Giustino Menescardi
St. Augustine Turns out the Heretics

18th century
Church of St. Stephen, Venice, Italy

Augustine drives away three men, who fall before him on the steps of what one takes to be a church. His raised hands hold his weapons against heresy: a pen and a burning heart. He wears the habit of the Eremetical Augustinians, the order that built St. Stephen's and occupied it until 1810.

According to the author of the church's guide book, the Augustinians were open-minded about Luther's reforms and counseled that the Church undergo self-examination before condemning him, but they became less tolerant in the face of the Enlightenment's challenge to Christianity itself in the 18th century.

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