Saint Martha and the Tarasque

According to the Golden Legend “There was, at that time, on the banks of the Rhône, in a marsh between Arles and Avignon, a dragon, half animal, half fish, thicker than an ox, longer than an horse, with teeth like swords and big as horns, he hid in the river where he took the life of all passers-by and submerged vessels.”
The Tarasque was said to have come from Galatia, which was the home of the legendary Onachus, a scaly, bison-like beast which burned everything it touched (this creature is similar to the Bonnacon)

The sea monster constantly threaded the population. Holding a cross in her hand, Martha sprinkled the beast with holy water. Placing her sash around its neck, she led the tamed dragon through the village.

(sources: “Sainte Marthe”. L’Abbaye Sainte Benoit;””St. Martha”, Sisters of St. Martha of Antigonish” )

image: Charles Lepec – La Tarasque, 1874

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