the death of his parents, he disposed of his riches to the poor, and started as a pilgrim on foot to Rome. On his way he came to a place where plague was raging, and hence-forth devoted himself to the nursing of the sick, going from city to city. At length, at Piacenza, he found himself stricken with the disease, and dragged himself outside the city into a wood to die. There his faithful little dog watched over him, bringing him daily a loaf of bread in his mouth. An angel also came and dressed his wound, and ministered to him. On his recovery he turned home-wards, but when he arrived at Montpelier he was so completely changed by his sufferings that no one knew him. He was arrested as a spy, and thrown into prison, where he remained five years. One day his jailer found him dead in his cell, a bright light shining around, and on the wall a writing which told his name, and declared that those who prayed through his intercession would be healed of plague. He was buried with all honours, and continued to be of great renown in Montpelier. At Constance in I414 his effigy was carried through the streets during a great outbreak of the plague, with such success that he became the Patron Saint of the Plague-stricken. His body was after-wards carried to Venice, and the Church of San Rocco erected over it.
He is represented as a pilgrim with his staff, and cockleshell in his hat, pointing to a plague-spot on his thigh. Generally accompanied by his dog; often with St. Sebastian, as joint patrons of the sick.
Scenes from his life by Tintoretto are in the Scuola di San Rocco, Venice.
ROMAIN, ST. (23rd October)
Bishop of Rouen at the time of Clovis I., and preached Christianity in Normandy. He is said to have vanquished and bound a monstrous dragon, which rose in the bed of the River Seine, near Rouen—a legend allegorical of the triumph of Christianity over Paganism. He died in 639, and was succeeded by St. Ouen.
ROMUALDUS, ST. (19th June)
Born about 956, of a noble family at Ravenna. At the age of twenty he retired to the Monastery of St. Apollinare in Classe, to do penance for a murder committed by his father, and there he entered the Benedictine Order. After seven years, disgusted by the irregularities of the monks, he founded his Reformed Benedictine Order of " Camaldoli," so called from Campo Maldoli, near Arezzo, among the Apennines, where he built the parent monastery. According to the legend he saw, like Jacob, a ladder reaching to heaven, on which the monks of his Order were ascending and descending, clad in white. He therefore changed the habit from black to white. He died, at a great age, about 1027.
He is represented with a long white beard, wearing a white habit with loose sleeves.
Pictures by Andrea del Castagno and Lorenzo il Monaco, in the Uffizi, Florence, and by Andrea Sacchi, in the Vatican.
ROMULUS, ST. (First Bishop of Fiesole), (6th July)
According to legend, he was a noble Roman, and a convert of St. Peter, who sent him to preach at Fiesole. He suffered martyrdom under Nero.
ROSA, ST. (of Viterbo). (4th September)
A member of the Third Order of St. Francis, in the thirteenth century. She was renowned for her charity and eloquence.
She is represented in the Franciscan tunic, and wears a chaplet of roses.
ROSALIA, ST. (of Palermo). (4th September)
A Sicilian virgin, who retired, at the age of sixteen, to a rocky cavern, not far from the top of Monte Pellegrino, near Palermo, where she lived till her death. Her body was afterwards discovered, and it was said a wreath of roses was found on her head, placed there by angels.
She is represented as a hermit, in a long loose habit, and generally in her cavern.
RUFINA, ST. (See ST. JUSTA.)