Saint of the Day – 14 May – Saint Ampelio (Died c 428) Hermit, miracle-worker. Born in the 4th century in Upper Egypt and died on 5 October c 428 in Bordighera, Italy of natural causes. His Feast day refers to the translation of his body to the Church of Saint Stephen in Genoa, Italy on 14 May 1258. Patronages – blacksmiths, Bordighera, Italy. His body is incorrupt and is the only image we have of him.
Nothing is known about the early life of Saint Ampelio. We know that he was a blacksmith who left his work to become a Recluse in Egypt. His faith was tested in the form of a woman (devil) but Ampelio heated an iron bar until it glowed and chased the demon away.
Ampelio emigrated to Italy, where he planted the first date palms, having brought the seeds from Egypt, lived in a cave, was known as a miracle worker and served as a model for prayer for the Christian life.
He died on 5 October 428 in Bordighera, Italy of natural causes. His body was moved to the Convent of Saint Stephen in Genoa, Italy on 14 May 1258. On 16 August 1047, his body was brought back to Bordighera. He was taken in procession through the crowd to the Church of Magdalene, where he now lies. The Patron celebrations take place on 14th May, in memory of the transfer of the body from Sanremo to Genoa in 1258.
There is a little Church dedicated to St Ampelio in Bordighera in Liguria, Italy. The crypt, with two apses and small, inclined loop-holes, holds a squared-off block of stone from La Turbie (the rock which dominates the Principality of Monaco). This stone was the poor and very uncomfortable “bed of the saint,” where Ampelio died the 5th October 428.
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