St. Francis Xavier and the Crab

Church of St. Francis Xavier, Cáceres, Spain

This painting is the centerpiece of the main retable in the church. According to the printed guide provided by the church, it portrays Xavier's retrieval in Tamil Nadu of a crucifix he had thrown into the sea when a storm threatened his ship in the Maluccas. A great crab brought the crucifix to the shore. The story was included in the canonization proceedings for this saint but has been the subject of a number of outraged objections even among Jesuits (Mormando, 11; White, 7-8).

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Photographed at the church by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.