Saint of the Day – 29 April – Saint Severus of Naples (Died 409) Bishop of Naples for 46 years, Confessor, friend of St Ambrose, constructor of four Basilicas and the first Baptistry in the West. Died in 409 of natural causes. Patronages – Naples and St Severus in Foggis, Italy.
The Roman Martyrology reads: “In Naples, St Severus, Bishop, loved by St Ambrose, as a brother and, by his Church ,as a father.”
In the catalogue of the Neapolitan Bishops, Severus is shown in twelfth place. Practically nothing is known of his life prior to his Episcopal appointment.
Severus completed his Episcopate from February 363 to 29 April 409, therefore, a few decades after the freedom of worship decreed by Emperor St Constantine to Christians (313). It was certainly a period in which the two religions, pagan and Christian, were forced to coexist and the regurgitation of paganism was frequent.
His work took place after these pagan returns and the violent attacks of the Arian heretics. The Church of Naples, with its enlightened guide, flourished in the True Faith of Christianity – Severus brought back to the City , the remains of his predecessor, St Maximus (4th century), who had died in exile in the East, during the Arian persecution.
It must be said,that St Maximus was the tenth Bishop of Naples and Severus ,the twelfth, therefore, between the two, there was the Arian usurper Zosimus, who probably returned, during his six years as Bishop, to the True Faith and was, therefore, considered the 11th legitimate Bishop.
Several ancient documents confirm, that he won esteem and affection, not only of Christians,but also of pagans. He was a friend of St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan, who had the opportunity to meet him during the Plenary Council of Campania, held in 392 in Capua.
The foundations of four Basilicas are attributed to him, one of which, adorned with marble and precious mosaics, was dedicated to the Saviour. Of this ancient Basilica later called St George Major, only the apse remains. The construction of the famous Baptistery of Naples is unanimously also attributed to Severus, about thirty years earlier than that erected at the Lateran by Sixtus III (432-440) and, therefore, is the oldest in the West. The Baptistery is currently leaning against the Basilica of Santa Restituta in the Cathedral of Naples. It is inspired by oriental canons, with mosaics considered to be the most precious among those that have come down to us.
Outside the City walls, Severus had a cemetery Basilica built a short distance from the Basilica of St Fortunato, where he had the relics of Bishop St Maximus interred. and those of St Januarius. From this Basilica, the relics of both Saints were translated, towards the middle of the 9th Century, to an oratory of the urban Basilica of St Severus. St Severus himself too was buried in this Basilica outside the walls and in 1310 translated to the High Altar of the Cathedral of Naples
The Saint is also the Patron Saint of the City and Diocese of St Severus, in the Province of Foggia.
The City of Naples has more than 50 official Patron Saints, although its principal Patron is the Martyr Bishop Saint Januarius.(Died c 304). His life here: https://anastpaul.com/2017/09/19/saint-of-the-day-19-september-st-januarius/
Co-patrons of Naples and years of designation:
Saint Januarius (305)
Saint Thomas Aquinas (1605)
Saint Andrew Avellino (1622)
Saint Patricia (1625)
Saint Francis of Paola (1625)
Saint Dominic (1641)
Saint James of the Marches (1647)
Saint Anthony of Padua (1650)
Saint Francis Xavier (1654)
Saint Theresa of Avila (1664)
Saint Philip Neri (1668)
Saint Cajetan (1671)
Saint Agnellus of Naples (1671)
Saint Severus of Naples (1673)
Saint Agrippinus of Naples (1673)
Saint Aspren (1673)
Saint Euphebius (1673)
Saint Athanasius of Naples (1673)
Saint Nicholas of Bari (1675)
Saint Gregory the Illuminator (1676)
Saint Claire of Assisi (1689)
Saint Blaise (1690)
Saint Peter of Verona (1690)
Saint Joseph (1690)
Saint Michael (1691)
Saint Francis of Assisi (1691)
Saint Maria Maddalena de’ Pazzi (1692)
Saint John the Baptist (1695)
Saint Francis Borgia (1695)
Saint Candida the Elder (1699)
Saint Mary of Egypt (1699)
Saint Anthony Abbot (1707)
Saint Ignatius Loyola (1751)
Saint Mary Magdalene (1757)
Saint Irene (1760)
Saint Emidius (1760)
Archangel Raphael (1797)
Saint Anne (1805)
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (1835)
Saint Augustine (1835)
Saint Vincent Ferrer (1838)
Saint Alphonsus Liguori (1840)
Saint Francis Caracciolo (1843)
Saint John Joseph of the Cross (1845)
Saint Pascal Baylon (1845)
Saint Francis Jerome (1845)
Saint Roch (1856)
Saint Joachim (1895)
Saint Mary Frances of the Five Wounds of Jesus (1901)
Saint Lucy (1903)
Saint Gertrude the Great (1927)
Saint Rita of Cascia (1928)