St. Euphemia at Rovinj
Since dawn on July 13th 1800 when a marble coffin mysteriously floated towards the Rovinj shoreline bearing the body of St. Euphemia, Rovinj has been linked with this early Christian martyr. The Rovinj skyline is difficult to imagine without the tall campanile of the church high above the town with its floodlit statue at the highest point, which appears to guard the roofs below. Its long history would be very different without the traditional devotion to St. Euphemia. Throughout the passing centuries large numbers of worshippers came from all over Istria to visit the coffin in which the Saint's body is preserved on St. Euphemia's Day, September 16th. Many people have kneeled, lit candles and made solemn vows, and these promises have saved them throughout their difficult history.
Only God knows how many seen and unseen miracles have been brought about by this Saint when so many come so often to pray. Many daughters of both peasant and upper-class families, those from Slav families and those from Roman families have been named after her : Eufemia, Fuma, Fumica. These girls worshipped the Saint as their protector whether or not they were reared in a poor household or in a rich town palace.
There are many beautiful legends about the remains of St. Euphemia, developed from the faith and reverence of the modern population for their Saint.
What do the records tell us of her life?
St. Euphemia was born in Calcedon near Constantinople into a respected upper-class family. She was given a Christian upbringing and in her town she was outstanding in virtue and beauty. As the daughter of a well-known inhabitant she undoubtably went to school in Calcedon, and she is somewhere shown wearing a distinctive student cloak. During the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who forbade baptisms, she was accused because she refused to honour the town idol, and was imprisoned along with 49 other Christians. First she was tortured in particularly cruel ways using the wheel. In spite of this she still remained faithful to Christ and steadfastly kept to her decision not to betray God. She was then thrown to the lions for her faith in the amphitheatre. The lions killed her, but they did not devour her body, to the amazement of the spectators. She was only 15 years old when she was martyred for her faith. This took place on Sept. 16th 304 (see the picture on the wall beside the sarcophagus).
The Christian believers kept her body, buried it in Calcedon, and when they were free built a large church over her grave. In this church the Calcedon council met in 651.
When in 620 the city was conquered by the Persians, the Christians were frightened that the relic of the Saint would be damaged, so the coffin was taken to Constantinople and placed in a large church which was built by the Emperor Constantine in honour of the Saint. Then , when Constantinople was ruled by the Emperor Nicefor, who was against icons, the faithful were afraid that he would remove the remains of St. Euphemia. The legend says that during a stormy night the marble coffin containing the remains of the Saint disappeared fron Constantinople. Possibly fishermen who were believers loaded it onto their boats hoping that they could transport it to a safe place. In the same year (800) by a miracle it arrived at Rovinj in the sea. The local story says that the inhabitants tried tremendously hard all day using oxen and horses to remove the coffin from the sea. Finally, a young boy was able to achieve this with a pair of young untrained calves. Another version of the story says that it was a poor widow who moved the coffin. It is important to remember that when God acts it is not important to use the muscular power of animals or the intelligence of people for His will to be done.
God was, without doubt, at work here. "I am Euphemia of Calcedon, whose blood was shed for Jesus" the Saint said to a young boy when she appeared to him in a dream and sent him down to the shore where her remains were lifted by oxen in the large marble coffin.
The coffin was to become the symbol of Rovinj.
Nun liegt der Cache nicht innerhalb des "sakralen Bereichs", sondern unterhalb eines "Profanbaues" aus schlechteren,unsicherern Zeiten.
Muggels ohne Ende, jedoch ist der Zugriff schnell und beherzt mit zwei Kletterzügen möglich.Unbeobachtet.Entsprechende Schuhe sicher von Vorteil.
Small note on cache maintenance: I am three times or more in Rovinji (friends and business relationships there- so no problem for maintenance)