The healing sanctuaries of Umbria; between the sacred and the profane

San Paterniano Church

Immersed in a beech forest, the sanctuary of San Paterniano was founded to heal bone diseases

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When you arrive, on the right side of the facade you will see a large rock with an incision and a hole, which the popular story attributes to the imprints left by the Saint's knee, elbow and walking stick. 
Though this custom has now almost disappeared, you must kneel down in the same position in order to invoke the intercession for the cure of bone diseases.
According to the legend, the cranial relic of San Paterniano returned many times to the place where the Saint wanted to construct a church, until this wish had been fulfilled. The building, named in the Rationes Decimarum and the Pelosius Codex from the 14th Century, has been restored and modified many times in the course of the last three centuries.         
On the bell-shaped facade, preceded by a portico, a portal opens with two small side windows and one above. In the back, there is a small cell that was used as a refuge by religious hermits and the laity up until the first few decades of the twentieth century. On the occasion of the San Paterniano Festival, the church is a destination for pilgrims from the three neighbouring villages: Cammoro, Orsano and Pettino. The faithful gather on the  valley floor: the men wear shirts of the brotherhood and each of the communities forms a procession up to the church. Inside the Church, a likeness of San Paterniano is venerated, where they hang votives asking for a miraculous intervention or to bear witness to the grace received. To make visits to the sanctuary and layovers easier for the faithful, the Agrarian Commonality of Cammoro has created an equipped area in the underlying clearing. In the vicinity of the church, under one of the largest beech trees in the region, "there is a sanitary spring from which the people drink in devotion to the saint and to cure infirmity", as the bishop Carlo Giacinto Lascaris noted in 1713 during his pastoral visit.