St Emygdius (Patron Against Earthquakes)
St Emygdius a Christian bishop who is venerated as a martyr. Tradition states that he was killed during the persecution of Diocletian.
His legend states that he was a pagan of Trier who became a Christian. He traveled to Rome and cured the paralytic daughter of his host Gratianus. Who had let him stay with him at his house on Tiber Island. Gratianus’ family then converted to Christianity. Emygdius also cured a blind man. The people of Rome believed him to be the son of Apollo. And carried him off by force to the Temple of Aesculapius on the island in the Tiber. Where he cured many of the sick. Emygdius declared himself a Christian. However, and tore down the pagan altars and smashed into pieces a statue of Aesculapius. He also converted many to Christianity; this enraged the prefect of the city.
He was made a bishop by Pope Marcellus I and sent to Ascoli Piceno.
Polymius decapitated him on the spot now occupied by the Sant’Emidio Red Temple. Emygdius stood up, carried his own head to a spot on a mountain. Where he had constructed an oratory . After Emygdius’ martyrdom, his followers attacked Polymius’ palace and pulled it down. His hagiography written probably by a monk of Frankish origin in the eleventh century. After the rediscovery of the saint’s relics. Which had conserved in a Roman sarcophagus.
However, his hagiography attributed to his disciple Valentius. Who martyred with him. The cult of Saint Emygdius is ancien. Documented by churches dedicated to him since the eighth century.
In 1703, a violent earthquake occurred in the Marche but did not affect the city of Ascoli Piceno. The city’s salvation attributed to Emygdius and he thenceforth invoked against earthquakes. As a result of this event, the church dedicated a church to the saint in 1717. Additionally, many towns appointed him as patron. Erecting statues in his honor in the churches.