Saint Servulus: The Iconography

In Rome, blessed Servulus. As Pope St. Gregory writes, he was a paralytic from infancy until his death. He lay in the portico of the Church of St. Clement, and finally went to Paradise amidst the song of angels. God has again and again manifested miracles at his tomb. Roman Martyrology for December 23

Gregory the Great tells St. Servulus' story in his Forty Homilies on the Gospels and again in his Dialogues. From birth St. Servulus was an invalid unable to move any of his limbs. He survived by begging at the porch of the Church of St. Clement in Rome. Yet he impressed all with his joyful disposition and his devotion to the faith. Gregory says that he would ask passing clerics to stop and read to him from the scriptures for a while, and in that way he learned the whole Bible by heart. When the alms he collected in a day were more than he needed, he would give the excess to others among the poor. He died as joyfully as he had lived, asking those around to sing with him for his final departure.

Prepared in 2017 by Richard Stracke, Emeritus Professor of English, Augusta University

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SHOWN ABOVE

A fresco in San Clemente of the death of St. Servulus. See the description page for details.

DATES

  • Feast day: December 23
  • Died circa 590

HAGIOGRAPHY