Saint Faustino, Patron Saint of Singles

The day after Saint Valentine's Day is Saint Faustino's Day.

So what? Well, the saint day has been adopted by single people in Italy. In other words he is the patron saint of people with no lover.

Indeed, the National Association of Single Italians (ANIS), is based in Grosseto, Tuscany and boasts thousands of members. Unfortunately it does not seem to have a website.

The expected is the misleading 'National Association of Scuba Diving Instructors'.

ANIS (Single Italians) organizes special events for its special day.

Probably not scuba diving, as the waters off the Etruscan coast are freezing in mid winter and all immersions require everyone to have a buddy in any case.

By all accounts Saint Faustino has absolutely nothing to do with singles.

The patron saint of Brescia spent most of the 15th century existence fighting bloody battles against the city's enemies, and there is no evidence that he wrote broken heart columns in the weekly chronicle.

The choice of the 15th February is purely coincidental. A bit like true love!

Nevertheless, the feast of Saints Faustino and Giovita takes place evey yearion this date in Brescia. It is a heavily attended festival that fills the city center with people who peruse the stalls, listen to the music and eat the food.

Legend has it that these two saints intervened to save the city from a horrendous assault in the year 1438 by Nicolo Piccinino who was in the service of Filippo Visconti.

In addition to the plentiful and varied festivities, there are collateral celebrations in adjoining neighborhoods that blanket the general area in a spirit of joy.

Citizens that are named Fausta, Faustina, Faustino or Giovita carry special importance on this day and the red carpet is rolled out for them. There are spectacular fireworks at night.

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