Religious motifs : Overview. Search. About religious motifs

Saint contains among others: Madonna


Holy people. Maria, the mother of Jesus, is the most important example.

Example 1:

Near Eisenach there is a chain of rocky mountains, and one of them is curiously rounded and completely bare of trees, shrubbery, or grass. This is called Mount Venus, for within it dwells the Lady Venus, a goddess of old pagan times. Every child in Eisenach knows that Lady Venus – or Lady Holle, as she is sometimes called – lives here, and that once long ago she lured into her home that noble knight, Tannhuser, a minnesinger from the Wartburg circle of singers.

Anton and little Molly often walked near this mountain, and once she said to him, "Anton, do you dare knock at the mountain and say, 'Lady Venus, Lady Venus, open! Tannhuser is here!'?" Anton did not dare do it, but Molly did. She spoke out loudly and clearly, but only the first words, "Lady Venus, Lady Venus!" The rest seemed to die away on her lips. Anton was sure she hadn't really said anything out loud. She kept her bold look, just as she did when sometimes she and the other little girls would meet him in the garden and try to kiss him simply because they knew he didn't like to be kissed and would push them away. She alone dared to. "I can kiss him!" she would say vainly, and put her arms around him. Anton never objected to anything she wanted to do. How pretty she was, and how clever!

Lady Venus in the mountain was said to be beautiful, too, but that was an evil spirit's alluring beauty; it was a very different beauty from that of the holy Elisabeth, patron saint of the country, the pious princess of Thuringia, whose good deeds were immortalized through stories and legends. Her picture hung in the chapel, lighted by lamps of silver; but she was not at all like Molly.

Example 2:

For a moment he felt hunger and thirst – yes, that was painful! – but no one came to help him, and no one was going to come.

His thoughts turned to others who had suffered; he remembered that the holy Elisabeth, the patron saint of his homeland, the magnanimous sovereign of Thuringia, had visited the humblest cottages and administered comfort and nourishment to the sick and needy. His thoughts brightened as he reflected upon her good deeds; he recalled the pious words of hope and trust in God which she had spoken to those poor sufferers, how she had bound up their wounds and brought food to the hungry, although her cruel husband had forbidden it. He remembered the legend about her – how, as she passed along with a basket packed with food and wine, her husband, who had been following her, suddenly rushed forward and asked her angrily what it was she carried in her basket. Terrified, she replied, "These are only roses I have picked in the garden." Whereupon he tore back the cloth from the basket – and, lo, a miracle had been performed for the pious woman – the bread, the wine, and all else in the basket had been changed into the loveliest roses!


"Now I'll sleep," he whispered softly. "Sleep will be good for me; tomorrow I shall be up again, well and strong. Beautiful, beautiful! The apple tree planted in love! I can see it now in glory!" And then he slept.