St. Dorimedont

San Dorimedonte
History remembers the Saint and Martyr Dorimedont, along with Trophimus and Sabatius, for having suffered martyrdom under the reign of Emperor Aurelius Probus (276-282 AD). The Christians Trophimus and Sabatius reached the city of Antioch during a feast in honour of pagan divinities, during which sacrifices were offered and abominations took place. Seeing this, the two prayed to the Lord to show them the path of salvation. But they were noticed by the idol worshippers, who invited them to join them. When the two strangers refused, the inhabitants of Antioch took them to the governor. Hence, they were subjected to terrible torture: St. Sabatius died of the violence suffered, while Trophimus, who was wounded but survived, was taken to prison. Here he was visited by Dorimedont, a senator who had secretly converted to Christianity. He cleaned and bandaged Trophimus’ wounds. It is said that Dorimedont too refused to participate in celebrations in honour of Castor and Pollux and, when he was asked the reason, he answered that he was Christian and that he would not have participated in such celebrations. For these words, he was thrown along with St. Trophimus to the wild beasts but they remained miraculously unharmed, and were, therefore, beheaded.The statue of San Dorimedonte that today we admire is a reproduction but we do not know its author. In fact, the original dates back to 1830 and is the work of Pompeo Marchesi, sculptor who already worked at Fabbrica del Duomo to produce other works. The statue of Dorimedonte originally dominated one of the spires of the south transept (today G70), but in July 1963 it was replaced by a reproduction and moved to the current position. This replacement was deemed essential due to the deteriorated condition of the original. In fact, the feet of Marchesi’s work presented a long crack in the marble that continued even into the underlying supporting base. Hence the idea of immediately creating a reproduction to replace it, to prevent a catastrophe. The original San Dorimedonte of the 1800s is preserved today at Villa Carlotta, on Lake Como.