Patronal Feast

Devotion to SS Nazario and Celso

Every year on 28th July

July 28th is the feast in honor of the patron saints of Arenzano: Nazario and Celso. The martyrs, whom the parish church is dedicated, according to tradition, would have landed on the Ligurian coast to meet the local community between 66 and 67 dc.

Every year, the celebration of the liturgies, solemn Mass and vespers are followed by the touching moment of the historic procession through the streets of the town, accompanied by the Arenzano Philharmonic, the Christs of the Confraternity of Santa Chiara and where is carried the ancient processional case.

After a tour around  the festively decorated town and the shopping at the traditional stalls, the expectation of many people is for the suggestive fireworks show that amazes for the wonderful reflection on the sea.

The hystory of Saints Nazario and Celso

Little is known about the bond between the two Saints and Arenzano: their life is partly reported in the biography of Saint Ambrose who, in 395, found their bodies buried in the outskirts of Milan. According to a legend, San Nazario, descendant of a Jewish family but Roman citizen, was a disciple of San Pietro and was baptized by the second bishop of Rome, Pope Lino. To escape the persecutions that were being carried out against Christians, Nazario began to preach the Gospel in many cities of Northern Italy.
During his period of evangelization in Gaul, he was entrusted by a local matron with a child named Celsus, who immediately received baptism from his guardian and teachings about the Christian faith. During their mission work, the two suffered many persecutions and, never denying their faith, ended up arrested: thanks to the Roman citizenship of Nazario however, they were sent to Rome for a regular trial. Embarked on a ship to be thrown into the sea, according to the death sentence received, they were saved with the help of a storm: they were in fact recovered by sailors who, in change, received the miracle of the end of the storm. They reached the Genoese coasts, where they continued their evangelization throughout Liguria, between 66 and 67 dc, finding a strong interest in devotion from  the citizens. The two Martyrs are a shining example of self-denial for their faith that they never denied, even in font of the most abject tortures.