This former Jesuit church is a textbook example of Baroque style. It was built between 1650 and 1666. The iconic columns, pilasters and friezes give the facade the appearance of an altar. This ‘altar outside the church’ is one of the 7 wonders of Leuven. Inside there are several works of art to be admired including paintings of Erasmus II Quellinus. In addition to the paintings in the church, the communion rails and the rocaille pulpit are unique.*





Saint Michael

The maverick Saint Michael by Ad Wouters.

Saint Michael is represented as a young man at the moment he is realizing that he has killed but killing is no solution. Reflecting on this he is at a crossroads in his life. He is standing there naked because nakedness expresses vulnerability and a possible turning-point. It dawns on Saint Michael that he must take another course in his life. Everyone has flaws, but everyone can steer his course in a new direction. That is why he breaks his sword. He no longer wants to kill. Killing is no solution. The sword must be hammered into tools useful to mankind and to eradicate poverty in particular. Saint Michael wants peace and no strife.

Louvain, 27th September 2009

Saint Michael

*From Church & co leaflet

5 Comments CherryPie on Jul 31st 2015

5 Responses to “Sint-Michielskerk”

  1. Chrysalis says:

    Surprised there are no comments on this one, that statue of Michael is extremely interesting. I’d never heard that story about Michael’s “conversion”, thank you – and here was me thinking Michael was still just a bad A protector angel with a large sword no one should ever mess with.

    In fact, true story, while pregnant, I was advised by a well-meaning complete stranger (as strangers so often do, when you’re pregnant) from Eastern Kentucky (and therefore full of superstitions) that if I had a son, not to name him “Michael” after the angry angel because it will P him off and your son will be angry in temperament. Lucky for me I had a daughter and named her after another complete stranger from Scotland “predicted” I would have a daughter and that I should name her the Scottish surname I’d already picked for a girl of Scottish heritage:)

    Otherwise, I’m very curious as to why Michael is a saint, considering he supposedly never existed in human form and supposedly then had no free will – but then I’m a Southern Baptist converted to “high church” Episcopalian, and thus am still learning these things :)

    • CherryPie says:

      Wiki (on this occasion) is a good place to read about St Michael :-)

      Thank you for your personal story :-) If you think about it the boy and girl names from those strangers are quite similar ;-)

      • Chrysalis says:

        Hey Cherie – thank you! Also found this after work explaining more about why the 3 angels mentioned in the bible (including Michael) are considered Saints though never human. (Essentially, saint literally just means “holy” or “exists in heaven” so in a sense all of our loved ones COULD be called saints. And in the case of angels, it means they got to skip the canonization process ;)

        Also note that the nun refused to allow the person asking the question’s son to name him “Michael” and didn’t explain why. Funny, people’s little personal beliefs on that one.

        As for the similar names, I suppose that’s true – although my daughter’s name means “heir of Cionnaith” or “Kenneth”, I believe. Another similarity of note, however, is that the Appalachian mountain people of Eastern Kentucky in particular have retained the old-school Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Old English traditions and superstitions perhaps more than anywhere else in America – and both strangers I met during that time were prone to these in their own way (with the latter being oddly correct about my having a daughter (but I guess she did have a 50% change ;)

        I’ll be back to comment on your day yesterday a bit later, sounds frustrating but the gardens you saw are gorgeous!!!