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Four Holy Marshals

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Stefan Lochner -Saints Catherine, Hubert, and Quirinus with a Donor

Saint Catherine of Alexandria with two of the Four Holy Marshals: Saint Quirinus (left) and Saint Hubertus (middle). The small kneeling figure is the donor.

The Four Holy Marshals (Vier Marschälle Gottes or just Vier Marschälle) were four saints venerated in the Rhineland, especially at Cologne, Liège, Aachen, and Eifel.[1] They were conceived as standing particularly close to throne of God, and thus powerful intercessors.[2] Their joint veneration is comparable to that of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, who were also venerated in the Rhineland.

They were considered “marshals of God” and were invoked against diseases and epidemics during the Middle Ages.

Evidence of their cult is testified by documentation dating from 1478; however, the joint cult of these four saints may have existed earlier.[2][3] The cult reached its high point in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and diminished by the seventeenth.[1] There were churches dedicated to them at Hüngersdorf, Schleiden, and in the Mariwald.[4]

The Four Holy Marshals

The four saints are:

Name (Alternate)Feast dayPatronage
Quirinus of Neuss (Quirin)cMarch 30, April 30Against smallpox and goiter
Template:Sort(Hubert)nNovember 3Against rabies and dog bites
Template:Sort aSeptember 16Against cramps and epilepsy
Saint Anthony the Great(Antonius, Antony)mJanuary 17invoked against the plague

In terms of protection over animals, Anthony was the patron of pigs, Cornelius cattle, Hubertus dogs, and Quirinus horses.[1] In addition, each saint had its own particular place of special veneration: Anthony was venerated at Cologne, Hubertus at St-Hubert in the Ardennes, Cornelius at Aachen, and Quirinus at Neuss.[3]

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