† 17Th Dnjc True Cross Sterling Flagellation Reliquary 5 Relics O.f.m. + S.j. †

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Seller: lagaleriedelalpe (564) 100%, Location: Huez, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 253191221760 † TRUE CROSS + FRIARS MINOR + JESUIT5 RELICS First Class/ PENDANT.MINIATURE DNJC FLAGELLATION ANTIQUE STERLING SILVER RELIQUARY .17TH Century from ITALY † MORE FRENCH ANTIQUES : VISIT My STORE !!!Visitez ma Boutique eBay : La Galerie de l Alpe TRUE CROSS of JESUS CHRIST ST FRANCIS of ASSISI.FRANCISCAN ORDER FOUNDER / CALIFORNIA PATRON. ST SEBASTIAN.HEALER & MARTYR / SOLDIERS PATRON. ST NICHOLAS.WONDERWORKER / RUSSIA PATRON. ST FRANCIS de GERONIMO.JESUIT PRIEST / NAPLES PATRON. DIMENSIONS: 45 mm X 35 mm X 10 mm.W. 24,5 grs GALLERY PICTURES FREE SHIPPING WORLD WIDE True Cross Christ crucified, painted by Giotto, circa 1310The True Cross is the name for physical remnants which, by a Catholic Church tradition, are said to be from the cross upon which Jesus was crucified.[1]According to post-Nicene historians such as Socrates of Constantinople, the Empress St. Helena, mother of St. Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome, travelled to the Holy Land in 326–28, founding churches and establishing relief agencies for the poor. Historians Gelasius of Caesarea and Rufinus claimed that she discovered the hiding place of three crosses that were believed to be used at the crucifixion of Jesus and of two thieves, St. Dismas and Gestas, executed with him, and that a miracle revealed which of the three was the True Cross.Many churches possess fragmentary remains that are by tradition alleged to be those of the True Cross. Their authenticity is not accepted by all Christians. The reports surrounding the discovery of the True Cross are questioned by some Christians.[2] The acceptance and belief of that part of the tradition that pertains to the early Christian Church is generally restricted to the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, and the Church of the East. The medieval legends that developed concerning its provenance differ between Catholic and Orthodox tradition. These churches honour Helena as a saint, as does also the Anglican Communion.[not verified in body] Provenance of the True Cross[edit]The Queen of Sheba venerates the wood from which the Cross will be made (fresco by Piero della Francescain San Francesco, Arezzo).The Golden Legend[edit]In the Latin-speaking traditions of Western Europe, the story of the pre-Christian origins of the True Cross was well established by the 13th century when, in 1260, it was recorded, by Jacopo de Voragine, Bishop of Genoa, in the Golden Legend.[3]The Golden Legend contains several versions of the origin of the True Cross. In The Life of Adam, Voragine writes that the True Cross came from three trees which grew from three seeds from the "Tree of Mercy" which Sethcollected and planted in the mouth of Adam's corpse.[4] In another account contained in Of the invention of the Holy Cross, and first of this word invention, Voragine writes that the True Cross came from a tree that grew from part of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, or "the tree that Adam ate of", that Seth planted on Adam's grave where it "endured there unto the time of Solomon".[5]After many centuries, the tree was cut down and the wood used to build a bridge over which the Queen of Sheba passed, on her journey to meet King Solomon. So struck was she by the portent contained in the timber of the bridge that she fell on her knees and revered it. On her visit to Solomon, she told him that a piece of wood from the bridge would bring about the replacement of God's Covenant with the Jewish people, by a new order. Solomon, fearing the eventual destruction of his people, had the timber buried. But after fourteen generations, the wood taken from the bridge was fashioned into the Cross used to crucify Christ. Voragine then goes on to describe its finding by Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine.[6]Acceptance of this tradition[edit]In the late Middle Ages and Early Renaissance, there was a wide general acceptance of the origin of the True Cross and its history preceding the Crucifixion, as recorded by Voragine. This general acceptance is confirmed by the numerous artworks that depict this subject, culminating in one of the most famous fresco cycles of the Renaissance, the Legend of the True Cross by Piero della Francesca, painted on the walls of the chancel of the Church of San Francesco in Arezzo between 1452 and 1466, in which he reproduces faithfully the traditional episodes of the story as recorded in The Golden Legend.Eastern Christianity[edit]The Golden Legend and many of its sources developed after the East-West Schism of 1054,[citation needed] and thus is unknown in the Greek- or Syriac-speaking worlds. The above pre-Crucifixion history, therefore, is not to be found in Eastern Christianity.[citation needed]According to the sacred tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church the True Cross was made from three different types of wood: cedar, pine and cypress.[7] This is an allusion to Isaiah 60:13: "The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box [cypress] together to beautify the place of my sanctuary, and I will make the place of my feet glorious." The link between this verse and the Crucifixion lies in the words, "the place of my feet", which is interpreted as referring to the suppendaneum (foot rest) on which Jesus' feet were nailed (see Orthodox cross).There is a tradition that the three trees from which the True Cross was constructed grew together in one spot. A traditional Orthodox icon depicts Lot, the nephew of Abraham, watering the trees.[7] According to tradition, these trees were used to construct the Temple in Jerusalem ("to beautify the place of my sanctuary"). Later, during Herod's reconstruction of the Temple, the wood from these trees was removed from the Temple and discarded, eventually being used to construct the cross on which Jesus was crucified ("and I will make the place of my feet glorious").Finding the True Cross[edit]The Finding of the True Cross, Agnolo Gaddi, Florence, 1380According to the Roman Catholic Marian Missal[which?]: St. Helen, the first Christian Empress, went to Jerusalem to search for the True Cross and found it September 14, 320. In the eighth century, the feast of the Finding was transferred to May 3, and September 14th became the celebration of the "Exaltation of the Cross", the commemoration of a victory over the Persians by Heraclius, as a result of which the relic was returned to Jerusalem.According to Eusebius[edit]Eusebius of Caesarea, in his Life of Constantine,[8] describes how the site of the Holy Sepulchre, once a site of veneration for the Christian church in Jerusalem, had been covered with earth and a temple of Venus had been built on top. Although Eusebius does not say as much, this would probably have been done as part of Hadrian's reconstruction of Jerusalem as Aelia Capitolina in 135, following the destruction during the Jewish Revolt of 70 and Bar Kokhba's revolt of 132–135. Following his conversion to Christianity, Emperor Constantine ordered in about 325–326 that the site be uncovered and instructed Saint Macarius, Bishop of Jerusalem, to build a church on the site. In his Life of Constantine, Eusebius does not mention the finding of the True Cross.According to Socrates Scholasticus[edit]Socrates Scholasticus (born c. 380), in his Ecclesiastical History, gives a full description of the discovery[9] that was repeated later by Sozomen and by Theodoret. In it he describes how Saint Helena, Constantine's aged mother, had the pagan temple destroyed and the Sepulchre uncovered, whereupon three crosses and the titulus from Jesus's crucifixion were uncovered as well. In Socrates's version of the story, Macarius had the three crosses placed in turn on a deathly ill woman. This woman recovered at the touch of the third cross, which was taken as a sign that this was the cross of Christ, the new Christian symbol. Socrates also reports that, having also found the Holy Nails(the nails with which Christ had been fastened to the cross), Helena sent these to Constantinople, where they were incorporated into the emperor's helmet and the bridle of his horse.According to Sozomen[edit]Sozomen (died c. 450), in his Ecclesiastical History, gives essentially the same version as Socrates. He also adds that it was said (by whom he does not say) that the location of the Sepulchre was "disclosed by a Hebrew who dwelt in the East, and who derived his information from some documents which had come to him by paternal inheritance" (although Sozomen himself disputes this account) and that a dead person was also revived by the touch of the Cross. Later popular versions of this story state that the Jew who assisted Helena was named Jude or Judas, but later converted to Christianity and took the name Kyriakos.According to Theodoret[edit]The proving of the True Cross, Jean Colombe in the Très Riches HeuresTheodoret (died c. 457) in his Ecclesiastical History Chapter xvii gives what had become the standard version of the finding of the True Cross:When the empress beheld the place where the Saviour suffered, she immediately ordered the idolatrous temple, which had been there erected, to be destroyed, and the very earth on which it stood to be removed. When the tomb, which had been so long concealed, was discovered, three crosses were seen buried near the Lord's sepulchre. All held it as certain that one of these crosses was that of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that the other two were those of the thieves who were crucified with Him. Yet they could not discern to which of the three the Body of the Lord had been brought nigh, and which had received the outpouring of His precious Blood. But the wise and holy Macarius, the president of the city, resolved this question in the following manner. He caused a lady of rank, who had been long suffering from disease, to be touched by each of the crosses, with earnest prayer, and thus discerned the virtue residing in that of the Saviour. For the instant this cross was brought near the lady, it expelled the sore disease, and made her whole.With the Cross were also found the Holy Nails, which Helena took with her back to Constantinople. According to Theodoret, "She had part of the cross of our Saviour conveyed to the palace. The rest was enclosed in a covering of silver, and committed to the care of the bishop of the city, whom she exhorted to preserve it carefully, in order that it might be transmitted uninjured to posterity."Syriac tradition[edit]Another popular ancient version from the Syriac tradition replaced Helena with a fictitious first-century empress named Protonike.[citation needed]Scholarly opinion[edit]Historians[who?] consider these versions to be apocryphal in varying degrees. It is certain, however, that the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre was completed by 335 and that alleged relics of the Cross were being venerated there by the 340s, as they are mentioned in the Catecheses of Cyril of Jerusalem (see below).The relics of the Cross in Jerusalem[edit]After Empress Helena[edit]The silver reliquary that was left at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in care of the bishop of Jerusalem was exhibited periodically to the faithful. In the 380s a nun named Egeria who was travelling on pilgrimage described the veneration of the True Cross at Jerusalem in a long letter, the Itinerario Egeriae that she sent back to her community of women:Then a chair is placed for the bishop in Golgotha behind the [liturgical] Cross, which is now standing; the bishop duly takes his seat in the chair, and a table covered with a linen cloth is placed before him; the deacons stand round the table, and a silver-gilt casket is brought in which is the holy wood of the Cross. The casket is opened and [the wood] is taken out, and both the wood of the Cross and the title are placed upon the table. Now, when it has been put upon the table, the bishop, as he sits, holds the extremities of the sacred wood firmly in his hands, while the deacons who stand around guard it. It is guarded thus because the custom is that the people, both faithful and catechumens, come one by one and, bowing down at the table, kiss the sacred wood and pass through. And because, I know not when, some one is said to have bitten off and stolen a portion of the sacred wood, it is thus guarded by the deacons who stand around, lest any one approaching should venture to do so again. And as all the people pass by one by one, all bowing themselves, they touch the Cross and the title, first with their foreheads and then with their eyes; then they kiss the Cross and pass through, but none lays his hand upon it to touch it. When they have kissed the Cross and have passed through, a deacon stands holding the ring of Solomon and the horn from which the kings were anointed; they kiss the horn also and gaze at the ring...[10]Before long, but perhaps not until after the visit of Egeria, it was possible also to venerate the crown of thorns, the pillar at which Christ was scourged, and the lance that pierced his side.During Persian-Byzantine war (614-630)[edit]In 614 the Sassanid Emperor Khosrau II ("Chosroes") removed the part of the cross held in Jerusalem as a trophy, when he captured the city. Thirteen years later, in 628, the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius defeated Khosrau and regained the relic from Shahrbaraz. He placed the cross in Constantinople at first, and took it back to Jerusalem on 21 March 630.[11] Some scholars disagree with this narrative, Professor Constantin Zuckerman going as far as to suggest that the True Cross was actually lost by the Persians, and that the wood contained in the allegedly still sealed reliquary brought to Jerusalem by Heraclius in 629 was a fake. In his analysis, the hoax was designed to serve the political purposes of both Heraclius and his former foe, recently turned ally and co-father-in-law, Persian general and soon-to-become king, Shahrbaraz.[12]Fatimids, crusaders and loss of the Cross[edit]Around 1009, the year in which Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah ordered the destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Christians in Jerusalem hid part of the cross and it remained hidden until the city was taken by the European soldiers of the First Crusade. Arnulf Malecorne, the first Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, had the Greek Orthodox priests who were in possession of the Cross tortured in order to reveal its position.[13] The relic that Arnulf discovered was a small fragment of wood embedded in a golden cross, and it became the most sacred relic of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, with none of the controversy that had followed their discovery of the Holy Lance in Antioch. It was housed in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre under the protection of the Latin Patriarch, who marched with it ahead of the army before every battle.Reliquary of the True Cross at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, JerusalemAfter King Baldwin I of Jerusalem presented King Sigurd I of Norway with a splinter of the True Cross following the Norwegian Crusade in 1110, the Cross was captured by Saladin during the Battle of Hattin in 1187, and while some Christian rulers, like Richard the Lionheart,[14] Byzantine emperor Isaac II Angelos and Tamar, Queen of Georgia, sought to ransom it from Saladin,[15] the cross was not returned and subsequently disappeared from historical records. The True Cross was last seen in the city of Damascus.[16]Current relic[edit]Currently the Greek Orthodox present a small True Cross relic shown in the so-called Greek Treasury at the foot of Golgotha, within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.[17]Dispersal of relics of the True Cross[edit]An enamelled silver reliquary of the True Cross from Constantinople, c. 800One of the largest purported fragments of the True Cross is at Santo Toribio de Liébana in Spain (photo by F. J. Díez Martín)A "Kreuzpartikel" or fragment of True Cross in the Schatzkammer (Vienna)An inscription of 359, found at Tixter, in the neighbourhood of Sétif in Mauretania, was said to mention, in an enumeration of relics, a fragment of the True Cross, according to an entry in Roman Miscellanies, X, 441.Fragments of the Cross were broken up, and the pieces were widely distributed; in 348, in one of his Catecheses, Cyril of Jerusalem remarked that the "whole earth is full of the relics of the Cross of Christ,"[18] and in another, "The holy wood of the Cross bears witness, seen among us to this day, and from this place now almost filling the whole world, by means of those who in faith take portions from it."[19] Egeria's account testifies to how highly these relics of the crucifixion were prized. Saint John Chrysostom relates that fragments of the True Cross were kept in golden reliquaries, "which men reverently wear upon their persons." Even two Latin inscriptions around 350 from today's Algeria testify to the keeping and admiration of small particles of the cross.[20] Around the year 455, Juvenal Patriarch of Jerusalem sent to Pope Leo I a fragment of the "precious wood", according to the Letters of Pope Leo. A portion of the cross was taken to Rome in the seventh century by Pope Sergius I, who was of Byzantine origin. "In the small part is power of the whole cross", so an inscription in the Felix Basilica of Nola, built by bishop Paulinus at the beginning of 5th century. The cross particle was inserted in the altar.[21]The Old English poem Dream of the Rood mentions the finding of the cross and the beginning of the tradition of the veneration of its relics. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle also talks of King Alfred receiving a fragment of the cross from Pope Marinus (see: Annal Alfred the Great, year 883).[22] Although it is possible, the poem need not be referring to this specific relic or have this incident as the reason for its composition. However, there is a later source that speaks of a bequest made to the 'Holy Cross' at Shaftesbury Abbey in Dorset; Shaftesbury abbey was founded by King Alfred, supported with a large portion of state funds and given to the charge of his own daughter when he was alive - it is conceivable that if Alfred really received this relic, that he may have given it to the care of the nuns at Shaftesbury [23]Most of the very small relics of the True Cross in Europe came from Constantinople. The city was captured and sacked by the Fourth Crusade in 1204: "After the conquest of the city Constantinople inestimable wealth was found, incomparably precious jewels and also a part of the cross of the Lord, which Helena transferred from Jerusalem and was decorated with gold and precious jewels. There it attained highest admiration. It was carved up by the present bishops and was divided with other very precious relics among the knights; later, after their return to the homeland, it was donated to churches and monasteries."[24][25][26] A knight Robert de Clari wrote: "Within this chapel were found many precious relics; for therein were found two pieces of the True Cross, as thick as a man's leg and a fathom in length."[27]By the end of the Middle Ages so many churches claimed to possess a piece of the True Cross, that John Calvin is famously said to have remarked that there was enough wood in them to fill a ship:There is no abbey so poor as not to have a specimen. In some places there are large fragments, as at the Holy Chapel in Paris, at Poitiers, and at Rome, where a good-sized crucifix is said to have been made of it. In brief, if all the pieces that could be found were collected together, they would make a big ship-load. Yet the Gospel testifies that a single man was able to carry it.— Calvin, Traité Des ReliquesConflicting with this is the finding of Charles Rohault de Fleury, who, in his Mémoire sur les instruments de la Passion of 1870 made a study of the relics in reference to the criticisms of Calvin and Erasmus. He drew up a catalogue of all known relics of the True Cross showing that, in spite of what various authors have claimed, the fragments of the Cross brought together again would not reach one-third that of a cross which has been supposed to have been three or four metres (9.8 or 13.1 feet) in height, with transverse branch of two metres (6.6 feet) wide, proportions not at all abnormal. He calculated: supposing the Cross to have been of pine-wood (based on his microscopic analysis of the fragments) and giving it a weight of about seventy-five kilogrammes, we find the original volume of the cross to be 0.178 cubic metres (6.286 cubic feet). The total known volume of known relics of the True Cross, according to his catalogue, amounts to approximately 0.004 cubic metres (0.141 cubic feet) (more specifically 3,942,000 cubic millimetres), leaving a volume of 0.174 m3 (6.145 cu ft) lost, destroyed, or otherwise unaccounted for.[28]Four cross particles – of ten particles with surviving documentary provenances by Byzantine emperors – from European churches, i.e. Santa Croce in Rome, Notre Dame, Paris, Pisa Cathedral and Florence Cathedral, were microscopically examined. "The pieces came all together from olive."[29] It is possible that many alleged pieces of the True Cross are forgeries, created by travelling merchants in the Middle Ages, during which period a thriving trade in manufactured relics existed.[citation needed]Gerasimos Smyrnakis[30] notes that the largest surviving portion, of 870,760 cubic millimetres, is preserved in the Monastery of Koutloumousiou on Mount Athos, and also mentions the preserved relics in Rome (consisting of 537,587 cubic millimetres), in Brussels (516,090 cubic millimetres), in Venice (445,582 cubic millimetres), in Ghent (436,450 cubic millimetres) and in Paris (237,731 cubic millimetres). (For comparison, the collective volume of the largest of these sets of fragments would be equivalent to a cube of a little less than 4 inches per side, while the smallest of these would have an equivalent cubic dimension of about 2.5 inches per side. The volume figures given by Smyrnakis for these objects—six significant figures and to the cubic millimeter—are undoubtedly the result of multiplying slightly approximate numbers and should not be seen as implying scientific accuracy of the highest order in a book written over a century ago.)Fragments of True Cross in Serbian Monastery of Visoki DečaniSanto Toribio de Liébana in Spain is also said to hold the largest of these Pies and is one of the most visited Roman Catholic pilgrimage sites. Another portions of the True Cross are in the Monasterio de Tarlac at San Jose, Tarlac, Philippines and at the National Shrine of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina in San Pedro, Santo Tomas, Batangas, Philippines.[31]The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church also claims to have the right wing of the true cross buried in the monastery of Gishen Mariam. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has an annual religious holiday, called Meskel or Demera, commemorating the discovery of the True Cross by Queen Helena. Meskel occurs on 17 Meskerem in the Ethiopian calendar (September 27, Gregorian calendar, or September 28 in leap years). "Meskel" (or "Meskal" or "Mesqel", there are various ways to transliterate from Ge'ez to Latin script) is Ge'ez for "cross".[32]The festival is known as Feast of the exaltation of the holy cross in other Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant churches. The churches that follow the Gregorian calendar celebrate the feast on September 14.Veneration of the Cross[edit]Saint John Chrysostom wrote homilies on the three crosses:Kings removing their diadems take up the cross, the symbol of their Saviour's death; on the purple, the cross; in their prayers, the cross; on their armour, the cross; on the holy table, the cross; throughout the universe, the cross. The cross shines brighter than the sun.A relic of the True Cross being carried in procession through the Piazza San Marco, Venice. Gentile Bellini 15th century.The Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Anglican Communion, and a number of Protestant denominations, celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14, the anniversary of the dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. In later centuries, these celebrations also included commemoration of the rescue of the True Cross from the Persians in 628. In the Galician usage, beginning about the seventh century, the Feast of the Cross was celebrated on May 3. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, when the Galician and Roman practices were combined, the September date, for which the Vatican adopted the official name "Triumph of the Cross" in 1963, was used to commemorate the rescue from the Persians and the May date was kept as the "Invention of the True Cross" to commemorate the finding.[33] The September date is often referred to in the West as Holy Cross Day; the May date (See also Roodmas.) was dropped from the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church in 1970 as part of the liturgical reforms mandated by the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965). The Orthodox still commemorate both events on September 14, one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the liturgical year, and the Procession of the Venerable Wood of the Cross on 1 August, the day on which the relics of the True Cross would be carried through the streets of Constantinople to bless the city.[34]In addition to celebrations on fixed days, there are certain days of the variable cycle when the Cross is celebrated. The Roman Catholic Church has a formal 'Adoration of the Cross' (the term is inaccurate, but sanctioned by long use) during the services for Good Friday, while Eastern Orthodox churches everywhere, a replica of the cross is brought out in procession during Matins of Great and Holy Friday for the people to venerate. The Orthodox also celebrate an additional Veneration of the Cross on the third Sunday of Great Lent.Francis of Assisi Saint Francis of Assisi, O.F.M. Co-patron of Italy, founder of the Seraphic OrderThe oldest surviving depiction of Saint Francis is a fresco near the entrance of the Benedictine abbey of Subiaco, painted between March 1228 and March 1229. He is depicted without the stigmata, but the image is a religious image and not a portrait.[1]Religious, deacon, confessor stigmatist and religious founderBornGiovanni di Bernardone 1181 or 1182 Assisi, Duchy of Spoleto, Holy Roman EmpireDied3 October 1226 (aged 44 years)[2] Assisi, Umbria, Papal States[3]Venerated inRoman Catholic Church Anglican Communion Lutheran Church Old Catholic ChurchCanonized16 July 1228, Assisi, Italy by Pope Gregory IXMajor shrineBasilica of San Francesco d'AssisiFeast4 OctoberAttributesTau cross, dove, birds, animals, wolf at feet, Pax et Bonum, Poor Franciscan habit, stigmataPatronageanimals; the environment; Italy; merchants; stowaways;[4] Cub Scouts; San Francisco, California; Naga City, Cebu; tapestry workers[5]Saint Francis of Assisi (Italian: San Francesco d'Assisi), born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, informally named as Francesco (1181/1182 – 3 October 1226),[2][3] was an Italian Roman Catholic friar, deacon and preacher. He founded the men's Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land.[3] Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history.[3]Pope Gregory IX canonized Francis on 16 July 1228. Along with Saint Catherine of Siena, he was designated Patron saint of Italy. He later became associated with patronage of animals and the natural environment, and it became customary for Catholic and Anglican churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day of 4 October.[6] He is often remembered as the patron saint of animals.In 1219, he went to Egypt in an attempt to convert the Sultan to put an end to the conflict of the Crusades.[7] By this point, the Franciscan Order had grown to such an extent that its primitive organizational structure was no longer sufficient. He returned to Italy to organize the Order. Once his community was authorized by the Pope, he withdrew increasingly from external affairs. Francis is also known for his love of the Eucharist.[8] In 1223, Francis arranged for the first Christmas live nativity scene.[9][10][11] According to Christian tradition, in 1224 he received the stigmata during the apparition of Seraphic angels in a religious ecstasy [9] making him the first recorded person in Christian history to bear the wounds of Christ's Passion.[12] He died during the evening hours of 3 October 1226, while listening to a reading he had requested of Psalm 142 (141). Biography[edit]Early life[edit]The house where Francis of Assisi lived when youngFrancis considered his stigmatapart of the Imitation of Christ.[13][14]Cigoli, 1699The Pope approving the statutes of the Order of the Franciscans, by Giotto, 1295–1300Saint Francis Abandons His Father. Francis of Assisi breaking off his relationship with his father and renouncing his patrimony, laying aside publicly even the garments he had received from him.Francis' last resting place at AssisiFrancis of Assisi was one of seven children born in late 1181 or early 1182 to Pietro di Bernardone, a prosperous silk merchant, and his wife Pica de Bourlemont, about whom little is known except that she was a noblewoman originally from Provence.[15] Pietro was in France on business when Francis was born in Assisi, and Pica had him baptized as Giovanni.[6][16] Upon his return to Assisi, Pietro took to calling his son Francesco ("the Frenchman"), possibly in honor of his commercial success and enthusiasm for all things French.[17] Since the child was renamed in infancy, the change can hardly have had anything to do with his aptitude for learning French, as some have thought.[2]While going off to war in 1202, Francis had a vision that directed him back to Assisi, where he lost his taste for his worldly life.[9] In 1205, Francis left for Apulia to enlist in the army of Walter III, Count of Brienne.Francis lived the high-spirited life typical of a wealthy young man, even fighting as a soldier for Assisi.[9] In 1201, he joined a military expedition against Perugia and was taken as a prisoner at Collestrada, spending a year as a captive.[18] It is possible that his spiritual conversion was a gradual process rooted in this experience. Upon his return to Assisi in 1203, Francis returned to his carefree life. In 1204, a serious illness led him to a spiritual crisis.A strange vision made him return to Assisi, deepening his ecclesiastical awakening.[2] On a pilgrimage to Rome, he joined the poor in begging at St. Peter's Basilica,[9] an experience that moved him to live in poverty.[9] Francis returned home, began preaching on the streets, and soon gathered followers. His Order was authorized by Pope Innocent III in 1210. He then founded the Order of Poor Clares, which became an enclosed religious order for women, as well as the Order of Brothers and Sisters of Penance (commonly called the Third Order). As a youth, Francesco became a devotee of troubadours and was fascinated with all things Transalpine.[2][17] Although many hagiographers remark about his bright clothing, rich friends, and love of pleasures,[15] his displays of disillusionment toward the world that surrounded him came fairly early in his life, as is shown in the "story of the beggar". In this account, he was selling cloth and velvet in the marketplace on behalf of his father when a beggar came to him and asked for alms. At the conclusion of his business deal, Francis abandoned his wares and ran after the beggar. When he found him, Francis gave the man everything he had in his pockets. His friends quickly chided and mocked him for his act of charity. When he got home, his father scolded him in rage.[19]According to the hagiographic legend, thereafter he began to avoid the sports and the feasts of his former companions. In response, they asked him laughingly whether he was thinking of marrying, to which he answered, "Yes, a fairer bride than any of you have ever seen", meaning his "Lady Poverty". He spent much time in lonely places, asking God for spiritual enlightenment. By degrees he took to nursing lepers, the most repulsive victims in the lazar houses near Assisi. After a pilgrimage to Rome, where he joined the poor in begging at the doors of the churches, he said he had a mystical vision of Jesus Christ in the country chapel of San Damiano, just outside Assisi, in which the Icon of Christ Crucified said to him, "Francis, Francis, go and repair My house which, as you can see, is falling into ruins." He took this to mean the ruined church in which he was presently praying, and so he sold some cloth from his father's store to assist the priest there for this purpose.[2][20]His father, Pietro, who was highly indignant, attempted to change his mind, first with threats and then with beatings. In the midst of legal proceedings before the Bishop of Assisi, Francis renounced his father and his patrimony, laying aside even the garments he had received from him in front of the public. For the next couple of months he lived as a beggar in the region of Assisi. Returning to the countryside around the town for two years, he embraced the life of a penitent, during which he restored several ruined chapels in the countryside around Assisi, among them the Porziuncola, the little chapel of St. Mary of the Angels just outside the town, which later became his favorite abode.[20]Founding of the Franciscan Orders[edit]The Friars minor[edit]At the end of this period (on February 24, 1209, according to Jordan of Giano), Francis heard a sermon that changed his life forever. The sermon was about Matthew 10:9, in which Christ tells his followers they should go forth and proclaim that the Kingdom of Heaven was upon them, that they should take no money with them, nor even a walking stick or shoes for the road. Francis was inspired to devote himself to a life of poverty.[2]Clad in a rough garment, barefoot, and, after the Gospel precept, without staff or scrip, he began to preach repentance.[2] He was soon joined by his first follower, a prominent fellow townsman, the jurist Bernardo di Quintavalle, who contributed all that he had to the work. Within a year Francis had eleven followers. Francis chose never to be ordained a priest, and the community lived as "lesser brothers", fratres minores in Latin.[2] The brothers lived a simple lifein the deserted lazar house of Rivo Torto near Assisi; but they spent much of their time wandering through the mountainous districts of Umbria, always cheerful and full of songs, yet making a deep impression upon their hearers by their earnest exhortations.[2]Francis' preaching to ordinary people was unusual since he had no license to do so.[3] In 1209 he composed a simple rule for his followers ("friars"), the Regula primitiva or "Primitive Rule", which came from verses in the Bible.The rule was "To follow the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and to walk in his footsteps". In 1209, Francis led his first eleven followers to Rome to seek permission from Pope Innocent III to found a new religious Order.[21] Upon entry to Rome, the brothers encountered Bishop Guido of Assisi, who had in his company Giovanni di San Paolo, the Cardinal Bishop of Sabina. The Cardinal, who was the confessor of Pope Innocent III, was immediately sympathetic to Francis and agreed to represent Francis to the pope. Reluctantly, Pope Innocent agreed to meet with Francis and the brothers the next day. After several days, the pope agreed to admit the group informally, adding that when God increased the group in grace and number, they could return for an official admittance. The group was tonsured.[22] This was important in part because it recognized Church authority and prevented his following from possible accusations of heresy, as had happened to the Waldensians decades earlier. Though Pope Innocent initially had his doubts, following a dream in which he saw Francis holding up the Basilica of St. John Lateran (the cathedral of Rome, thus the 'home church' of all Christendom), he decided to endorse Francis' Order. This occurred, according to tradition, on April 16, 1210, and constituted the official founding of the Franciscan Order.[3] The group, then the "Lesser Brothers" (Order of Friars Minor also known as the Franciscan Order or the Seraphic Order), preached on the streets and had no possessions. They were centered in the Porziuncola and preached first in Umbria, before expanding throughout Italy.[3]The Poor Clares and the Third Order[edit]From then on, the new Order grew quickly with new vocations.[23] Hearing Francis preaching in the church of San Rufino in Assisi in 1211, the young noblewoman Clare of Assisi became deeply touched by his message and realized her calling.[23] Her cousin Rufino, the only male member of the family in their generation, was also attracted to the new Order (which he joined). On the night of Palm Sunday, March 28, 1212, Clare clandestinely left her family's palace. Francis received her at the Porziuncola and thereby established the Order of Poor Ladies, later called Poor Clares.[23] This was an Order for women, and he gave Clare a religious habit, or garment, similar to his own, before lodging her and a few female companions in a nearby monastery of Benedictine nuns. Later he transferred them to San Damiano.[3] There they were joined by many other women of Assisi. For those who could not leave their homes, he later formed the Third Order of Brothers and Sisters of Penance, a fraternity composed of either laity or clergy whose members neither withdrew from the world nor took religious vows. Instead, they observed the principles of Franciscan life in their daily lives.[3] Before long, this Third Order grew beyond Italy.Travels[edit]Determined to bring the Gospel to all God's creatures, Francis sought on several occasions to take his message out of Italy. In the late spring of 1212, he set out for Jerusalem, but he was shipwrecked by a storm on the Dalmatiancoast, forcing him to return to Italy. On May 8, 1213, he was given the use of the mountain of La Verna (Alverna) as a gift from Count Orlando di Chiusi, who described it as “eminently suitable for whoever wishes to do penance in a place remote from mankind”.[24][25] The mountain would become one of his favourite retreats for prayer.[25]In the same year, Francis sailed for Morocco, but this time an illness forced him to break off his journey in Spain. Back in Assisi, several noblemen (among them Tommaso da Celano, who would later write the biography of St. Francis) and some well-educated men joined his Order. In 1215, Francis went again to Rome for the Fourth Lateran Council. During this time, he probably met a canon, Dominic de Guzman[4] (later to be Saint Dominic, the founder of the Friars Preachers, another Catholic religious order). In 1217, he offered to go to France. Cardinal Ugolino of Segni (the future Pope Gregory IX), an early and important supporter of Francis, advised him against this and said that he was still needed in Italy.In 1219, accompanied by another friar and hoping to convert the Sultan of Egypt or win martyrdom in the attempt, Francis went to Egypt during the Fifth Crusade where a Crusader army had been encamped for over a year besieging the walled city of Damietta two miles (3.2 kilometres) upstream from the mouth of one of the main channels of the Nile. The Sultan, al-Kamil, a nephew of Saladin, had succeeded his father as Sultan of Egypt in 1218 and was encamped upstream of Damietta, unable to relieve it. A bloody and futile attack on the city was launched by the Christians on August 29, 1219, following which both sides agreed to a ceasefire which lasted four weeks.[26] It was most probably during this interlude that Francis and his companion crossed the Muslims lines and were brought before the Sultan, remaining in his camp for a few days.[27] The visit is reported in contemporary Crusader sources and in the earliest biographies of Francis, but they give no information about what transpired during the encounter beyond noting that the Sultan received Francis graciously and that Francis preached to the Muslims without effect, returning unharmed to the Crusader camp.[28] No contemporary Arab source mentions the visit.[29] One detail, added by Bonaventure in the official life of Francis (written forty years after the event), has Francis offering to challenge the Sultan's "priests" to trial-by-fire in order to prove the veracity of the Christian Gospel.Such an incident is alluded to in a scene in the late 13th-century fresco cycle, attributed to Giotto, in the upper basilica at Assisi (see accompanying illustration).[30] It has been suggested that the winged figures atop the columns piercing the roof of the building on the left of the scene are not idols (as Erwin Panofsky had proposed) but are part of the secular iconography of the sultan, affirming his worldly power which, as the scene demonstrates, is limited even as regards his own "priests" who shun the challenge.[31][32] Although Bonaventure asserts that the sultan refused to permit the challenge, subsequent biographies went further, claiming that a fire was actually kindled which Francis unhesitatingly entered without suffering burns. The scene in the fresco adopts a position midway between the two extremes.According to some late sources, the Sultan gave Francis permission to visit the sacred places in the Holy Land and even to preach there. All that can safely be asserted is that Francis and his companion left the Crusader camp for Acre, from where they embarked for Italy in the latter half of 1220. Drawing on a 1267 sermon by Bonaventure, later sources report that the Sultan secretly converted or accepted a death-bed baptism as a result of the encounter with Francis.[33] The Franciscan Order has been present in the Holy Land almost uninterruptedly since 1217 when Brother Elias arrived at Acre. It received concessions from the Mameluke Sultan in 1333 with regard to certain Holy Places in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and (so far as concerns the Catholic Church) jurisdictional privileges from Pope Clement VI in 1342.[34]Reorganization of the Franciscan Order and death[edit]By this time, the growing Order of friars was divided into provinces and groups were sent to France, Germany, Hungary, and Spain and to the East. Upon receiving a report of the martyrdom of five brothers in Morocco, Francis returned to Italy via Venice.[35] Cardinal Ugolino di Conti was then nominated by the Pope as the protector of the Order. Another reason for Francis' return to Italy was that the friars in Italy were causing problems. The Franciscan Order had grown at an unprecedented rate compared to prior religious orders, but its organizational sophistication had not kept up with this growth and had little more to govern it than Francis' example and simple rule.[3] To address this problem, Francis prepared a new and more detailed Rule, the "First Rule" or "Rule Without a Papal Bull" (Regula prima, Regula non bullata), which again asserted devotion to poverty and the apostolic life. However, it also introduced greater institutional structure though this was never officially endorsed by the pope.[3]On September 29, 1220, Francis handed over the governance of the Order to Brother Peter Catani at the Porziuncola, but Brother Peter died only five months later, on March 10, 1221, and was buried there. When numerous miracles were attributed to the deceased brother, people started to flock to the Porziuncola, disturbing the daily life of the Franciscans. Francis then prayed, asking Peter to stop the miracles and to obey in death as he had obeyed during his life.The reports of miracles ceased. Brother Peter was succeeded by Brother Elias as Vicar of Francis. Two years later, Francis modified the "First Rule", creating the "Second Rule" or "Rule With a Bull", which was approved by Pope Honorius III on November 29, 1223.[3] As the official Rule of the Order, it called on the friars "to observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, living in obedience without anything of our own and in chastity". In addition, it set regulations for discipline, preaching, and entry into the Order.[3] Once the Rule was endorsed by the Pope, Francis withdrew increasingly from external affairs.[3] During 1221 and 1222, Francis crossed Italy, first as far south as Catania in Sicily and afterwards as far north as Bologna.While he was praying on the mountain of Verna, during a forty-day fast in preparation for Michaelmas (September 29), Francis is said to have had a vision on or about September 14, 1224, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, as a result of which he received the stigmata.[36] Brother Leo, who had been with Francis at the time, left a clear and simple account of the event, the first definite account of the phenomenon of stigmata.[2][36] "Suddenly he saw a vision of a seraph, a six-winged angel on a cross. This angel gave him the gift of the five wounds of Christ."[36] Suffering from these stigmata and from trachoma, Francis received care in several cities (Siena, Cortona, Nocera) to no avail. In the end, he was brought back to a hut next to the Porziuncola. Here, in the place where it all began, feeling the end approaching, he spent the last days of his life dictating his spiritual Testament. He died on the evening of Saturday, October 3, 1226, singing Psalm 142 (141), "Voce mea ad Dominum". On July 16, 1228, he was pronounced a saint by Pope Gregory IX (the former cardinal Ugolino di Conti, friend of Saint Francis and Cardinal Protector of the Order). The next day, the Pope laid the foundation stone for the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi. Francis was buried on May 25, 1230, under the Lower Basilica, but his tomb was soon hidden on orders of Brother Elias to protect it from Saracen invaders. His exact burial place remained unknown until it was re-discovered in 1818. Pasquale Belli then constructed for the remains a crypt in neo-classical style in the Lower Basilica. It was refashioned between 1927 and 1930 into its present form by Ugo Tarchi, stripping the wall of its marble decorations. In 1978, the remains of Saint Francis were examined and confirmed by a commission of scholars appointed by Pope Paul VI, and put into a glass urn in the ancient stone tomb. Saint Sebastian Saint SebastianMartyrdom of Saint Sebastian, by Il Sodoma, c. 1525Captain of the Praetorian Guard Roman Soldier, Healer and MartyrBornNarbonne, Gaul c. 256 ADDied20 January, 288 ADVenerated inRoman Catholic Church Eastern Orthodox Church Oriental Orthodoxy Anglicanism Aglipayan ChurchFeastJanuary 20 (Roman Catholic), December 18 (Orthodox)AttributesTied to a post, pillar or a tree, shot by arrows, clubbed to deathPatronageSoldiers, plague-stricken, archers, holy Christian death, athletes, Negombo, Roman Catholic Diocese of Tarlac, Roman Catholic Diocese of BacolodSaint Sebastian (died c. 288 AD) was an early Christian saint and martyr. According to traditional belief, he was killed during the Roman emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians. He is commonly depicted in art and literature tied to a post or tree and shot with arrows. Despite this being the most common artistic depiction of Sebastian, he was, according to legend, rescued and healed by Irene of Rome. Shortly afterwards he went to Diocletian to warn him about his sins, and as a result was clubbed to death.[1][2] He is venerated in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Church churches.The details of Saint Sebastian's martyrdom were first spoken of by 4th-century bishop Ambrose of Milan (Saint Ambrose), in his sermon (number 22) on Psalm 118. Ambrose stated that Sebastian came from Milan and that he was already venerated there at that time. Saint Sebastian is a popular male saint, especially among athletes.[3][4][5] Life[edit]Saint Sebastian Interceding for the Plague Stricken,[6] Josse Lieferinxe, 1497–1499, The Walters Art MuseumAccording to Sebastian's 18th-century entry in Acta Sanctorum,[7] still attributed to Ambrose by the 17th-century hagiographer Jean Bolland, and the briefer account in the 14th-century Legenda Aurea, he was a man of Gallia Narbonensis who was taught in Milan. In 283, Sebastian entered the army in Rome under Emperor Carinus to assist the martyrs. Because of his courage he became one of the captains of the Praetorian Guards under Diocletian and Maximian, who were unaware that he was a Christian.[2]According to tradition, Marcus and Marcellian were twin brothers from a distinguished family and were deacons. Both brothers married, and they resided in Rome with their wives and children. The brothers refused to sacrifice to the Roman gods and were arrested. They were visited by their parents Tranquillinus and Martia in prison, who attempted to persuade them to renounce Christianity. Sebastian succeeded in converting Tranquillinus and Martia, as well as Saint Tiburtius, the son of Chromatius, the local prefect. Another official, Nicostratus, and his wife Zoe were also converted. It has been said that Zoe had been a mute for six years; however, she made known to Sebastian her desire to be converted to Christianity. As soon as she had, her speech returned to her. Nicostratus then brought the rest of the prisoners; these 16 persons were converted by Sebastian.[8]Chromatius and Tiburtius converted; Chromatius set all of his prisoners free from jail, resigned his position, and retired to the country in Campania. Marcus and Marcellian, after being concealed by a Christian named Castulus, were later martyred, as were Nicostratus, Zoe, and Tiburtius.[9]Martyrdom[edit]Reliquary of Saint Sebastian, around 1497[10](Victoria and Albert Museum, London)Sebastian had prudently concealed his faith, but in 286 was detected. Diocletian reproached him for his supposed betrayal, and he commanded him to be led to a field and there to be bound to a stake so that certain archers from Mauritania would shoot arrows at him. "And the archers shot at him till he was as full of arrows as an urchin[Note 1] is full of pricks, and thus left him there for dead."[14] Miraculously, the arrows did not kill him. The widow of Castulus, Irene of Rome, went to retrieve his body to bury it, and she discovered he was still alive. She brought him back to her house and nursed him back to health.[2]Sebastian later stood by a staircase where the emperor was to pass and harangued Diocletian for his cruelties against Christians. This freedom of speech, and from a person whom he supposed to have been dead, greatly astonished the emperor; but, recovering from his surprise, he gave orders for his being seized and beat to death with cudgels, and his body thrown into the common sewer. A pious lady, called Lucina, admonished by the martyr in a vision, privately removed the body, and buried it in the catacombs at the entrance of the cemetery of Calixtus,[9] where now stands the Basilica of St. Sebastian.[2]Sebastian was said to be a defense against the plague. The Golden Legend transmits the episode of a great plague that afflicted the Lombards in the time of King Gumburt, which was stopped by the erection of an altar in honor of Sebastian in the Church of Saint Peter in the Province of Pavia.Location of remains[edit]St. Sebastian (detail), Andrea Mantegna, 1480, Musée du Louvre, ParisRemains reputed to be those of Sebastian are housed in Rome in the Basilica Apostolorum, built by Pope Damasus I in 367 on the site of the provisional tomb of Saints Peter and Paul. The church, today called San Sebastiano fuori le mura, was rebuilt in the 1610s under the patronage of Scipione Borghese.St. Ado, Eginard, Sigebert, and other contemporary authors relate that, in the reign of Louis Debonnair, Pope Eugenius II gave the body of St. Sebastian to Hilduin, Abbot of St. Denys, who brought it into France, and it was deposited at Saint Medard Abbey, at Soissons, on the 8th of December, in 826.[9]Sebastian's cranium was brought to the town of Ebersberg (Germany) in 934. A Benedictine abbey was founded there and became one of the most important pilgrimage sites in southern Germany.[15]It is said the silver-encased cranium was used as a cup in which to present wine to the faithful during the feast of Saint Sebastian.[16] In art and literature[edit]St. Sebastian tended by Saint Irene, Georges de La Tour c 1645The earliest representation of Sebastian is a mosaic in the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo (Ravenna, Italy) dated between 527 and 565. The right lateral wall of the basilica contains large mosaics representing a procession of 26 martyrs, led by Saint Martin and including Sebastian. The martyrs are represented in Byzantine style, lacking any individuality, and all have identical expressions.Another early representation is in a mosaic[17] in the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli (Rome, Italy), probably made in the year 682. It shows a grown, bearded man in court dress but contains no trace of an arrow.[18] The archers and arrows begin to appear by 1000, and ever since have been far more commonly shown than the actual moment of his death by clubbing, so that there is a popular misperception that this is how he died.[19]As protector of potential plague victims (a connection popularized by the Golden Legend[20]) and soldiers, Sebastian occupied an important place in the popular medieval mind. He was among the most frequently depicted of all saints by Late Gothic and Renaissance artists, in the period after the Black Death.[21] The opportunity to show a semi-nude young male, often in a contorted pose, also made Sebastian a favourite subject.[22] His shooting with arrows was the subject of the largest engraving by the Master of the Playing Cards in the 1430s, when there were few other current subjects with male nudes other than Christ. Sebastian appears in many other prints and paintings, although this was due to his popularity with the faithful. Among many others, Botticelli, Perugino, Titian, Pollaiuolo, Giovanni Bellini, Guido Reni (who painted the subject seven times), Mantegna (three times), Hans Memling, Gerrit van Honthorst, Luca Signorelli, El Greco, Honoré Daumier, John Singer Sargent and Louise Bourgeois all painted Saint Sebastians. An early work by the sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini is of Saint Sebastian.The saint is ordinarily depicted as a handsome youth pierced by arrows. Predella scenes when required, often depicted his arrest, confrontation with the Emperor, and final beheading. The illustration in the infobox is the Saint Sebastian of Il Sodoma, at the Pitti Palace, Florence.Woodblock of St Sebastian from South Germany, circa 1470–1475A mainly 17th-century subject, though found in predella scenes as early as the 15th century,[23] was St Sebastian tended by St Irene, painted by Georges de La Tour, Trophime Bigot (four times), Jusepe de Ribera,[24] Hendrick ter Brugghen (in perhaps his masterpiece) and others. This may have been a deliberate attempt by the Church to get away from the single nude subject, which is already recorded in Vasari as sometimes arousing inappropriate thoughts among female churchgoers.[25] The Baroque artists usually treated it as a nocturnal chiaroscuro scene, illuminated by a single candle, torch or lantern, in the style fashionable in the first half of the 17th century. There exist several cycles depicting the life of Saint Sebastian. Among them are the frescos in the "Basilica di San Sebastiano" of Acireale (Italy) with paintings by Pietro Paolo Vasta.[citation needed]Egon Schiele, an Austrian Expressionist artist, painted a self-portrait as Saint Sebastian in 1915.[26] During Salvador Dalí's "Lorca (Federico García Lorca) Period", he painted Sebastian several times, most notably in his "Neo-Cubist Academy".[citation needed]In 1911, the Italian playwright Gabriele d'Annunzio in conjunction with Claude Debussy produced a mystery play on the subject.[citation needed] The American composer Gian Carlo Menotti composed a ballet score for a Ballets Russes production which was first given in 1944.[citation needed] In his novella Death in Venice, Thomas Mann hails the "Sebastian-Figure" as the supreme emblem of Apollonian beauty, that is, the artistry of differentiated forms; beauty as measured by discipline, proportion, and luminous distinctions. This allusion to Saint Sebastian's suffering, associated with the writerly professionalism of the novella's protagonist, Gustav Aschenbach, provides a model for the "heroism born of weakness", which characterizes poise amidst agonizing torment and plain acceptance of one's fate as, beyond mere patience and passivity, a stylized achievement and artistic triumph.[citation needed]In George Orwell's futuristic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the protagonist Winston Smith, at the time he is not aware she actually loves him and hates the Party, is said to have dreams of ravishing the girl Julia, and having her pierced through with arrows like Saint Sebastian.Sebastian's death was depicted in the 1949 film Fabiola, in which he was played by Massimo Girotti.[citation needed] In 1976, the British director Derek Jarman made a film, Sebastiane, which caused controversy in its treatment of the martyr as a "homosexual icon", according to a number of critics reflecting a subtext perceptible in the imagery since the Renaissance.[27] Also in 1976, in the American horror film Carrie, a figure of Saint Sebastian (commonly misconstrued as a figure of the crucified Christ) appears in Carrie's prayer closet.[28]Additionally in 1976, a depiction of Saint Sebastian in a fresco restoration in an isolated Italian village is the central motif and cryptic mystery of the giallo horror film The House with Laughing Windows[29]In 1990's The Godfather Part III, Michael Corleone is awarded the Order of Saint Sebastian, said by some sources to be fictitious.Pietro Vannucci Perugino’s painting (c. 1495) of Saint Sebastian is featured in the 2001 movie Wit starring Emma Thompson. Thompson’s character, as a college student, visits her professor's office, where an almost life-size painting of Saint Sebastian hangs on the wall. Later, when the main character is a professor herself, diagnosed with cancer, she keeps a small print of this same painting of Saint Sebastian next to her hospital bed. The allusion appears to be to Sebastian's stoic martyrdom - a role the Thompson character has willingly accepted for the betterment of all mankind. There may be a touch of authorial (or directorial) cynicism in making this "saintly" connection.In 2007, artist Damien Hirst presented Saint Sebastian, Exquisite Pain from his Natural History series. The piece depicts a cow in formaldehyde, bound in metal cable and shot with arrows.[30]British pop band Alt-J's video for Hunger of the Pine contains references to the story of Saint Sebastian's death, adapted to fit the lyrics of the song. Tarsem Singh's video for the R.E.M. song "Losing My Religion" makes use of imagery of St. Sebastian, drawing particular inspiration from paintings by Guido Reni[31] and Caravaggio[32]. The indie folk band the Mountain Goats have a song called "Hail, St. Sebastian" which makes reference to his life.[33]Patronage[edit]Lodovico Carracci's rare treatment of the subject of St. Sebastian Thrown into the Cloaca Maxima (1612)In the Roman Catholic Church, Sebastian is commemorated by an optional memorial on 20 January. In the Church of Greece, Sebastian's feast day is on 18 December.As a protector from the bubonic plague, Sebastian was formerly one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. The connection of the martyr shot with arrows with the plague is not an intuitive one, however. In Greco-Roman myth, Apollo, the archer god, is the deliverer from pestilence; the figure of Sebastian Christianizes this folkloric association. The chronicler Paul the Deacon relates that, in 680, Rome was freed from a raging pestilence by him.In Catholicism, Sebastian is the patron saint of archers, athletes, and of a holy death.Saint Sebastian by Peter Paul Rubens (1604), oil on canvas, 120 x 100 cm, AntwerpSaint Sebastian by El Greco(1578) in Cathedral of San Antolín, PalenciaSebastian is one of the patron saints of the city of Qormi in Malta along with Saint George.[34] Sebastian is the patron saint of Acireale, Caserta and Petilia Policastro in Italy, Melilli in Sicily, and San Sebastián as well as Palma de Mallorca and Huelva in Spain. He is the patron saint of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Informally, in the tradition of the Afro-Brazilian syncretic religionUmbanda, Sebastian is often associated with Oxossi, especially in the state of Rio de Janeiro itself.Feast of St. Sebastian is celebrated among Catholic communities of Kerala in India, with lot of elegance and colour. Churches are grandiosely illuminated and decorated, with fireworks being a main event in every Catholic home to commemorate the saint. Every parish has its own date of celebration, especially in the districts of Thrissur, Ernakulam, Alapuzha and Kottayam. Besides this, many pilgrim centres, churches, shrines and many educational institutions too, throughout Kerala, bear the name of the saint.He is the patron of a college named for him in Manila, Philippines which is adjacent to the Parish of San Sebastian.At the Catholic Newman Community at the University of Rochester, the St. Sebastian Society is an organization of campus-wide Christian athletes that works to serve the greater Rochester, New York area through methods of restorative justice, special needs fundraising, and community service.[35]Sebastian is the patron saint of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bacolod, in Negros Occidental, Philippines.Saint Sebastian is the patron of Knights of Columbus Council #4926 in the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Jose in California, serving the cities of Mountain View and Los Altos.Saint Sebastian is the patron saint of the Catholic War Veterans of the United States of America. The highest award given by the CWV is the Honor Legion of the Order of St. Sebastian.In his 1906 Reminiscences, Carl Schurz recalls the annual "bird shoot" pageant of the Rhenish town of Liblar which was sponsored by the Saint Sebastian Society, a club of sharpshooters and their sponsors to which nearly every adult member of town belonged.[36]The St. Sebastian River is named after him. It is a tributary of the Indian River Lagoon and comprises part of the boundary between Indian River County and Brevard County in Florida. The adjacent city of Sebastian, Florida and St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park are also named for Saint Sebastian.[37] Saint Nicholas Saint NicholasRussian icon depicting Saint Nicholas with scenes from his life. Late 15th century or early 16th century. National Museum, Stockholm.Defender of Orthodoxy, Wonderworker, Holy Hierarch, Bishop of MyraBorn15 March 270[1] Patara, Roman EmpireDied6 December 343 (aged 73) Myra, Roman EmpireVenerated inAnglicanism, Baptist, Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Lutheranism, Methodism, ReformedMajor shrineBasilica di San Nicola, Bari, ItalyFeast6 December [O.S. 19 December] (main feast day – Saint Nicholas Day) 9 May [O.S. 22 May] (translationof relics)[2]AttributesVested as a Bishop. In Eastern Christianity, wearing an omophorion and holding a Gospel Book. Sometimes shown with Jesus Christ over one shoulder, holding a Gospel Book, and with the Theotokosover the other shoulder, holding an omophorionPatronageChildren, coopers, sailors, fishermen, merchants, broadcasters, the falsely accused, repentant thieves, brewers, pharmacists, archers, pawnbrokers, Aberdeen, Galway, Russia, Greece, Hellenic Navy, Liverpool, Bari, Siggiewi, Moscow, Amsterdam, Lorraine and Duchy of LorraineSaint Nicholas (Greek: Ἅγιος Νικόλαος, Hágios Nikólaos, Latin: Sanctus Nicolaus); (15 March 270 – 6 December 343),[3][4] also called Nikolaos of Myra, was a historic 4th-century Christian saint and Greek[5] Bishop of Myra, in Asia Minor (modern-day Demre, Turkey).[6] Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker (Νικόλαος ὁ Θαυματουργός, Nikólaos ho Thaumaturgós). His reputation evolved among the faithful, as was common for early Christian saints,[7] and his legendary habit of secret gift-giving gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus through Sinterklaas.The historical Saint Nicholas is commemorated and revered among far more Christian sects than just Orthodox Christians. The Anglican,[8] Lutheran, and Catholic Churches revere him. In addition, some Baptist,[9]Methodist,[10] Presbyterian,[11] and other Reformed churches have been named in honor of Saint Nicholas.[12][not in citation given] Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, children, brewers, pawnbrokers and students in various cities and countries around Europe.The historical Saint Nicholas, as known from strict history: He was born at Patara, Lycia in Asia Minor (now Turkey). In his youth he made a pilgrimage to Egypt and the Palestine area. Shortly after his return he became Bishop of Myra and was later cast into prison during the persecution of Diocletian. He was released after the accession of Constantine and was present at the Council of Nicaea. In 1087, Italian merchants took his body from Myra, bringing it to Bari in Italy.[13][14][15] Life[edit]Nicholas was born in Asia Minor (Greek Anatolia in present-day Turkey) in the Roman Empire, to a Greek family[16][17][18] during the third century in the city of Patara (Lycia et Pamphylia),[19][20] a port on the Mediterranean Sea.[20] He lived in Myra, Lycia[21] (part of modern-day Demre), at a time when the region was Greek in its heritage,[20] culture, and outlook and politically part of the Roman diocese of Asia.[20] He was the only son of wealthy Christian parents named Epiphanius (Ἐπιφάνιος, Epiphánios) and Johanna (Ἰωάννα, Iōánna) according to some accounts[22] and Theophanes (Θεοφάνης, Theophánēs) and Nonna (Νόννα, Nónna) according to others.[20] He was very religious from an early age[18] and according to legend, Nicholas was said to have rigorously observed the canonical fasts of Wednesdays and Fridays. His wealthy parents died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young and he was raised by his uncle—also named Nicholas—who was the bishop of Patara. He tonsured the young Nicholas as a reader and later ordained him a presbyter (priest).In the year AD 305, several monks from Anatolia in Asia Minor came to the Holy Land to Beit Jala, Judea and established a small monastery with a church named in honor of the Great Martyr George (Saint George). This was before St. Sava’s Monastery was founded in the desert east of Bethlehem on the Kidron Gorge near the Dead Sea. These monks lived on the mountain overlooking Bethlehem in a few caves. In the years 312–315, St. Nicholas lived there and came as a pilgrim to visit the Holy Sepulchre, Golgotha, Bethlehem, and many other sites in the Holy Land. The Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church is located on the site of his cave in Beit Jala where today there are innumerable stories about Nicholas still handed down from generation to generation.[23] A text written in his own hand is still in the care of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem. In 317 he returned to Asia Minor and was soon thereafter consecrated bishop in Myra.[24]In 325, he was one of many bishops to answer the request of Constantine and appear at the First Council of Nicaea; the 151st attendee was listed as "Nicholas of Myra of Lycia".[25] There, Nicholas was a staunch anti-Arian, defender of the Orthodox Christian position,[26] and one of the bishops who signed the Nicene Creed.[27] Tradition has it that he became so angry with the heretic Arius during the Council that he struck him in the face.[28]Demre[edit]The modern city of Demre, Turkey is built near the ruins of the saint's home town of ancient Myra, and attracts many Russian tourists as St. Nicholas is a very popular Orthodox saint. Restoration of Saint Nicholas' original church is currently underway, with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 2007 permitting Divine Liturgy to be celebrated at the site, and contributing 40,000 Turkish lira to the project.[29]A solemn bronze statue of the saint by Russian sculptor Gregory Pototsky was donated by the Russian government in 2000, and was given a prominent place in the square fronting the medieval Church of St. Nicholas. In 2005, mayor Süleyman Topçu had the statue replaced by a red-suited plastic Santa Claus statue, because he wanted an image more recognisable to foreign visitors. Protests from the Russian government against this were successful, and the bronze statue was returned (albeit without its original high pedestal) to a corner nearer the church.[30]Relics[edit]This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.(March 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)Basilica di San Nicola in Bari, Italy where most of the relics of Saint Nicholas are kept today.The church of San Nicolò al Lido(Venice), hosts half of Nicolas' relicsOn 26 August 1071 Romanus IV, Emperor of the Byzantine Empire (reigned 1068–1071), faced Sultan Alp Arslan of the Seljuk Turks (reigned 1059–1072) in the Battle of Manzikert. The battle ended in humiliating defeat and capture for Romanus. As a result, the Empire temporarily lost control over most of Asia Minor to the invading Seljuk Turks. The Byzantines would regain its control over Asia Minor during the reign of Alexius I Comnenus (reigned 1081–1118). But early in his reign Myra was overtaken by the Turks. Nicholas' tomb in Myra had become a popular place of pilgrimage. Because of the many wars and attacks in the region, some Christians were concerned that access to the tomb might become difficult. For both the religious and commercial advantages of a major pilgrimage site, the Italian cities of Venice and Bari vied to get the Nicholas relics.[3] Taking advantage of the confusion, in the spring of 1087, sailors from Bari in Apulia seized part of the remains of the saint from his burial church in Myra, over the objections of the Greek Orthodox monks. Returning to Bari, they brought the remains with them and cared for them. The remains arrived on 9 May 1087. There are numerous variations of this account. In some versions those taking the relics are characterized as thieves or pirates, in others they are said to have taken them in response to a vision wherein Saint Nicholas himself appeared and commanded that his relics be moved in order to preserve them from the impending Muslim conquest. Currently at Bari, there are two churches at his shrine, one Roman Catholic and one Orthodox.Sailors from Bari collected just half of Nicholas' skeleton, leaving all the minor fragments in the grave. These were collected by Venetian sailors during the first crusade and brought to Venice, where a church to Saint Nicholas, the patron of sailors, was built on the Lido. This tradition was confirmed in two scientific investigations of the relics in Bari and Venice, which revealed that the relics in the two cities belong to the same skeleton.[31][32] Many churches in Europe, Russia and the United States claim to possess small relics, such as a tooth or a finger.[33]It is said that in Myra the relics of Saint Nicholas each year exuded a clear watery liquid which smells like rose water, called manna (or myrrh), which is believed by the faithful to possess miraculous powers.[34] After the relics were brought to Bari, they continued to do so, much to the joy of the new owners. Vials of myrrh from his relics have been taken all over the world for centuries, and can still be obtained from his church in Bari. Even up to the present day, a flask of manna is extracted from the tomb of Saint Nicholas every year on 6 December (the Saint's feast day) by the clergy of the basilica. The myrrh is collected from a sarcophagus which is located in the basilica vault and could be obtained in the shop nearby. The liquid gradually seeps out of the tomb, but it is unclear whether it originates from the body within the tomb, or from the marble itself; since the town of Bari is a harbour, and the tomb is below sea level, there have been several natural explanations proposed for the manna fluid, including the transfer of seawater to the tomb by capillary action.In 1993, a grave was found on the small Turkish island of Gemile, east of Rhodes, which historians believe is the original tomb of Saint Nicholas.[35] On 28 December 2009, the Turkish government announced that it would be formally requesting the return of Saint Nicholas's skeletal remains to Turkey from the Italian government.[36][37] Turkish authorities have asserted that Saint Nicholas himself desired to be buried at his episcopal town, and that his remains were illegally removed from his homeland.An Irish tradition states that the relics of Saint Nicholas are also reputed to have been stolen from Myra by local Norman crusading knights in the 12th century and buried near Thomastown, County Kilkenny, where a stone slab marks the site locally believed to be his grave.[38] This is not widely accepted beyond local tradition.Tomb of Saint Nicholas near Thomastown, Ireland.Miracles and other stories[edit]Numerous stories, some miraculous, are told about Nicholas.Detail from a window in Rochester Cathedral. Saint Nicholas is shown bringing the boys back to life.One tells how during a terrible famine, a malicious butcher lured three little children into his house, where he killed them, placing their remains in a barrel to cure, planning to sell them off as ham.[39] Nicholas, visiting the region to care for the hungry, not only saw through the butcher's horrific crime but also resurrected the three boys from the barrel by his prayers. Another version of this story, possibly formed around the 11th century, claims that the butcher's victims were instead three clerks who wished to stay the night. The man murdered them, and was advised by his wife to dispose of them by turning them into meat pies. The saint saw through this and brought the men back to life.Coat of arms of the town Liptovský Mikuláš (Slovakia) with a figure of Saint Nicholas.A key ring with the image of Nikolaos of Myra as patron of the sailors.According to another story, during a great famine that Myra experienced in 311–312, a ship was in the port at anchor, loaded with wheat for the Emperor in Constantinople. Nicholas invited the sailors to unload a part of the wheat to help in the time of need. The sailors at first disliked the request, because the wheat had to be weighed accurately and delivered to the Emperor. Only when Nicholas promised them that they would not suffer any loss for their consideration, the sailors agreed. When they arrived later in the capital, they made a surprising find: the weight of the load had not changed, although the wheat removed in Myra was enough for two full years and could even be used for sowing.[40]While yet a young man, Nicholas followed the example of his uncle, the abbot, by making a pilgrimage to the birthplace of Christianity—the Holy Land. Desiring a serene time of preparation, Nicholas set sail on an Egyptian ship where the other pilgrims did not know who he was. The first night he dreamed a storm would put them all at peril. When he awoke in the morning he warned the sailors that a severe storm was coming, but they need not fear, for "God will protect us." Almost immediately the sky darkened and strong winds roared round the ship. The wind and waves made it impossible to keep the ship under control. Even with lowered sails, the sailors feared for their very lives and begged Nicholas to pray for safety. One sailor climbed the main mast, tightening the ropes so the mast would not crash onto the deck. As he was coming back down, the sailor slipped, fell to the deck, and was killed. While Nicholas prayed, the storm did quiet, relieving the sailors. Their comfort, however, was dampened by grief over their comrade's death. As Nicholas prayed over the dead sailor, he was revived, "as if he had only been asleep." The man awakened without pain and the ship finished the journey to the Holy Land. Nicholas then embarked on his pilgrimage to the holy places, walking where Jesus had walked.One night while staying with a family in Jerusalem, he wanted to pray at the only church remaining in Jerusalem at that time. It was the Church of the Room of the Last Supper on Mount Zion. As he approached the heavy, locked doors, they swung open of their own accord, allowing him to enter the church. Nicholas fell to the ground in thanksgiving.[41]The dowry for the three virgins (Gentile da Fabriano, c. 1425, Pinacoteca Vaticana, Rome).In his most famous exploit,[42] Nicholas aided a poor man who had three daughters, but could not afford a proper dowry for them. This meant that they would remain unmarried and probably, in absence of any other possible employment, would have to become prostitutes. Even if they did not, unmarried maidens in those days would have been assumed as being a prostitute. Hearing of the girls' plight, Nicholas decided to help them, but being too modest to help the family in public (or to save them the humiliation of accepting charity), he went to the house under the cover of night and threw three purses (one for each daughter) filled with gold coins through the window opening into the house.One version has him throwing one purse for three consecutive nights. Another has him throwing the purses over a period of three years, each time the night before one of the daughters comes of age. Invariably, the third time the father lies in wait, trying to discover the identity of their benefactor. In one version the father confronts the saint, only to have Nicholas say it is not him he should thank, but God alone. In another version, Nicholas learns of the poor man's plan and drops the third bag down the chimney instead; a variant holds that the daughter had washed her stockings that evening and hung them over the embers to dry, and that the bag of gold fell into the stocking.[43]The stories with the most likely historical basis are the stories of Nicholas helping three girls and stories of Nicholas coming to the aid of sailors. Others, especially that of the three murdered children, are much later additions to Nicholas lore, historian Dr. Adam English concludes[44] in a new biography of Nicholas for Baylor University Press based on a four-year study of current historical research into Nicholas of Myra.Face of the historical saint[edit]Saint Nicholas, Russian icon from first quarter of the 18th century (Kizhimonastery, Karelia).Whereas the devotional importance of relics and the economics associated with pilgrimages caused the remains of most saints to be divided up and spread over numerous churches in several countries, Saint Nicholas is unusual in that most of his bones have been preserved in one spot: his grave crypt in Bari. Even with the allegedly continuing miracle of the manna, the archdiocese of Bari has allowed for one scientific survey of the bones. In the late 1950s, during a restoration of the chapel, it allowed a team of hand-picked scientists to photograph and measure the contents of the crypt grave.[45]In the summer of 2005, the report of these measurements was sent to a forensic laboratory in England. The review of the data revealed that the historical Saint Nicholas was 5'6" in height and had a broken nose. The facial reconstruction was produced by Dr. Caroline Wilkinson at the University of Manchester and was shown on a BBC2 TV program The Real Face of Santa.[46][47]Veneration and celebrations[edit]Saint Nicholas Saves Three Innocents from Death (oil painting by Ilya Repin, 1888, State Russian Museum).Among the Greeks and Italians he is a favorite of sailors, fishermen, ships and sailing. As such he has become over time the patron saint of several cities maintaining harbours. In centuries of Greek folklore, Nicholas was seen as "The Lord of the Sea", often described by modern Greek scholars as a kind of Christianized version of Poseidon. In modern Greece, he is still easily among the most recognizable saints and 6 December finds many cities celebrating their patron saint. He is also the patron saint of all of Greece and particularly of the Hellenic Navy.[48]In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Saint Nicholas' memory is celebrated on almost every Thursday of the year (together with the Apostles) with special hymns to him which are found in the liturgical book known as the Octoechos. Soon after the transfer of Saint Nicholas' relics from Myra to Bari, a Russian version of his Life and an account of the transfer of his relics were written by a contemporary to this event.[49] Devotional akathists and canons have been composed in his honour, and are frequently chanted by the faithful as they ask for his intercession. He is mentioned in the Liturgy of Preparation during the Divine Liturgy (Eastern Orthodox Eucharist) and during the All-Night Vigil. Many Orthodox churches will have his icon, even if they are not named after him. In Oriental Orthodoxy, the Coptic Church observes the Departure of St. Nicholas on 10 Kiahk, or 10 Taḫśaś in Ethiopia, which corresponds to the Julian Calendar's 6 December and Gregorian Calendar's 19 December.[50][51]Saint Nicholas depicted in a 14th-century English book of hoursNicholas had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, a practice celebrated on his feast day, 6 December. For those who still observe the Julian calendar the celebration will currently take place thirteen days later than it happens in the Gregorian calendar and Revised Julian calendar.[52]Saint Nicholas became the model for Santa Claus, whose modern American name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas, itself from a series of elisions and corruptions of the transliteration of "Saint Nikolaos". When the Dutch originally came to America and established the colony of New Amsterdam, they brought the legend and traditions of Sinterklaas with them. The New Amsterdam Dutch later shortened "Sinterklaas" to "Santa Claus".[53]In late medieval England, on Saint Nicholas' Day parishes held Yuletide "boy bishop" celebrations. As part of this celebration, youths performed the functions of priests and bishops, and exercised rule over their elders. Today, Saint Nicholas is still celebrated as a great gift-giver in several Western European and Central European countries. According to one source, in medieval times nunsused the night of 6 December to deposit baskets of food and clothes anonymously at the doorsteps of the needy. According to another source, on 6 December every sailor or ex-sailor of the Low Countries (which at that time was virtually all of the male population) would descend to the harbour towns to participate in a church celebration for their patron saint. On the way back they would stop at one of the various Nicholas fairs to buy some hard-to-come-by goods, gifts for their loved ones and invariably some little presents for their children. While the real gifts would only be presented at Christmas, the little presents for the children were given right away, courtesy of Saint Nicholas. This and his miracle of him resurrecting the three butchered children made Saint Nicholas a patron saint of children and later students as well.[54]In Albania, the bones of Albania's greatest hero, George Kastrioti, were interred in the Church of Saint Nicholas in Lezha, Albania, upon his death.[55]Iconography[edit]Russian Orthodox statue of Saint Nicolas, now in a corner near the church in Demre.Saint Nicholas is a popular subject portrayed on countless Eastern Orthodox icons, particularly Russian ones. He is depicted as an Orthodox bishop, wearing the omophorion and holding a Gospel Book. Sometimes he is depicted wearing the Eastern Orthodox mitre, sometimes he is bareheaded. Iconographically, Nicholas is depicted as an elderly man with a short, full, white, fluffy beard and balding head. In commemoration of the miracle attributed to him by tradition at the Council of Nicea, he is sometimes depicted with Christ over his left shoulder holding out a Gospel Book to him and the Theotokos over his right shoulder holding the omophorion. Because of his patronage of mariners, occasionally Saint Nicholas will be shown standing in a boat or rescuing drowning sailors; Medieval Chants and Polyphony, image on the cover of the Book of Hours of Duke of Berry, 1410 [56]Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of Russian merchants. Fresco by Dionisius from the Ferapontov Monastery.In Roman Catholic iconography, Saint Nicholas is depicted as a bishop, wearing the insignia of this dignity: a bishop's vestments, a mitre and a crozier. The episode with the three dowries is commemorated by showing him holding in his hand either three purses, three coins or three balls of gold. Depending on whether he is depicted as patron saint of children or sailors, his images will be completed by a background showing ships, children or three figures climbing out of a wooden barrel (the three slaughtered children he resurrected).[57] In medieval paintings, Saint Nicholas is depicted as a dark-skinned man, as in Pietro di Giovanni d'Ambrogio's Saint Nicholas of Bari, a 1430s painting held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or Francesco di Giorgio e di Lorenzo's 1461 Altarpiece with the Annunciation made for the church of Spedaletta.[58]In a strange twist, the three gold balls referring to the dowry affair are sometimes metaphorically interpreted as being oranges or other fruits. As in the Low Countries in medieval times oranges most frequently came from Spain, this led to the belief that the Saint lives in Spain and comes to visit every winter bringing them oranges, other 'wintry' fruits and tales of magical creatures.[57]Francis de Geronimo Saint Francesco de Girolamo S.J.PriestBorn17 December 1642 Grottaglie, Apulia, Kingdom of NaplesDied11 May 1716 (aged 73) Naples, Kingdom of NaplesVenerated inRoman Catholic ChurchBeatified2 May 1806, Saint Peter's Basilica, Papal States by Pope Pius VIICanonized26 May 1839, Saint Peter's Basilica, Papal States by Pope Gregory XVIFeast11 MayPatronageNaples (co-patron)Part of a series on theSociety of JesusChristogram of the JesuitsHistoryRegimini militantisSuppressionHierarchySuperior GeneralArturo SosaSpiritualitySpiritual ExercisesAd majorem Dei gloriamMagisNotable JesuitsSaint Ignatius of LoyolaSaint Francis XavierSaint Peter FaberSaint Aloysius GonzagaSaint John BerchmansSaint Robert BellarmineSaint Peter CanisiusSaint Edmund CampionPope FrancisJesuit saintsJesuit theologiansJesuit philosophers Catholicism portalvteSaint Francesco de Geronimo (17 December 1642 - 11 May 1716) was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and a professed member from the Jesuits.[1] He was an energetic pastor who dedicated himself to missions across Naples either in large locations or in rural areas where he was known for succinct and concise preaching that resonated with all people regardless of their social status. But despite his love for the missions came a desire to be in the Far East for missions; he was pained when he was not allowed to join the Jesuit mission in Japan or India but continued to dedicate himself to preaching and teaching students.[2][3] He is known to have written the "Diu vi Salvi Regina" which later was adopted as the national anthem of an independent Corsica in 1735.Life[edit]Francesco de Geronimo was born in Grottaglie on 17 December 1642 as the eldest of eleven children to Giovanni Leonardo di Geronimo and Gentilesca Gravina.[2] He led a pious childhood and at age twelve held the position of a sacristan and catechist at a house of the Theatines near his home.The reception of his First Communion made him hunger ever more for the frequent reception of the Eucharist.[2] In 1658 he entered the college at Taranto which was under the care of the Jesuits after his parents decided to send him there after noticing his talents. He underwent his humanities and philosophical studies there and was so successful to the point that his local bishop sent him to Naples to attend lectures in both theological studiesand canon law at the college of Gesù Vecchio.[1][3]He received his ordination to the priesthood in Naples on 18 March 1666 from the Bishop of Pozzuoli Benito Sánchez de Herrera. He had to receive dimissorial letters from his archbishop (regarding studies) and a papal dispensation from Pope Alexander VII in order to be ordained under the age required. Until 1670 he was placed in charge of the pupils of the college of nobles in Naples where the students nicknamed him as "il santo prefetto". But he soon felt a strong inclination to join the Jesuits despite his father's opposition. His father sent him a long and vehement letter but his son answered it with great affection to induce his father to acquiesce to the will of God. He entered the Jesuit novitiate on 1 July 1670 and in 1671 after his probation was sent with an experienced missioner to get his first lessons in the art of preaching in the neighborhood of Otranto.[1][2] From 1671 until 1674 he was labouring in towns and villages but was granted permission to complete his theological studies before being sent him to reside at Gesù Nuovo in 1675. He would have preferred to serve in the missions of the Far East but his superiors told him to abandon the idea and to concentrate on his work there in Naples where he remained for the remainder of his life. He had wanted to go either to Japan or India but was refused this request.[3]He first devoted himself to stirring up the religious enthusiasm of a congregation of workmen called the "Oratio della Missione" which had established at the professed house of the Jesuits in Naples. The main object of this association was to provide the mission priests with helpers. It was at the Oratorio that he succeeded in establishing a mont de piété; the capital was increased with the gifts of the associates. He was an energetic preacher and went visiting all the environs of Naples; his voice was loud and sonorous and could be heard at a great distance due to its distinctness.[1]Whatever time was unoccupied with his missions he devoted to giving rural missions. He tried to establish an association of Saint Francis Xavier (whom he made his patron and model); or else a congregation dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. For just over two decades he preached her praises once a week in the Neapolitan church known as Santa Maria di Constantinoppli.[1] He was often seen walking through the streets of Naples with an ecstaticlook on his face and tears streaming. He had a reputation for being a miracle-worker with those who testified during the process of canonization attributing to him numerous wonders and cures of all kinds.[3]In March 1715 - the start of Lent - he was giving a retreat to some students when he all of a sudden felt a strong racking fever that pained him enough to the point that he had to be carried out of the room to his bed. This ailment subdued over the course of the week and he resumed his usual duties despite his weakness which declined towards December.[2] It was before Christmas that he felt frail to the point where his anxious superior sent him to Puzzuoli to recuperate enough to the point that the priest returned to Naples the in March 1716 to the hospital wing. He died in mid-1716 at around noon from pleurisy after a fortnight of greater pain.[1] His remains were buried in a leaden coffin but were exhumed later on 3 July 1736 where it was discovered his remains turned to dust; that dust was collected and deposited into a coffin of wood lined with brass. Cardinal Orsini - the future Pope Benedict XIII - dedicated an entire sermon to him after the saint died in the Benevento Cathedral.There is a chapel at Gesù Nuovo in Naples that is dedicated to him and Francesco Jerace sculpted the statue in 1934 that honors him.Sainthood[edit]The Naples archdiocese petitioned the Congregation for Rites to begin the sainthood process not long after the Jesuit had died while the Nola and Benevento dioceses followed in making similar requests.On 2 May 1758 he was proclaimed to be Venerable after Pope Benedict XIV declared in a formal decree that the late Jesuit priest had practiced the theological and cardinal virtues in a heroic fashion. He would have been beatified soon afterwards but the storm surrounding the suppression of the order led to its suspension. Pope Pius VII approved two miracles attributed to him and beatified the late priest on 2 May 1806 in Saint Peter's Basilica while the confirmation of two more saw Pope Gregory XVI canonize Francesco de Geronimo as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church on 26 May 1839.Writings[edit]Saint Francesco de Geronimo wrote little. Some of his letters have been collected for biographical works and inserted into the works of authors and other biographers. The archives of the Jesuits contain a voluminous collection of his sermons.The account he wrote to his superiors of the fifteen most laborious years of his ministry dates from October 1693. He called it Brevi notizie della cose di gloria di Dio accadute negli exercizi delle sacri missioni di Napoli da quindici anni in quâ, quanto si potuto richiamare in memoria. Giuseppe Boero published it in S. 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