Vanilla Beer artist

St Devota (oil painting, 30cm x 30cm, 360€).

St Devota is the patron saint of Corsica and Monaco.

She was killed during the persecutions of Diocletian and Maximian. She was a Corsican woman born around 283 AD who decided as a young girl to devote herself to the service of God. She was part of the household of Eutychius, a senator, who refused to hand her over to Barbarus - a prefect who came to Corsica with a fleet - who expected that she should sacrifice to the imperial cult. Upon Eutychius's refusal to comply with Barbarus's demands, Barbarus had him poisoned; whereupon Devota was imprisoned and tortured. Her mouth was crushed, and her body was dragged through rocks. She was racked (or stoned) to death at Mariana around 303.

After her death, the governor of the province ordered for her body to be burnt to prevent its veneration. However, it was saved from the flames by Christians. Her body was placed on a boat bound for Africa where her companions expected she could get a Christian burial.

A storm arose - a dove appeared and guided the boat to Les Gaumates in Monaco, where a chapel is built in her honour.

The "Legend of Saint Devota" is one of the Principality of Monaco's oldest traditions - it has influenced national culture in fields as diverse as religion, folklore and popular beliefs, history, literature, the arts, painting, music, coins and stamps. This legend, passed on through a medieval document, holds a special place in the heart of Monaco's people and over the centuries has been awarded a permanent place in the city's history. Miracles are reported from her tomb.

In the 1687, some of Devota's relics were transported from Monaco to the Jesuit church of Sant'Ignazio on the island. Between 1727 and 1751, attempts were made to receive from the Vatican official recognition of Devota as special patroness of Corsica. These were refused because there was scant evidence of her existence.