St. Oringa Christina and the People of Santa Croce:
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Religious Fables, Folklore, Legends, and Stories

St. Oringa Christina and the People of Santa Croce
Submitted by
Yuri Klitsenko, Russia

According to "Vita della beata Oringa Cristiana" (G. Lami, Vita della beata Oringa Cristiana, Firenze 1769, in Deliciae eruditorum seu veterum anekdoton opusculorum collectanea Io. Lamius collegit, illustravit, edidit) the young girl, Oringa, escaped from her home, to aviod an unwanted marriage, and got lost in a wood, where at last a hare showed her the right way.

There are not any churches consecrated to this saint: her cult survives in the Augustinian monastery of Santa Maria Novella at Santa Croce sull'Arno.

The celebration of Santa Oringa Christiana held in January is a true veneration of this saint who freed the entire population of Santa Croce from hunger with her field of fava beans during a time of famine.

There are many celebrations regarding this fact, indeed so many that the so-called blessed 'panellino' is distributed free to honour her.

During the festival days there is a nearly uninterrupted procession of Santa Croce residents and the faithful who make pilgrimage to the Chiesa del Monastero.


1. Settecento anni di vita del Monastero di Santa Maria Novella e San Michele Arcangelo in Santa Croce sull'Arno comunemente detto Monastero di Santa Cristiana / a cura di Elisabetta Marchetti Cassa di risparmio San Miniato ; Ospedaletto : Pacini, stampa 1994

2. Vita della Beata Cristiana, vergine, fondatrice del monastero di S. Maria Novella e di S. Michele in Santa Croce (oggi monastero della B.Cristiana). Scritta da un anonimo contemporaneo della Beata. Prima trad. ital. integrale (con testo latino a fronte) in occasione del VII Centenario del Monastero 1279-1979. Santa Croce sull'Arno, 1978

3. Giovanni Lami e il Valdarno inferiore. I luoghi e la storia di un erudito del Settecento, a c. di V. Bartoloni, Pisa 1997

4. Papasogli, G., Uno core et anima in Dio. La Beata Cristiana da S. Croce, Milano 1969

Yuri Klitsenko is a Russian living in Moscow.  He works for the Russian Orthodox Church.

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