29 JanuarySouth transept Spire-G66
Patron Saint: Porters

Sant’Aquilino was born into a noble family in 970 AD in Würzburg, Germany. He soon attended theological studies, completing which he was ordained a priest. He was repeatedly offered the position of Bishop, but Aquilino refused because he wanted to dedicate his life entirely to the ministry and to preaching more than anything else. In fact, he travelled a lot to various European cities until he moved to Pavia to continue his mission. But he found a city in turmoil, in the hands of Arianism and Catharism, the heresies against which he had long been preaching. His mission cost him his life when he moved to the neighbouring Milan, where he was ambushed by a group of heretics who pierced his throat with a dagger and abandoned him on the ground, alone in an irrigation ditch. An ancient legend about this tragic event relates that after the ambush, some porters carrying merchandise between Pavia and Milan found Aquilino’s corpse by the river Ticino and carried it to the nearby Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore in Milan. Until the 19th century, a procession was held on 29 January every year, during which the Confraternity Facchini della Balla commemorated the finding of the corpse by carrying candles to the basilica and a casket of oil for the votive lamp placed beside the urn of Sant’Aquilino. The same confraternity then chose him as their patron saint.The statue of Sant’Aquilino on Spire G66 is a reproduction of the original one, which was made by Antonio Rusca in the 1800s. The sculpture portrays a bearded man attired in a robe that falls from the left shoulder along his entire body. He is depicted with hands joined in prayer and head upraised, as if he were communicating with the heavens.