Cultural heritage
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The Blessed Sacraments' Chapel

With the altar rail the quality of baroque sculptural art reaches its peak (by Willem Kerrickx and Hendrik Frans Verbruggen, 1695). The material was worked in such a natural way that you soon forgot it was sculptured marble. With suitable gestures lovable altar boy-angels worship Jesus in the form of bread and wine and recognize him as the Lamb of God.

The neighbouring stained-glass window with its splendid green; a masterpiece by Jan de Labaer (1626). In several phases it shows the story of Rudolf of Habsburg who willingly gives his horse to a priest, so that he can dispense the Last Sacraments and Communion to a dying person even faster.


The grave monuments

St. James' is rich in grave stones and tombs since it used to be the parish church of dignitaries in the 17th and 18th century. Other monuments were placed here in the 19th century.

Who does not have sympathy for Anna-Marie van den Berg who had a moving sculpture made as a memorial to her son, a Carthusian? The young, shaven monk looks similar to the (real) skull that he was thinking about.

What should one think of Mr. Cornelis Lantschot who thought he had self-assured rights to a place in heaven because of the wealth of alms given and his endless prayers. Did you ever see a commander sink to his knees in front of a simple enemy although possessing a strategic brain and being equipped with an impressive armoury? Indeed, the Mr. del Pico de sco, once Commander of the citadel, does not pretend to be a superior but shares the destiny of a simple mortal.


Some wealthy families of the 17th century built private mausoleums. The most famous one is by P. P. Rubens and his family in the eastern Our Lady Chapel, finished 1645, five years after his death. Rubens himself provided the painting of Our Lady surrounded by saints that for or the other reason never reached its actual client; so you do not have to look for portraits of family members, let alone himself, in it. The Carenna family of Milan chose St. Charles Borromeo of Milan as patron saint, pictured as the patron saint of plague patients and painted by Jacob Jordaens.


The pulpit
Lodewijk Willemssens (1675) had the platform supported by four female personifications. The virtue of faith, as the most exclusive one, is on the front, supported by the truth and - more concrete - by the science which searches for the truth in the philosophical field: theology. Loyal to truth, faith has to be transmitted through teaching such as preaching. Nearly completely hidden underneath the stair, instruction or teaching is holding a mirror in its hand with the attendant text: "Ziet erin en gij zult wijs worden - Look in it and you shall be wise". Through teaching one allows people to mirror themselves on famous characters, which are an excellent example in a given field. This raises the question then, too: "On whom do we mirror ourselves?"

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