Sunday, February 2, 2003



Italian singles to celebrate St. Faustino Day


A story published today in Zomata reports that Italian singles, tired of being in the shadows for St. Valentine's day celebrations, have proclaimed their own saint and feast day. Feb. 15 has been named San Faustino Single Pride day, a day of awareness of the 'status single' with a special focus on the problems and discrimination faced by people who are not married.

"Everyone could use a saint to watch over them," says president Annalisa Fattori. Fattori started the association based in Milan with three friends. "And not a few people have come out of sticky emotional situations thanks to the help of this beacon of singledom."

They couldn't have picked a better representative: San Faustino, though not widely known, was a combative martyr who became a saint along with best friend San Giovita.
Both belonged to wealthy pagan families, became knights and were converted during a battle in Roman times. They went into martyrdom together, placating the fierce animals meant to kill them, putting out the bonfire meant to burn them and weathering a storm at sea when sent to prison in Naples.

Co-patrons of the Northern Italian city of Brescia, they are credited, among other things, with liberating the city from Visconti troops through an apparition in 1438.

Today's singles in Italy are fighting prejudice and issues like access to low-income housing, the right to adopt children and higher trash tax, according to the association. Over one-fifth, 23.3% of the Italian population, is made up of singles and single-parent families. During celebrations, the association will elect a "Single of the Year."


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