Saint of the Day – 14 October – St Donatian of Rheims (Died 390) Bishop – born in the 4th century in Rome, Italy and died in 390 of natural causes. Patronages – Bruges, Belgium, city of, Bruges, Belgium, diocese of, Rheims, France, West Flanders, Belgium. St Donatian was the Seventh bishop of Rheims, France from 360 to 390. His Memorial is beautifully celebrated in Bruges with a procession of his relics.
St Donatian’s relics were translated to Bruges in 842 and became the prized possessions of the city’s church, which was then rededicated to him as the Sint Donaaskerk.
As the patron saint of the city, he was honoured with two high-ranking feast days – first and foremost, his natal celebration on 14 October and his translation feast on 20 August.
Donatian is always shown wearing his bishop’s mitre and holding the bishop’s crosier and is identified by his attribute, a wheel with five tapers. The reference is to the principal miracle of his life – he was swept away by the floodwaters of the Tiber but the pope threw a carriage wheel into the river, which miraculously found the drowning saint who clung to it for three days before reaching safety.