Key to Umbria: Spoleto

St Baractalis (9th October)

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Fresco (12th century) of

SS Barattale (left) and Gregory

Apse, San Gregorio Maggiore

St Baractalis appears in the Legend of the Twelve Syrians, although this contains nothing but his name and the fact that he was among the Syrians who migrated to Italy at the time of the Emperor Julian the Apostate (355-60).

According to the associated Vita Sancti Paractalis (BHL 6457b), which is preserved in the Leggandari del Duomo, the pagan authorities showed marked leniency toward him because of his youth and his charm.  He nevertheless refused to renounce his faith and was finally denounced when he was found praying at the sepulchre of St Gregory of Spoleto.  He was duly executed and buried next to St Gregory.

According to an inscription in San Gregorio Maggiore, the church was consecrated as "Sanctorum Martirum  Gregorii et Paractalis" in 1146.  He was among the local saints whose feast days were specified as holidays in the statutes of 1296.