Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 5 August – Saint Emygdius (c 272 – c 303) Bishop Martyr

Saint of the Day – 5 August – Saint Emygdius (c 272 – c 303) Bishop Martyr, Confessor, miracle-worker. Born probably in Trier in south-western Germany in c 272 and died by being beheaded in c 303. Patronages – against earthquakes, of the City and Diocese of Ascoli Piceno, of the Cities of L’Aquila, Cingoli, San Ginesio, Nocera Umbra, Italy. Also known as – Emygdius, Emigdius, Emigdio.

The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “St Emygdius, Bishop and Martyr, who was Consecrated Bishop by Pope Marcellus and sent thither to preach the Gospel. He received the crown of Martyrdom for the confession of Christ, under the Emperor Diocletian.”

Emygdius was a pagan converted and was baptised by St Nazarius and St Celsus in Trier. . With others who had been converted to Christianity, he first went to Milan , where he was Ordained a Priest, then to Rome.

In Rome he cured the paralytic daughter of his host Gratianus, who had given him access to his home on Tiber Island. Gratianus and his family then converted to Christianity. Emygdius also cured a blind man. The people of Rome believed him to be the son of Apollo and carried him off by force to the Temple of Aesculapius on the island in the Tiber, where he cured many of the sick. Emygdius declared himself a Christian, however and tore down the pagan altars and smashed into pieces a statue of Aesculapius. H e also converted many to Christianity which enraged the Prefect of the City.

He was Consecrated a Bishop by Pope Marcellus and sent to Ascoli Piceno. On his way to Ascoli, Emygdius converted many more people, and performed a miracle where he made water gush out of a rockface after striking a portion of a cliff. Polymius, the local Governor, attempted to convince Emygdius to worship Jupiter and the goddess Angaria, the patroness of Ascoli. Polymius also offered him the hand of his daughter Polisia. Instead, Emygdius baptised her as a Christian in the waters of the Tronto, along with many others.

St Emygdius baptising Polisia

Enraged, Polymius decapitated him on the spot now occupied by the Sant’Emidio Red Temple, as well as his followers Eupolus (Euplus), Germanus and Valentius (Valentinus). Emygdius stood up, carried his own head to a spot on the mountainside, where he had constructed an Oratory (the site of the present-day Sant’Emidio alla Grotte). After Emygdius’ Martyrdom, his followers attacked Polymius’ palace and pulled it down.

Sant’Emidio Red Temple
The Martyrdom of St Emygdius

His hagiography was written probably by a Monk of French origin in the eleventh century, after the rediscovery of the Saint’s relics, which had been conserved in a Roman sarcophagus. However, his hagiography was attributed to his disciple Valentius, who was Martyred with him. The cult of Saint Emygdius is ancient, documented by Churches dedicated to him since the eighth century. The translation of his relics from the catacomb of Sant’Emidio alla Grotte to the Crypt of the Cathedral of Ascoli, happened probably around the year 1000 under Bernardo II, Bishop of Ascoli Piceno.

St Emygdius’ Tomb in Ascoli Cathedral

In 1703, a violent earthquake occurred in the Marche but did not affect the City of Ascoli Piceno. The City’s salvation was attributed to Emygdius and he was thenceforth, invoked against earthquakes. As a result of this event, a Church was deciated to the Saint in 1717. Additionally, many Towns appointed him as Patron, erecting Statues in his honour in the Parish Churches (L’Aquila, 1732; Cingoli, 1747; San Ginesio, 1751; and Nocera Umbra, 1751)

Emygdius is considered to have protected Ascoli from other dangers. A dazzling vision of Emygdius deterred Alaric I, King of the Visigoths, from destroying Ascoli in 409. The troops of Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor passed through the region in 1038 carrying the dreaded disease – the Plague; Bernardo I, Bishop of Ascoli, invoked Emydgius’ aid and the spread of the Plague was immediately arrested. During World War II, on 3 October 1943, Emygdius protected the City against the Germans and against the hunting and arrest of the Italian partisans.

Statue of Saint Elgdius baptising Polisia, in Foligno Cathedral

The Annunciation, with Saint Emygdius is an Altarpiece by Italian artist Carlo Crivelli showing an artistic adaptation of the Annunciation. The Altarpiece was painted for the Church of the Annunziata in Ascoli Piceno, in the region of Marche, to celebrate the self-government granted to the town in 1482 by Pope Sixtus IV. St Emygdius is shown in the passageway on the left.


Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major / Our Lady of the Snows, Our Lady of the Snow, Adro, Italy (1519) and Memorials of the Saints – 5 August

Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major / Our Lady of the Snows (Optional Memorial)

Nostra Signora della Neve / Our Lady of the Snow, Adro, Italy (1519) – 5 August, 8 July:

St Abel of Rheims
St Addai
St Aggai of Edessa
Bl Arnaldo Pons
St Cantidianus
St Cantidius
St Cassian of Autun
St Casto of Teano
Bl Corrado of Laodicea
St Emygdius (Died c 303) Bishop Martyr
St Eusignius
St Gormeal of Ardoilen
Bl James Gerius
St Margaret the Barefooted
St Mari
St Memmius of Châlons-sur-Marne
St Nonna

St Oswald of Northumbria (604-642) Martyr and King.

St Paris of Teano
Bl Pierre-Michel Noël

Blessed Salvio Huix-Miralpeix C.O. Cong Orat (1877–1936) Bishop of Ibiza and later of Lleida, Catalonia and Martyr. Religious of the Congration of the Oratory of St Philip Neri, Professor of Theology, Apostle of the sick.
His Life and Death:

St Sobel
St Theodoric of Cambrai-Arras
St Venantius of Viviers
St Viator

Martyrs of Fuente la Higuera: A group of Augustinian priests and clerics who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War. 5 August 1936 in Fuente la Higuera, Valencia, Spain. They were Beatified on 28 October 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI.
10 Beati:
• Anastasio Díez García
• Ángel Pérez Santos
• Cipriano Polo García
• Emilio Camino Noval
• Felipe Barba Chamorro
• Gabino Olaso Zabala
• Luciano Ramos Villafruela
• Luis Blanco Álvarez
• Ubaldo Revilla Rodríguez
• Victor Gaitero González

Martyrs of the Salarian Way: Twenty-three Christians who were martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian.
303 on the Salarian Way in Rome, Italy.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Bl Eduardo González Santo Domingo
Bl Jaume Codina Casellas
Bl José Trallero Lou
Bl Lluís Domingo Mariné
Bl Manuel Moreno Martínez
Bl Maximino Fernández Marinas
Bl Victor García Ceballos