The history of San Valero: patron saint of Zaragoza

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Posted January 13, 2017 by zaragozaturismo in History

On 29 January, Zaragoza holds a festival in honour of its patron saint: San Valero. In addition to different activities carried out in the street by the City Hall and the traditional dessert (the typical “roscón” of San Valero), there is a story behind every festivity. We are telling about the history of San Valero. Not only “rosconero and ventolero”!

Valero was bishop of Saragossa at the beginning of century IV. It is said that he had difficulty speaking, that he was a little stutterer and that his deacon Vincent (Saint Vincent Martyr) was helping him in his role as a speaker and defender of Christianity. That´s why he suffered during his episcopate the persecution of the Emperor Diocleciano, who wanted people venerated pagan gods. In spite of this, he didn´t cease to preach the Christian faith nor to stand by those persecuted by that cause.
For this reason both were arrested, chained and sent to Valencia by order of Daciano, then the governor of Hispania. Valero was condemned to exile in lands of Somontano and died already old. However, Vicente wasn´t lucky and was martyred in Valencia. busto-relicario-de-san-valero

In La Seo Cathedral, a reliquary bust of San Valero of silver and enamels is exhibited in the altarpiece. This bust is a gift of Don Pedro de Luna, Pope Benedict XIII, dating from the XIV-XV century. In its interior is the skull of San Valero. In addition, the chapel of San Valero of the same cathedral also conserves a reliquary with a bone of the arm that the faithful can kiss the day of the saint.

Take advantage of free access to La Seo on the day of the patron saint of Zaragoza and don´t miss the relics of San Valero!


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