Saint of the Day – 14 February – Saint Modestinus of Avellino (c 245-311) Bishop Martyr. Confessor, Missionary, miracle-worker. Also known as – Modestinus of Mercogliano, Modestin…Modestino… Additional Memorials – 10 June (re-internment of relics), 13 August on some calendars. Patronages – Avellino, Italy, City of (given in 1220 by Ruggiero of Avellino). Avellino, Italy, Diocese of (given in 1220 by Ruggiero of Avellino), Mercogliano, Italy.
Modestinus was born in Antioch in c 245 of a noble family. In 302 he was Consecrated Bishop of the City and Patriarch of the region of Antioch. During the persecution of Diocletian (year 303), he retired to a hermitage on Mount Silpio,. But in 310 he returned to his See.
He preached the Gospel of Christ and performed numerous miracles and cures. Arrested and tortured, he was released from prison by the faithful of his Diocese.
Modestinus, with his collaborators Fiorentinus a Priest and Flavianus a Deacon, left to travel to Italy. They arrived by sea in Locri (in Calabria) where they preached the Gospel, were arrested again and taken to prison in Sibari. .According to tradition, they were freed by the Archangel Michael.
They left by sea and reached near Avellino – it is believed that St Michael led the Saint to the regions that most needed the Gospel teachings and the truth of Christ. It is reported that Modestinus and his assistants, were successful in their preaching, converting and Baptising around 4,000 souls in one area. Modestinys performed many miracles and cures.
Again they were arrested, imprisoned and tried by an envoy of the Emperor Maxentius and taken to the place called the “Praetorium” where they suffered Martyrdom wrapped in red-hot robes and burned to death. They died in the night between 14 and 15 February in the year 311.
Their bodies were collected by the Christians and buried. A sign with their names was placed on the graves. In St Modestinus Church, a silver sculpture depicting a dove was placed on the tomb.
Their bodies, found in the summer of 1166, were taken to the Cathedral of Avellino, where they are still preserved today in the Chapel of St Modestinus.
In 1220 they were appointed primary Patrons of the City and of the Diocese of Avellino by the Bishop Ruggiero.