Emygdius of Ancona, St.

views updated


Bishop of Ascoli Piceno, Italy; martyred at Ancona, Aug. 5, 3034. A legend describing the life, miracles, and death of Emygdius (also Emygdus, Emigdius, Emidius) is extant in several conflicting versions, none earlier than the 11th century. According to the legend, Emygdius was a barbarian from Trier and was converted to Christianity there. At an early age he went to Rome and undertook a vigorous missionary activity under Pope marcellus i. After he provoked popular indignation by his desecration of a statue of Aesculapius, Marcellus consecrated him a bishop and sent him to evangelize the region of Ascoli Piceno. His missionary work was successful. During the persecution of Diocletian, he was beheaded at Ancona with his three companions, SS. Eupolus, Germanus, and Valentinus. His cult spread through Italy, where he is considered an effective protector against earthquakes. Perhaps for this reason he is now venerated in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Calif.

Feast: Aug. 9.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum Aug. 2:1636. p. a. appiani, Vita di S. Emidio (Rome 1702). j. f. masden y montero, Difesa critica degli antichi atti del S. Martire Emidio (Ascoli 1794). a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, ed. h. thurston and d. attwater (New York 1956) 3:292293.

[j. brÜckmann]