Posts tagged ‘Caïus Silvius Torpetius’

Saint Tropez

Today, April 29, is the veneration of Saint Torpes of Pisa, better known by the town named after him: Saint Tropez.

Saint Torpes is one of those few saints that are venerated by both the Eastern and Western Churches who lived in the first century AD having martyred in 65AD.

Torpes was a Roman whose full name was Caïus Silvius Torpetius who, according to legend, was either senior military person or a leader of emperor Nero’s guard. It is said that he was martyred when, in the presence of the emperor, he professed his faith.

He is highly venerated in his birthplace of Pisa and the locations where his body finally arrived. The legend says that his decapitated body was placed on a boat with a rooster and a dog to devour the corpse.  The boat was set adrift and floated towards north-western Italy.

A woman named Célèrine had a vision at that time saying that Torpes would visit her village. As foreseen, the boat with the corpse, rooster and dog did indeed reach that small seaside village. Upon arrival the rooster fled one way and the dog the other.

The village was renamed to Saint Tropez, in honor of the saint.

Interestingly, the village towards which the rooster fled was renamed Cogolin and the village towards which the dog went to Grimaud.

It is the arms of the town that we see at the top of this post, the blazon of which is amazingly easy: Azure the Saint Tropez (Torpes) Or holding in his right hand a sword Argent point to base, standing on a base Or charged with the text “SAINT-TROPEZ”

Personally, I find these arms to be ugly. I never liked shields with text on them, even though it is relatively common in the Iberian peninsula and France.

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