Miracle of the Sea of Azov

Miracle of the Sea of Azov



            Four columns originally formed the entrance to the nave of the basilica. After an earthquake in 847 Pope Leo IV had the columns embedded in masonry to prevent the collapse of the façade above.

Towards the end of the eleventh century, this side of the wall was decorated with two very fine frescoes commissioned by a local family named de Rapiza.

Bound to an anchor and thrown into the Black Sea, St Clement’s body was recovered from an underwater tomb and buried on an island. Once a year this tomb was shown to the inhabitants by a miraculous ebbing of the tide.

On one of these occasions, a child was caught by the returning tide. However, as depicted in the fresco, he was recovered safe and sou

On the panel below this scene there are portraits of the donors: Beno de Rapiza and his wife Maria Macellaria, with their children Clement and Altilia.

In the medallion there is St Clement himself, with words written in the form of a cross that read: Seeking me in prayer, beware of hurtful things.

The fresco is being restored by the Central Institute of Restoration in collaboration with the Irish Dominican Fathers, and the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali.