Tuesday, May 04, 2010

A Story about an Appearance of S.Fortunato to a Salernitan Man

These last days I'm very busy with the discovering of the medieval history of Salerno. It is not because I do it to study but because I speak with persons or read dedicated articles and ask questions about what I read or heard. To answer such a question I have to open everything available. And it is practically nothing of available, I have to claim.

The most interesting for me are the stories of the persons. There are legends, there are fables, there are common points about this period. And there are real stories that are much more interesting, and tragic, and legendary, and fabulous than any legend, fable, story, Hollywood creation etc.

Among them are the stories of the local Saints. SS. Fortunato, Gaio and Ante for Salerno, for instance. I paid attention to this story by accident, exploring the arms of the noble families and archbishops of Salerno. But I had some photos and so, decided to tell you this story today.

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This photo is not very good but it contains important elements. This is the chapel of the Saints in the crypt of S. Mathew of the Salernitan Dom.

The personal stories of the Saints are not clear (I was not able to find something, at lest). It's known only, they were tortured near the wall of Salerno (in my post), where a church was built than, that contained reliquiaes of the Saints (actually in a special place fenced by sticks on the photo) and the column (first on the left) on (?) which the Saints were decapitated.

Because the church was outside the wall it was not protected, and Saracens wanted to loot it in 871-872. There was the leader of the siege, emir, there too that died with his men in that moment for the collaps of the church. And Salerno was saved.

The other story is about a Salernitan man. In the same period (871-2) S. Fortunato appeared to this man and said him he has to go to the prince and to convince him to make a sortie against Saracens. The sally was successful. If we think that the sieges normally finished when the leader was dead, probably this sortie happend before the collaps of the church.

I had some doubts: how could a simple man come to the prince and convince him to make a sortie, it seems interesting to me, specially if who knows who comes and says: I've seen a Saint telling me to do this or that, but local history is full of similar legends. And -!!!-residents continue to revere them.

Finally, a better photo of the same chapel.

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