St. Hermagoras with SS. Fortunatus and Syrus

12th century
Crypt, Apuleia Basilica, Apuleia, Italy

In the center Hermagoras stands in orant pose wearing a chasuble, flanked by a deacon on the left and a subdeacon on the right. The deacon wears a dalmatic and holds a gospel book, which it is a deacon's duty to read from during the liturgy. The fresco has no inscription for him, but he is almost certainly St. Fortunatus, who in the legend was beheaded with Hermagoras and is co-patron with him of the city of Aquileia.

The subdeacon on the right does have an identifying inscription. He is St. Syrus, whom Hermagoras is said to have sent to evangelize in Pavia. Syrus is now the patron saint of that city. In the fresco his office as subdeacon is signified by his tunicle (like the deacon's dalmatic but with narrower sleeves) and the white maniple on his left arm. He shares his feast day of September 12 with St. Syrus of Pamphilia, a martyr. See the Acta Sanctorum, September vol. 4, 13 and July vol. 3, 249.

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Photograph taken by Richard Stracke in the crypt of Aquileia Basilica, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.