Saint of the Day – 9 October – Saint Donnino of Città di Castello (Died 610) Lay Hermit Also known as – Donino. Patronages – of Città di Castello together with Saint Flordio and Saint Amanzio, against arthritis, epilepsy, against rabid dog attacks
The Roman Martyrology states: “In Città di Castello in Umbria, St. Donnino, a hermit.”
Donnino collaborated with the Bishop Florido and the Priest Amanzio in the reconstruction of Città di Castello (then Castrum Felicitatis) after the destruction suffered during the Greek-Gothic war.
Hagiographies written of him in the 17th and 18th centuries recall his devotion and zeal. On the death of Bishop Florido (599 or 600) and of St Amanzio, shortly after, Donnino abandoned public life to retire to live in the hermitic solitude at the Rubbiano locality. He then moved to a second hermitage, closer to Città di Castello, today called Villa San Donino. Here he lived on wild herbs and spent his time in prayer and in the company of a dog. The saintly hermit died on 9 October 610.
During the years of the Donnino’s life the news of his presence, his holiness and spiritual gifts spread rapidly and large crowds began to visit him. Donino became their spiritual guide and an intercessor with God.
His body is now preserved inside an urn placed in the Church of Saint Donnino. Another place linked to the memory of this Saint is near Rubbiano, where there are some boulders and a miraculous spring where pilgrims pray for cures especially from arthritis and epilepsy.
Although a layman, Donino was in the past depicted with priestly vestments and the chalice and next to a small dog. The oldest representation is contained in the embossed and chiselled silver frontal donated by Pope Celestine II to the Cathedral of Città di Castello in 1144, where Donino is depicted together with the Saints Florido and Amanzio. His relics were subjected to canonical recognition in the years 1543, 1791 and 1869.