St. Symmachus Bishop of Capua
Capua (Santa Maria Capua Vetere), † 449 approx.
In 430 Symmachus was bishop of Capua, the ancient city founded in the sixth century BC by the Etruscans, then dominated by Samnites, who absorbed the culture Etruscan and Hellenistic Greek. Symmachus was the founder of the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, survived the destruction of the Saracens and became the initial core of the new city, the future Santa Maria Capua Vetere, becoming the cathedral. Symmachus would have died in 449, after 19 years of episcopacy in Capua and his worship was always kept alive. From 1313 appeared the first calendars bearing his name was added, and were also present in the territory Capuano, many churches named after him, even in popular forms, Simo, Simm, Simbrico. And he’s patron of Santa Maria Capua Vetere.
Extensive historical and chronological studies have found, through the various scholars of history capuana which St. Symmachus was bishop of the ancient city of Capua in 430 and died in 449 AC.
It should be a premise history, when we speak of the ancient city of Capua, we are referring to the great and famous city founded in the sixth century BC by the Etruscans, then dominated by the Samnites who assimilated the Etruscan and Hellenistic Greek culture.
In 343 BC, Capua was considered, according to Livy, the largest and richest cities in Italy, in 338 it entered the political orbit of Rome, with an alternation of alliances, separations, fights, agreed, destruction, rebuilding and colonization, until 456 AD, when it was devastated by Geiseric king of the Vandals, resurrected floridly eighth century, and was again destroyed by the Saracens in 840.
Therefore the surviving refugees, founded the new Capua in a safer place in 856, in a bend of the Volturno River, which was the origin of the modern city of Capua.
In place of the old city, was only the church of S. Maria Maggiore, the Cathedral stands, around which was formed as a small town, which after 1315 became known as Villa Maioris Sanctae Mariae, who became a village of Capua until 1806 and then fastest-selling independent municipality under the name of Santa Maria Capua Vetere, whose inhabitants today are twice those of Capua today.
Then Saint Symmachus was bishop of ancient Capua, now Santa Maria Capua Vetere and current Capua distant 35 km, both now in the province of Caserta.
Bishop St. Symmachus, was the founder of the Basilica of St. Maria Maggiore and Saint Maria Suricorum, then survived the destruction of the Saracens and became the initial core of the new city, the future Santa Maria Capua Vetere, becoming the cathedral.
The basilica is placed in relation to that erected in Rome by Pope Sixtus III and the Council of Ephesus in 431, which proclaimed the divine maternity of Mary.
The apse was adorned with a mosaic, representing the Virgin and Child with the underlying decorative band, bore the inscription: “Sanctae Mariae Episcopus Symmachus. It was completely destroyed in 1754.
The existence of Bishop Symmachus, is evidenced in the letter “De obitu Paulini” the priest uranium, which narrates the visit of the bishops and Symmachus Acindino, saw 431 in June to visit the dying bishop of nearby Nola, St. Paulinus, who died three days later.
Symmachus would have died in 449, after 19 years of episcopate in Capua and his cult was kept alive until the fourteenth century, when it increased.
From 1313 appeared the first calendars bearing his name was added, and were also present in the territory Capuano, many churches named after him, even in popular forms, Simo, Simm, Simbrico.
Patron of Santa Maria Capua Vetere, St. Symmachus bishop is celebrated on October 22.
Author: Antonio Borrelli
Source: Santi e Beati