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