Saint with a laurel wreath
This saint stands on the North side, with his weight resting on his right foot, his body partly draped with fabric, and he holds a laurel wreath in his left hand, and a libellum, a document, in his right hand. His bowed head, his thoughtful eyes, make him seem detached from the great procession of the Spires. He seems to be distracted by something else. Laurel wreaths were placed on the heads of poets and victorious generals. Also known as laurels, they would later become prizes for poets and scholars in general, and the Italian word for a degree (laurea) also derives from this custom. In his right hand, this long-haired youth grips a document, the symbol of bearing witness. Martyrs are witnesses, as the origin of the word indicates: from the Ancient Greek word martureo, to witness. Yet he is a witness who achieves his task of bearing witness, a victor, as the laurel wreath indicates. Yet it is a victory tinged with melancholy. His holy mission seems to have been put aside, now he has other matters on his mind. A moment of humanity, even for those who are immortalised in stone.