The legend of Saint Devota: the persecution, the dove and the roses

legends of Corsica: Saint Devota

The legend of Saint Lucia it one of the oldest in Corsica. But there is, at least, another one that is preserved from generation to generation. And it is still alive in the minds of Corsican pleople. It is the legend of Saint Devota.

She was born in Lucciana around 283 AD. A young virgin, she had decided to devote herself fully to the service of God. Until 303 AD, when Diocletianic Persecution began.

In 304 A.D. Devota was denounced to the Roman governor by a vile spy. She was imprisoned and tortured to death. Her martyrdom was not finished yet: it seems that the Roman governor had ordered to burn her remains.

At night, two men steal the body of the saint. The names of the two men were Graziano, a boat pilot, and Benenato, a priest. They wanted to give the young martyr a Christian burial.

They boarded on a ship directed to Africa. But they were caught in a violent storm. Due to the strong winds, the two men couldn’t follow the route. According to legend, a white dove appeared and showed Graziano and Benenato the route to follow.

Following the dove, the boat arrived in Les Gaumates. At the point where the boat landed, an unusual and beautiful rose garden was found. In the same place, a chapel that still exists today was built.

According to tradition, here the flowers bloom on January 27. And January 27 is the day when Saint Devota is celebrated.


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