Romulus of Fiesole

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Saint Romulus of Fiesole
Duomo di fiesole, giovanni della robbia, san romolo.JPG
Saint Romulus, Cathedral of Fiesole.
Died ~90 AD
Honored in
Roman Catholic Church
Major shrine Fiesole Cathedral
Feast July 6
Attributes depicted with a wolf due to confusion with the legend of Romulus and Remus;[1] bishop with an arrow broken above his breast; depicted at martyrdom of 4 companions or enthroned among four martyrs[2]
Patronage Fiesole

Saint Romulus of Fiesole (Italian: San Romolo) is venerated as the patron saint of Fiesole, Italy. Romulus was probably a local deacon, priest, or bishop of the 1st century.[1]

According to tradition, he was a disciple of Saint Peter and had been converted to Christianity by the apostle.[2] This tradition states that Romulus became the first bishop of Fiesole and was martyred during the reign of Domitian along with four companions: Carissimus, Dulcissimus, Marchis(i)anus, and Crescentius.[2]

He was not named as a bishop or martyr in documents dating from 966; however, a document from 1028 names him as such.[1] From then on, Romulus was considered a martyred bishop of Fiesole, and his companions were named as Carissimus, Dulcissimus, Marchis(i)anus (Marchiziano), and Crescentius.[1] Their feast day was listed as July 6 in the 1468 Florentine edition of the Martyrology of Usuard, and in the 16th century, his name began to appear in the Roman Martyrology, where he was named as a disciple of Saint Peter.[1]

As Antonio Borrelli remarks, sometime between the end of the 10th century and the beginning of the eleventh, Romulus was “upgraded” from being considered a Confessor of the Faith to a martyr, possibly by a local abbot named Teuzo.[1]

An 11th-century legend associated with him, considered “worthless”,[2] makes him an illegitimate son of a woman named Lucerna, who had a child with her father’s slave, who was named Cyrus.[2] Like the Romulus of ancient Roman legend, this Romulus was also abandoned, suckled by a wolf, and captured and raised and baptized by Saint Peter and Peter's companion Justin.[2] Romulus then evangelized much of central Italy and was put to death by the governor Repertian.[2]

The most ancient image depicting Romulus is the 1440 polyptych in Fiesole Cathedral, where he is represented with Saints Alexander, Peter and Donatus.[2]

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