PATRISTICS/ Paulinus of Nola
Saint Paulinus (Paolino) of Nola, also known as Pontificus Meropius Anicius Paulinus (Bordeaux, ca. 354- June 22, 431 in Nola, outside Naples) was a Roman Senator who converted to a severe monasticism in 394. He eventually became Bishop of Nola, helped to resolve the disputed election of Pope Boniface I, and was canonized as a saint.
Paulinus was from a notable senatorial family with possessions in Aquitaine, northern Spain, and southern Italy. He was educated in Bordeaux, where his teacher, the poet Ausonius, also became his friend. His normal career as a young member of the senatorial class did not last long - he served as governor of the southern Italian province of Campagna, but returned to Bordeaux where he became a serious Christian. In Paulinus's day the upper classes were in large part Christian, but not strongly observant. Paulinus married a Spanish woman named Therasia, and they moved from Bordeaux to northern Spain in 389 or 390. About the same time their only child, a son, died in infancy; Paulinus and Therasia's life in Spain became increasingly secluded. He was baptized in 389 by Delphinus, Bishop of Bordeaux. Paulinus then decided to live on his estates in Spain. In 393 or 394, after some resistance from Paulinus, he was ordained a priest on Christmas day by Lampius, Bishop of Barcelona. This was very similar to what happened with Saint Augustine of Hippo, who had been ordained against his will in the year 391 by a crowd cooperating with Bishop Valerius in the North African city of Hippo Regius.
Paulinus refused to remain in Barcelona, though, and in late spring of the following year he and his wife moved from Spain to Campagna. Already Paulinus had definite interests in monasticism and engaged in considerable epistolary dialogue about this with Saint Jerome among others. Around 410 Paulinus was chosen Bishop of Nola. Like a growing number of aristocrats in the late 4th and early 5th centuries who were entering the clergy rather than taking up the more usual administrative careers in the imperial service, Paulinus spent a great deal of his money on his chosen church and city.
In later life Paulinus, by then a highly respected church authority, participated in multiple church synods investigating various ecclesiastical controversies of the time, including Pelagianism. St Paulinus died on June 22, 431, at Nola.
About 800, a Lombard prince of Benevento removed Paulinus's bones as relics. From the eleventh century, they rested at the church of Saint Adalbert, now Saint Bartholomew, on the island in the Tiber at Rome; in 1908 Pope Pius X permitted them to be translated to the new Cathedral at Nola, where they were reinterred on May 15, 1909. The bones are now found in the small Sicilian city of Sutera where they dedicate a feast day, and conduct a procession for the Saint at Easter each year
MODERN DEVOTION TO ST. PAULINUS
The people of modern day Nola and the surrounding regions remain devoted to St. Paulinus. His feast day is celebrated annually in Nola during "La Festa dei Gigli" (the Feast of the Lilies), in which Gigli, several large statues in honor of the saint, placed on towers, are carried upon the shoulders of the faithful around the city. In the United States, the descendants of Italian immigrants from Nola continue the tradition in Brooklyn, Harlem, and on Long Island.