29 MayNorth side Spire-G55
Symbol: Cross

The life of Sant’Esichio of Antioch recalls the fate of many Christian martyrs who were true to their faith and refused to make sacrifice to idols. We are in the 4th century. Esichio decided to leave the military uniform after an edict issued by Maximianus Galerius (303 AD). Hence he started openly professing Christianity. Persecutions started at the time. Hence, he was arrested and, finally, sentenced to death. He suffered martyrdom in water. Indeed, Esichio was thrown into the river Orontes with a stone tied to his right hand. The detail can be clearly seen on the statue placed at the top of Spire G55 of the Duomo: the wrist is tied with a drape connected to the mass that carried Esichio to his death in the river. Roman Martyrology remembers Esichio on various dates. Hence, it is hard to determine what day could be considered this saint’s dies natalis, though the date 29 May appears both in the Syrian Martyrology and in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum.The statue portraying Esichio that today crowns Spire G55 is a reproduction of the original sculpture made in 1835 by Gaetano Matteo Monti. Museo del Duomo preserves a plaster scale model made by the artist portraying the saint in the same pose, with bust slightly rotated. Close observation reveals that it holds a cross in the left hand, while the right hand is already firmly tied to the mass that will carry him to martyrdom in the river Orontes.