February 25, 2006


Saint Francis Xavier, patron saint of Navarre

D. Eduardo Morales Solchaga


Cover of the "Philosophia" by Juan Juániz de Echalaz.

Cover of the "Philosophia" by Juan Juániz de Echalaz.
Lyon, 1654.


The talk given in the sacristy of the parish church of Fitero tried to clarify certain aspects of the iconography of the Navarrese saint in his native Kingdom. After a short introduction with the generalities of the way of representation in the different artistic supports, some of the same ones that have been preserved in Navarre were explained in a general way.

With regard to the sculpture, they explained the one preserved in the cathedral of Pamplona, paid in its entirety by the archdeacon Juan Cruzat and most probably made in workshops in Valladolid, for the beatification of the saint in 1619. The vicissitudes that led to the execution of the statue belonging to the parish of Santa María la Real de Sangüesa were also recounted.

In the chapter on painting, special emphasis was placed on the cycle of the castle of Javier, executed thanks to the brushes of the Flemish painter Godefrido de Maes, who arrived in these lands in 1692. The main representations of the saint, carried out by Vicente Berdusán, who imported the style of the Court to Navarre, were also recounted, highlighting above all the altar canvas preserved in the parish church of San Jorge in Tudela.

Regarding the engraving, the first of them was studied, according to a plate by Jacobus Laurus, dated 1600, which arrived at the convent of Augustinian Recollect Nuns of Pamplona, thanks to the good work of Mother Leonor de la Misericordia, a distinguished collector of engravings. Also projected were various book covers adorned with the saint patron saint, highlighting the editions of P. Moret.