Zeno of Verona, St.
ZENO OF VERONA, ST.
Bishop of Verona; d. ca. 371. St. Ambrose (397) and his own anti-Arian writings indicate that Zeno flourished c. 362 to 371 or 372. His use of African authors, scriptural citations, and a sermon on St. Caesarius of Mauretania argue his African origin. Zeno is not mentioned in Jerome's De viris illustribus, and his vita, written four centuries later by Coronatus Notarius, is overburdened with legends. The sermons reveal a pastoral-minded bishop intent on instilling a liturgical and sacramental life in his flock. He insisted on liberality, hospitality, and care for the poor: "Your homes are open to all travelers. For a long time, here in Verona, no one alive or dead has gone naked. Our poor no longer know what it is to beg for food." Zeno's name is associated with the development of Western monasticism and with the founding of one of the first convents of nuns. Ninety-three of Zeno's sermons
(first printed in 1508) have been preserved: 63 deal primarily with Baptism and the Paschal mystery, and show a rich use of typology. His teaching on the Trinity and the Incarnation reveals the undeveloped status of theology in the West; but he insists on the complete virginity of Mary, before, in, and after giving birth. In art Zeno is represented with a fish on a string being drawn from the water; he is invoked as a patron against floods and drowning. The statue in the abbey church of St. Zeno Major in Verona marks him as "the saint who smiles."
Feast: April 12.
Bibliography: zeno of verona, Tractatus, Patrologia Latina, ed. j. p. migne, 217 v. (Paris 1878–90) 11:253–528; Sermones, ed. j. b. c. giulari (Verona 1900); The Day Has Come! : Easter and Baptism in Zeno of Verona, ed. g. p. jeanes (Collegeville, Minn. 1995). Studi zenoniani: in occasione del XVI centemario della morte di S. Zeno (Verona 1974). d. g. morin, "Deux petits discours d'un évêque Petronius," Revue Bénédictine 14 (Maredsous 1897) 3–8. Acta Sacntorum (Paris 1863–) April 2:68–78. Bibliotheca hagiographica latina antiquae et mediae aetatis, 2 v. (Brussels 1898–1901; suppl. 1911) 9001–02. a. bigelmair, Zeno (Münster 1904). g. bardy, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., (Paris 1903–50; Tables générales 1951–) 15.2:3685–90. m. f. stepanich, The Christology of Zeno (Washington 1948). l. palanca, prose Artistry and Birth of Rhyme in St. Zeno of Verona (2d ed. rev. New York 1972). g. p. marchi, Il culto di San Zenonnel Veronese (Verona 1972). b. lÖfstedt and d. w. packard, A Concordance to the Sermons of Bishop Zeno of Verona (Urbana, Ill. 1975). f. segala, Il culto di san Zeno nella liturgia medioevale fino al secolo XII (Verona 1982). c. truzzi, Zeno, Gaudenzio e Cromazio: testi e contenuti della predicazione cristiana per le chiese di Verona, Brescia e Aquileia (Brescia 1985). g. sgreva, La teologia di Zenone di Verona (Vicenza 1989). w. montorsi, Geminiano e Zenone: due santi per una leggenda (Modena 1993). a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, rev. ed. h. thurston and d. attwater, 4 v. (New York 1956) 2:77–78.
[a. c. rush]