Taught and brought up with the Emperor Julian, who, when he ascended the throne, killed both of Donato’s parents, but the saint escaped to Arezzo, and stayed there with the monk Hilary, working many miracles. The prefect having a demoniac daughter, brought her to Donato, and he cast out the devils. A man named Eustace, collector of the taxes in Tuscany, left the money in the custody of his wife Euphrosina but he being driven from the province by enemies, she hid it, and died soon after. The man on returning found the money gone, and fled in despair to Donato, who went to the wife’s tomb and exhorted her to tell them where the money was. A voice replied that it was buried at the door of the house, and there they found it. At the death of Bishop Satyrus of Arezzo Donato was chosen to succeed him, and one day during mass the pagans attacked the church, and the deacon let fall the cup containing the holy element, but Donato collected the fragments, and having prayed on them, restored the cup to its former shape, a part, however, was hidden by the devil, and is missing; at the sight of this miracle many pagans were converted, eighty of whom received baptism. Donato rode out on his ass to cleanse a polluted spring; as he prayed a terrible dragon came out and reared itself against him, but he spat in its face and killed it with his whip, and chased all poison from the spring. He also cast a devil out of the daughter of the Emperor Theodosius, sending it to the desert. A man came to claim a debt of two hundred shillings from the wife of a dead man, and would not allow the corpse to be buried before payment was made. The widow came to the saint, declaring that the debt had already been discharged. Donato went and took the hand of the corpse, which arose and convinced the man that the sum had been paid. Then the corpse said, “Order me to sleep again, father,” and Donato replied, “Go and rest, my son.” As there had been no rain for three years, the people went to the Emperor Theodosius, and asked him to deliver Donato to them, as he had wrought this by magic art. At the instance of the emperor, Donato came out of his house, and prayed, when rain fell in abundance. However, when the Goths ravaged Italy, the prefect Evadracianus, being taxed with apostacy by Donato and Hilarian, took them and commanded them to sacrifice to Jupiter, and when they refused, he caused Hilarian to be slaughtered, while he shut up Donato in prison, and afterwards caused him to be beheaded, in the year 361. 7th August.
- Carries an axe; wears bishop’s habit.
- Allen Banks Hinds, M.A. “Saint Donato”. , 1900. CatholicSaints.Info. 17 April 2017. Web. 28 April 2017. <>