On the 1st of May 2017, Cagliari and the whole of Sardinia celebrate the 361st Feast of Saint Efisio.
This intense moment combines faith, culture and ancient traditions in a special calibration that 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 Italy to stop the spreading of Christianity. However, according to tradition, he converted as a result of the miraculous appearance of a shining cross in the sky, later impressed on the palm of his hand, while Christ reproached him for his sanguinary mission.
Arrived in Sardinia, while his soldiers fought against the barbarians, Efisio became a Christian and defended his faith, disobeying Diocletian who ordered his martyrdom. He was executed in Nora on the 15th of January 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.