statue of Saint Denis by Johann Michael Feichtmayr (1709-1772), Basilika Vierzehnheiligen in Germany, photographer unknownArticle

Literally head carrying.

There are several saints who were martyred by being beheaded, and who are depicted in art as carrying their own heads around. Sometimes this derives from legends that it occurred, but sometimes just from following artistic tradition. Notable cephalophoric saints include

MLA Citation

  • “cephalophoric”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 23 December 2019. Web. 16 May 2021. <>