Saints of the Day – Minias (Miniato) of Florence

Saint Miniato of FlorenceArticle

Died in Florence, Italy, c.250. Saint Minias, a soldier stationed at Florence, spread the faith among his comrades, and for this was martyred under Decius (Benedictines). Florentine tradition relates that Minias was a merchant from the East, whom the popular imagination turned into an Armenian prince, who became a Christian and made a penitential pilgrimage to Rome. Thereafter, he is said to have moved to Florence, where he became a victim of the Decian persecutions. It is said that, because of his royal heritage, he was offered many inducements to apostatize, but rejected them all. Thereupon, he was executed close to the present Piazza della Signora.

According to a tradition set down by the chronicler Giovanni Villani, Minias picked up his severed head “and set it again on his trunk, and on his feet passed over the Arno, and went up the hill where now stands his church.” At that time the Mons Fiorentinus was crowded with pagan temples, and a little oratory dedicated to Saint Peter (Jepson).

In art he is represented as a young prince holding a crown; crowned with a rod and palm; crowned with a lily, rod and palm; or carrying his severed head (Roeder). He is venerated in Florence, where the city’s most beautiful and venerable church, begun by Saint Hildebrand in 1013 with monies donated by Emperor Henry II “for the good of his soul,” is dedicated to Minias. His relics rest in a lovely crypt. The mosaic on the facade of the church shows Saint Minias holding what appears to be a sextant as he stands on one side of the Pantocrator with the Blessed Virgin on the other (Jepson).

MLA Citation

  • Katherine I Rabenstein. Saints of the Day, 1998. CatholicSaints.Info. 6 August 2020. Web. 25 November 2020. <>