Christ Crowning Two Bishop Saints

6th century
Mosaic
South apse, Euphrasian Basilica, Poreč, Croatia

The inscription on the right identifies the figure as St. Severus, a poor man in 4th-century Ravenna who went with his wife to observe the election of a new bishop. When he arrived at the church a white dove landed three times on his shoulders, so the people elected him. Years later, when he was about to die he peacefully closed himself into his grave and expired. The day was February 1, now his feast day. His story is published in the Acta Sanctorum, February vol. 1, 79-91.

At the time when the basilica was built Poreč was part of the Ostrogothic kingdom, whose capital was Ravenna. This probably explains why this church would be honoring a bishop from the other side of the Adriatic.

The bishop portrayed on the right may also be a Ravennan. The inscription has been lost, however. Some websites identify the figure as St. Ursus of Ravenna; others suggest other names. Without an inscription or attribute it is impossible to know.

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View another image of Severus at Sant'Apollinare in Classe
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Photographed at the basilica by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.