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Who is that guy?

Bert45

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
(2003) Francés, (2014) Francés, (2016) Portugués , (2016) Aragonés, (2018) del Norte to Primitivo,
We all know the façade of the Seminario Mayor, with the equestrian statue of St Martin cutting his cloak in half for the beggar at the top, but who is the guy in the alcove below the balcony? He's a bishop as there's a mitre at his feet. He's holding a crozier in his right hand and a large book, presumably the Bible, in his left. There's a funny looking bird at his feet as well as the mitre. It looks more like a velociraptor. Any information on the bird also gratefully received.
 
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Felipe

Veteran Member
I could not find a good image, but upon your description it is Saint Benedict or Benito, which makes sense since it was a Benedictine monastery. The saint is usually represented with a crosier, the book of the rule in the other hand, a broken cup and a raven with a piece of bread in its beak. That comes from a legend; an envious priest sent the saint a poisoned bread, he immediately realized it, and sent the raven to put the bread where no other being would be harmed,

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mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
I could not find a good image, but upon your description it is Saint Benedict or Benito, which makes sense since it was a Benedictine monastery. The saint is usually represented with a crosier, the book of the rule in the other hand, a broken cup and a raven with a piece of bread in its beak. That comes from a legend; an envious priest sent the saint a poisoned bread, he immediately realized it, and sent the raven to put the bread where no other being would be harmed,

View attachment 115424
In Portugal the saint is São Bento. Read/see more here.
 

Bert45

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
(2003) Francés, (2014) Francés, (2016) Portugués , (2016) Aragonés, (2018) del Norte to Primitivo,
Thank you, Felipe. The raven with the piece of bread explains my "velociraptor". [It reminds me of the first time I saw a repesentation of San Roque, with the dog with a piece of bread in its mouth. It looked a bit like a tiny Tyranosaurus rex, or a dog with the head of one of those women who think that lips like bicycle tyres is a good look. The Seminario statue is missing the broken cup. Can you tell me the significance of the broken cup? So it's not the Bible in his hand , but the Book of the Rule? There must have been a lot of rules (LOL). Where did the raven put the bread? I'm attaching my photo of the statue. Just for fun, I'm also attaching the cropped photo of the dog I mentioned.


1-Camino 2014 2084.JPG 1-Camino 2014 2040.JPG
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
Yes, the raven looks funny....
The broken cup is related to another legend. St Benedict went to a place where monks were having too good times, to reprimand and correct them. So, they tried to poison him with wine, but the cup miraculously shattered when the saint blessed it.
See here a painting in Galleria degli Uffizi.
Coming to think of it, apparently there were lots of people trying to kill the saint...
 
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