Discover Romanesque: Peoples and Legends

Justus and Clement, bishops of Volterra

The oldest legend concerning the confessor saints Justus and Clement dates from the 10th-11th centuries and is attributed to a certain Blinderanno.

After arriving at Populonia, the two African-born brothers Justus and Clement, together with Saint Octavian, travelled to Volterra, where they would lead hermits’ lives. They settled at the foot of Mount Nibbio, where their simple presence rid the place of the predatory and venomous animals that infested it.

When they arrived in Volterra the city was under siege and about to surrender to avoid starvation. It was then that Justus performed the miracle of the multiplication of the wheat and victuals, thus freeing the city of its assailants. He was then proclaimed bishop of Volterra.

After receiving the pope’s confirmation, Justus ruled with wisdom the Volterran Church, while Clement lived in a cave as a penitent. Word of their sanctity spread everywhere and after their death two chapels were built and dedicated to them, forming the original nucleus of the future monastic complex.



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