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Emilian of Cogolla: Wikis


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Born c. 472
La Rioja, Spain
Died c. 573
Major shrine Augustinian Recollets monastery of La Cogolla
Feast 12 November
Attributes monk on horseback
Patronage Castile

Saint Aemilian (also known as Emilianus/Aemilianus or San Millán de la Cogolla) is a Visigothic saint, widely revered throughout Spain.



Much controversy surrounded his place of birth, described as Vergegio in his Vita: the most current is Berceo in La Rioja, close to the monastery that bears his name and conserves his relics. In the past, Aragon also claimed to have been the origin of the saint.

According to his Vita, written by Braulius, bishop of Caesaraugusta (modern Zaragoza) roughly a hundred years after Aemilian's death, the saint was a shepherd until a sudden conversion, perhaps around the age of twenty, decided him upon the hermitical life. He sought out a more experienced hermit in Bilibio, Felix (although known more usually by the Spanish form of his name, San Felices), where he lived for a number of years. He then left his master, and lived as a hermit (perhaps even a gyrovagus) in the mountains, whence he was summoned and ordained as priest in Berceo by Didymus the Bishop of Tarazona.

In order to escape the duties of the clerical life, he distributed the monies of the church to the poor to such an extent that he aroused the opposition of his fellow priests and was allowed to return to the wilderness.

There he lived attracting a large following amongst the laity and a small community of disciples around his cell. He died at a venerable age, and was buried in his cell. Some few miracles are recorded by Braulius as having occurred after Aemilian's death.


The mountain hermitage he occupied in La Rioja became the site of the Mozarabic monastery of San Millán de Suso, which then co-existed for a time in the eleventh century with San Millán de Yuso (the 'upper' and 'lower' monasteries respectively), until Suso ceased to function with a separate abbot in the early twelfth century. Both monasteries are known as San Millán de la Cogolla.

He is a patron saint of Castile, where he is known as San Millán de la Cogolla, the "cowled" Saint Emilian.

Emilianus is represented as a monk on horseback fighting the Moors, similar to the representation of Saint James the Moor-slayer, and sometimes as a Benedictine on horseback with a banner and sword.

Gonzalo de Berceo wrote an account of his life called the Vida de San Millán de la Cogolla.

See also


External links



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