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Wooden statue of St Benignus, France, 1701-1900

Many Christians have long believed that the saints are able to plead with God on their behalf and that particular saints can give protection against specific illnesses. St Benignus of Dijon was a Christian martyr active in the 200s CE. The monastery of St Benignus at Dijon was renowned in the 1000s for medical lectures. Here the saint is shown with chilblains, suggesting that those with the condition pray to him in the hope of receiving a cure. Chilblains are itchy dry lumps on the skin due to an abnormal reaction to cold temperatures.

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Glossary: statue

A sculpture in the round representing human or animal figures or small figure groups; a statuette is a smaller sculpture.

Glossary: saint

No description.

Glossary: chilblains

A red itchy swelling that is caused when the skin is exposed to cold weather.