Saint Benno, Bishop (1010-1106): The Iconography

St. Benno was Bishop of Meissen, in Germany who did much to reform his diocese and who supported the Pope against the Emperor Henry IV.  According to a popular legend, when Henry came to the Meissen cathedral for communion St. Benno, knowing that Henry was excommunicate, locked up the cathedral and had the key thrown in the river.  When the Emperor left in frustration, the saint then had a fisherman throw his net into the river and one of the fish thus captured had the key.  (Variants of the story have the key in the fish's fin, mouth, or innards.)

In portraits, St. Benno's attributes are the fish and the key. 

Feast day: June 16

At left, Saraceni's Miracle of St. Benno

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