St.Hypatius of Gangra
Patron of: Impotency; Inguinal hernia; Urology.
Sant’Ippazio (St. Hypatius of Gangra) is a saint, martyr, and advocate in cases of impotency, inguinal hernia, and other abdominal disorders. In Tiggiano, a small town at the southernmost point of Italy, Sant’Ippazio, bishop of Gangra, is venerated as a patron saint. According to legend, during an excited dispute on the question of the Arian heresy at the synod of Nicaea (325 AD), Bishop Ippazio was kicked in the lower abdominal region by an Arian presbyter, which caused an inguinal hernia. Therefore, his help is sought for relief and cure of hernia or impotency. Every January 19th, the day of the parish fair, particular carrots (the “pastinache”) which have a reddish to violet color are sold. They are said to be similar to the saint’s penis after the kick. Also described in this article are other pagan fertility rituals which have been christianized by the veneration of a saint and which are still kept alive among local populations.