The Patron Saint's day

Martyr St. Benedict - San Benedetto Martire
Martyr St. Benedict

Martyr St. Benedict's Feast should be the most important one of the city and it really was, at least until one to Our Lady of the Sea took over.

It was celebrated on 13th October, the anniversary of the Saint's martyrdom, and for several years also on 12th June, anniversary of the transfer of his relics from his inaccessible grave to the special chapel of the Parish Church. During the Council Session of 28th December 1706 it was decided that a fair starting on 12th, 13th, 14th October 1707 and held on the Lauretana Road (today Statale 16), from Fosso di S. Lucia to the border with nearby Grottammare, was to be held on the Saint's Festival. Therefore from the second half of the seventeenth century, it became a double feast when his transfer was perpetuated by exposing the Saint's relics.
Every feast was organized thanks to active collaboration between Church and Municipality. By long tradition, the parish priest offered lunch to all members of the Municipal Advisory Council and the Clergy of San Benedetto. The Municipality, on the other hand, provided for the organization of civil celebration and solemn shots of cannons from the ramparts. At the feast on 13th October, the day on which the Saint's arm was carried in procession, the community used to choose some men, even among the Councillors, who were in charge of preparing ceremonies and amusements, so that both the fair and the feast could take piace without hitch.
A huge number of people took part in the festival, because the feast was magnificent and the miracles attributed to the Saint were famous - he was venerated not only by the people of San Benedetto, but also by the people of the surrounding area.
After the Napoleonic period, during the Restoration, a fair on 3th June was added to the feast of 12th June, the so called "Fiera della Traslazione di San Benedetto" or "Fiera delle Ciliegie" ("Fair of St. Benedict's transfer" or "Cherry Fair'), but it was not half as important as the main one in October Celebrations began six days before, with church hells ringing full peal, whilst civic celebrations got started with flag games and went on with fireworks, a sack-race, bingo, the greasy pole, music and above all the "pen of the ox". An ox was pushed into the middle of the wide and beautiful "Piazza del Belvedere" and the bravest men made him fall with only their arms. People could watch the game from behind a wooden stockade.
These were customs that got lost as time went by, like singing a fine old song by the inhabitants of San Benedetto eight days before and eight days after the 13th October.
In the course of time and history not always could the citizens of San Benedetto celebrate their Patron Saint. In 1630 the Holy Congregation of Rituals had published a Decree in the Roman Breviary, in which people were allowed to "honour" only the saints authorized, so to speak, by the Congregation itself or those in the Roman Martyrology. Martyr St. Benedict was neither included in the first nor in the second case, thus after 1707 religious celebrations came to a stop, heeause they were not authorized. The parish priest in those days, Father Polidori, giving voice to the feeling of unease and confusion created in the communitv of San Benedeno by this measure, fought like a hero until in 1714 he proved the religious truth. Since then, citizens of San Benedeno could have alwavs been able to revere and celebrate their Patron Saint. 
During the first decades of the twentieth century the feast of the Patron Saint shifred from the mounth of June to the mounth of May, while in October was cancelled, as it lost its meaning in the course of time (after the world war).

In 2007 the City Council and Mr. Gervasio Gestori, the Bishop, have restored the 13th of October as the Patron Saint's day. Every year in that period there's a feast with a fair in the "Paese Alto" area.