Santa Patrizia, the co-patron saint of Naples with miraculous blood

by Claudia Colella

Santa Patrizia is one of the 52 patron saints of the city of Naples. The day in which it is celebrated is August 25, but the Saint performs the miracle of the liquefaction of the blood every week, precisely every Tuesday around 3 pm. Exactly yes, his prodigy consists in making the blood melt, just like the main saint of Naples, our San Gennaro. Are the two saints therefore in competition? Let's find out more about the history of the Saint.

How did Santa Patrizia come to Naples?

Its existence, short and sparse in news, is said to have begun in 664 d. C., in a rich and noble family of Constantinople. She was probably one of Constantine's descendants and therefore fate predicted an imperial marriage for her, more political than love. To avoid the royal wedding, he fled to Naples with the nurse Aglaia and some Eunuchs, and lived anonymously in the Neapolitan city. Later he went to Rome to receive the virginal blessing from Pope Liberius.

On the death of the emperor he returned to Constantinople, where he renounced all rights to the imperial crown and distributed his goods to the poor. On this occasion she had the emperor's mother, Helen, donate a piece of a nail from the cross of Christ, which she herself had brought from Jerusalem, which was fused with other metal to recreate a whole nail. When Patrizia arrives in Naples, she will take him with her. This was displayed every Good Friday, at which time it turned red as blood and had miraculous powers.

Santa Patrizia, the co-patron saint of Naples with miraculous blood
Santa Patrizia, co-patroness of Naples

Let us return, however, to Patrizia's wanderings. With the will to make a pilgrimage to Palestine, he embarked again. A storm, however, diverted it to the islet of Megaride, the first inhabited nucleus of the city of Naples, where he found shelter. In the caves below the Castel dell'Ovo the first community of prayer and assistance to the needy linked to the figure of Saint Patricia.

Having recently arrived in Naples, she fell seriously ill and here she breathed her last breath, according to the legend on 25 August 685 AD. His nurse Aglaia, warned in a dream by an angel, she placed her body on a cart pulled by oxen, which, spontaneously, without any guide, took her to the church of Saints Nicandro and Marciano, where she was buried. With the money that Patrizia herself had earmarked for this purpose, the nurse began renovating the church in this place: the followers of Saint Patrizia, called the “patriziane”, continued to live here.

Saint Patricia, protector of women looking for a husband

In 1625 Santa Patrizia was named patroness of Naples and in 1642 his silver statue was brought to Naples Cathedral. A monastery was dedicated to her in the city but it was suppressed in 1808. Sister Maria Pia, a faithful devotee of hers, managed to create a community in Naples dedicated to the Saint, initially in via dei Tribunali. Subsequently, however, the community had to move due to the construction of the Polyclinic in 1918: today the University has placed the anatomy and pathology institutes there. Furniture and paintings from the church of Santa Patrizia are now scattered among other churches or museums in the city.

If every co-protector in Naples has a specific role in helping San Gennaro, Santa Patrizia has the task of protecting and helping women looking for a husband, who go to her grave throughout the year to pray to her in order to receive a good marriage. But she is also the protector of sailors, women in labor and the needy. It is her biography that explains the reason for these tasks: the young age in which she died, the refusal of a marriage that was not "good" for her, the shipwreck at sea, the devotion to the needy. In Naples we look for the patron saints with experience!

The miraculous blood of Saint Patricia

In Naples, even today, for more than 1300 years, devotion is strong. They are kept in Naples, in the monumental complex of San Gregorio Armeno a tooth and the miraculous blood of Saint Patrick, guarded by Crucified Sisters Adorers of the Eucharist.

Santa Patrizia, the co-patron saint of Naples with miraculous blood
Reclining body of Saint Patricia

It is said that a faithful, wanting a relic of the Saint's body, pulled off a tooth. Blood flowed from Patrizia's mouth as if it were a living body.

For the enormous wonder, the blood was collected in two cruets, still preserved today, from which we witness every year, on 25 August, and every Tuesday of the year around 3 pm, the "miracle", or the dissolution of the saints lumps.

This is why the name of Santa Patrizia is combined with that of Saint Gennaro: both sample the miracle of blood liquefaction.

Bibliography

Yvonne Carbonaro, History of the women of Naples, Kairòs editions, 2021.

Patricia of Constantinople, on Saints, blessed and witnesses.

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1 Comment

Gennaro D'Aria 31 March 2022 - 15:32

Nice and interesting. Well done!

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