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The Saints In Art - Z

( Originally Published 1908 )

ZACHARIAS, ST. (Biblical) Father of St. John Baptist.

ZENO, ST. (I2th April)

Bishop of Verona in the fourth century, and greatly revered in that city, where his church is famous. He was renowned for his charity and virtues, and, according to a doubtful tradition, was martyred under Julian the Apostate. He is said to have been very fond of fishing in the Adige. A large porphyry vase (" Coppa di San Zenone "), used by him for baptism, and preserved in the Church, was believed to have been miraculously brought from Palestine in a single night.

He is represented as a bishop with a fish, an ancient symbol of Christian conversion.

ZENOBIO, ST. (20th October)

A noble Florentine in the reign of Constantine, who was secretly converted to Christianity. He went to Rome, where he became deacon and secretary to Pope Damasus I. On his return to Florence, to appease dissensions there, he was unanimously elected bishop. Legend relates that, on the occasion of the consecration of a church in the Apennines, messengers, bearing precious relics, were sent to him by St. Ambrose. One of them fell down a precipice and was killed, but his companion brought the body to St. Zenobio, who restored it to life. Also that a French lady, on her way to Rome, stopped at Florence, to see St. Zenobio, and left her little son with him. On her return she found the child dead, but she brought it to the saint, who restored it to her alive. He also brought back to life a child run over by oxen drawing a car in the streets of Florence. After an honourable life he died, in 417. On the way to burial, passing through the Piazza del Duomo, his body touched the withered trunk of a tree long dead, which immediately burst out into fresh leaves.

He is represented as a bishop, with no particular attribute, but scenes from his life are often depicted.

Notable examples are the reliefs by Ghiberti, in the Duomo at Florence, and pictures by Ridolfo Ghirlandaio, in the Uffizi.

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