Saint of the Day – 6 September – Saint Frontiniano of Alba (Died 311) Deacon Martyr, miracle-worker. Born in Carcassone, France and died by being beheaded on 23 October 311 on the road outside the city walls of Alba Pompeia, Piedmont, Italy near the City cemetery. Additional Memorials – 23 October (dies natalis), 27 April (translation of relics in the Diocese of Alba, Italy). Patronages – sick children, Alba, Italy, Sinio, Italy. Also known as – Frontinianus.
The events of the life of Frontiniano are not fully documented historically and are known through the contents of an ancient liturgical officiation.
According to the story reported in the readings, Frontiniano, who lived in the fourth century, was originally from the French town of Carcassonne and, after completing his studies, was Ordained a Deacon.
With a companion named Cassiano, he embarked on a journey to Rome to make a pilgrimage to the tombs of the Apostles, several miracles occurred along the way. Frontiniano gave sight to a blind man, speech to a mute, crossed the Rhone on a wreck that miraculously re-emerged from the waters and in Alba, Piedmont, on the way back, he droves the devil away from a noble girl of the City. The young woman’s parents, grateful for the miracle worked in their favour, converted to Christianity and were baptised by the Saint.
But the Prefect of the City had Frontiniano arrested and sentenced him to be beheaded, a sentence carried out outside the City walls, on 23 October 311.
On the site of the martyrdom, along the road to Roddi near a cemetery, a famous Benedictine Abbey was built. it was dedicated to the Saint. The Abbey also kept the relics of the titular saint which, during the fifteenth century, were moved to the Cathedral inside the walls by the Bishop Alerino.
In the pastoral visits of the sixteenth century, the custom is still remembered, by the women of Alba, to bring the sick children to the Church of the Saint, after having walked its perimeter nine times, they entered and placed the children on the steps of the Altar where the remains of the Saint were once kept and implored his help. This practice, looked upon with suspicion by the ecclesiastical authorities for fear that it would degenerate into superstition, was certainly of ancient origin, even if it is not possible to know why the Saint was considered a special protector of children.
St Frontiniano, besides being one of the Patron Saints of Alba, is also the Patron Saint of Sinio. 6 September is the official Memorial and is the day on which his name is reported in the Acta Sanctorum.