Born in Ireland; died 588; feast day formerly March 15. In spite of the
Italian name Frediano, by which he is usually called,
St. Frigidian was an Irishman, the son of King Ultach of Ulster. He was
trained in Irish monasteries and ordained a priest. His learning was
imparted by such flowers of the 6th century Irish culture as Saint Enda
and Saint Colman.
St. Frigidian arrived in Italy on a pilgrimage to Rome and decided to
settle as a hermit on Mount Pisano. In 566, he was elected bishop of
Lucca and was persuaded by Pope John II him to accept the position. Even
thereafter the saint frequently left the city to spend many days in
prayer and solitude. As bishop he formed the clergy of the city into a
community of canons regular and rebuilt the cathedral after it had been
destroyed by fire by the Lombards.
His most famous miracle:- the River Serchio frequently burst its banks,
causing great damage to the city of Lucca. The citizens reputedly called
on their bishop for aid. He asked for an ordinary rake. Fortified by
prayer, Frigidian commanded the Serchio to follow his rake. He charted a
new, safer course for the water, avoiding the city walls, as well as the
cultivated land outside. Miraculously, the river followed him.
Sometimes there is confusion between Saint Finnian of Moville and St.
Frigidian. They could perhaps be the same person but the links have
never been well established. Frigidian is still greatly venerated in
In art, St. Frigidian walks in procession as the Volto Santo crucifix is
brought to Lucca on an ox cart. He may also be shown changing the course
of the Serchio River or as a bishop with a crown at his feet