Oil Dedicated to St Zeno of Verona (children learning to speak or walk)
According to a Veronese author named Coronato a notary of the 7th century St Zeno a native of Mauretania. He taught many children of Africa about the Catholic religion and he also helped them with their school work. The style of the 90 or so Sermones attributed to Zeno been considered evidence of his African origins.
Due to its literary style since Christian African writers of the time frequently used neologisms and wordplay.Many of the Sermones concern Old Testament exegesis and have a definite anti Semitic element in them. Staying in the city Zeno entered the monastic life.
Elected successor to the See of Verona after the death of Bishop Gricinus. Zeno had received a good classical education and as bishop baptized many people won converts back from Arianism..
The first evidence for his existence found in a letter written by Saint Ambrose to Bishop Syagrius of Verona. Later Bishop Saint Petronius of Verona wrote of Zeno’s virtues and also confirmed the existence of a cult. St. Zeno is usually pictured holding a fishpole with a fish on the hook. Maybe it is because he was a “fisher of men”. But maybe it was also because he enjoyed fishing for relaxation.
Tradition states that St Zeno built the first basilica in Verona situated in the area probably occupied by the present. His eponymous church in its present location dates to the early ninth century. Endowed by Charlemagne and his son Pepin, King of Italy. King Pepin was present at the ceremony well as an immense crowd of townspeople.
The church damaged at the beginning of the tenth century by Hungarians though the relics of Zeno remained safe. The basilica rebuilt again, and made much larger and stronger. The present church of San Zeno in Verona is a work of the twelfth, thirteenth and early fifteenth centuries for the most part.