St. Sceafa & St. Formosus
Posted: 06. 10. 2020.
St. Sceafa, the patron of the fields. The client asked for a harvest themed saint, which was a pretty exciting idea to me as a fan of folk horror. I used a bunch of diorama products, including tiny preserved flowers and weed ears that look a lot like wheat ears.
A relic like Sceafa is usually a local saint, actually just a skull inside a straw body. It is normally a willing sacrifice; the person's original body is buried in the fields to aid and protect the crops of its community for generations. The carefully made straw effigy is lovingly decorated with flowers, given offerings, and carried out in procession multiple times during the year cycle.*
St. Formosus (another commission) is a straight out faux Catacomb Saint. Catacomb Saints are the bones of early Christians that were taken from the catacombs of Rome and sent all over central Europe to pose as relics of saints, in a Counter-Reformation effort. The "saints" were typically dressed in lavish clothes, and covered in gold and insane amounts of gems. Many of them survive until today, but are often not put on public display any more. If you wish to know more about this phenomenon, I recommend the book Heavenly Bodies by Paul Koudonaris.
I named this relic Formosus because he is so pretty with all the bling (formosus is Latin for beautiful/handsome). Coincidentally, there was once a pope named Formosus, who is most known for something called the Cadavre Synod. Google it, I promise you won't be disappointed.
*This is fiction.
If you have any questions or comments, do leave them below!
Or drop me an email - you can find it in the bottom of the page, together with the Gardens of Hecate Facebook, Instagram and RSS links.
Morbid but fascinating at the same time. I looked up at the Cadavre Synod you mentioned. How bizarre and creepy!
@The Golem - Thank you! Bizarre is totally the right word for what they did.
These are tremendous. Really evocative. I can’t help but wonder about seeing the stop motion animated like Jan Švankmajer or The Brothers Quay…
Thanks Razorbug! That would be something. I love stop motion animation; I hope I’ll get a chance to work on a stop motion project during my lifetime.