A Garner of Saints – Saint Zanobius or Zenobius

Saint ZanobiusArticle

Of a noble Florentine family and educated in letters. His parents proposing to marry him to a noble lady, he fled to the church and was baptized, an event which led directly afterwards to the conversion of his parents. Being ordained a deacon, his fame spread far and wide, so that the pope sent for him. At this time the heresy of the Arians was spreading throughout the world, and Zanobius boldly stood out against it, while he displayed no less courage in combating the reactionary measures of the Emperor Julian. Sent to Constantinople by the pope to repress heresy, Zanobius proved most successful, healing two demoniacs. On his return to Rome he was created Bishop of Florence by the unanimous vote of the people. He fled away to the pope, but was subsequently obliged to take up the office. On returning to his diocese Zanobius was received with every demonstration of joy, and by his conduct he speedily proved himself worthy of the affection bestowed upon him. He distributed all his goods to the poor, reserving only a piece of land to found a monastery. God also rendered him illustrious by several miracles and he raised five dead to life. The first was the son of a French lady who happened to be passing through Florence on her way to Rome. She left her son in Florence, as he was sick, but on her return she found that the boy had been dead an hour. Plunged into a terrible grief she implored Zanobius to assist her, and the bishop by offering a prayer and making the sign of the cross, raised the son to life. The second was a young man whose funeral the bishop met outside Florence, the parents who had heard what he had done for a stranger, came to beseech him to do the like for one of his own flock, whereupon Zanobius raising his eyes to heaven, restored the youth. The third was a man named Simplicius, by whom Saint Ambrose sent him relics of the martyrs Vitalis, Agricola, Nazare, Celsus, Gervase and Prothase. This envoy fell over a precipice and was fearfully mangled, but the bishop restored him so completely that not a scar could be seen. The fourth was a child crushed under the wheel of a coach when playing before the Cathedral of Saint Sauveur. The last was the father of Saint Eugenius who had died in mortal sin without the sacrament. Zanobius sent his deacon to throw holy water on the corpse, which immediately received life and the power to do penance. Many other miracles were wrought by him, healing the blind and casting out devils. At length, feeling his end approaching, he summoned his clergy to give them his benediction. The people, however, hearing of this flocked to the place in crowds, and he discoursed to them. He died in the year 407 at the age of eighty. The body was at first buried in the Church of San Lorenzo, but in the following year it was translated to San Salvatore. While this translation was taking place, the coffin happened to touch a withered elm, which immediately began to put forth leaves and flourish. Arrived at the entrance of the church the body could not be moved until the bishop Andrew had promised to endow twelve chaplains to sing the praises of God in the chapel where the saint was buried. 25th May.

Attributes

  • The elm tree revived; one of the miracles, such as the child crushed by the wheel or the raising of the French lady’s son. He always wears the episcopal habit.

MLA Citation

  • Allen Banks Hinds, M.A. “Saint Zanobius or Zenobius”. A Garner of Saints, 1900. CatholicSaints.Info. 27 April 2017. Web. 26 May 2017. <>