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Statue in Burgos Cathedral

Wombat

Member
Hi All,

In September 2009 I took this photograph in Burgos Cathedral. At the time I took it to be of St James because of the staff, gourd and scallop shells. Then at home I wondered wether it was in fact St James. The exposed leg and red ulcer(?) suggest that it may be San Roche. The other things that puzzle be are the wings and fish in his right hand.

Can someone explain these to a poor prodestant not well versed in these things.

Thanks

Kevin
 

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Trudy

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
(2006) Roncesvalles to Leon (2007) Leon to Compostela
When I was in Burgos, in 2005, I was quite taken by this statue and took a photo which now hangs on the wall next to my Compostela.

I thought this was St Roch, but the fish confused me. After much Googling I found out that the statue actually depects the Archangel Raphael who is also a patron saint of travellers. http://www.aug.edu/augusta/iconography/raphael.html
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
I took many photographs of San Roch (aka Saint Rocco, Rochus; Roc; Roque; Rochus; Rok; Roko; Rókus) on my walks and was always amused by the different sites of his wound. Sometimes on the left leg, sometimes the right, sometimes on the thigh and sometimes below. And the size of his dog - sometimes small and often large.
 

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Trudy said:
After much Googling I found out that the statue actually depects the Archangel Raphael who is also a patron saint of travellers.
yes, that makes sense. So the bared knee is presumably not damaged/infected at all. St Roch is often depicted with an angel, tho when I look more closely at this image, it's clear the wings are attached to the figure depicted, not separate, so the figure is an angel.

The scallops would seem to be used here as part of a general pilgrim/traveller iconography. You'll often see the claim that 'scallop' means 'St James', but this is a fallacy; many if not most scallop depictions have nothing to do with St James or Santiago.
 
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Wombat

Member
Hi All,

Thank you Peter, Sil and especially Trudy. I can see why you have a photo of this statue on your wall Trudy. Of all the pictures that I say of Raphael on the web I like the statue the best.

Given this list of his patronage:

apothecaries; blind people; bodily ills; druggists; archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa; eye problems; guardian angels; happy meetings; insanity; lovers; mental illness; nightmares, nurses; pharmacists; physicians; archdiocese of Seattle, Washington; shepherds; sick people; travelers; young people

He would be a guardian angel for the Camino.

Once again the forum provides the answer.

Kevin
 

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
X
Pretty much certain that’s San Roque with his attributes of a leg wound and dog. Being on the Camino route the scallop shells are a bit of an added extra - I’m fairly sure I’ve seen a couple of Santa Maria Perigrina statues en-route. I just think of it as the sculptor covering all the angles.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I was fascinated by this statue when I saw it for the first time. It is indeed an archangel, apparently St Raphael.


I think that the fish gives him away. See also for example Wikipedia:

Iconography​

Raphael is said to guard pilgrims on their journeys, and is often depicted holding a staff. He is also often depicted holding or standing on a fish, which alludes to his healing of Tobit with the fish's gall.​
And as the formidable @Peter Robins noted earlier in this thread: “You'll often see the claim that 'scallop' means 'St James', but this is a fallacy; many if not most scallop depictions have nothing to do with St James or Santiago.”.
 
Last edited:

frjuliangreen

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Inglés (2018)
Camino Portugués (2019)
Vía de la Plata/Camino Sanabrés (2020)
Hi All,

In September 2009 I took this photograph in Burgos Cathedral. At the time I took it to be of St James because of the staff, gourd and scallop shells. Then at home I wondered wether it was in fact St James. The exposed leg and red ulcer(?) suggest that it may be San Roche. The other things that puzzle be are the wings and fish in his right hand.

Can someone explain these to a poor prodestant not well versed in these things.

Thanks

Kevin
As others have said it is St Raphael the Archangel who appears in the deuterocanonical book of Tobit. Raphael is the fellow pilgrim of Tobias who uses a fish to save his human companion from death on his wedding night and restore the sight of Tobias' father, Tobit. There is an almost identical image at the English College in Valladolid where I trained for the priesthood. We used to regularly nick the fish 😄
 
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