This is based on an unplanned part of last week's class, a digression that I decided to post separately. Some of the saints and all the pictures are from prior years' classes, e.g. I had no pictures this time, but drew instead. I may bring the images next week to recap.
"Let's talk about the New Testament a bit in general. For the next few weeks we'll be discussing Jesus' life. What books in the New Testament are about Jesus? The Gospels! Yes, how many are there? Four? Yes, who wrote them? Peter? Good guess, he wrote some Epistles, but no Gospels. Paul? Nope, Paul's an Epistle-writer, too. Lucas? Yes, what's his name in English? Luke! Yes. That's one...any more? Y'all know this, MatthewMarkLuke&John. Oh yeah. Yeah, so say it! MatthewMarkLuke&John! Yes. The four evangelists [on the board]. Remember the Greek word evangelousios means "good news" or "good message;" why are these 4 saints called evangelists? 'Cause they wrote the good news? Yes, the Gospel at first was just preached out loud, but as the apostles got old and began to die, the evangelists wrote the "good message" down. And watch the magic finger again [I erase evangelist down to angel]...remind me, angel (ἄγγελος) means...messenger! Yes, good.
Hey, here's a fun way to remember the four evangelists: [on the board] A-L-B-E, 'albee'. That stands for Angel, Lion, Bull, & Eagle. Those symbols match up with MatthewMarkLuke&John like so [on the board]:
A L B E
M M L J
So Matthew's symbol is an...angel! Yes, and John? Umm...eeeEagle! Yes, and so on. Remember, before there were printing presses very few people could read, so they learned a lot about the Bible by looking at statues and stained-glass images. And if people couldn't read, how would they know if an old man in a picture was Matthew? No guesses? Look at this picture of Matthew & tell me how you know who he is:
Is this saint an evangelist?
Who can tell me about Venice? Huh? C'mon, new topic, tell me about Venice. It's in Italy? Yes, why is it special? They have boats instead of cars. Yes. The symbol for Venice is a lion; can you guess who the patron saint of Venice is? Umm...St. Mark? Yes, genius! And the cathedral there is called the Cathedral of...St. Mark! Yes! If you go there, you'll see [draw & talk] a big column like this, what's this on the top? A lion? Yes, the Lion of St. Mark. He's all over the place in Venice. Usually he is holding a book, like so:
I think y'all understand the evangelists pretty well now. Here are a couple of martyr saints. The story is that St. Lucy had her eyes gouged out, so they are her attributes:
Two more saints and that's it. Statues of them are in front of St. Peter's in Rome. One of them might be...he's in front of...St. Peter's...oh, St. Peter? Of course, what a gimme! What's his attribute? No guesses? Jesus gave it to him...still no guesses? Well, I'm not telling. Y'all pay attention during the rest of the year and tell me when Jesus gives Peter his attribute. Who's the other saint? Uh-uh, I'm not telling that tonight, either.
Hey, that was diverting, but we have stuff we're supposed to be covering so let's get back on topic. Remember when you see images of saints, pay attention to the details.