Molanus argues that because of the large number of saints, it is advisable to write their names as captions in the paintings.
“Because of the large number of images, it would be useful to write the names of lesser-known ones below in. I have heard that this is very common in Greek churches. The ancient world did the same. Thus St. Pauline wrote on the tenth anniversary of St. Felix: ‘The devout names of the martyrs who are painted are inscribed on the central one.
The same thing happened, admittedly in a miraculous way, in the images of Gabriel and Michael: their names were marked at the end of their wings, as we read in the martyrdom of Procopius at the fourth session of the seventh council.
In the apocalypse, the angel shows John the holy city of Jerusalem coming down from heaven, it had twelve gates and twelve angels at each gate, where there were also names written, which were the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. And the wall had twelve foundations, where the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are written.
Putting legends to images is useful, since Michael, the Bishop of Merseburg, classifies among the abuses the fact of exhibiting images of unknown saints: what will you learn from the image of a saint, he says if you do not know who it represents?”
“Propter multitudinem autem imaginum non inutile foret imaginibus minus notis nomina subscribere. Quod in Graecanicis Ecclesiis audio visitatissimum esse. Idem et vetustas fecit: Iuxta illud S. Paulini, Natili 10. Sancti Felicis: ‘martyribus mediam pictis pia nomina signant.’ Imo divinitus idem factum est in imaginibus Michaelis et Gabrielis ad summitatem alarum: ut habet Martyrium Procopii in septima Synodo actione quarta. Et in Apocalypsi Angelus ostendit Ioanni civitatem sanctam Hierusalem dsecendentem de coelo et habentem portas duodecim et in portis Angelos duodecim et nomina subscripta, quae sunt nomina duodecim tribuum filiorum Israel: habentem etiam murum cm fundamentis duodecim et in ipsis nomina duodecum Apostolorum Agni. Iuvat autem nomina asscribere, quia Michael Mespurgensis Episcopus inter abusus ponit, quod Divorum ignotorum collocantur imagines. ‘Cuius enim te admonebit’, inquit, ‘imago, si ignores quen sifnificet?'”
Molanus 1996, 275-276.