Key to Umbria: Foligno

St Dominic of Sora (22nd January)

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An entry in the Roman Martyrology under 22nd January reads: “At Sora, the abbot St Dominic, renowned for miracles”.

St Dominic of Sora (951-1032) was born in Foligno.  He became  Benedictine monk and founded a number of hermitages in Central Italy.  The reforming Pope John XVIII (1003-9) placed these foundations under papal protection.  The last of them was at Sora (in Lazio), where he died.  His relics are preserved in what is now the Basilica Minore di San Domenico Abate in Sora.

The miracles for which St Dominic was remembered included the cure of snake bites.  A statue of him (illustrated above) is draped with live snakes and taken in procession at Colcullo (in the Abruzzo) during a feast celebrated in May.

Cult of St Dominic of Sora in Foligno

Ludovico Jacobilli recorded (in 1626) that, in 1385, the Compagnia della Carità (also known as the Compagnia dei Preti) built a chapel in the Duomo dedicated to their patrons, both of whom were from Foligno: the Blessed Peter Crisci and St Dominic of Sora.

This altarpiece (1834-6) by Decio Trabalza in the left transept of the Duomo depicts the Madonna and Child in glory with the Blessed Peter Crisci, the Blessed Angela of Foligno and St Dominic of Sora, who intercede for a screaming boy who has presumably been bitten by a snake.