Saint of the Day – 30 September – Saint Amato of Nusco (c 1003-1093) Bishop, Monk, Apostle of the poor, Confessor and evangeliser. Born in c 1003 in Nusco, Italy and died on 30 September 1093 of natural causes. Patronages – Nusco, against earthquakes.
Amato was born in Nusco, the third highest town in the province of Avellino which stands on an isolated mountain in the Irpinia Apennine chain, between the Ofanto and Calore valleys and for its panoramic position it is called a “Balcony of Irpinia.”
His birth took place around 1003, into a wealthy family. As soon as he was able, he destributed all his worldly goods to the poor and entered a Seminary. He was Ordained at a very young age and in 1048, thanks to his great zeal in evangelisation and assistance to the poor, he was Consecrated as the first Bishop of the city of Nusco, by the Archbishop of Salerno Alfano I.
Nusco, already inhabited in very ancient times, probably developed in the Lombard period, near a castle, around which Saint Amato as Bishop gathered the inhabitants of the surrounding villages.
He restored many pre-existing Churches and built many new ones, including the Cathedral dedicated to the protomartyr St Stephen, to whom he was devoted.. He worked tirelessly to assist the poor and to evangelise his Diocese. His mortal remains are now kept and venerated in the crypt of the Cathedral of Nusco, see below.
He died on 30 September 1093 and left all his possessions to the newly formed diocese of Nusco as shown in his will, a small parchment (15 cm x 55 cm) the so-called Chartula Iudicati, still preserved in the Cathedral archives.
At his sepulchre numerous miraculous cures took place, which procured for him the cult of a saint, his successor Ruggero dedicated a Church to him for this.
After having demonstrated the authenticity of his will, it was possible to set the date of his death at 30 September 1093, in contrast to the opinion of the Benedictine monks of Montevergine, who wanting to classify him at any cost as a disciple of their founder St Guglielmo da Vercelli (1085-1142), did not hesitate to move the date of his death to 31 August 1193, therefore 100 years later.
In addition to the anniversary of the saint’s death , the feast of the transfer of his bones from the first sepulchre to the current one in the crypt of the Cathedral is also celebrated in Nusco on 28 May.
The Bishop of Nusco Gaetano De Arco, in the Instructio Synodica seu Synodus pro Dioecesis Nuscanae Tyrcinio published in 1752 in Naples, wrote that there were originally three annual feasts in honour of Saint Amato – the translation of the bones ( 28 May ), the Patronage (last Sunday in July) and death ( 30 September .
Patron of the City of Nusco is invoked against earthquakes, a recurring natural disaster in the Irpini mountains.
The ‘Roman Martyrology’ celebrates his Memorial today, 30 September.
The Società Sant’Amato di Nusco of Long Island City, New York celebrates the Annual Mass and Procession in honour of Saint Amato, Patron Saint of Nusco, Avellino. St Amato’s Memorial is celebrated at Saint Mary’s Church (10-08 49th Avenue), with great aplomb and festivities. The pictures below show the great love and veneration with which our Saint is held, so far from his native home. I believe these images were taken at the celebration a few years ago.