Syrus of Pavia
|Saint Syrus of Pavia|
Statue of Syrus, Chiesa di San Siro, Castelletto Monferrato.
|Died||~1st century AD|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Attributes||bishop trampling a basilisk (symbol of Arianism) underfoot; bishop enthroned between two deacons; with Saint Juventius|
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His legend, according to the 14th century source known as the De laudibus Papiæ (In the Praise of Pavia), states that Syrus was the boy with the five loaves who appears in the Gospels. As Hippolyte Delehaye writes, "To have lived amongst the Saviour's immediate following was...honorable...and accordingly old patrons of churches were identified with certain persons in the gospels or who were supposed to have had some part of Christ's life on earth." Syrus is said to have followed Saint Peter to Rome and from there he was sent to the Po valley to preach and convert the people to the Christian faith. He preached in all of the major cities of northern Italy.
Another tradition, dating back to the 8th century, makes Syrus a disciple of Saint Hermagoras, who in turn was the disciple of Mark the Evangelist. Hermagoras was the founder of the diocese of Aquileia. Together with Juventius of Pavia he was sent there by Saint Hermagoras. Both Juventius and Syrus are reported to have been the first bishop of Pavia. Syrus worked to challenge and convert those who followed Arianism in his diocese.
- Hippolyte Delehaye, The Legends of the Saints (Dublin, Four Courts Press, 1955), 37.
- N. Everett, "The Earliest recension of the Life of S. Sirus of Pavia (Vat. lat. 5771)", Studi Medievali 43 (2002), 857-957 (Latin text, Eng. trans., commentary).