St. Fina

St. Fina (1238–1253) was an Italian girl who is venerated in the Tuscan town of San Gimignano. She developed a paralytic illness and spent the rest of her life on a bed made from a wooden pallet, where Saint Gregory the Great allegedly appeared to her to predict her death. At the exact moment of Fina’s passing away, all the bells of San Gimignano rang without anyone touching them. When Fina’s body was removed from the pallet that was her deathbed, onlookers saw white violets bloom from the wood, and smelt a fresh, floral fragrance throughout her house. Violets grow on the walls of San Gimignano. For this reason, the townspeople call them “The Saint Fina violets.”

Fina is celebrated in San Gimignano on both March 12, the anniversary of her death, and the first Sunday in August. Her relics are kept in a chapel in the Collegiata di San Gimignano. A hospital in San Gimignano was formerly named in her honor and several paintings of her can be found in the town.


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