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Efisio of Cagliari

(d. c. 303)


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(d. c.303),

martyr. One of the many martyrs who suffered in the last and most severe persecution of Christians under Diocletian and Maximian, Efisio's life, as distinct from his death, is really unknown. An ancient church was dedicated to him and there was an early translation of his relics to Capo di Pula (about 12 miles south of Cagliari). The long-lived cult of this saint is witnessed by a cycle of paintings by Spinello Arietino in Pisa cathedral and by confraternities in his honour who held processions on 1 May. But in the late 18th century, in wars against the French, his cult received new impetus when the defeat of the French armies was attributed to his intercession and he was named commander-in-chief of the Sardinian forces. Thus, even in comparatively modern times, a local saint's posthumous help in battle was found credible and worthy of civil recognition. Unsurprisingly, he is patron of Sardinia. Feast: 15 January.

AA.SS. Ian. I (1734), 997–1005 with Anal. Boll., iii (1884), 362–77; Bibl. SS., iv. 939–43.

Subjects: Christianity.


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