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Protector and healing saints


Protector and healing saints were particularly worshipped.


Saint Christopher

Saint Christopher, who was a ferryman that has helped young Jesus fording a river, protects from the dangers of the trip.

Anyone who has seen an image of Saint Christopher when starting his day will be spared of sudden death or « bad death », that is to day dying without being prepared for it.




Sainte Martha and saint Mary-Magdalen

Saint Martha moves evil spirits away from those who pray her.

As far as Mary-Magdalen is concerned, her feast is celebrated in mid-summer because she protects the harvests. That is why she is painted in the chapel of Auron, whose territory is made of a wheat granary that ensured the wealth of the village.

Overview - Mary-Magdalen'life cycle   -


Saint Lazare



Diseases and epidemics were feared above all because nobody knew how to cure them.
People invoked saint Lazare or Saint Erige to be protected from leprosy.

Detail - face of a leper -
Saint Erige curing lepers
Saint Sebastien

Because the plague was recurrent, people prayed Saint Roc and especially Saint Sebastian.


The way he had suffered martyrdom, ran through by a multitude of arrows, was related to the sudden and lethal character of the plague's symptoms.


Besides, painters materialized the plague by an arrow. On the picture, an arrow reaches a woman's neck, immediately creating a bubo.

woman stricken with the plague


Very little known at the time, a disease wreaked havoc in the region : the « burning sickness » that assumed two forms : the convulsive one and the gangrenous one. Today, we know that the disease occurred after eating the ergot, a parasite of the rye.


Saint Anthony


It was also called « fire of Saint Anthony ».
He was the saint people asked protection to be spared or healed.

The representation of Saint Anthony is also revered according to the order founded under his patronage, the Antonins, active in the Alps.

From the two great abbeys of Saint-Antoine-en-Viennois (at present in the department of Isere) and San Antonio de Ranverso in Piedmont, their mission was to watch over the roads and to welcome travellers in hospitals founded and kept for this purpose.


- Narrative scenes -
The people of the saints -