Minias of Florence
Depiction in Palermo, Sicily
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Major shrine||San Miniato al Monte, Florence|
|Attributes||Depicted as a young prince holding a crown; crowned with a rod and palm; crowned with a lily, rod and palm; carrying his severed head|
Saint Minias (Minas, Miniatus) (Italian: Miniato, Armenian: Մինաս) (3rd century) is venerated as the first Christian martyr of Florence. The church of San Miniato al Monte is dedicated to him. According to legend, he was an Armenian king or prince serving in the Roman Army – or making a penitential pilgrimage to Rome – who had decided to become a hermit near Florence.
He was denounced as a Christian and in 250 AD brought before Emperor Decius, who was persecuting Christians. Miniato refused to sacrifice to the Roman gods, and was put through numerous torments – he was thrown into a furnace, was lapidated, and was thrown to a lion or a panther at an amphitheater – from which he emerged unharmed. Finally, he was beheaded near the present Piazza della Signoria, but his legend states that he picked up his own head. Miniato then crossed the Arno and returned to his hermitage on the hill known as Mons Florentinus (Monte di Firenze).
The historicity of the saint is uncertain. It is possible that there was a saint with this name who was martyred near the Arno. He may simply have been a soldier who was executed for spreading Christianity in the army.
- Archivio Parrocchia (1 Feb 2001). "San Miniato di Firenze". Santi e beati. Retrieved May 20, 2009.
- "St. Patrick Catholic Church: Saint of the Day". Saint Patrick Catholic Church. n.d. Retrieved May 20, 2009.
- Hare, Augustus John Cuthbert (2002). Florence. Adamant Media Corporation. p. 204. ISBN 1-4021-5933-1.
- Brucker, Gene (1998). Florence: The Golden Age, 1138–1737. University of California Press. p. 194. ISBN 0-520-21522-2.
- See a list of Cephalophore saints.