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November 12 or October 6.

Saint Renatus, Saint-René d'Angers, or San Renato di Sorrento

Saint Renatus' Story

Saint Renatus' story also known as San Renato is about a bishop in the 5th century who lived in the city of Sorrento, near Naples, in the province of Campania; therefore he was a member of the early Christian church. He was the first bishop of Sorrento, and probably was one of the hermits who lived in the hills near the city. According to Antonio Borrelli, he may have been an early member of the hermits, such as Catellus of Castellammare or Antoninus of Sorrento, who lived between the 7th and 9th centuries as hermits on the hills of the Sorrentine Peninsula. A homily dedicated to the saint, composed at the end of the eighth century, does not refer to him as a bishop, nor is he mentioned as such in the Life of Saint Antoninus, Abbot of Sorrento, composed in the 9th century or sometime after. The Life includes a description of the saints obtained from painting hanging at the time in the cathedral of Sorrento. In this work, Renatus is depicted as an old man and appears with the patron saints of Sorrento: Antoninus of Sorrento, Athanasius of Sorrento, Baculus of Sorrento, and Valerius of Sorrento. In the narrative, the saints appear to Duke Sergius I of Naples on the eve of battle against Moorish forces in 846 AD. Renatus' place of prayer (oratorio) became the city's first cathedral, which later was substituted in 1603 by a big basilica built by the Benedictines of Monte Cassino, during a time of renewed interest in the relics associated with Renatus and Valerius of Sorrento. Renatus’ cult was diffused throughout Campania. In Sorrento there was a chapel in the cathedral dedicated to the saint, where he is venerated with the title of Confessor of the Faith. On Monte Faito, in the Municipality of Vico Equense, there was a small church dedicated to Renatus. Several centers for Renatus’ cult appeared in Naples, and are mentioned in documents dating from July 1276 and March 1367. There were also centers of his cult in Capua, Sarno, and Nola in the fourteenth century. The present-day Duomo of Sorrento has a chapel dedicated to San Renato. He was also venerated on October 6.

Saint-René began when the Italian Saint Maurilius, the bishop of the French city of Angers (Anjou) in the 5th century, was one day called to assist a moribund child. Unfortunately he was detained by a pressing task in the church, and arrived too late to minister the sacrament of baptism to the child. Feeling responsible for the loss, Maurice decided to expiate it, and left Angers in secret and embarked upon a ship, throwing the keys to the cathedral's treasury into the high seas. He then went further to England, to work as the royal gardener. Meanwhile, the inhabitants of Angers had found the keys inside the liver of a big fish which was caught by the local fishermen. They traced the whereabouts of the bishop to England and convinced him to return to their city. Arriving at Angers, Maurilius prayed at the dead child's tomb, and, in a miracle, the child resuscitated, smiling, "fresh as the flowers growing on the tomb". Because of this Maurilius baptized the boy as René (French for re-born and Renatus). René later succeeded Maurilius as the bishop of Angers, and came to sainthood himself, as Saint René. Saint-René is mostly venerated in France on November 12.





San Renato di Sorrento

Sorrento, Italy

Chiesa di Moiano di SanRenato.jpeg


Sausage Stuffed Onion


  • 3 medium to large red onions

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes

  • 1 cup white wine

  • 1 pound sweet or spicy Italian sausage, casings removed

  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1 cup chicken stock


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with foil.

  2. Peel the onions and cut them in half along the equator. Cut the bottoms slightly so that the onions can sit cut-side up steadily. Use a spoon or melon baller to scoop the centers out of the onions, leaving about 1/4-inch (or 1 layer of onion) as the shell and reserving the scooped flesh. (The onions should look like little bowls.) Place the hollowed-out onions in the baking dish. Drizzle the olive oil over them and sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Roast the onions until they are soft and brown on the tops, about 30 minutes. Let rest until cool enough to handle. (Leave the oven on.)

  3. Meanwhile, roughly chop the reserved onion flesh. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to brown, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle in 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, or more if desired. Reduce the heat to medium and let the onions cook until they are very soft and brown, another 10 to 15 minutes. Pour 1/2 cup wine into the skillet and scrape up any brown bits. Let the wine cook out, then transfer the onions to a large bowl to cool slightly.

  4. Add and combine the sausage with the caramelized onions. Mix in the panko, thyme, garlic, half the Parmesan, half the parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Use a 1/2-cup ice cream scoop or measuring cup to add a heaping half cup of the sausage mixture to each roasted onion. They should be mounded; press everything in to keep it together. Pour the stock and remaining 1/2 cup wine into the bottom of the baking dish. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the onions from the oven, remove the foil, sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on the tops of the onions, then bake until the cheese is melted and browning and the sausage is browned, another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, then sprinkle with the remaining parsley and serve warm.

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