Ampelius the hermit


May 25, 2022

Ampelio, known as Ampelio eremita (mid-4th century - Bordighera, around 5 October 410), was an Egyptian religious, who probably lived at the time of the emperors Theodosius I (329-395) and Flavius ​​Honorius (395-423) before Thebes in Upper Egypt, formerly the center of anchorites, and then in Liguria.


He was born in the Thebaid, or perhaps in Arezzo; once he arrived in Bordighera he decided to settle there to continue in his life made up of a hermitage, penance, prayer and work. He therefore chose the homonymous Cape where he lived among the rocks in a cave or in a cavern. Later it was the white Benedictine monks of San Colombano who built a church that still exists over that place considered holy. The life of the saint - to whom numerous miracles are attributed - was narrated in the ancient past by a monk of San Colombano and is included in the so-called Acta Sanctorum. Ampelio's death is remembered on 5 October.


According to the Christian religion, Saint Ampelius resisted the temptations of the devil by brandishing a red-hot iron and in doing so he obtained from God the gift of being insensitive to burns. He is therefore considered the patron saint of blacksmiths. In 1140 the mortal remains of Sant'Ampelio were moved from the Bordigotta church of Capo S. Ampelio, where they were kept, in the church of Santo Stefano di Sanremo, owned by the Benedictine and dependent on the Genoese abbey of Santo Stefano. A little more than a century later, in 1258, Archbishop Gualtieri ordered the further transfer of the remains directly to the abbey of Santo Stefano, in Genoa. In 1529 the Genoese abbey passed from the Benedictine monks to the Olivetan monks. Since then, the Olivetan religious - whose foundation is due to St. Bernard Tolomei - have considered the saint a member of their Order. The body of Sant'Ampelio was brought back to the city of Bordighera on August 16, 1947 where it is still located in the parish of Santa Maria Maddalena, in the historic center.


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Ampelio eremita, on Saints, blessed and witnesses,