Santo Cão

Santo Estevão e São Cristóvão. Séc. XVIII.

Santo Estevão e São Cristóvão. Séc. XVIII.

Quanto mais conheço as pessoas, mais gosto do meu cão. “Plus je vois les hommes, plus j’aime mon chien” (pensamento atribuído a Blaise Pascal). Este é o lema do anúncio Unloved, da Mayhew Animal Hole.

Anunciante:  Mayhew Animal Home. Título: Unloved. Agência: Direct. Direcção: Dominic Goldman. UK, Março 2014.

Saint Christopher. The icon from Assumption Church from Bogorodskoe village (Lyubimov uyezd of Yaroslav province). First half of XVII century.

Saint Christopher. The icon from Assumption Church from Bogorodskoe village (Lyubimov uyezd of Yaroslav province). First half of XVII century.

São Cristóvão com cabeça de cão, ca 1600.1700.

São Cristóvão com cabeça de cão, ca 1600.1700.

É uma tentação irresistível associar temas que nada aproxima, a não ser uma ponte perversa pendurada num pensamento vadio. Em séculos passados, havia quem acreditasse em santos cinocéfalos (com cabeça de cão), nomeadamente São Cristóvão e São Guinefort.

Segundo reza a lenda, no século XIII, perto de Lyon, em França, um casal ausentou-se de casa, deixando uma criança no berço à guarda do cão. Uma serpente aproxima-se do berço. O cão enfrenta-a num combate feroz. De regresso, o casal depara-se com o cão ensanguentado sem sinais da criança. A dedução foi rápida: o cão tinha-a devorado. O homem matou o cão. Mas logo descobrem a criança sã e salva sob o berço junto à serpente morta. Arrependidos, sepultam o cão entre duas árvores. Guinefort, o cão, tornou-se alvo de culto popular. As pessoas acudiam ao seu túmulo, na floresta, para cura das moléstias das crianças.

Etienne de Bourbon, inquisidor, frade dominicano, descreve e critica este culto ao “santo cão” no manuscrito De Superstitcone, redigido em 1262:

“But the peasants, hearing of the dog’s conduct and of how it had been killed, although innocent, and for a deed for which it might have expected praise, visited the place, honoured the dog as a martyr, prayed to it when they were sick or in need of something, and many there fell victim to the enticements and illusions of the devil, who in this way used to lead men into error. Above all, though, it was women with sick or weak children who took them to this place. They would go and seek out an old woman in a fortified town a league distant and she taught them the rituals they should enact in order to make offerings to demons, and in order to invoke them and she led them to the place. When they arrived, they would make offerings of salt and other things; they would hang their babies’ swaddling-clothes on the bushes roundabout: they would drive nails into the trees which had grown in this place; they would pass the naked babies between the trunks of two trees the mother, on one side, held the baby and threw it nine times to the old woman, who was on the other side. Invoking the demons, they called upon the fauns in the forest of Rimite to take the sick, feeble child which, they said, was theirs, and to return their child that the fauns had taken away, fat and well, safe and sound.

S. Cristóvão cinocéfalo, ícone bizantino, Museu Bizantino de Atenas.

S. Cristóvão cinocéfalo, ícone bizantino, Museu Bizantino de Atenas.

Having done this, the infanticidal mothers took their children and laid them naked at the foot of the tree on straw from the cradle; then, using the light they had brought with them, they lit two candies, each an inch long, one on each side of the child’s head and fixed them in -the trunk above it. Then they withdrew until the candles had burnt out, so as not to see the child or hear him crying. Several people have told us that while the candies were burning like this they burnt and killed several babies. One woman also told me that she had just invoked the fauns and was withdrawing from the scene when she saw a wolf come out of the forest towards the baby. If maternal love had not made her feel pity and go back for him, the wolf, or as she put it, the devil in the shape of a wolf, would have devoured the baby”

When a mother returned to her child and found it still alive, she carried it out into the fast-flowing waters of a nearby river, called the Chalaronne [a tributary of the Sa6nel, and plunged it in nine times; if it came through without dying on the spot. or shortly afterwards, it had a very strong constitution.” (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/guinefort.asp).

São Cristóvão. Ícone Russo. Séc. XVIII.

São Cristóvão. Ícone Russo. Séc. XVIII.

Se alguém, porventura, te disser que tens cabeça de cão, pensa duas vezes. Pode ser um elogio ou não.

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2 responses to “Santo Cão”

  1. Rasgos Artes Beatriz Martins says :

    Como o Homem ajusta as lendas a seus interesses!Excelente retrospetiva!

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