Saint Libertine of Agrigento, Bishop and Martyr
The cult of St. Libertine
“The cult of St. Libertine had to start quite early, at the time of Gregory the Great, a praetor of Sicily and Sardinia had a bishop of that name, while in the life of St. Gregory, bishop of Agrigento, written by Leander, remembers a house that the Church of Agrigento had a very long time in Palermo and was called Libertino “was intact for a long time and was called the Church Agrigento Libertino.
On the dating of St. Libertine between the first and third centuries agree on Lanzoni, the Kehr, over Mercurelli.
According to tradition, collected by Gaetano and inserted into the liturgy of the saint, to November 3, the preaching of St. Libertine was so effective and fruitful outcomes that the pagan authorities decided to nip, not succeeding, either with the flattery, nor threats, resorted to violence.
According to tradition, he was martyred with St. Pellegrino and then burned, according to another was stoned to death or killed with the sword or a blow to the chest or the head.
The Russian reports of some passages of P. Francis Petronio says that heperformed many miracles and built a church dedicated to Our Lady, which may have been the first cathedral in Agrigento. A popular tradition says that St. Libertine, shortly before he died, he told viewers of his torment: ‘Gens unfair, plebs rea, not videbis bone mea “from whence it derived the name of the northern gate of the city Bibbirria. Picone But rightly notes that a martyr dies forgiving and the port name is of Arabic origin and means “gate of the winds” from Bab er rijah.
About the place of martyrdom, the launch of Brolo, as we said, would like to see in the mountain-top Crotali Triocala a corruption of the word, while Picone believes that it may be corruption of the word “Akropoleos”, the fortress of Agrigentini but the term could well maintain its greek meaning of “castanets,” or, perhaps more appropriately, for a hill country of “narcissus” so covered with daffodils.
The place was ancient Acropolis in the past found in what was called the “plan of Gypsies, Mon chianu Zingaro” on the hill on which stands the present city, near where stands the church of the saint.
The Agrigentini during the plague of 1625, as many had turned to the intercession of the saint and had obtained many graces and miracles, considering that according to tradition, suffered martyrdom there and was buried there, on ‘ example of Palermo who had found the body of S. Rosalia, dug in the area of the Plan of Gypsies, but found nothing.
However, they decided to build a chapel.
For instance p. Michele di Agrigento and his brothers of the comments, the jurors of the time: Gaspare Di Fede, Bernardo Belguardo, Giuseppe Di Falco, Giuseppe Piemontese, granted the area to the chapel and a home under these conditions: ‘that this can not Chiano serve for another effect or use, except for the plan of that building and for construction of the church, under the name of that holy Libertino and that we can always dig quandocumque in that plane for the invention of the holy relic of this saint, no obstante any building such factories can be wholly or partly on account of that dirrupare invention of the Corps’ °.
The chapel was later enlarged and became the church by Bishop Francis Trahina and was later restored by Msgr. Lo Jacono and Mgr. Lagumina. The Russian enumerates some of the paintings, frescoes, works of art representing the Holy among the most remarkable paintings recall those already quoted from the Cathedral of Agrigento which represents St. Pietro S. Libertine, the other with the holy bishops Agrigento, both now preserved in the episcopal palace, and place the painting on the altar of his church.
Michael Blasco put him among the other saints Agrigento in his paradise in the apse of the cathedral is also represented in a fresco beside the body and suffers martyrdom and a wooden ceiling beam.
In the church of Ravanusella of a statue of St. Libertine Surrocco, says the Russian, on the basis of which read: Divo Libertino ob invectani religionem, Agrigento. Today there is more and if they have lost all trace.
The same Russian recalls a medal owned by Capuchin Fr Samuel, where were the images of S. Libertine and S. Gerlando, but can not give more precise
In stucco school serpottiana Church of Purgatory is also seen an image of the saint and another one sees in the pulpit.
Liturgical worship of S. Libertine, as far as we know, began very late in the rebuilding the church of Agrigento, perhaps in the century. XVI, in the wooden ceiling of the cathedral, which dates from the early 1500s, it was then painted his image, at the behest of Bishop Julian Cybo.
It was then increased towards the end of the century and especially at the beginning of the following with the construction of the chapel and the church dedicated to him. In 1848 Msgr. Domenico Maria Lo Jacono “his tum tum Capituli cathedralis, turn universae civitatis suppliciter retulit to vote summum Ecclesiae Pontificeim Feathers Nonum Cajetae commorantem, temporum iniquitate atque ex apostolic indulgentia obtinuit hisce lectionibus ut etiam in missa et oratione CLERUS Universus etiam regularis Agrigentinae Diocesis uteretur” (So reads the historical lesson in the office of S. Libertino Officio’s already mentioned. “appealing to the Supreme Pontiff of the Church led Pius IX, for the iniquity of the times, lived in Gaeta, his vows, the chapter, throughout the city and the apostolic indulgence that got all the clergy of the diocese of Agrigento, including the smooth, utilize these readings and prayer even in the Mass “).
Source: Santi e Beati