Anthony of Padua, SS. Elias of Jerusalem and Anthony Abbot

16th century
Church of St. Roch, Draguć, Croatia

St. Anthony is on the right with his long beard and tau-top staff. On the left, a scroll identifies the figure as "St. Elixeo."

Elixeo closely resembles standard Croatian Elizej, that is, the prophet called "Elisha" (KJV) or "Eliseus" (Douai). The Croatian name appears in truncated form as Isei on the façade of a nearby chapel, a sign that Draguć may have had some special relationship to the prophet.

However, it is very rare for a church or chapel to have an Old Testament prophet for a patron, and the prophets are not usually called "Saint." So it is possible that the scroll has confused Elisha/Elixeo with Ilija, the Croatian equivalent of Latin Elias. There is indeed a St. Elias, an Egyptian who founded a monastery in Jericho and was noted for his orthodox resistance to the Monophysitism promoted by the Emperor (Butler, III, 154). The fresco gives the figure a long beard and black headgear, such as are seen in images of eastern monastic saints. It would be fitting to pair this St. Elias with Anthony Abbot, since both are Egyptian saints who founded monasteries.

The Roman Martyrology celebrates Saint Elias on July 20 and the prophet Elisha on June 14.

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Read more about images of St. Anthony Abbot.

Artist attribution and date from Forterre, 312. Photographed at the church by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.