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Religious life - Worship of the saints -


The worship of the saints


The worship of the saints knew an unprecedented development in the late Middle Ages, owing to the addition of two movements : that of the Church, which has proposed to show saints as an example of Christian life, in a pastoral intention, and that of the faithful, wishing to invoke a protection whose efficiency had been proved by miracles.

The multiplication of images of saints that followed is perfectly perceptible
in the other chapels of the Alps.


Full-length representations of saints


Devotion is dedicated to specific saints, that have become familiar as everyone knows the circumstances of their life, and their physical appearance, determined a long time before by an iconographic code.

Saint Eli

Some saints are represented alone, such as Saint Eli occupying a narrow wall near the door of the chapel Notre-Dame of Benva.


As he had been a goldsmith, he became the patron saint of metal craftsmen, like farriers forging ploughshares, and has thus been considered as the patron saint of ploughmen.


Sometimes, saints are represented by pairs as in the chapel of Lorgues.

Saint Martha and Saint Mary-Magdalen hold their « attributes » (objects that allow identification) :


Saint Martha and Saint Mary-Magdalen

Saint Martha holds the sprinkler with which she has won over the men-eater monster, called the « tarasque », in the South of France and which is represented at her feet, sprinkling it with holy water ;

Saint Mary-Magdalen, recognizable with her long blond hair, holds the vase of perfumes mentioned in two episodes of her life :
-The meals at Simon's during which she came to anoint Jesus' feet -The entombment when she participated in the embalming of Christ's body.



- Narrative scenes -
The people of the saints -
Protector and healing saints -