From October 3, 1999 to March 26, 2000, the temporary exhibition is dedicated to saints collected by the couple Nel and Cor van der Coelen from Horst-America. Many saints will be remembered when they see the statues. Especially for those who experienced the Rich Roman Life first hand, saints were trusted companions.
Due to secularization and commercialization, much has been lost in the last 30 years. There is a turning point. People get interested again in pilgrimages and pilgrimages. Statues of saints are in demand again. The folk devotion and folk religion, the legends, ecclesiastical and folk customs are a cultural property that should not be lost. Moreover, the saints are connected to our history. Many people have been given a name at birth that is directly or indirectly derived from a saint. Which Jan, Bas or Gonnie remembers anything about the saint after whom he or she is named, the life course, the legends and the meaning of the name? In several regions, instead of his birthday, people celebrated the name day of the saint after whom one was named. Surnames such as Jeurissen and Franssen are derived from saints. Places are named after them: Sint Willibrord, Sint Anthonis, St.Oeden- rode. Parishes, guilds, militias and music companies have their patron saints.
In the Middle Ages we didn’t have watches with date marking. The ecclesiastical calendar determined the daily course of things. One had the birthdays of the saints to know what day it was. Think of the St. Elisabeth’s Flood, the Bartholomew’s Night. We still know a number of those saints’ days today, such as St. Nicholas (Dec. 6), Three Kings (Jan. 6), the ice saints (Pancratius 12, Servatius 13, Bonifacius May 14), St. John (June 24) and not so long ago commerce drew attention again on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14). The feast days of the saints marked the seasons in the then argraric society. We still know many weather sayings: “Rain on St.Margriet (July 20) gives 6 weeks of farmer’s heartbreak” ” St.Giel (1sept.) with sunshine,that will be another 4 weeks” “Builds with St.Anna (July 26) the ant heaps, the winter will not be soft”. Saints protected against diseases and defects. In the case of childhood and throat diseases, people turned to H.Blasius, against eye ailments to H.Oda. And against cattle diseases one could turn to the H.Gerlachus, among other things. If one has lost something, one still prays: “Saint Anthony dear, make sure that I have my …. again find.” At the exhibition, a large list of keywords has been placed on the panels on which one can find which saint(s) one should be with for diseases and defects and for the professions. There are also groups of statues of one saint so that one can see the different versions. Only a small number of images have a description. For the others, the name and the holiday are sufficient. The short description can be found in the folder on the reading table at the exhibition. There are also the detailed biographies and often beautiful legends in the various books. Modern books from the last years and books from the 2nd half of the last century. It is interesting to compare the stories.