St Gratus of Aosta (Patron Against Fear of Insects)
St Gratus the second bishop of the capital city of the Valle d’Aosta. He succeeded Eustasius, with whom he probably shared a Greek origin.
The patron saint of the city and diocese of Aosta, Saint Gratus. The second bishop of the capital city of the Valle d’Aosta. He succeeded Eustasius with whom he probably shared a Greek origin.
It is believed that Gratus like his predecessor. Also received his training in the priestly community founded in the 4th century by Saint Eusebius of Vercelli. Whose diocese originally included the territory of Aosta. The Roman Augusta Praetoria.
It condemned the Monophysite heresy and solemnly reaffirmed the doctrine of the Incarnation. The coexistence of the two natures, human and divine, in the one person of Jesus Christ.
On the death of Eustasius, Gratus succeeded him in the leadership of the diocese. We do not know the exact year when he went to Heaven. But from an epigraph we know that his burial took place on 7 September. His remains are today in the Aosta Cathedral in a Gothic style reliquary.
One of his most common iconographic attributes is the head of St John the Baptist. Because according to a 13th century legend. Which is not generally reliable from a historical point of view. Gratus found in the Holy Land the severed head of the Precursor.
What we do know, however, from previous stories, is that the head of John brought to Italy by Greek monks. In Valle d’Aosta and in the nearby territories. Gratus enjoys great popularity and is particularly invoked for the protection of crops.