medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Today (9. August) is the feast day of:

Firmus and Rusticus (d. ca. 304, supposedly).  F. and R. are martyrs of uncertain origin.  They appear in the early seventh-century (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology under this date as martyrs in the East (_in Oriente_).  Their legendary Passio (BHL 3020, etc.), which has been thought to go back to the sixth century, makes F. a resident of Bergamo and R. a relative of his and has them both martyred at Verona under Maximian.  Though this Passio clearly derives much of its detail from one or more Passiones of African saints and though there were African martyrs named Firmus and Rusticus (but not known to have had a joint cult), it is not clear that this F. and this R. were originally African.  Their cult is chiefly Veronese from the early Middle Ages onward, though it also attested from other places in northeastern Italy.  

The very late eighth-century _Versus de Verona_, which in its census of the saints whose churches protect that city pays special attention to F. and R., informs us of the discovery and translation of their previously hidden relics during the time of Desiderius and Adelchis (third quarter of the eighth century) to a church that had already been dedicated to them.  This church, which stood near the Adige in the southern part of the early medieval city, is thought to have been been a predecessor on the same site of today's San Fermo Maggiore, an originally eleventh- and twelfth-century church brought to completion in its upper part by the Franciscans in the mid-fourteenth century.  Herewith two illustrated brief accounts of this monument, one in English and the other in Italian:
And here's the same church's page at the Italia nell'Arte Medievale site:

Since at least the twelfth century F. and R. have been venerated at Caravaggio (BG) in Lombardy, of which town they have long been the principal patrons.  Herewith two illustrated, Italian-language accounts of the later medieval church dedicated to them there:  
And here's a view of the originally twelfth-century church of San Fermo at Grignano (BG) in Lombardy.

John Dillon
(somewhat surprised to have discovered that  F. and R. have hitherto not received a notice in Saints of the Day)

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