[:en]The Christian Saints of Albania[:]


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[:en]Inside a monumental tomb found in Durres, a fresco was found with the symbol of the chrism used by the early Christians who lived in that city. It is known that in the first century AD C. the Apostle Paul himself went through Albania (Letter to the Romans 15,19) and evangelized the Illyrian people. Instead one of his followers, Tito, preached in Dalmatia. On 4 June 110 in Durazzo was killed, becoming a martyr, Saint Astio, an important figure of early Christianity. He is mentioned in the Roman Martyrology and we find it depicted in the twelfth century frescoes in the church of Rubik. San Astio San Astio is such an important figure for Albanian Christianity. An English archaeologist has advanced the hypothesis that the small Byzantine chapel in the amphitheater of Durres can be dedicated to the cult of Saint Astio.   The catalog of Albanian saints is very interesting. This list has come down to us thanks to the historical and scientific studies of Monsignor Fan S. Noli. 1 - Saint Donato martyr, lived and was martyred in the 2nd century in Vlora; his party is January 16. 2 - Saint Nikoni and his 199 companions, martyrs of Illyria, massacred in the fourth century; they are celebrated on March 23. 3 - Saint Eleuterio, bishop of Illyria, his mother had been a disciple of St. Paul himself; celebrated on December 15. 4 - Saints Flori and Lauri, workers of the stone and martyrs of the III century; 5 - Constantine the Great, the emperor who formalized Christianity; celebrated on May 21. 6 - St. Nikodini of Pojan, iconodulo martyr of Albania in the Middle Ages; celebrated April 4. 7 - Saint Urbano Papa, an Illyrian martyred in 230; celebrated on May 25. 8 - Saint Eusebio Girolamo, who translated the Bible for the first time into Latin, a text known by the name of Vulgate, in the fourth century; celebrated on June 15. 9 - Saint Giovanni (Jan) Kukuzeli, born in Durres and died on Mount Athos, a brilliant singer and musician of the twelfth century, is remembered on October 1. 10 - St. Peter of Korça, holy man and friar of the Middle Ages; celebrated on June 5. 11 - Saint Angelina (Angjelina) of Albania, nun of the fifteenth century. Descendant of the house of Giorgio Castriota Scanderbeg. Celebrated on December 10. 12 - Saint Kristo the Gardener, martyred in 1572; celebrated on February 12. 13 - Saint Nikor Argirota, an Albanian friar who died on Mount Athos in the seventeenth century. 14 - Saint Giovanni (Gjon) the Sarto, an Albanian martyr who died in 1572; celebrated on April 18. An icon depicting Saint Angelina of Albania, measuring 70x43 cm, is now in Kosovo. The cult of Angelina of Albania has lasted for five centuries and has also penetrated the Serbian population. The Serbs call this saint Albanskaja in their language. In the monastery of Ardenica, in Albania, in the 18th century the Zografi brothers painted frescoes depicting the twelfth century musician Giovanni (Jan) Kukuzeli from Durres. In many mosaics and frescoes, but especially in several still unknown and unpublished codes that are found in the Vatican, and still in the Byzantine study centers of London and Washington, there was found many portraits depicting the Albanian saints who have given their fundamental contribution in more than 2000 years of Christianity. Freely adapted from the book Mes Laookontit dhe Krishtit by Moikom Zeqo[:]

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