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Saints Above

Tale of Saint peter
Each Italian town, city, and village has its very own patron saint, and each of these saints has their own Saints day, which is celebrated with a church service, music, dancing and of course food. Verona is extremely fortunate, it has two saints which it calls its own, and they are Saint Zeno and Saint Peter.
The Tale of Saint Zeno
San Zeno is the patron Saint of Verona, and as such, has an extra special relationship with the city. The bronze doors of his monastery, one of the oldest Benedictine monasteries in Verona, are carved with anecdotes related to the life and the miracles he performed. Amongst the most important, his fight against the devil, the liberation of one possessed, and the miracle of water.
The first story begins that Saint Zeno was fishing one day on the banks of the River Adige, he saw a peasant crossing the river in a horse and cart. The horses suddenly became ‘possessed’, they reared up and were clearly distressed. Saint Zeno believed this to be the devils work, and so he made the sign of the cross, and voilà, the horses immediately became quiet.
In 1588, the River Adige flooded its banks. The fast flowing waters travelled into the centre of the city causing considerable damage, but when the floodwaters reached the doors of the church dedicated to Saint Zeno, and a miracle occurred. Even though the doors were wide open, the water did not enter.

Saint Zeno’s feast days are the 12th April and 21st May

The Tale of Saint Peter
Saint Peter of Verona was Dominican friar and priest. He was an outspoken man, his sermons denounced heresy, and he also had a particular dislike of Catholics who professed the faith by words, but did not act accordingly. Crowds of people followed him and travelled long distances just to hear him speak. Because of this, and because of the content from some of his sermons, a Milanese group of Cathars conspired to have him killed. They hired an assassin who attacked Peter at a lonely spot as he was returning from Como to Milan on the April 6, 1252. Legend has it that the assassin struck Peter's head with an axe, but following the blow Peter rose to his knees, and according to pious tradition, recited the Apostle's Creed and offered his blood as a sacrifice to God. He is also said to have written with his own blood on the ground, 'Credo in Deum' or ‘I believe in God’, before he was fatally stabbed in the heart. There is an alternative version to the story which says that the blow that killed him cut off the top of his head, and that he began reciting the Creed when he was being attacked.
Saint Peters’ feast day is the 6th April.

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