St. Euphemia Church (Basilica)

Sv. Eufemija

The Legend of St. Euphemia dates from the 4th century, from the reign of Emperor Diocletian, who was one of the greatest persecutor of Christians. St. Euphemia was born in the year 290. near the city Constantinople in a noble family. On one occasion she refused to bow to an idol and she was thrown into the city prison. She encouraged other prisoners to have faith in God and because of that was subjected to even more torture. Finally, she was thrown into the arena with the lions, but they didn’t want to attack her. However, she died at the age of 15 and her body was buried in her native city of Chalcedon.

When Persian army won the Chalcedony, the sarcophagus with her remains was moved to Constantinople. In the year 800. the sarcophagus disappeared overnight. It appeared on a stormy night in the city of Rovinj. Residents of the city were trying to pull heavy sarcophagus from the sea all day and did not managed. Then a young boy came with his heifers. He told the crowd that the St. Euphemia appeared in his dream and told him to come help pull the sarcophagus. The boy and his feeble animals have unearthed a heavy object on the shore. They dragged the sarcophagus up the hill where the church of St. Juraj was located. Sv. Euphemia has been a patron of Rovinj since then, and the church was named after her. Today, believers and pilgrims celebrate the 16th of September. That is the day of the city Rovinj.

Another little interesting fact about Sv. Eufemia – if the statue on top of the church is facing the sea the weather will be sunny, and if it is facing the city it will be cloudy. This is because across of the St. Eufemia there is an island of St. Catherine. The two of them are friends. So if Euphemia is facing Katarina it means that they are in a good relationships and this friendship reflects on the weather.