On the first of May 2016, Cagliari and the whole of Sardinia will celebrate the 361st Feast of Saint Efisio.
This intense moment combines faith, culture and ancient traditions in a special calibration which is unique in the world.
Saint Efisio was born in Asia Minor in the 3rd century A.D. and lived during the time of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. As a soldier he was sent to Sardinia to persecute Christians. Â However, according to tradition, upon hearing a voice and seeing a shining cross in the sky appear, Saint Efisio converted to Christianity and became a defender of his new faith, disobeying the orders of Diocletian. He was martyred in the prison located at Nora on January 15th, 303 A.D.
Although the devotion to the Saint started immediately after his martyrdom, the notoriety and reverence that characterize the calibration today started after the terrible plague of 1652.
The dramatic situation in Cagliari at that time caused by the loss of so many human lives lead the whole of Sardinia to join in a prayer and credited the Virgin Saint of Bonaria and the Martyr Saint Efisio for the end of the plague.