05 OctoberNorth Transept Spire-G78
First Bishop of Zamora (Spain), Attilano was a friend of Froilano (Froilàn) from León. The two lived as hermits on Mount Curueño until, supported by King Alphonsus III the Great, they established several monasteries in the region of León, in Castille, probably Benedictine monasteries. Attilano and Froilano’s purpose was to preach the Word of Christ once again in lands that had been converted to Islam. Attilano’s name appears in several documents of King Alphonsus, and the two were later consecrated in León on the day of Pentecost in 900 AD. A late story that dates after 1132 also says that after being a bishop for ten years, Attilano decided to go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and upon leaving the city, he threw the pastoral ring into the river Dero. When he returned two years later, he stayed in a hut outside the city without being recognised. On cutting open a fish served by his host, he found the ring inside. The story goes that his rags then turned into rich pontifical robes and the festive bells rang out. The saint’s body was found in 1260 in the Cathedral of Sant’Ildefonso (St. Ildefonsus) in Zamora. Today it is under the main altar, along with the ring and the pilgrim’s staff, without the head, which was taken to the Cathedral of Toledo. Sant’Attilano on Spire G78 is portrayed as a young beardless youth, attired only in a short tunic that leaves his legs bare. The youth’s body is slightly turned to the left, while he looks downwards as if to meet the eyes of passers-by. Some recent studies on the work, however, found an engraving at the base with the name “S. Gratiniano” (St. Gratinian). Hence, investigations are in progress to ascertain the statue’s identification.