Saint Vicinius of Sarsina

detail of a mosaic depicting San Vicinio, his mitre and iron collar; date and artist unknown; Basilica of San Vicinio, Sarsina, Italy; photographed on 9 September 2015 by Rapallo80; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Vicinio

Memorial

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Prayerful hermit on a mountain near Sarsina, Italy; it has since been named Monte San Vicinio in his honour. As was the custom then, around the year 303 the clergy and laity of Sarsina gathered to select their bishop; they saw a sign appear in the heavens above the mountain where Vicinius lived (one account gives it as angels in prayer over his hermitage), a group of the faithful was dispatched to find the man pointed out to them, and Vicinio was chosen the first bishop of Sarsina. Vicinius served for over 25 years, spreading the faith to the entire region. Even as bishop he regularly returned to the mountains to make solitary spiritual retreats. Miracle worker, exorcist and healer of both physical and mental illness.

As a personally imposed penance, for much of his life Vicinius wore an iron collar around his neck; it had a heavy stone attached by a chain. Healings he prayed for were especially powerful if the patient briefly wore the iron collar around his own neck. The collar has survived to today, and is still used for blessings of the sick, particularly those suffering from obsessions. Over the years a folk tradition developed of weaving collars of different coloured threads into “collars” as get-well wishes for the sick, and a reminder of the prayers for the intercession of Saint Vicinius; these collars, known as cordlens, are also blessed and given to the faithful during the celebration of the memorial on 28 August. Legand says that a beggar once tried to steal the collar and chain; he ran all night to escape the area only to find at dawn that he had been running in the same spot for hours; he threw the chain into the river where it floated until found by the locals and returned to its proper place.

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Canonized

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Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Vicinius of Sarsina“. CatholicSaints.Info. 17 January 2018. Web. 17 July 2018. <>