The Papal Artifacts’ Collection is primarily dedicated to artifacts connected to the papacy. Individual popes, their biographies and multiple items belonging to them, including first and second class relics, make up the majority of this Collection. But that isn’t all it is.
Father Kunst has a deep devotion to the saints as can be readily seen in viewing the Saints & Blesseds section of this site. We invite you to visit Papal History/Saints & Blesseds to view the many canonized and beatified men and women who make up this section of the Collection.
NOTE: The Featured Image is Saint Gaspare del Buffalo.
Saint Therese of Lisieux is always pictured with pink roses, symbolizing heavenly joy.
In Therese’s case, she promised to spend her heaven doing good on earth and she would let fall from heaven a shower of roses.
Those who pray for her intercession often report receiving the scent of roses and/or actual roses.
We are more familiar with the iconic images that are traditional–for example, the palm frond, usually shown with martyrs and signifying their victory over death. Another traditional symbol for martyrs is the red rose.
The lily, a traditional symbol of purity, is always seen with St. Joseph or St. Maria Goretti.
What we’ve come to discover in the saints of the 20th century are more modern symbols associated with them that give us clues about their particular stories involving their love for God and their willingness to sacrifice their all for Him.
Below are five saints revered in the Papal Artifacts’ Collection: Saint Damien of Molokai, Blessed Charles de Foucauld, Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Saint Padre Pio, Saint Gianna Beretta Molla (and some information about the featured image, Saint Gaspare del Buffalo).
Damien and Padre Pio literally wear their symbols in their bodies–the one covered in leprosy due to his work in Molokai’i and the other, a stigmatist.
Charles Eugène de Foucauld was a French Catholic religious and priest living among the Tuareg in the Sahara in Algeria. He was assassinated in 1916 and is considered by the Catholic Church to be a martyr. He is nearly always pictured in his habit with a red heart and cross on his chest and a rosary in his hands or at his waist.
Saint Maximilian Kolbe died a martyr’s death at the hands of the Nazis during World War II when he took the place of another prisoner sentenced to die by starvation. He is shown in various poses, including the prison garb of the concentration camp.
Saint Gianna Beretta Molla is nearly always pictured holding children. A doctor as well as a wife and mother, she died herself rather than give up the life of her child. She is the patron saint of families.
The featured image is that of Saint Gaspare del Bufalo.
St. Gaspare founded the Society of the Precious Blood in Giano, Italy, on August 15, 1815.
In this icon he is seen holding the chalice of precious blood to which he was so ardently devoted. In other images of him he is seen holding a crucifix, symbolizing his great devotion to our Lord.
You can gather information about the saints by becoming familiar with the iconic images presented throughout the centuries of church history in art and sculpture. This is similar to the stories told in stain glass windows in all the great cathedrals throughout the world, which were created in an effort to tell the story of our faith to an illiterate population.
During this month of November when we seek to honor the saints in greater measure, we offer a prayer of gratitude to artists throughout time who have given us these images.