Artist Unknown (Bolivian, 19th century),
Saint Onuphrius (San Onofre)
, late 19th century
oil on tin, 12 x 10 in.; 30.5 x 25.4 cm
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick H. Lowell, 1965.669
Saint Onuphrius, venerated by the hungry and the gravely ill, was a fourth-century hermit from the Thebaid Desert along the Upper Nile, where he lived alone from the age of ten. In constant prayer, he was sustained solely by bread and water brought to him by angels. After thirty years, God rewarded Onuphrius with a date palm and a spring of water from nearby rocks. Here the Holy Spirit takes the form of a dove bringing sustenance to the hermit as he kneels in devotion.