In our parish, we have Eucharistic Adoration on the first Friday of the month; it lasts from early that morning (6:00 AM, I think) until 6:00 AM Saturday. Because of my work schedule,when I attend, I will normally go after midnight.
That was the case this past "first Friday". I got off work at 11:00 PM, went home, showered and changed clothes and headed for the church just before twelve. My plan was to be there from midnight to 1:00 AM. When I go, I don't usually "sign up" in advance - I can't always be certain when I can arrive. It's just as well that I choose that particular hour; only one person had "signed up" for that hour and had I not arrived when I did, she would have been the only person in the church.
At one o'clock this lady left the church, two other folks arrived and I left a few minutes later. As I stepped outside, I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a figure lurking in the shadows. I nearly jumped out of my skin....until I discovered that the mysterious figure was a new, life-sized statue - pictured on the left.
The following Sunday, after Mass, a number of us stood outside, admiring our new statue, though we were puzzled as to the identity of the saint that the statue represents. I went back inside the church in search of Deacon Stu. He would know the identity, surely.
It's Saint XXXXX, he told me. (I won't disclose the name, as yet). They had done quite a search on the Internet, and finally learned the name of the saint. Later, a photo of the statue was put in the church bulletin (that's the source of this photo) along with a brief story.
Years ago, the statue was given to our (then) pastor, Father Miceli. It has remained out of sight in the rectory garage, until our new pastor, Father Patrick decided to put it outside for all to see. An Internet investigation was begun to identify the saint. According to the church bulletin, one company responded and attempted to identify the saint by "a process of elimination". It was "determined" that the statue was Saint XXXXX. As I said, it was by "a process of elimination". In other words, someone at the company took a guess.
When I was told that the statue was of this saint, I did my own Internet search to learn more about him. I made an odd discovery, however. There were several images of Saint XXXXX to be found - both as paintings and statuary - but none fit the profile of the statue in the church garden. Of course, no one really knows what the older saints actually looked like, but a tradition has come about where certain saints are given certain characteristics so they will be easily identifiable.
You can always spot a statue of St. Francis of Assisi, for example. We all know how he looks; he's the bearded one, dressed as a monk, who's holding little birds and accompanied by other cute little animals. St. Anthony of Padua is always dressed the same way, though sans beard, and holding the Christ child. This particular statue in question did not fit the imagery traditionally used to represent Saint XXXXX.
Through my own "process of elimination" I've come across several paintings of another saint (who'll I'll call Saint YYYYY, for the time being) who, I believe, fits the imagery of our statue more.
Of course, I don't know that I'm right. I suspect that the company that identified our statue as Saint XXXXX is wrong, but I don't really know. This is the reason for my current post. I'm hoping some of the Catholic bloggers I visit will be able to help me. I'll be providing a link to this post to some of the more knowledgeable bloggers in hopes that either they or their readers can tell me the true identity of the saint this statue was made to represent.
In a few days, I'll write another post explaining who I think the saint is ....along with my evidence. I'd like for you all to leave comments as to who you think the mystery statue represents. If you know for a fact ....that's all the better. But, I'd appreciate educated guesses as well.
One clue; the statue was, at one time, holding something in it's right hand. Obviously, whatever it was is lost. Knowing what was in the hand could be a determining factor.
Update: Mystery Solved?