Thursday, October 14, 2010

Church of St. Euphemia

Do you remember the story about Euphemia, the young Christian girl who was arrested by Diocletian for not worshiping the local pagan idol?

Well, there is more to the story.

She was brutally tortured. Her bones were broken on a wheel. Then she was thrown to the lions. The lions only nipped her gently on the arm, refusing to attack her.
We aren't told how the Romans finally murdered her, but murder her they did. Her remains were later rescued by her fellow Christians and placed in a gigantic marble sarcophagus.

In the year 800, this sarcophagus made its way to the Adriatic and floated all the way to Istria.
Fisherman from Rovinj found it and towed it to town.
The townspeople decided it should be in the hilltop church, but how were they to get it there???? Nobody could move it.
Enter stage right - a young boy with two calves.
He said he had had a dream showing him how he should move the sarcophagus with his calves - and so it was done.

Today the sarcophagus still lies in a small chapel to the right of the main alter. Her image adorns both a side alter in the church and the weather vane atop the church - an important local landmark in this fishing village. In both images, she is shown with her wheel. As you might suspect, she has become the venerated patron saint of the town.

Aside from the wonderful Euphemia story, the church is outfitted with some lovely, noteworthy Carrara marble sculpture.

The view from the church is unsurpassed!
(Sorry no photo available at this time.)
I'm told the view from the bell tower is even better!

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