Friday, May 18, 2012


This week we are looking at one of the monstrances used at St. Sebastian.   "Monstrance" means" to show" and is the vessel used for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  The center is clear and a consecrated host is placed in a holder called a luna that presents the Blessed Sacrament to the faithful for adoration.

Below is the monstrance used most often at St. Sebastian.  It is a nice piece but I find the images a bit odd in their selection - mostly because there are repeats. 

The monstrance forms a cross with a sort of a fancy halo that draws attention to the Eucharist.  It is topped by a more easily recognized cross
There are four images at the ends of the arms of the cross that surround the opening in the center.  The "halo" contains four additional images.  Below shows the upper four.  At the top of the cross is Saint Matthew and at the left arms is the symbol for Saint Luke.  Between them is a saint holding a saw.  Traditionally this is the symbol for St. Simon the Zealot - which this could be but why he was singled out for this honor on this piece is puzzling.  To the far right is Saint Peter holding the keys.

Here are the bottom four saints.  At the bottom of the cross is the symbol for Saint John.  But interestingly enough just to the left of that is another depiction of Saint John.  Why this would be I have no idea.  To the left of the eagle is St. Andrew holding his Saint Andrew Cross and finally at the far right is the lion, symbol of St. Mark.  We can see that the four points of the Cross make up the evangelists.  I cannot explain the other choices.

This is the stem that is held during benediction.  As you can see there are some grapes depicted here.

Here is the base.  There are four faces and it is killing me at the moment that I cannot think of what these particular type of art is called.  Arg!  If you know please put in the comments. 

The picture facing the people is the Sacred Heart.  To His left is is mother, the Virgin Mary.
The depiction facing the priest (or deacon) as he lifts the monstrance for the benediction is of St. Joseph.  Lastly, and again interestingly is Saint Peter - a different depiction that the one above - but once again it is him holding his keys.  What he merits a repeat also is a mystery to me.
This monstrance can be seen in use at St. Sebastian most of the time there is adoration - most notably on Tuesdays from 8:30AM to 8:00PM


Father Gregory said...

Are they cloissoné enamels?

Fr. V said...


Father - you're the best. I've been racking my brain.

Thank you.

lgreen515 said...

Thank you Father. I have never been close enough to see the pictures on the monstrance, but I have always been curious. I have seen another monstrance at St. Sebastian--a really big impressive one, and I hope you will write about it.

Matthew K said...

My hunch is the same as Fr. Gregory - cloisonné?