A Garner of Saints – Saint Petronius

Saint PetroniusArticle

Bishop of Bologna in the time of the Emperor Theodosius. He was of the imperial blood and the Emperor Theodosius manied his sister. From his cradle he was instructed in Greek and Latin, Philosophy and in the Scriptures. He was kind to the poor and disciplined himself by fasting. When Theodosius became tainted with the Arian heresy, Petronius went to Rome to dispute for the faith, and was received there by the pope and clergy. The preceding night the pope had been warned in a vision to appoint Petronius to the vacant see of Bologna, and when on the third day the citizens of Bologna came to Rome saying that their bishop was dead, the pope instantly appointed Petronius in his place to the satisfaction of all. Retuming to Bologna he taught the people both by precept and example, repaired many churches which had been overthrown by the Arians, and built the basilica of San Stefano. After these things Theodosius came to Bologna, being greatly incensed because the people there had killed a legate of his who had behaved brutally and beaten a noble. The citizens at first shut the gates against him, but when he wished to bury a nephew who had died there, they admitted him. No sooner was the emperor inside than he attacked the citizens, killing many and destroyed several churches. Petronius devoted himself after this to repairing his church, and on one occasion when he saw a column falling with a man on it, he made the sign of the cross, and both the column and the man remained uninjured. After obtaining many privileges for his city from the emperor, Petronius died and was buried in San Stefano, in the year 449. 4 October.


  • Episcopal habit, carries a church in his hand, and frequently represented with the leaning tower Garisenda at Bologna.

MLA Citation

  • Allen Banks Hinds, M.A. “Saint Petronius”. A Garner of Saints, 1900. CatholicSaints.Info. 25 April 2017. Web. 23 July 2018. <>