Juan Rodríguez Juárez
The Communion of St. Stanislaus Kostka

Circa 1702
Oil on panel
Puebla Cathedral, Mexico

As the story goes, Kostka prayed to St. Barbara on his deathbed that he might receive the Eucharist before he died. She came herself, bringing two angels who administered the sacrament to him.

In the painting we see Barbara on the left with her martyr's crown and palm branch and in her left arm the tower that is her attribute. One angel gives St. Stanislaus the host, and the other is about to give him the chalice.

The black biretta on the floor in the foreground is part of the habit of the Jesuits, with whom the saint was studying when he died. Next to it is a stalk of lilies symbolic of his chastity. In the background are several putti on the left and an icon of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa. This may refer to the separate account of the Virgin Mary appearing to him at his death with a choir of angels (Vita, III, v: Ubaldini xiv, 304).

This image in full resolution
More of St. Stanislaus Kostka

Photographed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.