Key to Umbria: Norcia

St Sanctulus (15th December)

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Detail of St Sanctulus

from Madonna in Glory  with saints (early 17th century)

attributed to Cristoforo Roncalli,

Santa Maria Argentea

The Dialogues of Pope Gregory I recorded that the “reverent Priest, Sanctulus” had been the source of the information therein about SS Eutychius and Florentius.  Gregory I also recorded the “very heavy news of his death”.

According to the Dialogues, St Sanctulus had arrived at an olive mill one day and asked its “infidel” Lombard owners to fill his oilskin.  They thought that Sanctulus was mocking them because the mill broken, and verbally abused him.  Sanctulus however asked for a bucket of water, which he blessed before throwing it over the press.  The mill was thereby miraculously repaired.

On another occasion, St Sanctulus employed workmen to repair the church of San Lorenzo, which the Lombards had destroyed, but he lacked the means to pay them.  Famine was rife and the workmen risked starvation.  However, when St Sanctulous looked in a nearby oven, he found that it contained a loaf that no-one could explain.  This satisfied the men on that occasion, and the miracle was repeated for ten consecutive days. 

When St Santulus pleaded with the Lombards for the life of a deacon whom they had imprisoned, they agreed at least that the man could be entrusted to his custody.  He insisted that the deacon should flee, eve though it meant his own life would be forfeit.  However, when a soldier tried to behead him, his arm froze.  When he promised never again to try to execute a Christian, St Sanctulus cured his paralysed arm.  In response, the Lombards released all of their other Christian prisoners.

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