The Church of San Mamiliano is at the foot of Colle Serra (also called Calle di San Mamiliano) in Campo d'Elba, on the road for Procchio.
The Church dates back to pre Romanesque times and although there is no written proof , legend has it that it was built in the year one thousand. There was once a tiny hermitage next to it, but many alterations have been carred out on the entire building over the years.
In 1959 some restoration was done, and since the reopening of the worship was foreseen, the Saint's remains were moved from the Church of Saint Mathew to Pisa The remains of his bones were later placed inside the stone altar, with only a tiny piece to e seen. On September 15th 1960, now the Patron Saint's Day, the Church was consacrated and dedicated to the veneration of San Mamiliano, and every year a devout and lively pilgrimage took place in the tiny church, their prayers being heard as far as the sea.
The facade today is of primary importance: a main, central door, two tiny windows and a small rose window. The interior consists of a single nave and a ceiling with wooden beams,and you can see the beautiful oil painting of San Mamiliano behind the altar, that dates back to the middle of the nineteenth century. It shows the moment when he kills the dragon, symbol of the devil. It is interesting to see just how much detail the artist went into to paint the surrounding environment: the view of the port in Marina di Campo with the Island of Montecristo in the background.
The veneration of San Mamiliano is very strong in all of the Tuscan Archipelago because when the bishop of Palermo escaped from persecution and imprisonment, he sought shelter right in the Tyrrhenian islands, until he finally settled for good in Montecristo, where he lived as a hermit in a grotto on the Island that is still called Saint's Grotto. Legend has it that as soon as he landed at Montecristo he killed the dragon that guarded the island, and a spring of natural water appeared there and then in the place where the battle had taken place.
According to another legend, the death of the saint was made known by the high column of white smoke from a huge fire that was lit, that could e seen both from Elba and from Giglio, from where many boats full of believers set off. There was such a fierce argument among those who had arrived at Montecristo as regards who was to carry the body of the Saint that his body was ripped apart, They then decided to take an arm each, so one of the relics is kept inside te Church and the other is is Giglio. According to another legend, some of the relics remained on the Island of Montecristo until 1098 when Pope Urbano II had them sent to Santa Maria in Monticelli in Rome.
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