SAINTS

JAN. 29: ST. CONSTANTIUS

(Died 170 AD)

St. Constantius was martyred under the Emperor Antoninus. He was tortured by officials and then took refuge in the house of a certain Anastasius, in the place called Monticellus.

Both men were subsequently arrested, together with their colleague Carpophorus. They managed to convert their oppressors and were released. Other officials questioned St. Constantius as he traveled along the Via Salaria, and he was arrested when he admitted that he was trying to visit Sts. Concordius and Pontian of Spoleto. He was imprisoned in Assisi and then executed at the crossroads, not far from Foligno.

An angel appeared to a Perugian noble called Levianus, instructing him to find the body and to bury it with honor. He duly found it and took it for burial at a place “Areola,” which presumably refers to the location of the present church of San Costanzo, Perugia.

St. Constantius is said to have been the first bishop of Perugia, and was adopted as a patron saint of the city in 1310 (probably after lobbying by the friars of San Domenico).

His relics were re-discovered in the church of San Costanzo in 1781 and transferred to a new altar there in 1825.

In Perugia, on the feast of St. Constantius, a ring-shaped cake made of pine nuts, raisins, and dried fruit, called “torcolo” is made. Another tradition is unmarried women go to the church of San Costanzo to ask if they will get married within the year: if the saint winks at the young woman (and only she can see the wink), the couple will be married within the year. If not, the young man consoles them both with a gift to her a torcolo … and hopes for the saint’s wink next January!

Adapted by A. J. Valentini from: Key to Umbria: Perugia. (n.d.). Key to Umbria. Retrieved Jan. 21, 2021, from http: //www.keytoumbria.com/Perugia/St_Constantius.html and (2016, October 6). Constantius of Perugia, the Saint who winks at the young women. Le Torri Di Bagnara. https: //www.letorridibagnara.it/saint-constantius-of-perugia/