San Potito - the patron saint of Ascoli
Until the 17th century Ascoli had three patron saints: San Leone,
San Biaggio and San Potito. The increasing dominance of San Potito
is reflected in the growing popularity of versions of his name
being given to both boys and girls from the late 17th century.
In a period which has seen the increasing feminisation of saint
and madonna cults throughout the Italian south, it is interesting
to note that San Potito retains the dominant role in the Ascoli
San Potito was a christian boy, martyred in the 2nd century AD.
The statue of San Potito is made from solid silver and was donated
by a local doctor in the 17th century. The base was donated by
migrants to America originating from the town at the beginning
of this century.
The statue is surrounded by candles. During the course of the
procession people pin money and, sometimes, jewellery, onto the
red robe about the statue's neck in recognition of favours received
and hoped for from the saint. The nail in the head of the boy
saint symbolises the form of his martyrdom.