We see them in churches, above portals and on facades, but we rarely know who they represent. We often bear their names but ignore the story of their lives. There are ecclesiastical calendars of saints but we know little about their significance or work. Yet some of the most exciting stories in the world may be discovered here. The legends about saints are tales of the search for God, of strength of mind, of pangs of death, of hope and belief. It's hard not to shudder when reading about Saint Agatha's presentation of her cut-off breasts on a plate, or Simeon's life balanced on one foot atop a pillar, or Francis of Assisi's meal with a leper.
Erhard Gorys tells the fantastic legends of the saints and provides information on their emblems, their holidays within the ecclesiastical calendar and their processes of beatification or canonization.
About 1400 Catholic and 100 Russian and Greek Orthodox saints are described. Illustrations provide testimony to the significance of the cult of saints within Christian art.