The life of the saint and the origins of the cult.
St. Ilaro or Ellero, Abbot of Galeata, was born in Tuscia (or Romagna Tuscany) in 476. At twelve years old he decided to dedicate himself to an ascetic life and retired to a solitary existence. He left his father’s house, went into the Apennines and chose a mountain above Galeata as his home. The Abbot traveled a good part of Romagna to preach the word of Christ, and also stopped in the small village of Lugo.

The Saint is protector of the city of Lugo, where he remained for a certain time to preach and where a church was dedicated to him near the city, in the Fondo known as Stiliano. Over the centuries, the floods caused by the frequent flow of the Santerno and Senio rivers forced the monks to abandon the site; so it was that the Chaplaincy of S. Ilaro in Stiliano moved, with all the relics, to the Church of S. Maria del Trivio or Trebbo, to which the title “e di S. Ilaro” was added. The Church of Fondo Stiliano was definitively abandoned by the Carmelite Fathers, to whom it was entrusted for a few years, in favor of a more protected place, a stone’s throw from the citadel. The current Church of Carmine was built on the foundations of that first Church, inaugurated in 1772 with an adjoining Convent. Here the Carmelite Fathers were, even in difficult times, faithful guardians of the silver bust of St. Ilaro, protector of the city.

On May 15th of each year, the feast of the Saint takes place in Lugo, as per ancient tradition. A parchment from 1484 tells, for the occasion, of a “solemn celebration, with the Governor of the city present, banner, procession, decorations, canopies, drapes, flowers, lights and, in the evening shots and bangs, music, dances and games” .

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