Nicasius of Sicily
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Patronage||Caccamo; invoked against scrofula|
Nicasius (Nicasio, Nicaise) of Sicily (also known as Nicasio Burgio, Nicasius de Burgo, Nicasio Camuto de Burgio, Nicasius Martyr, Nicasius of Jerusalem) (c. 1135 – 1187) is venerated as a martyr in the Catholic Church.
He was a member of the Knights Hospitaller. His feast day is July 1. Born in Sicily -perhaps Palermo- to the Kameti (or Camuto) family (later known as de Burgio) in the twelfth century, he joined the Order as a knight with his brother Ferrandino. They answered the call of Roger de Moulins and travelled to the Holy Land.
He assisted in the defense of Acre, but was captured and beheaded there in 1187. Alternatively, another tradition claims he was captured during the battle of Hattin and was decapitated in the presence of Saladin after refusing to convert to Islam.
An altar dedicated to him was extant in 1305 in the church of Saint Peter in Trapani. However, the point of origin for the cult of Saint Nicasius seems to have been Caccamo –which officially declared him patron of the city on May 31, 1625. The priest Vincent Venuti in his Discorso storico-critico (1762) writes:
...now because of the dominions that the Burgio family had near Caccamo. Or because of devotion, which the Cabrera family exercised toward St. Nicasius, or because of both reasons, I figure that, little by little, some what of a cult toward our St Nicasius of Jerusalem, went in Caccamo...